The Three Lions beat Germany 2-1 after extra-time in the final at a sold-out Wembley thanks to Chloe Kelly’s winner.
It was Kelly’s first international goal and it came with 10 minutes remaining in extra time of the European Championship final.
Germany were dealt a huge blow before kick off with the tournament’s top goalscorer and team captain, Alexandra Popp, pulling out of the final through injury. Popp had scored in every game so far this tournament, notching six goals. She had missed the 2013 and 2017 Euros through injury and suffered more heartbreak just moments before the final this year. Lea Schuller replaced her in Germany’s starting XI.
Meanwhile, England manager Sarina Wiegman named an unchanged starting line-up for the sixth time during the tournament – the first manager to do so in the history of both the women’s and men’s European Championships.
How football came home
It was England who started the brightest, buoyed by a full Wembley stadium and an incredible atmosphere.
It took just a few minutes for German goalkeeper Merle Frohms to be called into action thanks to Ellen White’s header from Fran Kirby’s cross.
But midway through the first half, Germany were wondering how they didn’t take the lead after an almightly scramble on England’s goalline from a dangerous corner. A VAR check on a potential penalty was quickly dismissed.
It didn’t come as a surprise that it all got a bit feisty at times during a goalless first half. Referee Kateryna Monzul dished out three yellow cards in the first 45 minutes as passions ran high.
Germany began the second half the stronger of the two sides and put the hosts under pressure. However, everything they threw at England was repelled by goalkeeper Mary Earps who had a sensational game.
Ella Toone’s incredible finish
But it was just after the hour mark that England took the lead – and they did it in style.
It took a sensational pass from the brilliant Keira Walsh in midfield that set substitute Toone on her way. Toone had only been on the pitch for six minutes. Could she make an immediate impact as she went one-on-one with German goalkeeper Frohms?
Toone took her time and showed incredible composure to dink the ball delightfully over the onrushing ‘keeper and into the back of the net.
What a pass. What a finish. What a moment.
Lina Magull equalises for Germany
But England couldn’t hold out in front of an 87,192 attendance – an all-time record in both men’s and women’s Euros.
It was a wonderfully worked goal as Tabea Wassmuth’s low cross was expertly finished into the roof of the net by Magull to silence Wembley.
Neither side could force a late winner and so it went into an additional 30 minutes…
Chloe Kelly wins it in extra-time
As is typically the case – especially in finals – extra-time was a tense affair. Both England and Germany looked extremely tired and neither wanted to make a mistake that would cost them the trophy.
But then, with 10 minutes remaining of the second half of extra-time the moment that England fans had been dreaming of arrived.
Germany failed to deal with a dangerous corner and Kelly was on hand to poke the ball home.
The Lionesses have done an entire country proud and inspired a nation. What an incredible competition.
Kelly’s will steal all the headlines for her extra-time winner, but credit must also go to Ella Toone and Keira Walsh for their roles in England’s first goal. Toone’s incredible finish for England’s opener will be played on repeat for years to come and Walsh’s sublime pass to set up the United star was inch-perfect.
Walsh has been lauded for controlling the midfield all tournament and she did so again at Wembley – completing more passes than any other player with 32 and achieving a FotMob rating of 7.7.
Meanwhile, England skipper Leah Williamson was effortlessly composed at the back and registered a FotMob rating of 7.83.
The Arsenal defender made it her duty to mop up the loose balls and made seven recoveries in total. She also made three clearances and two blocks.
Though Williamson deserves extra credit, every one of England’s defenders are deserving of praise. However, special credit must go to keeper Mary Earps, who stifled any German threat and made seven vital saves.For her stunning performance in net, Earps claimed the highest FotMob rating of any player with a 7.9.In attack, Beth Mead continued her outstanding tournament and was a constant threat all match.
While the 27-year-old has been England’s top goalscorer at the Euros, this time she turned provider –– creating more chances than any player on the pitch with three.
Magull is another to have enjoyed a stellar competition and though Germany came up short, the Bayern Munich star was influential once again –– completing the most passes of any player and achieving a FotMob rating of 7.23.
Her midfield partner Lena Oberdorf was also a commanding presence on the night –– managing two successful dribbles and one tackle.