England were immense in Euro 2020 defeat of Germany, says Gareth Southgate

England were immense in Euro 2020 defeat of Germany, says Gareth Southgate
Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane scored in the 2-0 last-16 win.

Gareth Southgate heaped praise on his “immense” players after England beat Germany and set-up a Euro 2020 quarter-final clash against Ukraine.

The Three Lions struck twice just as fear began to creep in about another major competition exit to Die Mannschaft on Tuesday, when the squad heeded their manager’s advice to make their own history.

Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane scored in the 2-0 last-16 win, with Football’s Coming Home echoing around Wembley at the end of England’s biggest match on home soil since Euro 96.

It was also just their second ever European Championship knockout triumph, with attention now turning to Saturday’s meeting with Andriy Shevchenko’s side in Rome.

“I think the players were immense,” England manager Southgate said. “Right the way through the team they were immense.

“They have given the fans in the stadium, who were also incredible (a great day). I’ve been here with a full house and not heard it anywhere near the levels that the crowd found today.

England fans were in fine voice at Wembley

“But they were behind every challenge, they were behind every time we pressed the ball, they were behind every run we had and the energy was incredible in the stadium.

“So, to be able to send them home feeling as they do tonight, to hear them at the end … I mean, you can’t beat a bit of Sweet Caroline, can you? That’s a belter, really.

“But to know that so many millions of people after such a difficult year at home can have that enjoyment that I know we’d have given them today is very special.”

Euro 2020 tournament progress

It was a moment to cherish for England and underlined the strides being made by the 2018 World Cup semi-finalists.

From Jordan Pickford’s key saves at important times to the three-man defence keeping England’s fourth clean sheet of the tournament and a mature midfield display, it was a fine all-round performance.

The celebrations at full-time will live long in the memory but the players’ attention quickly turned to Saturday’s match in Italy and a shot at a semi-final spot.

“It didn’t really need me to say it but when we get in the dressing room, we were talking about Saturday already,” Southgate added.

“Today’s been an immense performance but at a cost, emotionally and physically, and we’ve got to make sure that we recover well and that mentally we’re in the right space.

“It’s a dangerous moment for us.

“We’ll have that warmth of success and the feeling around the country that we’ve only got to turn up to win the thing – and we know it’s going to be an immense challenge from here on.

“I think the players know that. They’ve been to the latter stages before, they know how difficult that’s been, so their feet are on the ground.

“They should feel confident from the way they’ve played and the manner of the performance.

“But of course we came here with an intention and we’ve not achieved that yet.”

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