A brilliant solo goal from Harvey Elliott helped England on to their third win out of three at the U21 Euros, knocking out champions Germany.
Though he has not been first choice for Lee Carsley at this summer’s tournament, Elliott was given a chance to start on Wednesday evening.
With England already through to the quarter-finals as winners of Group C, the under-21s manager shuffled his pack with Curtis Jones among eight rested.
It could have been a tough test for the players brought in, but the Young Lions made light work of a Germany side who arrived as reigning champions.
Aston Villa striker Cameron Archer opening the scoring in the fourth minute, racing onto Jacob Ramsey’s through ball and firing home confidently.
Germany centre-backs Yann Aurel Bisseck and Marton Dardai struggled throughout, and were all over the place as Elliott made it 2-0 soon after.
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The Liverpool midfielder picked up the ball near the centre circle, inside his own half, driving forward and, with Bisseck tracking the wrong runner, found space to shoot from the edge of the box and in.
Though it was comical defending from the trophy holders, Elliott’s deft movement and reading of the game created the opening for himself.
A 2-0 victory for England ensured Germany exit the tournament at the group stage, with heartbreak for another Liverpool player elsewhere in Group C.
Vitezslav Jaros and the Czech Republic were hoping to progress to the knockouts as runners-up, but a late 1-0 defeat to Israel saw them head home early.
It means Jones and Elliott are the only representatives still at the tournament, though transfer targets Khephren Thuram and Manu Kone progressed with France and Gabri Veiga with Spain.
Speaking to UEFA.com after his impressive strike, Elliott explained that he saw it as a response to criticism over his output in the final third.
“It just wanted to do it myself, to be honest,” he said.
“I get criticised a lot for not getting many goals and assists, especially playing in an attacking position, so it was just a great opportunity for me to go out there and be more selfish in a way.
“It just opened up nicely for me. I just wanted to stay cool, calm and collected and make sure I finished it off.
“Luckily it went in the back of the net.”
Elliott made 46 appearances for Liverpool last season, scoring five goals and laying on two assists.