(The Guardian) For England, it was always going to be about finding the moment, the one to blow apart a tight game, to cut through so much negative tournament history – particularly at the hands of Germany. And for long spells, as the tension rose to near unbearable levels at a raucous and emotional Wembley, the home crowd wondered whether it would come.
Gareth Southgate had reverted to a 3-4-3, ignoring the clamour for greater fantasy and more creative players. It was the England manager sticking bravely to his principles, seeking security, the platform for the moment, and a part of the equation was patience, which was not in abundant supply inside the stadium.
Germany had shown their quality in the first half, particularly early on, yet England came to match them physically and tactically. The longer the second half wore on, the greater the assurance of those in white shirts. Could they find the incision, the note of clarity?