Toni Kroos and Germany go out in the Round of 16 as they faced international disappointment again at Wembley Stadium. The 2-0 loss is the first time England has defeated Germany in competition since 1966.
It was a rough match as Germany’s offense was nullified. Timo Werner and Thomas Müller looked lost at times while Kai Havertz was probably the best player on the pitch for Germany. The attack was a problem all tournament for Germany as they never looked comfortable in most of the matches played.
The ineffectiveness reflects in the stats as Germany out-possessed England 55%-45% with nothing to show for it on the scoresheet. Germany had nine total shots, but only three of them were actually on target.
Kroos and the German midfield were also shut down for the most part offensively. All tournament Kroos has been playing much deeper in the double-pivot formation that Löw has established. It makes Kroos less effective and showed a lack of creativity in trying to create counter attacks and good passing plays. Germany’s wingbacks, Joshua Kimmich and Robin Gosens, were also shut down by England’s defensive midfield.
The momentum really shifted once Jack Grealish was subbed on for Bukayo Saka in the 70th minute. He was spectacular in his substitution appearance for England; a very wise move from Gareth Southgate. Raheem Sterling scored just five minutes later while Harry Kane sealed the victory in the 86th minute.
This match also spells the end for Jogi Löw’s 15-year tenure as the head of German football as he will be replaced by former Bayern Munich manager Hansi Flick. It’s clear Löw’s tactics and team selection choices are a bit dated and it’s a clear reason why Germany has struggled since the World Cup win in 2014.
Now German squad and Kroos will get rest this summer as they prepare for the domestic seasons in a couple of months. Germany will also look for a breath of fresh air as Flick takes over the national team in the future.
England advance to the quarter-final where they will take on the winner of Sweden-Ukraine at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico on Saturday.