England recovered from a 2-0 deficit to lead before Kai Havertz prodded Germany level at the death, concluding a 3-3 draw in the Nations League with all six goals tumbling in the second half.
Both nations came into the contest fresh from Friday night defeats, the doubts from which clouded a cagey affair. While keen to offer some front-foot pressing as the visitors built from the back, England’s pair of midfielders were quick to scurry in front of the back five, desperately trying to limit the space between the lines for Germany’s rejigged frontline.
Hansi Flick’s side had more of the ball but England threatened in transition, playing with more zip and urgency compared to their bleak loss to Italy – although the bar had been set perilously low.
Twice in the first half, Raheem Sterling found himself on the end of an opening carved out on the counter. However, on each occasion, the Chelsea forward could only muster a tepid left-footed effort which Marc-Andre ter Stegen rebuffed.
Germany hadn’t had an effort on target or inside England’s box in the first half. Yet, within six minutes of the restart, Harry Maguire presented the visitors with the chance to take aim from 12 yards. The much-maligned Manchester United man lazily stroked a pass straight to the feet of Jamal Musiala, compounding one error with another as he clumsily brought the teenager down. Ilkay Gundogan coolly converted the penalty.
The four-time World Cup winners were emboldened by the opener, rattling the ball around England’s half with an added glut of confidence. Timo Werner came off the bench to add another dimension to Germany’s attack, teeing Havertz up for a sumptuous effort from the edge of the box which crashed off the post on its way into the net in the 67th minute.
Against the run of play, the hosts pulled one back. One England wingback crossed for the other as Reece James arced in a cross which bounced through to Luke Shaw. Composing himself on the far side of the box, Shaw’s firm effort squirmed under Ter Stegen.
After 526 minutes without a goal from open play, England had to wait just 185 seconds before finding another as two of Gareth Southgate’s substitutes combined. Bukayo Saka weaved through a throng of white shirts, carrying the ball into the path of Mason Mount who swept a crisp finish past Ter Stegen.
Saka was again heavily involved before Jude Bellingham got his toe to the ball ahead of Nico Schlotterbeck in Germany’s box. After a swift VAR review, Harry Kane emphatically converted the penalty which put England ahead with their third goal in 11 minutes.
However, this rollercoaster second half had another loop left in it. Serge Gnabry – yet another substitute with an influence on the contest – took aim from range. Nick Pope spilt the bouncing effort to the feet of Havertz, presenting the German with the chance to nab his second and haul Germany level in the 87th minute.
GK: Nick Pope – 4/10 – Living up to his reputation, Pope was uncertain with the ball at his feet but surprisingly shaky with his gloves as well.
CB: John Stones – N/A – Forced off injured in the first half after a bright and bubbly 37 minutes.
CB: Eric Dier – 6/10 – Got his significant frame in the way when necessary but was aided by the flood of red shirts England stuffed their box with when defending deep.
CB: Harry Maguire – 3/10 – Produced a double-edged blunder that will only stoke the raging fire his inclusion in the squad sparked.
RWB: Reece James – 5/10 – Skirted around the fringes of the contest as England leaned towards their left going forward.
CM: Jude Bellingham – 7/10 – Grew into the game with his energy and urgency infectious.
CM: Declan Rice – 6/10 – Stormed into tackles with enthusiasm and exuberance if not efficiency.
LWB: Luke Shaw – 7/10 – Denied a devilish assist in the first half as he offered England’s greatest penetrative passing threat before getting the goal that kickstarted the comeback.
RW: Phil Foden – 5/10 – Failed to pick the correct option too often at the crucial moment.
ST: Harry Kane – 7/10 – Flashed an audacious attempted volley a whisker past the post before converting a more orthodox opening from 12 yards.
LW: Raheem Sterling – 6/10 – Exploited his quick feet and mind to sprint into the right space on the break but failed to match his run with a finish.
SUB: Kyle Walker (37′ for Stones) – 6/10 – Bailed out his old Tottenham teammate after Dier slipped in the box.
SUB: Bukayo Saka (66′ for Foden) – 7/10 – Transformative off the bench, injecting a verve to England’s attack with an unashamed directness.
SUB: Mason Mount (66′ for Sterling) – 7/10 – Curled in brilliantly and added a zip to England’s play in the final third.
SUB: Jordan Henderson (90+1′ for Bellingham) – N/A
Manager: Gareth Southgate – 7/10 – Unquestionably inspired an improved performance, ensuring England’s two-man midfield wasn’t quite as overrun as it often is and actively impacting the match with his substitutions – for once.
GK: Marc-Andre ter Stegen – 6/10 – Kept the game goalless as he anticipated Sterling’s first-half effort superbly, unlucky to see Shaw’s attempt squirm over the line.
RB: Thilo Kehrer – 5/10 – The West Ham defender was tasked with a flexible role, pushing forward into England’s box one minute while tucking alongside Sule the next.
CB: Niklas Sule – 6/10 – With a swiftness that belied his lumbering frame, Sule was adept at striding forward with the ball on the end of his toe.
CB: Nico Schlotterbeck – 4/10 – Adopted a proactive approach from the first whistle which cost him in the second half.
LB: David Raum – 5/10 – Provided the width down Germany’s left as both fullbacks were given the freedom to push high up the pitch.
CM: Joshua Kimmich – 6/10 – Dropping between the centre-backs to collect the ball, Kimmich was the funnel through which Germany’s play flowed.
CM: Ilkay Gundogan – 6/10 – Just as he did in the 2013 Champions League final on this ground, Gundogan converted his penalty.
AM: Jamal Musiala – 7/10 – Floating with menace in the narrow slither of space England tried to limit between their line of midfield and defence.
RW: Jonas Hofmann – 5/10 – Carried the ball well on the rare occasions he had space to canter into. A little harshly taken off at halftime.
ST: Kai Havertz – 7/10 – Anonymous in the first half but utterly integral from a deeper role after the break.
LW: Leroy Sane – 5/10 – Buzzing in off the left to provide another option in Germany’s crowded middle slice of the pitch.
SUB: Timo Werner (46′ for Hofmann) – 6/10 – Offered a different threat with his jet-heeled pace.
SUB: Serge Gnabry (68′ for Sane) – 5/10
SUB: Robin Gosens (68′ for Raum) – 5/10
SUB: Thomas Muller (79′ for Musiala) – N/A
SUB: Armel Bella-Kotchap (90+1′ for Haverz) – N/A
Manager: Hansi Flick – 6/10 – Just like his opposite number, Flick’s substitutions undoubtedly influenced the contest – though they did have to rely upon unreliably clinical finishing.