England made history last night. And, for the first time since 1966, it was the right kind.
After 55 exhausting years without a knockout tie victory against Germany, the Three Lions finally found a way to defeat their old rivals at a major tournament – triumphing 2-0 to advance to the quarter-finals of Euro 2020.
If that didn’t already taste sweet enough, consider the fact that it was two Manchester representatives that got them on their way. One Red. One Blue.
Manchester United’s Luke Shaw sublimely picked out Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling in the 75th minute – with the latter slotting home his third goal in four games to send Wembley into utter pandemonium.
Germany’s Thomas Muller had the audacity to power through on goal with 10 minutes to go, but when the striker uncharacteristically fired the ball wide with just Jordan Pickford to beat, it felt like it might be England’s day.
Six minutes later, we knew it was.
Harry Kane – whose run without a goal had become so notorious that even Boris Johnson became aware of it – finally broke his duck for Euro 2020 by heading home Jack Grealish’s cross and made it 2-0.
Game, set, match.
The second goal apparently made Gareth Southgate “very happy”, according to the tranquil manager’s post-match interview. For the 40,000 fans at Wembley, the response bordered on insanity.
Not only was the victory England’s first knockout win against Germany for over half a century, it was also just their second triumph ever in a Euros knockout game.
No wonder, then, why the nation temporarily lost its mind.
Indeed, whilst Wembley was wobbling, the scenes of delirium radiated 200 miles north into the city of Manchester.
Celebrations came in all forms. Whoops from windows. Full pints tossed into the air. Drivers slapping their sweaty palms on steering wheels (for once, the cars on roads near Ashton Canal were doing more honking than the geese).
Some of this joyful footage was uploaded to social media in the wake of the win. And we’ve picked out some of the top posts.
Watch them below. Then, watch them again. And watch them one more time. Before you know it, it’ll be Saturday. And this Euros tournament is about as uncertain as local tier COVID rules in 2020. Anything can happen.
This is the moment to savour a victory that we all bloody needed.
Is it coming home?
Featured image: Euro 2020
João Cancelo joins Bayern Munich on loan as many City fans are left scratching their heads
Manchester City star João Cancelo has joined Bayern Munich on loan until the end of the season. Not exactly the kind of transfer business we were expecting this January.
The Portuguese full-back, midfielder and jack of all trades who has been one of City‘s best players in recent years, not to mention one of the most highly-regarded talents in the Premier League full stop, departs from the club on a six-month contract.
Even more surprisingly, the deal includes an option for the Bundesliga club to make the transfer permanent for a reported fee of around £61.5 million come the summer transfer window.
And just like that, one of the Blue’s brightest sparks is out the door.
As the reports of his imminent departure first broke, The Athletic detailed how the 28-year-old’s relationship with manager Pep Guardiola broke down due to a number of reasons.
In addition to being substituted in the game against Chelsea, the dynamic wing-back is said to have walked straight from the team bus to the dugout for one game and failed to pay attention in team meetings.
It is thought that the Spanish coach had a conversation with him not long after the series of incidents which sealed his exit, despite being a firm favourite among fans and regular first-team player since 2019.
The German giants unveiled him in his new colours on Tuesday morning.
“I’ve not had much game time in the past few weeks, which influenced my decision. It has nothing to do with my relationship with Pep. I really wanted to embark on this new adventure at such a club with such a big history. It’s a dream for me”
Referencing a clip he released on Instagram earlier this week, he said: “The video may sound like a farewell, but it wasn’t meant that way. We have to see what these five months will bring, I want to be here with a clear head. We will then talk about it again at the end of the season.”
“The offender then made off on foot, leaving two women and a man he was with, behind.
“Officers believe that the suspect is possibly from the Merseyside area. If you know the man or have any information relating to the crime, please contact GMP on 101, quoting reference number INC/0075491/23.
“Alternatively, information can be passed anonymously to the independent charity – Crimestoppers – on 0800 555 111.”