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Roared on by around 40,000 supporters at Wembley, late goals from Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane earned England a deserved 2-0 victory and led to scenes of celebration which lasted well beyond the final whistle.
After such an emotional occasion, Southgate is wary of the mental and physical cost of the win on his players as they prepare for their first game away from home in the last eight.
"It didn’t really need me to say it but when we got in the dressing room we were talking about Saturday already," he said.
"Because today’s been an immense performance but at a cost, emotionally and physically at a cost. We’ve got to make sure we recover well and mentally we’re in the right space. It’s a dangerous moment for us.
"We’ll have that warmth of success and that feeling around the country that we’ve only got to turn up to win the thing. We know it’s going to be an immense challenge from here on.
"The players know that. They’ve been to the latter stages before, they know how difficult it’s been.
"Their feet are on the ground, they should feel confident in the way they’ve played, the manner of their performance. But we came here with an intention and we’ve not achieved that yet."
England kept a fourth consecutive clean sheet with another impressive team performance and Southgate came away with enormous credit after switching to a back three to match Germany's system and introducing Jack Grealish, who had a hand in both goals from the bench.
"The players were immense, right the way through the team they were immense," Southgate said.
“The fans in the stadium were also incredible. I’ve been here with a full house and not heard it anywhere near the levels the crowd found today, they were behind every challenge, every time we pressed the ball, every run we had… the energy was incredible in the stadium.
"To be able to send them home feeling as they do tonight, as they were tonight at the end, to know many millions of people after such a difficult year at home would have that kind of enjoyment that I know we’ve given them today was very special.
"With Jack, as a few others, we have just got to make sure we maximise them. With him and Hendo [Jordan Henderson], who came into the game, they both missed 14 weeks of the season.
"These matches are unbelievably intense with and without the ball. With the intensity with his club, we have all his data and know the level of his game. He is a special talent and he can have as big of an impact as we did. I had that conversation with him yesterday.
“Our forward players, we have so many good attacking options and it is hard to give them all the love. As a forward, you need that love. Their acceptance of needing to be patient; from Marcus [Rashford] to Jadon [Sancho], Dominic [Calvert-Lewin] and Jack [Grealish].
"They have really understood and sacrificed themselves for the group. It is only by doing that you get to the stages that we have. Everyone has to be ready and that will get more important in the latter stages of the tournament."