England’s historic win over Germany unleashed pure mayhem in the stands at Wembley… the 45,000-strong crowd made it feel like a welcome return to life before the pandemic
- There was chaos in the stands at Wembley as England defeated Germany 2-0
- With 45,000 fans in attendance, it felt like a return to normality after Covid-19
- Wembley Way, now a modern thoroughfare with restaurants, was packed before
- There can’t have been a louder rendition of the National Anthem at this Wembley
- When Harry Kane doubled the lead the release was incredible among supporters
The spirit of 1996 emerged before one stepped out of Wembley Park station. ‘Football’s coming home’ bounced off the walls as – with more than three hours to kick-off – blokes bounced on each other’s shoulders.
The old Wembley Way, now a modern thoroughfare lined with smart restaurants was awash with booze. Some swigged from bottles of wine, others from cans of beer.
The party was in full flow and the mood was one of giddy optimism that could not be dampened by the frequent downpours. Everywhere the eye looked was a St George’s cross. Bradford, Bolton, Wolves, Huddersfield.
There were chaotic scenes in the stands at Wembley as England defeated Germany 2-0
With 45,000 fans in attendance, it felt like a return to normality after over a year of restrictions
Most of the songs were jovial. Scotland bore the brunt. There were, thankfully, few renditions of ‘Ten German bombers’. Fans of the visitors mingled happily with their hosts, with few signs of trouble.
Outside a Pret a Manger, a father asked his young son what he thought the score would be. ‘3-0,’ came the response from a face painted red and white. Optimism was everywhere. It felt like a night for slaying ghosts.
At the foot of the steps up to the stadium smiling armies of turquoise-shirted UEFA staff checked phones for Covid test results and vaccination dates.
It was a rare reminder of the pandemic times in which we live. With 45,000 here, this felt like a welcome return to what this country loves.
Wembley Way, now a modern thoroughfare lined with smart restaurants was awash with booze
There cannot have been a louder rendition of the National Anthem since this Wembley opened
The noise, when England emerged, was incredible. It may have been half full but there cannot have been a louder rendition of the National Anthem since the current incarnation of Wembley opened.
There were boos for the German anthem, but those who tried to boo the taking of a knee were rapidly drowned out by cheers and applause.
The visitors’ 10 minutes of early dominance did little to stop the wall of sound. Every German touch was mercilessly booed. As England gained the upper hand it got louder and louder.
Chants demanding Jack Grealish was introduced swept around as England struggled in attack
Harry Kane doubled the lead and the release was incredible as victory over German was sealed
Following the break, impatience grew. Chants demanding the introduction of Jack Grealish swept around the bowl as England struggled to find a spark. Gareth Southgate answered their calls to a deafening roar.
It was nothing on what greeted the glorious breakthrough. Decades of hurt blasted into the north London night.
The nerves were still rife. A glorious chance to level for the Germans celebrated as if it were an England goal when it drifted wide. And then, mayhem.
Harry Kane doubled the lead and the release was incredible. Not today, Germany. Not today. This is not 1990, this is not 1996.
A final cheer for the final whistle. Football’s coming home.
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