England 3-3 Germany: Nations League – as it happened

Last modified: 09: 18 PM GMT+0

England rallied from 2-0 down to lead 3-2 in a dramatic second half before Kai Havertz pounced late on

It wasn’t perfect, then, but it sure was a memorable way to send everyone off to Qatar. David Hytner was at Wembley, and here’s his take on a six-goal thriller. Oh, and by the way, Italy won 2-0 in Hungary and finish top of Group A3; a small consolation for missing out on the World Cup again. Thanks for reading this MBM. Nighty night!


Gareth Southgate talks to Channel 4. “As a group they have really come together this week. It’s been a tough period for them, and they’ve grown. You’re always going to face pressure, you’re going to a World Cup, and at some point we’ve got to be exposed to pressure. We played a friendly here in March when Ivory Coast went down to ten men, and it became a bit of a non-event and we learned nothing. This week we’ve learned a huge amount. They’ve had to step forward, and they’ve had to as a group come close together, and it’s going to benefit us in the long run, no doubt. The team have to be together. Tonight a couple of errors have cost us the goals, but I focused on the fact they played with tremendous spirit and showed a belief that we haven’t showed in the last few games. I think the crowd could see that, and they rose to it.”

Gareth Southgate will be speaking to Channel 4 soon … so don’t go away for good … but David Hytner’s report has landed. Here it is!

Harry Kane talks to Channel 4. “That was a lot better. Thought we played really well. We were unfortunate to go 2-0 behind. A mistake and a great goal from the edge of the box. We did really well to stay into the game and get the lead, then unfortunately another error. But the fight in the team, the mentality we showed … we didn’t get the win but we can be proud of what we have done, and it puts us into a good place going into the World Cup. A shame we couldn’t get the win, but we keep going. A busy six weeks or so, then we get ready for the World Cup! This will put us in a positive mindset going forward. We’re going to have to be ready. We know we still have to improve.”

That late equaliser will deflate England a little. Of course it will. For now. But when it all comes down, their mood should be pretty buoyant. What a comeback they launched! They looked utterly shot, bereft of ideas and hope, very much second best to a Germany side hardly hitting top gear themselves. Two months of miserable introspection stretched out ahead. Intolerable pressure on Gareth Southgate. Somehow, they hauled themselves off the canvas and got themselves going again. Three goals in 12 minutes have utterly changed the mood music surrounding Southgate and England, just in time. It’s not perfect, but they’d have taken this result when Kai Havertz whistled Germany’s second into the top left!

Gareth Soutgate goes over to Harry Maguire after the match.
Gareth Soutgate goes over to Harry Maguire after the match. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian


FULL TIME: England 3-3 Germany

The whistle goes. Gareth Southgate and Hansi Flick embrace each other, all friendly smiles. Similarly Harry Kane and Thomas Muller. What a sensational half of football!

90 min +6: Saka yet again makes a nuisance of himself down the inside right. The ball nearly pinballs through to Mount on the penalty spot, but Ter Stegen claims.

90 min +4: All a bit scrappy. It’d be churlish to moan.

90 min +3: Schlotterbeck tries to release Werner into the England box down the inside-left channel, but larrups his pass out for a goal kick.

90 min +2: Both teams take it down a notch, perhaps preparing for one last hurrah.

90 min +1: Nothing comes of the corner, Shaw floating it too close to Ter Stegen. Meanwhile both teams make a change: Bella-Kotchap comes on for Havertz, while Bellingham makes way for Henderson. There will be six added minutes.

90 min: There’s some hubbub in the England box but the hosts clear. Kane whips a pass up the right for Saka, who is clear! He dribbles all the way into the England box and aims for the bottom-left corner. It’s heading in, but Ter Stegen fingertips around the post for a corner. This is breathless!

89 min: Suddenly it’s Germany with their tails up. Gosens loops into the England box from the left. Maguire heads clear. Wembley bubbles with tension, and it’s the German fans making all the noise now.

GOAL! England 3-3 Germany (Havertz 87)

Gnabry strides in from the left. He shoots low and hard, towards the bottom right. Pope blocks, and should claim, but doesn’t keep hold of the ball. It squirts out to Havertz, who clips into the bottom left from close range! The air sucked out of Wembley all of a sudden. What a second half!

Kai Havertz of Germany scores their side's third goal past Nick Pope of England.
Kai Havertz of Germany scores their side's third goal past Nick Pope of England. Photograph: Michael Regan/The FA/Getty Images


86 min: Kane makes good down the left but can’t find anyone with his cross. Germany go up the other end, and …

84 min: Kehrer is booked for too much yap during the protests over the penalty decision.

GOAL! England 3-2 Germany (Kane 83 pen)

Kane lashes into the top-left corner. Vicious! Unstoppable! Ter Stegen guessed correctly, but had no chance of stopping that! Wembley is bouncing. Germany are stunned.

Harry Kane scores England's third goal.
Harry Kane scores England's third goal. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian
Harry Kane celebrates scoring for England to make it 3-2.
Harry Kane celebrates scoring for England to make it 3-2. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian


Penalty for England!

82 min: Yep, it’s a penalty all right. Schlotterbeck was clumsy rather than malicious, but he could have hurt Bellingham badly there. Happily the England midfielder is fine to continue. The German defender is booked, and Kane prepares to take the spot kick.

England's Jude Bellingham is caught.
England's Jude Bellingham is caught. Photograph: Carl Recine/Action Images/Reuters


81 min: Saka has been superb since coming on, and he again causes all manner of bother down the inside-right channel. He slips infield for Kane, who turns and whistles a shot towards the top right. It’s deflected out for a corner, but VAR has spotted Schlotterbeck catching Bellingham on the shin with his studs while stretching in the penalty box. I think this is going to be a spot kick for England!

79 min: … but Musiala can’t continue. He makes way for Muller. Germany could do with a wise old head right now.

78 min: … so in order to draw a little of the sting from the game, Musiala goes down with cramp. Kane is signally unimpressed, standing over the stricken player and frowning suspiciously.


77 min: England had been so flat until that double whammy. Nobody saw that coming. But now look! There’s an extra spring in every English step.

76 min: Those London buses, huh?

GOAL! England 2-2 Germany (Mount 75)

You wait nine hours and 26 minutes for a goal from open play, then two come along in three minutes and five seconds! Saka dribbles hard down the inside-right channel and passes infield for Mount, who fires a rising first-time shot into the top right from 25 yards! Wembley erupts!

Mason Mount scores their side's second goal.
Mason Mount scores their side's second goal. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images
Mount celebrates scoring for England to make it 2-2.
Mount celebrates scoring for England to make it 2-2. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian


74 min: That’s England’s long wait for a goal from open play over. The clock stopped at nine hours and 26 minutes.


GOAL! England 1-2 Germany (Shaw 72)

Bellingham bursts from a deep position and sends a pass down the right for James, who one-twos with Saka before crossing deep. Shaw chests down at the left-hand corner of the six-yard box, and forces a shot under Ter Stegen and into the bottom left. Hope for England!

Luke Shaw scores for England to make it 2-1.
Luke Shaw scores for England to make it 2-1. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian


71 min: The counter for the second started when Sule stripped Maguire of possession deep in the Germany half. It’s not been a banner evening for the England defender.

69 min: Bellingham has a little bit of time and space 30 yards out. Germany seem happy enough to let him have it. He lines one up and fires it straight down Ter Stegen’s throat.

68 min: That was such a sweet strike. Made in Chelsea. Sort of. Germany could really put the hurt on England, too, because on come Gnabry and Gosens in place of Raum and Sane.

GOAL! England 0-2 Germany (Havertz 67)

Werner breaks down the left. He cuts inside, lines up his options, then rolls across for Havertz, just to the right of the D. Havertz opens up his body and powers a curler into the top-left corner. Pope no chance!

Germany's Kai Havertz scores their second goal.
Germany's Kai Havertz scores their second goal. Photograph: Hannah McKay/Reuters


66 min: Sterling and Foden make way for Mount and Saka.

65 min: James wins a corner that Dier harmlessly heads over. The one-on-one Sterling save apart, Ter Stegen has had very little to do.

64 min: England suddenly look quite unsure of themselves again. They can’t get anything going. Meanwhile vindication for your MBM hack comes in the shape of Tom Chivers. “Your monochrome correspondent is wrong,” he writes, quoting some dictionary entry or other which describes “a photograph or picture developed or executed in black and white.” So now you I know.

62 min: Musiala grooves his way down the middle of the park before releasing Werner into space down the left channel. Werner enters the box, draws Pope, and bundles a low shot across the keeper but also wide of the goalframe. Germany are seriously threatening a second.

60 min: Germany are knocking. Sule one-twos down the inside-right channel and drags a low shot inches wide of the bottom-left corner. Pope had it covered.

59 min: Werner dribbles into the England box from the right. Dier slips. Werner tries to tee up Havertz instead of shooting himself, and that allows Walker to clean up the mess. For a split second there, England were in all sorts of bother.

58 min: Germany only half clear the corner, and Bellingham meets it on the right-hand edge of the D. He slips as he shoots and the ball flies harmlessly wide. This is a decent response to falling behind by England.

57 min: Rice barges his way down the left and is sent crashing by Kehrer. A free kick near the touchline, 20 yards out. James curls it in. Ter Stegen punches confidently clear. England come again, though, James winning a corner off Raum down the right. Foden to take.

56 min: James shimmies down the right and cuts back for Bellingham, who flays a wild shot high and wide from the edge of the box. Bellingham was England’s best player in Italy, but he’s been a lot quieter tonight.

54 min: England try to respond immediately. Shaw crosses from the left. The ball hits Raum, off the chest of Bellingham. Sule batters clear. England claim a penalty, but Raum taps his head … and he’s right. It was a clear header. A desperate shout by England.

GOAL! England 0-1 Germany (Gundogan 52 pen)

Gundogan, who scored from the spot here for Borussia Dortmund in the 2013 Champions League final, slots confidently into the bottom right. Pope was never getting to it. What a clinical finish!

England’s goalkeeper Nick Pope can’t stop the spot-kick.
England’s goalkeeper Nick Pope can’t stop the spot-kick. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian
Harry Maguire looks bereft.
Harry Maguire looks bereft. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian


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.

Jamal Musiala of Germany is fouled by Harry Maguire of England.
Jamal Musiala of Germany is fouled by Harry Maguire of England. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images


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.

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!


Scott Murray

The GuardianTramp

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