England boss Gareth Southgate urges calm following historic victory over Germany

Gareth Southgate celebrated his greatest victory at Wembley – and then warned England now face a “dangerous moment.”

Heroes Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane were on target as England finally laid to rest their demons against bitter rivals Germany after beating them in a major tournament knock-out for the first time since 1966.

But Southgate was also anxious to tell his players not to get carried away as they begin to dream with the Euros opening up as they face a quarter final in Rome on Saturday with the likes of Germany, France and Portugal already out.

England boss Southgate, who famously missed a penalty in the shoot-out against Germany in Euro 96, said: “For the teammates that played with me, I can’t change that. That is always going to hurt.

England manager Gareth Southgate guided his side to victory over Germany in their Round of 16 tie at Euro 2020
England manager Gareth Southgate guided his side to victory over Germany in their Round of 16 tie at Euro 2020

“But what is lovely is that we’ve given people another day to remember and now we’ve got to go and do it in Rome.

“I just thought it was a brilliant afternoon. We’ve talked about bringing enjoyment to the nation and afternoons like this is what that’s about. The players were absolutely immense, right the way through the team and the fans were as well.

“It was only 40,000, but it was as good an atmosphere at Wembley that I can remember. We played extremely well and I think we deserved the win.

“But if we don’t go and capitalise on that on Saturday now, then it doesn’t count for anything.

“It’s a dangerous moment for us the feeling around the country that we only have to turn up to win the thing. They should feel confident from this performance but we have to stay focused.

“We were playing a team with four World Cup winners, a manager who has had an incredible career. There was always been the question after the World Cup about us against a big nation.

“But I was proud of the way we played. What pleased me most was we always have passion, always have the heart but we showed brains as well.

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“It was a special moment when the second goal went in. We can look back in the future but we also have to get Saturday right first.”

Southgate’s comments and caution were echoed by his captain Harry Kane after the game.

England’s talisman – who got his nation’s second goal of the game – told reporters after the match: “It’s an amazing day, amazing game. To hear Wembley like this was just a moment none of us will ever forget.

“It was a great performance, obviously 2-0, another clean sheet. Just the perfect afternoon. We’ll enjoy this one, but of course we know we’ve got another big one on Saturday now.”

Harry Maguire – who starred in the heart of the defence – added: “Obviously it’s a magnificent moment for myself, the team, the fans, everyone involved in the country.

“Like I said previously, it’s been a tough couple of years for everyone in this country so to put smiles back on faces that we know will be at home celebrating, everyone in the stadium has enjoyed a great moment, a great feeling.

“We’re not done yet, we’ve got another big game on Saturday.”

Declan Rice, who grew into the game after an early booking, also stayed grounded despite revelling in the experience of the victory.

“We don’t want to get too ahead of ourselves because Saturday’s a massive game as well now,” said the West Ham star.

“We travel to Rome and we want to win that and progress in to the semi-finals.

“All I can say is about today, the occasion, fans, players, how we were up for it in the changing room. I’ve not been a part of a team with togetherness like this.

“We’re all in it with each other and we really believe we’ve got the quality and we really believe with the tournament pretty much being at Wembley we can keep progressing.”


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