England vs Germany: England Lose As Per!

20/11/2013 no comments »
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Photo: Wembley National Stadium Ltd

20.11.2013.  England suffered their second defeat in five days, as Per Mertesacker headed Germany to victory at Wembley on Tuesday night.

A solitary goal from Arsenal defender, Mertesacker in the 39th minute handed a win to a German side who rested many key players in this fixture. England rallied, and came closest to equalizing from Andros Townsend, as he struck the post from a long range effort after the break.

With the World cup in Brazil next summer in mind, England manager Roy Hodgson rang out the changes again, with the return of Joe Hart in goal one of the main talking points.

England fielded a more experienced side, though Adam Lallana, a debutant on Saturday, retained his place in the starting 11. Germany chose to rest Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil, Philipp Lahm and Manuel Neuer, but still looked a strong and threatening prospect to England prior to kick off.

There was no love lost between the two sets of supporters as the German national anthem was greeted by boos by some England supporters. Any passion from the stands was not transferred on to the pitch, as the opening 30 minutes struggled to come to life as both teams cancelled each other out in midfield. Joe Hart was sprung in to action late in the first half, saving superbly from Mertesacker. But from the following corner, Hart was helpless as a cross was met by Mertesacker, who steered a strong header in to the corner. Gerrard raised dampened spirits for the home crowd just before the half, as a 30 yard shot went just over.

Joe Hart continued to show why he is England’s number one in the second half, as he denied both Marco Reus and Gotze. Hart was the only positive in an otherwise shaky performance from England’s defence. England then sprung in to life thanks to promising second half displays from Townsend and Lallana. Lallana danced in to the box only to be denied by the man of the moment, Mertesacker. Townsend then came close as cut inside and unleashed a shot that was denied by the woodwork. Hodgson introduced Jack Wilshere, Ross Barkley and Rickie Lambert as England looked to share the spoils, but Germany remained typically strong and survived any late pressure to record the win as boos greeted the final whistle.

England: Hart, Walker, Cole (Gibbs – 53′ ), Cleverley (Wilshere – 64′ ), Smalling, Jagielka, Townsend, Gerrard (Henderson – 56′ ), Sturridge, 10 Rooney (Barkley – 71′ ), Lallana (Lambert – 76′ )

Germany: Weidenfeller, Westermann (Draxler – 67′ ), Schmelzer (Jansen – 45′ ), Bender, Mertesacker, Boateng (Hummels – 45′ ), Götze, Bender, Kruse (Höwedes – 56′ ), Kroos, Reus (Schürrle – 82′ )

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