England vs. Germany result | highlights & analysis as Three Lions settle for thrilling 3-3 draw ahead of World Cup
LONDON’S WEMBLEY STADIUM — Gareth Southgate’s England signed out with a thrilling 3-3 draw against rivals Germany at Wembley Stadium in their penultimate encounter before heading to the World Cup in Qatar later this year.
While England’s relegation from the UEFA Nations League was secured against Italy last time out, goals from Luke Shaw, Mason Mount, and Harry Kane gave Three Lions fans something to smile about, despite Southgate’s squad now going six games without a victory.
The home team felt they’d pulled off a spectacular second-half comeback from a two-goal deficit when they scored three times in 11 minutes — only for Kai Havertz to score his second of the night at the death to tie the game at 3-3.
A calm first half from both teams led in England reaching half-time after going 495 minutes without scoring a non-penalty goal, despite Raheem Sterling having two of the best chances.
Shortly after the halftime, Harry Maguire surrendered a careless penalty, escalating the situation. His ball was intercepted by Jamal Musiala of Germany, who was tripped by Maguire as he attempted to dribble past him. Initially ignored, VAR stepped in and awarded a penalty. Ilkay Gundogan took a stride forward and calmly slotted past England goalkeeper Nick Pope into the bottom right corner.
On 67 minutes, Havertz scored another for the visitors, curling home a beautiful left-footed drive from the outside of the area. However, England fans were given something to rejoice about shortly after as Luke Shaw bundled home the ball at the back post.
Prior to that, Southgate saw that England needed new legs and brought in Mason Mount and Bukayo Saka. On 75 minutes, the two linked as the latter danced through the German midfield before deftly laying off a ball for Mount to blast a first-time effort past Marc-Andre ter Stegen for the 2-2 tie.
When Germany defender Nico Schlotterbeck crushed Bellingham in the area and a penalty was given when VAR intervened, the turnaround appeared complete.
Kane made no mistake from the penalty spot, sending the home crowd into a frenzy at 3-2.
However, Havertz ruined the celebration by tapping home from inside six yards after Pope had parried Serge Gnabry’s attempt from 20 yards.
🗣 "They've really come together"
— Channel 4 Sport (@C4Sport) September 26, 2022
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Chances of England’s 2022 World Cup
Is it actually coming home for Christmas this year? Previous World Cup champions haven’t usually entered a competition after a six-match losing skid.
Despite the criticism heaped on England manager Gareth Southgate for playing too carefully or not being aggressive enough with the quality at his disposal, the way his side reacted after falling down by two goals will be heartening.
At 2-1, the introduction of Mason Mount and Bukayo Saka on 67 minutes transformed the game. The two worked beautifully together to bring the home side level. After Sterling missed a couple of opportunities in the first half, Mount showed him how it’s done by thumping home a thunderous shot at the first opportunity.
Southgate is having the worst slump of his England coaching career, but this is a manager who has led England to a World Cup semi-final and a European Championship final since taking over and understands how to handle his players in major competitions.
England are presently 13/2 to win the trophy in Qatar, trailing only Brazil and France, but their prospects will be determined by how soon Southgate’s squad finds its best form and navigates the group stage. On the basis of last week’s 1-0 defeat to Italy, it’s difficult to see England progressing beyond the group stage, but there were enough of positives to take from the second half against Germany.
First and foremost, Southgate must pick his 26-man group wisely, assembling a squad of players who have consistently delivered for their club sides between now and the winter break.
— Channel 4 Sport (@C4Sport) September 26, 2022
Every Liverpool supporter wants to ask Mr. Southgate this question. The promising right-back, who missed last year’s Euros due to injury, has only made one International appearance this year, and he was an unused substitute against Italy, so he didn’t even make the team at Wembley.
That tells you all you need to know about Alexander-prospects Arnold’s of visiting Qatar in November. Is Southgate, though, making a mistake? While the 23-year-old has received some criticism for his defense in recent months, he has a lot to offer going ahead. No English full-back has generated more opportunities per match this season in all club competitions, averaging 2.7.
Southgate has several choices at right-back, and Reece James has been handed the nod to start against Germany. While some may question Alexander-defensive Arnold’s ability, few provide as much ingenuity on the offensive end of the field. If Alexander-Arnold continues to put in strong performances between now and November, Southgate will find it difficult to overlook him. However, based on team choices this year, Alexander-Arnold appears to be at the bottom of the right-back pecking order, and for a cautious Southgate, defensive solidity is his priority, which Alexander-Arnold is not.
Will Harry Maguire be droped for World Cup?
Another decision that has split loyalty among England fans. Some of Maguire’s best ever performances have come in an England shirt, most importantly at the major tournaments. He was colossus in getting them to the Euro 2021 final. But does that excuse him from what’s going on at Manchester United?
Maguire has now lost his place in Erik ten Hag’s starting XI, and if he only plays Europa League and cup matches between now and mid-November, is that really enough to warrant a place in Southgate’s squad, let alone his starting XI for the World Cup?
Monday night may have even been a sign of rustiness. He gifted the ball to Jamal Musiala inside his own box, and you always feared the experienced defender was going to come out the loser in his 1-v-1 battle against the 19-year-old. He later lost the ball in the final third after a rare burst forward and Germany caught England on the counter attack. Maguire managed to get back in time, but he failed to get out and block Havertz’s curled effort.
Had he been playing every week for United in the buildup, would that have changed the outcome of these incidents? It depends on who you ask, but a lack of game time could not have helped.
Maguire’s inclusion or exclusion from the World Cup squad will be a huge talking point, but any more major errors could seal his fate in the coming weeks and months.