England reached the quarter-finals of the European Championship with a 2-0 win over rivals Germany after Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane scored second-half goals at Wembley on Tuesday.

England took the lead in the 75th minute when Luke Shaw squared the ball from the left flank to find Sterling, who had started the move and finished it with a tap-in from the edge of the six-yard box as the home crowd of over 40,000 erupted.

Kane scored the second in the 86th minute when substitute Jack Grealish crossed the ball and the England captain rushed in to beat goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and nod home.

Earlier, England keeper Jordan Pickford had done well to keep out Timo Werner before tipping over a stinging volley from Kai Havertz. At the other end, Mats Hummels denied Kane with a last-ditch clearance just before halftime.

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It was a meek end to Joachim Low's impressive 15-year reign as Germany boss, while for Gareth Southgate, victory must have been particularly sweet after his penalty miss against the Germans at Euro 96.

This was England’s biggest home match since that semi-final and his move to a 3-4-3 formation initially caused concerns, with Declan Rice booked for bringing down Leon Goretzka as the visitors all too easily threatened.

The England midfielder was booked as German calls for a red card fell on deaf ears before they wasted the well-placed free-kick.

Southgate’s side settled after those early scares, with electric Bukayo Saka getting fans on their feet and Sterling forcing Manuel Neuer into a diving save from 25 yards.

Harry Maguire’s header from the resulting corner was far more comfortable for the Germany captain to deal with and the England defender powered over another attempt during a string of ineffective set pieces.

Die Mannschaft were not looking comfortable defensively but nor were the hosts, with Pickford spreading himself well after Kai Havertz slipped Timo Werner through.

Kalvin Phillips joined fellow midfielder Rice in referee Danny Makkelie’s notebook towards the end of a half which was a Hummels touch away from the dream England ending.

Sterling picked up a loose pass and darted forwards, with the ball eventually ricocheting up for Kane to take a touch past Neuer in the six-yard box before Hummels crucially intercepted.

Pickford was forced into a fine reaction save by Havertz shortly after the second half got under way, with Kane hurt in a collision with Hummels during a cumbersome England start.

Southgate’s side were looking lacklustre as the clock ticked over the hour mark, leading substitute Grealish’s name to be chanted as the need for fresh impetus became clear.

The playmaker received a huge ovation when replacing teenager Saka in the 69th minute – and six minutes later he was involved in the move that sent Wembley wild.

Sterling made a smart run and passed to front man Kane, who played over to Grealish. The substitute passed on to overlapping Luke Shaw, whose first-time driven cross was turned home by Sterling.

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Germany were rocked but soon threatened an equaliser.

Maguire was booked for a foul and was relieved to see the free-kick that followed squandered, before Sterling nearly undid his good work.

His lax ball led to a German break and Muller to go free on goal, only for the veteran to somehow drag the ball wide when one-on-one with Pickford.

Relief turned to ecstasy in the 86th minute. Shaw won the ball in midfield and played left to Grealish, whose whipped ball Kane managed to head home.

Wembley was in disbelief as German attacks were rebuffed, with the final whistle followed by 'football's coming home’ echoing around the ground.

FULL MATCH DETAILS

England will play either Sweden or Ukraine, who meet later on Tuesday in Glasgow in the final last-16 match.

Sterling described England's win as "a special moment" and said the focus was now on the quarter-final.

"We knew we needed to put in a very good performance against a very good side and I thought we did that," the Manchester City winger told the BBC.

"Doing it for your country is always special and it's definitely a special moment. I wondered if it (my goal) was offside, but I was very happy it went in.

"We knew the intensity we can play at and not many teams can deal with it. The two boys in midfield, Declan and Phillips, they were class, they ate up ground. All round great team performance.

"We'll take it game by game. We'll see who we're playing now. We'll go away and recover and get focused on the next one."

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