England enjoyed a glimpse of the future at Wembley as a fresh-faced side battled world champions Germany to a draw.
With a host of familiar faces either injured or overlooked, Gareth Southgate dished out five debuts in an experimental team which earned its share of a goalless, but not guileless, friendly.
Germany had the better chances, Leroy Sane was denied by the crossbar and Phil Jones’ brave header, but eye-catching bows from goalkeeper Jordan Pickford and midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek meant the Three Lions left with plenty of credit.
What they said
England boss Southgate: “It was an interesting game. It was a bit end-to-end, but I thought we showed real composure with the ball throughout the team. Second half, we were tactically a bit better without the ball and didn’t concede so many chances. Maybe they had another level to go to, but I think everyone knows what we are missing as well. And then I think individually some really top debuts and some really encouraging performances.”
Germany coach Joachim Low: “Both teams were very good, played in a very good defensive manner with not many counter-attacks. We had two or three very good attacks in the first half, and the defence was well organised by Mats (Hummels). There weren’t many chances, but we need to switch between attack and defence better and quicker ahead of the World Cup.”
Tweet of the match
Star man – Loftus-Cheek
The Crystal Palace midfielder took to senior international football like a duck to water. On loan from Chelsea, the 21-year-old stood out at Wembley and just ousted fellow debutant Pickford to the man-of-the-match award. Classy in possession, Loftus-Cheek showed that he is capable not only of playing at this level but also mixing it against some of the most respected international opposition. It will be interesting to see if he is given the chance to build on such a strong showing against Brazil on Tuesday night.
Moment of the match
The pre-match ceremony to mark the upcoming Memorial Day was always going to be all the more special given the two nations involved in this fixture. The two national anthems were immaculately respected, unlike in the previous meeting in Dortmund, as was the minute’s silence.
Stat of the match
As proof that this was largely an experimental side from Southgate, Manchester United defender Jones picked up his 24th cap at Wembley and was the most experienced England player on the pitch at kick-off.
England: Jordan Pickford 8 (out of 10), Phil Jones 7, Harry Maguire 7, John Stones 7, Kieran Trippier 7, Eric Dier 7, Jake Livermore 6, Danny Rose 7, Ruben Loftus-Cheek 8, Jamie Vardy 7, Tammy Abraham 7. Subs: Joe Gomez (for Jones, 25) 7, Marcus Rashford (for Abraham, 60) 6, Ryan Bertrand (for Rose, 71) 6, Kyle Walker (for Trippier, 71) 6, Jack Cork (for Livermore, 86) 6, Jesse Lingard (for Vardy, 86) 6.
Germany: Marc-Andre Ter Stegen 7, Matthias Ginter 7, Mats Hummels 7, Antonio Rudiger 7, Joshua Kimmich 7, Ilkay Gundogan 6, Mesut Ozil 6, Marcel Halstenberg 6, Julian Draxler 6, Timo Werner 7, Leroy Sane 7. Subs: Emre Can (for Draxler, 67) 6, Sandro Wagner (for Werner, 73) 6, Sebastian Rudy (for Gundogan, 86) 6, Julian Brandt (for Sane, 86) 6.
Who’s up next?
England v Brazil (Friendly, November 14)
Germany v France (Friendly, November 14)