Rocking Wembley laps up England's ghostbusters as Germany are beaten 2-0

It would be a surprise if a full Wembley has ever sounded as noisy, as delighted, never mind the half-filled stadium which rocked to its foundations as England won a knockout game in the European Championship.

That has never happened before. Yes, they won a penalty shoot-out against Spain which prompted almost as much relief as this, but never victory in 90 minutes.

And not against Germany The last time they lost a knockout game at the stadium they love almost like one of their own was in 1966 and back then they were not even allowed any East Germans in their team. England's players might have tried to block out the history, the curse of the Germans, but the fans appreciated it all right.

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This may not be vintage Germany, but there is no such thing as pushover Germany. In terms of the football, it was not vintage England either. Nobody cares.

ECSTATIC: Harry Maguire celebrates England's second goal

The visitors had their Germany moment in the 82nd minute when Raheem Sterling, having put England 1-0 up with his third goal of the tournament, sloppily gave the ball away and Kai Havertz fed Thomas Muller. It had all the makings of a classic England-Germany sob story.

Instead Muller, prolific in World Cup football but strangely unable to find the net in European Championships - not even in penalty shoot-outs - missed the target.

From there Harry Kane, so laboured in this tournament, nodded a second. England had won, and not just 1-0 through Sterling like in the previous game.

As the fans roared "Football's Coming Home" with David Baddiel and Frank Skinner in the stands, they actually believed it.

Sweden or Ukraine are next in Rome on Saturday and if this was not such a crazy tournament, you would say England will be back at Wembley for the semi-finals.

From the start it sounded like the crowd were trying to make up for all those wasted games in front of empty seats, the mood and colour helped by a large contingent furiously waving German flags in one corner.

England's fans booed their hearts out. They booed whenever someone German stepped on the pitch, they booed the German national anthem, a clutch booed the players taking the knee before quickly being drowned out and they booed when the black-shirted visitors dominated the ball early on. Mostly, though, they cheered, belting out not only God Save Our Queen but Sweet Caroline and Seven Nation Army.

Home advantage did not do much good early on, the visitors dominating the ball at what they consider a home from home as England sat off them.

The worry was that with manager Gareth Southgate reviving the all-Yorkshire World Cup back three as he matched Germany's formation was that his team would be too conservative, and so it proved in the early stages. Declan Rice looked jittery, giving the ball away then picking up a booking conceding a dangerous free-kick.

There were huge cheers of relief at Jordan Pickford wellying the ball clear as he rushed into his D after seven minutes.

It took a 19-year-old to shake England out of it, Bukayo Saka nominally on the right of a front three but effectively playing as another wing-back - a proper wing-back - chased the ball back and ran forward with it, showing confidence in the way he turned, passed and even at one stage juggled the ball.

Saka won a free-kick at the end of a move started by Kyle Walker and Harry Maguire won it comfortably but, running back, was unable to redirect is as he wished. He headed at Manuel Neuer from the next corner, won after Sterling cut inside and forced a save.

Maguire headed wide again after 27 minutes when Kalvin Phillips's excellent pass released Kieran Trippier - unlike Walker, Maguire, Phillips and John Stones from the wrong side of the Pennines but given a pass for having spent time on loan at Barnsley - who crossed.

Stones too would head wide in the first half. The message was clear: win free-kicks and hit them at a Yorkshireman.

Phillips's pass was a sign of his growing confidence and seeing him have a cross blocked at the byline and run down the centre-forward channel behind an overhit Kane pass were a sign that he was becoming more than just a holding midfielder against opponents energised by Leon Goretzka's selection over Ilkay Gundogan.

Kane's ongoing labours were more of a concern, missing the best chance of the first half right at its conclusion when his poor touch allowed Mats Hummels to avert the danger after Sterling's driving run into the area saw the ball land at the England captain's feet.

Pickford had to be alert after 32 minutes, rushing out to deny the recalled Timo Werner, but Germany's early threat had been becalmed.

The second half never really got going. The problem with being England's manager is that everyone in the country thinks they can do a better job. Midway through the second half the scoreboard operator had their two penn'orth, flashing an image of Jack Grealish sat idle on the bench, as had happened against Scotland.

"Super Jack..." came the chant and Southgate soon responded, replacing Saka.

Grealish was involved in both goals, though Luke Shaw takes even more credit.

Sterling went on a run for the first, found Kane, who played it to Grealish, then Shaw for an excellent cross Sterling tapped in after 76 minutes.

When Kane went down injured in the second half there would have been more than a few secretly hoping it was nothing too trivial but he would secure the victory.

Shaw's hunger to win the ball in midfield saw Grealish cross and the captain arch his back to nod in.

England had done it.

Their football was not scintillating but they are still to concede in the tournament and none of the 40,000 singing their hearts out at full-time were in the slightest bit fussed about that.

Days like this do not just happen. Did not.

England (3-4-3): Pickford; Walker, Stones, Maguire; Trippier, Phillips, Rice (Henderson 87), Shaw; Saka (Grealish 68), Kane, Sterling.

Unused substitutes: Rashford, Ramsdale, Mings, Coady, Sancho, Mount, Foden, Johnstone, James, Bellingham.

Germany (3-4-3): Neuer; Ginter (Can 87), Hummels, Rudiger; Kimmich, Kroos, Goretzka, Gosens (Sane 87); Havertz, Muller (Musiala 90), Werner (Gnabry 68).

Unused substitutes: Halstenberg, Volland, Leno, Sule, Neuhaus, Gundogan, Trapp, Koch.

Referee: D Makkelie (Netherlands).

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