England v Germany: Nations League – live updates | Nations League

Key events

Penalty for Germany!

51 min: Masiala dribbles into the England box from the right. He looks to zip past Maguire on the left. Maguire sticks out a leg and brings his man down. The referee waves play on … but VAR orders the referee to have a second look. He only needs one more. It’s an obvious penalty. A clumsy challenge. The referee mimes a TV screen, then points to the spot.

50 min: England are nearly undone by the simplest of moves. Kimmich wedges down the middle. The ball drops over Werner’s shoulder. Werner loops over the out-rushing Pope but also well over the bar. The flag goes up for offside, but had Werner found the net, VAR would surely have allowed the goal, Shaw well out of position on the right.

49 min: A little bit of space for Sterling out on the left. He drops a shoulder to shuffle inside and curls one towards the top right. But there’s no real whip in the delivery, and it’s easy pickings for Ter Stegen.

47 min: A slow start to the half. Sterling and Musiala both have a dribble to little effect.

England get the second half underway. Germany have made a change, sending on Timo Werner in place of Hofmann. “Monochrome Ajax?” splutters Steve Bassett. “Surely monochrome refers to one colour only? I’m pretty sure there are two on that Germany shirt.” Bah! My black-and-white blues. Your poor MBM hack is under fire from all angles tonight. How about Grayscale Godenzonen? Is that any better? It’s not going to be, is it.

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HALF TIME: England 0-0 Germany

Neither team are making much of a statement ahead of the World Cup. Actually, scrub that: they are, but it’s not the one they’d want.

45 min +2: Kimmich is afforded too much time, 25 yards out, and sends a fierce daisycutter inches wide of the left-hand post. Pope might have had it covered … but you wouldn’t bet the house on it.

45 min: There will be two added minutes.

44 min: Sterling has been England’s liveliest player, and he’s sent into the Germany box down the left by Kane. Foden is free in the middle, but Schlotterbeck gets in the road, so Sterling has to have a crack from a tight angle instead. Ter Stegen is behind it all the way.

43 min: Hofmann, who has been pretty lively, swings one in from the right. Walker chests down under not much pressure from Havertz, and Pope claims.

42 min: See 40 min. This half is petering out.

40 min: Germany hog the ball but don’t do a great deal with it.

38 min: Shaw mooches into the German box from the left and wins a corner. Foden swings it in, and Maguire heads harmlessly over.

37 min: Stones limps off shaking his head sadly. Bad news for Stones, for England, and for Manchester City. Kyle Walker comes on in his place.

36 min: Stones pulls up while in full flight, grabs the back of his right leg, and drops to the floor. Pretty sure he’ll not be continuing. On this unfortunate subject, and to follow up the salvo from Kimberley Thonger, here’s Brendan Large: “Just to warn you that I for one will be blaming you when Kane breaks a metatarsal one week before the World Cup, after you so idiotically described the armband he ‘will’ be wearing in Qatar. Will you journos never learn?” I hear you and will endeavour to etc., and so on.

John Stones lies injured.
John Stones lies injured. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian

34 min: Germany probe this way and that, before Kimmich tries to find Musiala in the England box with a shovel down the inside-left channel. There’s too much juice on the pass and it’s a goal kick. Meanwhile here’s Kimberley Thonger: “Scott, could I respectfully point out that phrases like ‘Germany are suddenly looking a little bit ragged’ or ‘English tails are up after that fine move and near miss’ are traditionally followed by the words ‘and Germany open the scoring’?” I hear you and will endeavour to do better.

32 min: Hofmann and Kehrer combine again down the right. The former’s cross is clanked clear by Sterling. Meanwhile replays of the penalty claim show Sterling taking a good old fistful of Kehrer’s shirt … but letting go well before the German full back went to ground. It would have been pretty soft, though Sterling was taking an unnecessary chance.

30 min: Hofmann slides a pass down the right for Kehrer, who goes down in the penalty box. Germany want a penalty for a tug on Kehrer’s shirt by Sterling, but the referee isn’t interested.

28 min: Germany are suddenly looking a little bit ragged. Kane powers down the inside-right channel and rolls infield for Sterling, who is level with the last man … but, in trying to return the ball to Kane, free to his side, Sterling hoicks clumsily out for a goal kick.

27 min: … Kane sees a header blocked, then loops a diagonal shot wide left. England have finally awoken from their slumber. Much better from the hosts, and Wembley responds in kind!

26 min: English tails are up after that fine move and near miss, and Foden worms his way down the right before reaching the byline and looking to find Kane with a cutback. Kehrer reads the danger marvellously and clacks out for a corner. One corner leads to another, and …

25 min: Shaw tears down the inside-left channel and curls a low diagonal pass infield for Sterling. He drops a shoulder to see off Schlotterback and find himself one on one with Ter Stegen! He aims for the bottom left, but the keeper parries well.

Raheem Sterling is denied.
Raheem Sterling is denied. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian

23 min: Hofmann curls deep from the right wing. Havertz and Musiala can’t quite combine at the far post, both failing to tee each other up. Maguire clears. “‘Monochrome Ajax’ is a keen description of the Germany kit,” writes Peter Oh. “Extreme close-up Juve might also work.” It sure does. Distressed Notts County?

21 min: Stones plays a no-look backpass to Pope from the edge of his own six-yard box! Hofmann very nearly closes the keeper down. A few seconds before, Stones over-elaborated and was nearly stripped of possession by Musiala. He shimmied out of trouble nicely, but it was bother of his own making. A shaky 60 seconds for the England centre-back.

19 min: Germany are beginning to see more of the ball. England second to most things at the minute. Their confidence can’t be high; they’re certainly not flowing. Two-pass moves at a premium for England right now.

England manager Gareth Southgate watches on the sidelines.
England manager Gareth Southgate watches on the sidelines. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian

17 min: Gundogan looks for Raum, racing down the inside-left channel. James slyly nudges Raum off balance, and while play goes on elsewhere for a bit, the assistant referee’s flag goes up. It’s a free kick just to the left of the D. A dangerous position, this, but Sane blooters it straight at the England wall, and the hosts clear.

15 min: The German press is causing England one or two small issues. Musiala closes down Maguire and it’s another corner for Germany. The set piece leads to some fairly uninspiring head tennis, and England eventually clear their lines.

13 min: Sterling has a probe down the left and one-twos with Rice. It’s neat football in a tight space, but the flag goes up for a marginal offside.

11 min: Pope takes a heavy touch, allowing Musiala to close him down. His kick upfield is blocked, and ends up at the feet of Gundogan, who whistles a shot harmlessly over the bar from the edge of the D. Pope gets away with a big mistake there, and offers the hand of apology to his team-mates.

10 min: … and Sterling is this close to releasing Foden down the middle with a sliderule pass. But the Germans slam the door shut just in time.

9 min: Kehrer is afforded far too much time out on the right. He curls in a cross, hoping to find Havertz on the penalty spot. Dier comes across to concede the first corner of the game. Raum’s delivery is no good, and England are away on the counter …

8 min: Foden drives down the middle and finds Kane in acres on the right. Kane tries to return the ball to Foden, racing into the box, but the cross is too long. Goal kick. Both teams are beginning to warm up.

7 min: A lot of space now for Musiala, who takes advantage by powering down the middle. He’s got options either side, but loses concentration momentarily, slows down, and allows Rice to get back and put a stop to his gallop. The move’s momentum broken, Schlotterbeck sends a simple pass out of play.

5 min: A lot of space for Shaw to run into down the left. All Kane needs to do is find him and England are away. The captain flays a pass carelessly out for a throw.

4 min: All a bit scrappy, so the band strike up a tune. When there’s something to report, you’ll be the first to know.

2 min: Maguire sprays a pass down the right for Kane, who exchanges passes with James and nearly wins the first corner of the game. Otherwise, a fairly slow start, and Wembley is no longer at full voice. Fairly subdued at the minute.

23 sec: Kane sticks his arm under Schlotterbeck’s throat, and looks offended when the whistle goes for a free kick. You’ve seen bookings for less, but 23 seconds in is 23 seconds in.

Germany get the ball rolling. Wembley finds its voice again.

One of those minutes is held in silence in memory of Queen Elizabeth II. Sir Geoff Hurst and a representative of the German FA lay wreathes. Then Wembley’s lights dip. The moment impeccably observed.

Silence for the Queen before kick-off.
Silence for the Queen before kick-off. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian

The teams are out! Plenty of the old noise as England and Germany take to the pitch. Then the national anthems. The Song of Germany, followed by God Save the King. We’ll be off in a couple of minutes.

Gareth Southgate takes positivity to a new level when interviewed by Channel 4. “We felt tonight was a good opportunity to start Luke Shaw. He’s a super player. We thought Eric Dier coming back into the side played really well. We’ve got lots of good players on the bench. We’ve got a big squad and four right-backs of super quality. At the moment Kieran Trippier is playing exceptionally well, and Reece James has been one of the outstanding players in the league at the start of the season. But we know Trent is a very, very good footballer and that’s why we picked him in the squad. It’s been a testing week, but these are necessary steps for a team to go through sometimes. The players have been exceptional in the way they’ve stepped up. We’re going to be playing under pressure when we go to the World Cup, so it doesn’t do us any harm to be in that situation already.”

Harry Kane (74 caps, 50 goals) speaks to Channel 4 (P5, W0, D2, L3): “We need to be more clinical. We got into good areas the other night, but didn’t have the final pass or the final run. In these big games it’s the fine margins, so hopefully we can put that right tonight. We’ve worked hard in the two days we’ve had and hopefully it’ll be our night tonight. We know it’s going to be a tough game. We need to play our own game.”

Another memory of 1966 and all that. England will be wearing red shirts tonight. Captain Harry Kane will also wear the anti-discrimination armband he’ll sport in Qatar. Germany step out in their new monochrome Ajax number.

Sir Alf would presumably approve.
Sir Alf would presumably approve. Photograph: Eddie Keogh/The FA/Getty Images

This is England’s first international at home since the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. She’s commemorated on the cover of tonight’s match programme by the iconic image of her handing over the Jules Rimet Trophy to Bobby Moore at Wembley in 1966.

Tonight’s match programme.
Tonight’s match programme. Photograph: John Patrick Fletcher/Action Plus/REX/Shutterstock

There will also be black corner flags, while fans will form a mosaic of the flag of St George while belting out God Save the King for the first time at an England game for over 70 years.

Gareth Southgate makes two changes to his starting XI in the wake of the defeat in Italy. John Stones and Luke Shaw are back, with Kyle Walker and Bukayo Saka dropping to the bench. Ivan Toney is also named as a sub, hoping to come on for his debut. Fikayo Tomori and Trent Alexander-Arnold were the two big names omitted from the squad. Stones, back from suspension, will make up a back three with Harry Maguire and Eric Dier.

Hansi Flick makes four changes to his starting XI after the loss to Hungary. Kai Havertz of Chelsea, West Ham’s Thilo Kehrer, former England youth and current Bayern Munich star Jamal Musiala, and Borussia Dortmund’s Nico Schlotterbeck are in. They replace Thomas Muller, Timo Werner and Serge Gnabry, who drop to the bench, and the suspended Antonio Rudiger.

The teams

England: Pope, James, Stones, Dier, Maguire, Shaw, Rice, Bellingham, Foden, Sterling, Kane.
Subs: Trippier, Ramsdale, Henderson, Walker, Coady, Guehi, Saka, Mount, Toney, Chilwell, Henderson, Abraham.

Germany: ter Stegen, Kehrer, Sule, Schlotterbeck, Raum, Kimmich, Gundogan, Hofmann, Musiala, Sane, Havertz.
Subs: Baumann, Ginter, Arnold, Werner, Gnabry, Trapp, Muller, Henrichs, Bella-Kotchap, Gosens.

Referee: Danny Makkelie (Netherlands).


Of course, on the one hand, this means absolutely nothing. Germany can’t win the group and make it to the finals; England are already relegated from the top tier. But that’s just the price. What about the value?

Germany could do with a result in their last serious test before the World Cup in November, especially after losing at home to Hungary on Friday evening. But England are even more desperate, after two draws and three defeats in their last five games, one of those losses their biggest setback at home since the 1920s. They haven’t scored a goal from open play in over seven hours of football; with Gareth Southgate booed off after the last two games, it would seem all the goodwill earned by appearances in the 2018 World Cup semis and the Euro 2020 final has, fairly or unfairly, pretty much drained away.

A win tonight against one of the old enemies, in England’s last match before Qatar, would cut Southgate some precious slack. Anything else will ratchet up the pressure and sour the national mood for the entirety of the two-month run-up to the World Cup. No biggie, then. Kick off at Wembley is at 7.45pm BST. It’s on!

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