England fans left gasping after ref pulls out red card on Rice by accident

England fans were left gasping a huge sigh of relief after Declan Rice appeared set to be sent off within 10 minutes of the last 16 tie with Germany.

The West Ham star was selected to start his fourth successive game of Euro 2020 as Gareth Southgate changed formation to 3-4-3.

The Three Lions took time to settle into their new system which had the unintended effect of Joachim Low’s side dominating the opening few minutes.

This domination resulted in the Germans breaking through just eight minutes in, with Leon Goretzka carrying the ball past England’s midfield and defensive lines.

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With Goretzka appearing to have a golden chance of opening the scoring at Wembley, England scrambled back to defend.

But as Goretzka got the edge of the box Rice desperately grabbed hold of the German before falling into him and bringing him down.

It was an obvious foul, with referee Danny Makkelie immediately awarding a free-kick right on the edge of the area.

The German players also surrounded the official, calling for Rice to be sent-off for illegally denying a clear goalscoring opportunity.

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Some England fans watching on feared Makkelie may grant those wishes, with the Dutchman appearing at first to go to pull out a red card.

Luckily for England and for Rice, Makkelie was mistaken and turned his notebook book over to instead bring out a yellow card.

That left Three Lions supporters gasping with relief, something they shared on social media.

“Nearly died a little bit there,” Football Joe tweeted.

“They stopped talking quickly about how ref bottled that red for Rice,” another added.

With Rice on a yellow card for the majority of the rest of the match, some were also left fearing he could pick up a second caution.

“Get Rice off now. Red card waiting to happen,” one fan tweeted.

Rice was able to keep himself out of trouble for the rest of his time on the pitch, before being substituted for Jordan Henderson with three minutes left.

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