We are approaching kick off for the second friendly of 2017 against England, with Germany up against an unfamiliar lineup for the Three Lions. There are plenty of big names missing for the Mannschaft too, with centre-back Mats Hummels taking the captain’s armband.
RB Leipzig’s Marcel Halstenberg is the latest player to make his debut in the Nationaltrikot, and İlkay Gündoğan is back in the starting eleven after more than a year out through injury. The German team is a nice mix of established and developing talent, and there is an impressive look about the attacking unit of Gündogan, Mesut Özil, Julian Draxler, Leroy Sané and Timo Werner.
While new boy Halstenberg wins his first international cap, Özil, winning his 87th, is the most experienced player out on the pitch for Germany. Only two of this starting eleven have over fifty caps – Özil and skipper Hummels, who makes his 61st appearance in the Nationaltrikot.
The three other players in the squad with over fifty caps are not even on the bench. Sami Khedira is rested, while Toni Kroos (stomach bug) and Jérôme Boateng (muscle strain) will be hoping to be fit for bext week’s meeting with France in Köln.
Both national anthems are well received by the crowd, and after that there is a wreath laying ceremony to mark Remembrance Day. Members of all three branches of the British forces are represented, along with their German counterparts. The Last Post is played, and received, in perfect silence.
Having been used in the Bundesliga to mixed reviews, tonight’s refereeing team from Poland will have the benefit of video assistance. Yet another opportunity to up the ante in the drama stakes. It is a cloudy evening evening in North London, and we are all set for another instalment in the story of Germany versus England.
1 min. The players are ready, and Jogi’s Jungs get things underway. They are kitted out in their new white futuristic white Trikot, while the hosts are in an all-blue. With less than a minute in the clock, defender Harry Maguire puts debutant ‘keeper Jordan Pickford under pressure wih a dangerous looking back pass, and he gets there just before the fast advancing Werner who clatters into the England ‘keeper.
2 mins. The play switches to the other end of the pitch, and there is half a chance for England. Jamie Vardy and Tammy Abraham advance down the left and the ball cross the German box before falling to Kieran Trippier. The are blue shirts in the German box, but Trippier goes for goal. His shot is wide, hitting the side netting.
4 mins. Werner is still off the pitch getting treatment after his earlier collision with Pickford. The game has started off at a furious pace, with Gareth Southgate’s inexperienced young side clearly looking to make an impression.
8 mins. Phil Jones is beaten to the ball by Sané, and the Manchester City man’s right-footed effort finds the side netting. Pickford surely had it covered though.
11 mins. Halstenberg wins a corner out on the left, but the kick is easily cleared by the England defence.
13 mins. Germany are moving nicely in the middle of the park, and Özil’s long ball into the box is just a little too strong for the advancing Sané.
17 mins. Antonio Rüdiger attempts to find Werner with a long punt forward. He doesn’t.
18 mins. Ruben Loftus-Cheek is brought down after nutmegging Halstenberg. The resulting free-kick is lifted into the German box, and Marc-André ter Stegen gets there first to slap it away.
20 mins. Werner shifts down the right, but his cross is blocked. The men in white recycle the ball, and Sané finds space to line up a shot from just outside the opposition box. His elegant left-footed effort is perfectly struck, and crashes against the underside of the crossbar. A little more of a dip, and it would have been 1-0 to the Mannschaft.
22 min. Chances, chances. Three, in fact. A lovely through ball from Özil finds Werner, and the Leipzig striker settles himself well before hitting a low shot that is heading towards the bottom right-hand corner. Pickford dives well to his left to make the save, and Sané engineers another chance which is brilliantly blocked by Jones on the line. The ball then falls to Draxler, who smashes it over the crossbar.
24 mins. Jones has been struggling for a while after taking an earlier knock, and cannot go on. He makes way for Joe Gomez.
28 mins. Rüdiger has a crack from distance. It is on on target, but Pickford safely collects.
32 mins. Werner and Draxler combine nicely, but Stones does well to close down the PSG man.
35 mins. There is a nice rhythm about the game. Germany have been the more dangerous of the two teams, but there is plenty of threat about England when they are going forward.
37 mins. Sané sends a speculative ball forward towards Werner, but the confident Pickford gathers.
39 mins. England are caught flat-footed at the back, and Werner is through on goal with Pickford to beat. The Leipzig striker’s right-footed shot is not the best, but the Everton ‘keeper still has to make the save. That was an excellent opportunity.
42 mins. Abraham is making a nuisance of himself in the German penalty area, and his shot is half-blocked by Rüdiger. The ball takes a vicious deflection off the Chelsea man, and floats just wide of the target. It is a real heart in mouth moment, and the helpless ter Stegen can only stand and watch.
44 mins. A lovely ball straight through the middle of the German defence from Eric Dier, and the dangerous Ruben Loftus-Cheek cannot get a decent first touch. The home side are ending the first half the strongly here.
45+1 Mins. Sané charges into the England half and is brought down by Gomez. The Liverpool man is booked by the Polish referee. The whistle is blown for half time.
A frenetic first half, with Germany having the better of it for the most part with four shots on target to their opponents’ none. England finished the half off brightly, but will have the woodwork and a goal-line clearance to thank as well as two quality saves from Jordan Pickford.
On an other day, Leroy Sané could have bagged two goals.
46 mins. The second half begins.
48 mins. England finally get a shot on target, as Vardy’s header from Trippier’s well-flighted cross is brilliantly saved by ter Stegen.
55 mins. Germany look to have won a corner, but it turns into a short corner as Danny Rose is penalised for handball as he blocks Joshua Kimmich’s cross. It is a good set-piece opportunity, but Gündogan’s kick is easily blocked by Rose. The resulting corner is cleared.
56 mins. Pickford makes a good catch, and quickly looks to turn defence into attack. Abraham chases hard, but ter Stegen collects.
58 mins. Two good defensive moments for skipper Hummels. First, an excellent challenge on the lively Abraham. Then, a fantastic clearance inside his own six yard box.
59 mins. Jake Livermore is in the referee’s notebook for a foul on Sané.
60 mins. Abraham’s sprightly debut comes to an end, and he is replaced by Marcus Rashford.
65 mins. The home side are seeing plenty of the ball at the moment, and one senses that Jogi Löw needs to make a change.
67 mins. Right on cue, here’s the first change for the Mannschaft. Draxler’s evening duties are done, and Emre Can is on.
69 mins. Some patient passing from Germany, and Can wins the corner. Nothing doing though, and England clear.
71 mins. Two changes for England. Danny Rose and Trippier are off, Ryan Bertrand and Kyle Walker are on.
73 mins. A change of tune up front for the Mannschaft now. Sandro Wagner is on for Werner.
75 mins. Matthias Ginter sends a long ball forward for Wagner to pursue, but Pickford is there first to gather safely. Since being put under pressure in the opening minute, the young England ‘keeper has looked excellent.
77 mins. More intricate passing from the men in white, with Özil right in the thick of it. There is always a blue shirted player in pursuit though, and England are continuing to press hard and close things down effectively.
82 mins. Jogi’s Jungs are completely in control of the possession. Meanwhile, paper aircraft are starting to float down onto the pitch.
83 mins. Maguire and Bertrand combine nicely down the left and the ball is crossed dangerously into the German penalty area, but ter Stegen does well to first block the cross and complete the gather.
84 mins. It is England’s turn to have a bit of possession. Livermore shows plenty of persistence, and wins a corner off Rüdiger. The corner is poor though. As far as set pieces are concerned, both teams have been as bad as each other.
86 mins. Time for a brace of substitutions for both sides. Livermore and Vardy make way for debutant Jack Cork and Jesse Lingard for England, while Güdogan and Sané make way for Sebastian Rudy and Julian Brandt.
90 mins. There were chances in the first half, but opportunities have been few and far between in the second. Both teams have largely cancelled each other out. There will be three additional minutes.
90+2 mins. As the three minutes come to an end, Hummels is penalised for a foul by the touchline. Rashford’s free-kick is nodded back into the danger area by Maguire, and Lingard, unmarked in the middle of the box, sweeps the ball over the crossbar on the volley. It is England’s best chance of the night, with the last kick of the night.
90+3 mins. The final whistle is blown. In the end, for all of the talk beforehand, the referee has managed to get by without needing to consult his video assistants. Maybe just as well, in what has been a good game played in an excellent spirit.
With no penalty shootout to separate the the two teams, this is England’s first draw against Germany since the World Cup encounter in Spain in 1982 (also goalless), and the first time they have not been beaten at their famous home ground since 1975. In the end it was the right result, between two evenly-matched teams. Germany would create more dangerous chances overall and register more shots on target, but the spark of the first half pretty much disappeared in the second.
The goalless draw means that the Mannschaft’s unbeaten record is stretched to twenty matches, with France to come as they look to close off a successful 2017.
v England, Wembley Stadium, Wembley, 10.11.2017
– / –
Germany: ter Stegen – Ginter, Hummels (c), Rüdiger – Kimmich, Halstenberg* – Gündogan (86. Rudy) – Özil – Draxler (67. Can), Sané (86. Brandt) – Werner (73. Wagner)
England: Pickford – Stones, P. Jones (24. Gomez), Maguire – Trippier (71. Walker), Rose (71. Bertrand) – Dier (c), Livermore (86. Cork), Loftus-Cheek – Vardy (86. Lingard), Abraham (60. Rashford)
Referee: Paweł Raczkowski (Poland)
Assistants: Michał Obukowicz (Poland), Radosław Siejka (Poland)
Fourth Official: Daniel Stefański (Poland)
Video Assistant Referee: Paweł Gil (Poland)
Assistant Video Assistant Referee: Marcin Borkowski (Poland)
Yellow Cards: – / Gomez, Livermore
Red Cards: – / –
Ball Possession: 56% / 44%
Attempts on Target: 4 / 1
Attempts off Target: 3 / 5
Corners: 5 / 6
Fouls Committed: 8 / 6
* International Debut