Relief and belief: Stones and England inspired by famous win over Germany | David Hytner

A first knockout victory against their rivals since 1966 lit the path to the Euros final – and maybe to the latter stages in QatarTo many onlookers, it was the game that transformed the belief of Gareth Southgate’s England team, the one which elevated them from hopefuls to contenders. It is certainly how John Stones sees it and yet there was also the moment within it when destiny played its part – or maybe just plain good luck.Stones had the perfect view. It was England’s last-16 tie against Germany at Wembley in the European Championship last summer and the defender was chasing Thomas Müller. He was never going to get back. It was the 81st minute, Raheem Sterling had sold Stones short with a back pass, Kai Havertz released Müller and the Germany forward looked certain to equalise for 1-1. And yet he shot wide.