The ENGLAND youth players proved to be as good as the team’s main players and sent Germany into the race in style.
Cameron Archer and Harvey Elliott, two of eight players brought on by coach Lee Carsley after the quarter-final game against Portugal was secured, scored great goals in the first half.
That was enough to ensure the Germans got home in the group stage – meaning Carsley’s side won’t be able to face them in the semis if they go that far.
Not that they have anything to fear given that evidence.
Despite the changes, England seemed just as in sync as they did in the 2-0 victories over the Czechs and Israel.
And the Germans, who were without injured Borussia Dortmund prodigy Youssoufa Moukoko, were no match for the likes of Noni Madueke, Elliott and Cole Palmer.
Angel Gomes, Curtis Jones, Emile Smith Rowe, Levi Colwill and Anthony Gordon were all instrumental in putting England top of Group C after just two games but sat on the bench here.
Archer, the side’s only natural centre-forward, should have given the Young Lions a first-minute goal when he was put through by Noni Madueke but failed to defeat the keeper.
But within five minutes the Aston Villa youngster had scored his goal – his fifth in eight Under-21 appearances – when he devoured a defence-splitting pass from club-mate Jacob Ramsey.
England were having fun – Palmer’s cheeky nutmeg initiating an attack suggested it – and were up by two moments later.
Liverpool’s Elliott had to wait his turn in this tournament but scored a glorious second, dribbling the ball off the halfway line and firing into the corner from the edge of the box.
This was due to a quick throw from goalkeeper James Trafford, whose value must be increasing with every game of this tournament as he played fantastically.
Germany was clearly the second best player, but still had chances as the tournament progressed as a warning to England.
But nothing seemed to work out for them – that’s how their miserable tournament sums up – either Trafford made a clever save or a shot found a team-mate.
The second half was almost non-existent, save for Elliott’s save from the top and Carsley’s assistant Ashley Cole was booked for moaning about the fourth official.
England have three days to prepare for Portugal – compared to just two days between group games.
No doubt they will take on the dangerous players Andre Almeida and Pedro Neto.
Plus their coach Rui Jorge, who was not used in the two senior Portuguese’s heartbreaking victories over England at Euro 2000 and Euro 2004.
But given that strength, Jorge will have a much more difficult task preparing for England – not least which players Carsley will pick.