England vs Germany
A much changed new look England side started fast as they had the better chances early on. England were more attacking in the early going and had more of the ball. Michael Keane had an early chance on his debut but he blasted his volley over the bar. Germany began to grow in the game looking more confident as the the time went on. It was kind of like Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona team England were pressing high and moving the ball around efficiently. Germany come forward but Michael Keane blocks Podolski’s effort. England have another opportunity again but the corner ball is headed straight into the hands of Ter Stegen. England almost score with a brilliant run from Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana who beats his man for pace but only manages to hit the post. The score remains 0-0. The Germans starts to press England back but can’t find a way through. Joe Hart saved his blushes as he showed some great footwork to get himself and England out of trouble. England win a free kick about 20 yards out but nothing comes of it as Dier sends it over.
The first half comes to a close at 0-0. The big talking point front that will surely be Gary Cahill, was it a handball?
Germany go close early in the second half after a volley from Julian Brandt narrowly missed the post. Germany seem much improved since the first half as they begin to dominate, Podolski missed two chances in as many minutes. England held their own in this one though as they go close a couple of times too through Leicester forward Jamie Vardy. The German defence holds firm denying England. Patient build up from England ends up winning them a corner. But it’s well defended by the home team. Another chance goes begging for Vardy as Dier launches a great ball forward but Vardy can’t quite get on the end of the ball. The Germans make England pay for all the missed opportunities as Podolski finishes off a brilliant passing move with a sweet strike into the top corner in the 69th minute. England responded well to conceding the goal, they kept their discipline and tried to find a way through. The goal hasn’t really phased England as they kept up the good performance. Goal scorer Podolski was subbed off in the 83rd minute to a rousing ovation from all the fans in the ground, and very well deserved as he officially retires from international football after this game. Germany almost doubled their lead as a late strike from Andre Schurrle was deflected narrowly wide by John Stones. The resulting corner didn’t amount to anything. The game comes to a quiet end with both sides trying to find a way through. The game ends with a 1-0 victory to Germany.
Even though England lost, I have to say it was a much improved performance from a much changed England side. Southgate experimented with a new formation with wing backs and it proved successful. The tempo was good throughout and the team pressed high up the field to win the ball back. The team just lacked that cutting edge I thought that the likes of Harry Kane would’ve provided although he was out of the squad with an injury. The winning goal was absolutely stunning and you have to applaud Lukas Podolski for that. It was a brilliant passing move finished off by his lethal left foot. What a way to say goodbye eh?