In what will be remembered as a Nations League classic on Monday night, England and Germany played out a thrilling 3-3 draw at Wembley.
With Ikay Gundogan and Kai Havertz handing Hansi Flick’s side a shock 2-0 lead after returning from the half-time break, it was England who mounted a remarkable late charge in their final League A appearances.
Although Monday’s hosts might have already suffered a shock Nations League relegation, Luke Shaw, Mason Mount and Harry Kane bagged a trio of strikes in the space of 12 minutes and sent a sell-out Wembley into overdrive.
However, while the Three Lions might have been within touching distance of completing an iconic comeback in London, Havertz broke English hearts as the Chelsea man grabbed his second after pouncing on Nick Pope’s costly error.
After what was a remarkable night at Wembley, we have taken a look at the main talking points as both England and Germany signed off their World Cup preparations.
England’s winless run sets more unwanted record
Although England might have been just minutes away from laying down a remarkable statement on home soil, Southgate’s side instead saw themselves break more unwanted record.
Marking their return from the summer break last weekend as they were hit with a 1-0 loss away at Italy, the Three Lions came under real scrutiny as they lost their League A status amidst a hugely worrying rut.
Although Southgate and England will certainly have positives to take away from Monday’s thriller at Wembley, it does not cover what has been a Nations League nightmare this year.
Heading into the break back in June as they were hit with an infamous 4-0 drumming at home against Hungary, it is no secret that Southgate still has a huge amount of pressure on his shoulders.
With all eyes falling on the 52-year-old when his squad makes the trip out to Qatar in eight weeks’ time, England find themselves in the midst of a six-match winless run.
In fact, after watching Havertz break their hearts following Pope’s fumble, this is the first time in 29 years that the Three Lions have failed to win six consecutive appearances.
A hugely important 12 minutes for Southgate
Although England might have broken more unwanted records on Monday night as they failed to win their sixth straight outing, Southgate will undoubtedly be boosted by that stellar second-half flurry.
While the ex-Aston Villa defender might have received a host of criticism over recent years for his lack of in-game alterations, it was England’s subs who really turned the tide at Wembley.
With both Mount and Bukayo Saka playing a crucial role in all three of England’s strikes after coming off the bench, Southgate will be wondering just how important those 12 minutes could turn out to be.
Opening Monday’s showdown in front of a sell-out crowd without bagging a single strike from open play throughout this year’s Nations League, the Three Lions should be boosted by the fighting spirit they demonstrated here.
With Southgate and Kane making it clear that they will use their stunning second-half comeback as a platform to build off as they put together their final World Cup preparations, last year’s European Championships finalists will be seeking some stability come November.
Germany’s glaring defensive issues
Although Germany might have eventually managed to leave Wembley with a point to show for their troubles following Havertz’s late equaliser, the former world champions will be hugely disappointed.
Throwing away a golden chance to claim a first win at Wembley since 2013, Monday’s guests have only continued to gain a worrying reputation for their rather glaring issues at the back.
Marking their return from the summer break with a woeful display as they were hit with a 1-0 loss at home against Hungary, Germany have largely struggled to find top gear under Flick.
While last weekend’s defeat in Leipzig might have been the first that they had suffered since appointing the ex-Bayern Munich boss 16 months ago, the Whites have now picked up just a single victory from any of their last seven appearances across all competitions.
Likewise, recording just a single clean sheet since way back in November, Germany appear some way off from being a genuine contender out in Qatar.
England: Pope, Stones, Dier, Maguire, James, Rice, Bellingham, Shaw, Foden, Sterling, Kane
Subs: Henderson, Mount, Saka, Walker
Germany: Ter Stegen, Kehrer, Sule, Schlotterbeck, Raum, Kimmich, Gundogan, Sane, Musiala, Hofmann, Havertz
Subs: Gnabry, Gosens, Werner, Bella-Kotchap
Goals: England: Shaw (71′), Mount (75′), Kane (83′ Pen) – Germany: Gundogan (52′ pen), Havertz (67′, 87′)
Yellow Cards: Schlotterbeck
Red Cards: N/A
Referee: Danny Makkelie
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