Sterling struggled to hold down a first-team spot at Manchester City towards the end of the season but again proved his worth for England when it mattered, with his third goal of the tournament
England beat Germany on Tuesday for the first time in a knockout match since the 1966 World Cup final to reach the Euro 2020 quarter-finals.
AFP Sport looks at three things we learned from the Wembley clash, which the home side won 2-0.
Sterling the main man as Kane gets off mark
Raheem Sterling was England’s only goalscorer in the Euro 2020 group phase, putting captain Harry Kane in the shade.
He was again the main threat for Gareth Southgate’s side as they probed for an opening against Germany, looking to run at the defence at every opportunity.
He eventually got the breakthrough his play deserved, turning home Luke Shaw’s cross to send the Wembley crowd wild.
Sterling struggled to hold down a first-team spot at Manchester City towards the end of the season but again proved his worth for England when it mattered, with his third goal of the tournament.
Kane has been flat since the start of Euro 2020 following a fine season for Tottenham as goalscorer and provider and again looked out of sorts against Germany.
But he pounced four minutes from time to seal the win for England, stooping to head home Jack Grealish’s cross.
Kane has now scored 30 goals for England under Southgate — in the national side’s history, only Gary Lineker scored more under a single manager, with 35 under Bobby Robson.
Jordan Pickford has not been especially busy at Euro 2020 behind an England defence that has been watertight so far but when called upon he has delivered the goods.
The Everton goalkeeper was one of England’s heroes during an unexpected run to the semi-finals at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
England’s number one, who has made a number of high-profile errors at club level in recent years, divides opinion among fans but he has repaid Southgate’s faith in him.
Pickford was forced into his first meaningful save just after the half-hour at Wembley, smothering a Timo Werner shot at close range and making another fine stop as he tipped a Kai Havertz pile-driver over his crossbar early in the second half.