Welbeck double books place in the semi-finals
A brace from Danny Welbeck sends England through into the semi-finals as they beat Germany by two goals to one.
After England's triumph against Italy, they were set to face rivals Germany who had a disappointing World Cup. Joachim Löw's squad still has players such as Marco Reus and Mats Hummels within the ranks making this game the biggest yet in the tournament due to the stature and rivalry between both teams.
England XI vs Germany
(4-3-3) Hart; Clyne, Cahill, Caulker, Baines; Jones, Carrick, Henderson; Lallana(c), Oxlade-Chamberlain, Welbeck.
Subs: Butland, Jagielka, Barkley, Sturridge, Rooney, Walcott, Powell.
Germany XI vs England
(4-2-3-1) Neuer(c); Jung, Hummels, Boateng, Höwedes; Gündoğan, Khedira; Draxler, Özil, Reus; Müller.
Subs: Weidenfeller, Ginter, Podolski, Kroos, Götze, Schürrle.
England kicked off, with Henderson playing the ball up towards Lallana, who passed it back to Clyne. Germany had three players rotating between themselves to press the England player in possession, however clever work from Clyne allowed him to evade the challenge from Draxler and knock the ball up-field to Welbeck and the Manchester United forward skipped past Boateng before releasing a powerful shot towards the bottom corner forcing Neuer to make the first save of the game as it tipped it behind the post for a corner. Lallana took the corner and Caulker rose up highest but headed over the crossbar.
The Germans then had their first attack of the game as Özil played a smart pass towards Reus, who ran at Baines and neatly turned past the full-back. The Germans piled men into the box as Reus lifted the ball into the England box and Khedira made contact with his head but Hart was on his toes as he easily caught the ball and threw it out to safety. Roy Hodgson looked furious with his teams defending.
However, it was England who took the lead as Henderson found Carrick who dinked the ball over towards Oxlade-Chamberlain, who chested the ball towards his right and started running down the wing. The Arsenal winger then looked out and saw Welbeck in open space, he hit the ball towards Welbeck who returned it by curling a pass around Gündoğan. Oxlade-Chamberlain easily collected the ball and drilled it low and hard through the six yard box which Welbeck ran into and slid the ball into the net to make it 1-0.
Welbeck slid the ball into the bottom corner past Neuer after Oxlade-Chamberlain drilled a low cross towards the striker.
England looked set to sit back for the remainder of the half, with Lallana and Oxlade-Chamberlain coming into a more central role to narrow the German play. Jung played a pass forward to Khedira, who turned neatly and drilled the ball forward past Clyne and into the path of Draxler, who weaved past Cahill and laid the ball off to the incoming Özil who side-footed the ball towards the bottom corner forcing Hart to turn the ball behind for a corner.
Reus took the corner and hit it high towards the far post where Hummels and Cahill fought for the ball, Cahill was shoved aside by Hummels which made the England defender protest to the referee but he did not pay any attention as Hummels headed the ball across the 6 yard box and Draxler was able to make contact with the ball and diverted it past Joe Hart and into the back of the net. The referee then blew his whistle to mark the end of the first half in which the whole England team went up to him and protested about the goal.
Germany kicked off the second half in a positive manner after scoring an equaliser just before the end of the first half. Khedira held up play for a few moments before spraying the ball to his left towards Reus, who produced a piece of excellence as he turned past Baines and cross in the ball which was well defended by Cahill as he got in-front of Müller and headed the ball away towards safety.
England started the dominate the midfield as Henderson kept it simple by playing a pass towards Lallana, who knocked it back to the Liverpool midfielder. He then found Jones who started to run forwards with the ball and dinked it over Khedira to Welbeck, who turned and ran at the German back four, sprinting past Boateng and finding Oxlade-Chamberlain on the left. He then cut inside and took a powerful shot at goal but Neuer stood up tall and pushed it away and out of danger.
However, England got themselves back in-front as Carrick was fouled 30 yards from goal resulting in an England free-kick. Henderson drifted the ball into the near post where Welbeck rose the highest and diverted the ball towards goal, hitting the bottom of the crossbar and fooling Neuer as the German number one fell back into the ball as it went past the line and into the back of the net. Welbeck took credit for the goal as his header was on target.
Henderson assisted Welbeck for the goal as his free-kick drifted towards the head of Welbeck who diverted it into the net.
Germany started the assault the England goal more often now, with up to 6 players in England's final third at one time. Hodgson instructed his men to stay in shape and keep disciplined for the remainder of the game but the England defence was getting stretch with Germany switching the ball between opposite wingers however Michael Carrick confidently stopped Reus in his tracks and cleared the ball to safety.
The attacks kept coming thick and fast and Germany won a corner in injury time with Neuer advancing forward into the box. Reus whipped the ball in towards Hummels who hit the crossbar with his thunderous header and before the ball could fall back towards a German player, Joe Hart jumped high in the air to collect the ball and kick it away and out of danger as the referee blew for full time meaning that England were through into the semi-finals of Euro 2016.
Roy Hodgson's Post Match Comments:
"Yet again the whole team performed extremely well. We were strong in all areas and showed just how good we can be on the day. Danny was excellent today, he is proving to everyone that he is a calm and composed finisher with a lot of to offer any team. He should be proud of his performance today, as should the whole team, they worked together very well and we now look ahead to the semi-final with great anticipation."