Thousands of elated football fans hurled half-drunk beers into the air and embraced strangers in celebration as England secured a long-awaited victory over Germany tonight.
Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane led the Three Lions to a 2-0 win in a tense clash at Wembley in the UEFA Euro 2020 tournament, with fans across England now daring to dream that victory may be in sight.
Waves of rapturous applause filled the stadium as Manchester City’s Sterling first slot the ball home, breaking a 0-0 first-half deadlock. Kane swiftly followed up with a neat header – sending his thrilled teammates piling on their captain in celebration as chants of ‘it’s coming home’ filled the stadium.
The elation spilled into fan zones across England – including in Manchester and Birmingham – with Britons proudly draping the St George’s flag over their shoulders when the squad’s first knockout tournament win against Germany in 55 years was secured.
Crowds in Three Lions jerseys later emerged from pubs and tore through the streets of London, Leeds and Newcastle, with hundreds who gathered in Leicester Square spraying beers over onlookers and setting off colourful smoke bombs.
There were similar scenes in Croydon, south London, where football fans embraced their friends and climbed on top of tables after Gareth Southgate’s men secured England a place in the Euro 2020 quarter finals.
But as jubilant fans gathered to watch the nail-biting match, roads were left eerily deserted.
There wasn’t a car in sight on Westminster Bridge, London, or the A14 near Cambridge as the match began at 5pm today – a time that would typically be a bustling rush hour for commuters heading home.
An estimated 25 million fans tuned in to watch the Three Lions storm to a glorious victory on the pitch, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson who was photographed cheering at a TV set up in the Downing Street gardens.
England fan celebrate in Boxpark, Croydon after England’s Harry Kane scored their second goal
England fans in Manchester react after Raheem Sterling scored the first goal in UEFA European Championship game against Germany
England fans are seen cheering in rainy Trafalgar Square Fan Zone in London they celebrated their side’s win in the Euro 2020 match against Germany
England fans celebrate victory following the UEFA Euro 2020 round of 16 match between England and Germany at the 4TheFans fan zone outside Wembley Stadium
England fans celebrate victory after watching the UEFA Euro 2020 round of 16 match between England and Germany at Boxpark in Croydon, London
Spontaneous street parties today broke out on the streets of Leeds following England’s victory over Germany
Many also celebrated England’s victory from the comfort of their own homes, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson (above) photographed gesturing in elation at a TV set up outside Downing Street during the match
England are set to play either Sweden or Ukraine in the Euro 2020 quarter-final in Rome on Saturday – with the team fancying their chances against both foreign squads.
While the number of fans at Wembley tonight was still just over half of its normal 90,000 capacity, it marked the biggest crowd at an event seen since the pandemic began last year.
Among the spectators were avid football fan Prince William, his wife Kate Middleton and their son Prince George, who sat in a box along with football legend David Beckham and pop star Ed Sheeran.
Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish took to Twitter to react after his team won. He wrote: ‘England 2-0 Germany! What a day. Fans were UNBELIEVABLE.’
Anthony Robinson, 34, who lives in London and works in finance, watched the match with his mother Sue Bedding, 59, at the fan zone in Trafalgar Square.
Ms Bedding, an NHS worker, said she had come down from her home city of Nottingham so she could watch the match with her son.
Excited fans celebrate England’s victory over Germany outside a pub in Leeds, with several spraying beers over the group
Two men wave St George’s flags in celebration following England’s first major tournament victory over Germany in 55 years
Those who had been watching the match in pub gardens spilled onto the streets of Leeds following the victory tonight
Fans tear through the streets of Leeds following Gareth Southgate’s men securing a 2-0 victory over Germany tonight
Crowds gathered to celebrate together following the dramatic win, which saw Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane score
A group of football fans celebrate together in Leeds after England secured its place in the Euros quarter finals tonight
England fans celebrate at Newcastle city centre after watching the Three Lions defeat Germany 2-0 to progress to the Euro 2020 quarter finals
Men pose as they take to the streets of Newcastle to celebrate following England’s impressive victory over Germany
While the number of fans at Wembley tonight was still just over half of its normal 90,000 capacity, it marked the biggest crowd at an event seen since the pandemic began last year. Pictured: Newcastle
As jubilant fans celebrated – and thousands poured out onto the streets in Three Lions jerseys – bustling parties emerged in Leeds and Newcastle (above), with fans tearing through the cities cheering and spraying beers over each other
Supporters are seen celebrating the first England goal at the 4TheFans Fan Park at Event City
Fans were over the moon with today’s win. Some are pictured hugging from inside their socially-distanced area at the 4TheFans Fan Park at Event City
Supporters were seen cheering and screaming as they celebrated England’s 2-0 win against Germany tonight
One man is seen screaming as he cheers on his team at Boxpark in Croydon. Huge crowds gathered to watch
At the 4TheFans fan park in Manchester, fans screamed as they celebrated England’s win while wearing football jerseys and draped in flags
There were scenes of celebration tonight as England fans cheered. The Three Lions took home a 2-0 win against Germany today
As thousands celebrated the victory, the roads stood eerily still following England’s first victory over the national team since an international friendly on March 26, 2016
There wasn’t a car in sight on Westminster Bridge in London (above) or the A14 near Cambridge as the match began at 5pm today – what would typically be a bustling rush hour for commuters heading home
Mr Robinson said: ‘I feel ecstatic. You’ve got to be optimistic about things like this. In the first 15 to 20 minutes it didn’t look like anything was going to happen, but the second half was brilliant.
‘The atmosphere here was crazy. We’re definitely pleased we came here to watch it. We were going to go to a pub to watch it but just thought, if England win it, to be here to watch it in Trafalgar Square is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It’s the next best thing to going to Wembley.
‘The fact that we managed to win it in 90 minutes too and didn’t have to go to penalties is incredible.’
Ms Bedding said: ‘I’m made up, it’s been an absolutely brilliant night. I remember the ’96 match and I was completely gutted when we lost. So now I’m quite optimistic for the rest of the Euros.’
As jubilant fans celebrated – and thousands poured out onto the streets in Three Lions jerseys – bustling parties emerged in Leeds and Newcastle, with fans tearing through the cities cheering and spraying beers over each other.
The match kicked off to a nail-biting start, with West Ham player Declan Rice handed a yellow card in the first ten minutes.
And, just seconds before the half time whistle was blown, England captain Kane had the ball robbed from him with the Germany goal wide open after a brilliant run by Sterling.
England football fans celebrate the opening goal in the England vs Germany game at the Luna Springs in Digbeth, Birmingham
England fans celebrate during the UEFA Euro 2020 round of 16 match between England and Germany at the 4TheFans fan park in Manchester
In fan zones across the country – including in Manchester, Birmingham and London – overjoyed supporters were seen screaming as they celebrated
Fans watch the UEFA Euro 2020 round of 16 match between England and Germany at the Vinegar Yard pub in London
Harry Kane of England celebrates with Harry Maguire and team mates after scoring their side’s second goal during the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship today
Prince George watched as England crushed Germany 2-0 at his first international football match – as Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane put the Three Lions into the Euro quarters finals
Prince George was seen watching the match with his avid football fan father Prince William, with the pair wearing matching suits and FA ties. The Duke of Cambridge dotingly explained every twist and turn of the nail-biting match to his son, beamed from their box
The second half saw Germany step up their play, but they still proved no match for Gareth’s Southgate’s side – with a fantastic save by goalkeeper Jordan Pickford from Chelsea’s Kai Havertz.
The crowd erupted into thunderous cheers when fan-favourite Jack Grealish replaced Bukayo Saka in the 68th minute, in a moved hoped to spark England’s side into their first goal.
And the move proved a huge success. Kane came to life as he found Grealish who fed Luke Shaw on the left. His low ball into the box was slotted home by Sterling.
Earlier, Neuer’s team joined England players in taking the knee before today’s fixture in a stand against racism.
The protest act has been mired in controversy throughout the tournament, with the FA fearing unhappy crowds would boo players. But any discontent from spectators was drowned out by loud cheering from both sides.
England fans celebrate at Newcastle’s Times Square after watching the Three Lions defeat Germany 2-0 to progress to the Euro 2020 quarter finals
Supporters celebrate the second England goal as England play Germany for a place in the Euro 2020 Quarter Finals at the 4TheFans Fan Park at Event City in Manchester
The seven-year-old future king watched with his parents, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, as Manchester City’s Sterling (pictured) first slot the ball home during England’s titanic clash with its old rival at Wembley Stadium
Moments later, England captain Kane headed the ball into the goal, with his side holding off Germany captain Manuel Neuer’s team all the way to the final whistle
England fans were left biting their nails after the first half of their sides Euros clash against Germany ended in 0-0 – with captain Harry Kane missing a golden chance in the final seconds
But the teams’ national anthems were a different story, with boos ringing out from the England-heavy crowd as Germany’s anthem played.
Both England captain Kane and his German counterpart Neuer are wearing rainbow armbands in support of Pride month during tonight’s showdown.
While West Ham player Declan Rice given a yellow card in the first ten minutes, Sterling quickly raised England fans’ hopes with an early long-range shot that tested German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.
Hopes soared even further as Germany’s Matthias Ginter was booked for bringing down Luke Shaw on the German right flank.
But as the match approached the 30 minute mark, Harry Maguire missed a straightforward header, sending pulses racing in the iconic stadium. And Pickford was forced to act quickly to stop an effort by Chelsea’s Timo Werner.
Jack Grealish was dropped in favour of Kieran Trippier in the only major change by England boss Gareth Southgate. Pictured: The England squad ahead of tonight’s game