England ended its knockout stages jinx against Germany after 55 years by beating the historical rival 2-0 in the Euro 2020 last 16 match at Wembley on Tuesday.
Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane fired England to the victory. Sterling struck with 15 minutes left in a tense last 16 tie at Wembley before Kane clinched England's first knockout stage victory over Germany since 1966.
In the 55 years since England beat the Germans in the World Cup final, the Three Lions had endured a painful litany of defeats against Die Mannschaft when the stakes were highest.
England was eliminated from the 1970, 1990 and 2010 World Cups by Germany, who also beat it in the Euro 96 semifinals at Wembley.
But Gareth Southgate's side has finally exorcised the ghosts of Paul Gascoigne's tears and its own manager's penalty miss 25 years ago.
England produced a gritty display capped by clinical finishes from Sterling, who now has three goals in the tournament, and Kane – who at last bagged his first of the competition.
England, yet to concede a goal in the tournament, head to Rome on Saturday for a quarterfinal against the winners of Tuesday's other last 16 tie between Sweden and Ukraine.
Chasing a first major international trophy since 1966, England's side of the draw looks wide open, with a potential semifinal against Denmark or the Czech Republic unlikely to strike fear into its hearts.
It was only England's second knockout stage win in the history of the European Championship and its first victory over Germany at Wembley since 1975.
"It's an amazing day. To hear Wembley like this is a moment none of us will ever forget," Kane said.
"A great performance, just the perfect afternoon. We'll enjoy this one but we know we've got another big one on Saturday now."
England midfielder Declan Rice added: "In the press conferences all week the players have been asked about the previous games against Germany and today we created our own piece of history."
For Germany manager Joachim Low, it was an agonising end to his reign as he prepares to step down after the tournament.
Always keen to deflect attention, Southgate will have relished his moment of redemption, especially since his decision to switch to a three-man defence to match up with the German formation paid off.
England needed a tone-setting moment to ease its visible anxiety early on and Sterling provided it as he drove forward for a 25-yard blast that forced a fine save from Manuel Neuer.
With Harry Maguire winning a series of thunderous headers and tackles and Bukayo Saka probing intelligently on the right flank, England gradually took control.
However, Germany almost snatched the lead as Kai Havertz played an inch-perfect pass to Timo Werner inside the England area, but he shot straight at Jordan Pickford.
A misplaced pass from Thomas Mueller sent Sterling scampering through the Germany defence on the stroke of half-time.
Yet when the ball ran to Kane, he was too slow to apply the finishing touch as he rounded Neuer and Mats Hummels' tackle snuffed out the danger.
Havertz's blistering half-volley forced a superb tip over from Pickford soon after the interval.
It was Saka who made way when Southgate made his first change, sending on Jack Grealish in a game-defining moment.
Grealish's presence immediately brought more energy to England and in the 75th minute they finally delivered the knockout blow.
Grealish worked the ball wide to Luke Shaw and his low cross reached Sterling, who pounced with a clinical close-range finish to send Wembley into ecstasy.
Mueller should have equalised when Havertz's pass sent him clean through, but the Bayern Munich star rolled his shot wide and fell to the turf in dismay.
Kane made Mueller pay in the 86th minute as he finished off a lethal England counter-attack with a diving header past Neuer from Grealish's cross.
During the first day of England's Euro camp at St. George's Park, Southgate showed his squad a motivational video featuring some of the team's greatest victories.
Now they have added their own chapter to the list of England's finest moments.
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