Soccer classics in the League of Nations
England and Germany were both winless in the first round of the 2022/23 Nations League
The English and Germans were left winless in the first round of the Nations League, although they were considered favourites for matches against Hungary and Italy respectively. Gareth Southgate’s team suffered a sensational defeat in Budapest, where the feisty Hungarians gave the Three Lions the territory and initiative, but created sharper chances on the counterattack. Pickford could have conceded as early as the first half, and there was even a chance to see a Puskász Prize-winning goal at the Ferenc Puskász Stadium if Adam Szalay had shot a little more accurately from the center circle. Hungary scored their goal midway through the second half on a penalty kick, and England could not answer.
The German national team met in Bologna with Italy, which had looked wretched in the Finalissima against the Argentines, but a renewed and rejuvenated squad was more capable. The Germans had the game advantage and controlled the ball twice as well, but Lorenzo Pellegrini was the first to concede, with Josua Kimmich responding a couple of minutes later. As a result, it was a draw. As in Hungary’s game with England, the scoring chances came halfway through the second half. Will we have to wait patiently for goals for over an hour today or will the teams please the audience earlier?
A year ago, England beat Germany in the 1/8 finals of Euro 2020 and ended the era of Löw
On June 29, 2021, the German national team walked off the field defeated for the last time. Even more remarkably, on that day, the Germans played their last match under Joachim Löw, who led the Bundesmanschaft for 15 years, leading Germany to victory at the 2014 World Cup and medals at other major tournaments. In that very match, the Germans lost to England in the 1/8 finals of Euro 2020, the fate of the meeting was decided by the goals of Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane in the end of the game, and Thomas Muller for a long time bitterly remembered his fatal blunder.
Gareth Southgate’s team outplayed Joachim Löw’s team tactically, striking only five times at Manuel Neuer’s goal. Since then, the German national team has undergone a major transformation with the arrival of Hans-Dieter Flick to the coaching helm. Suffice it to say that under the new coach the Germans have not lost so far, with 8 wins and 2 draws in 10 games, and the number of goals scored is impressive – 35. An average of 3.5 goals per game. However, the England team responds symmetrically: Gareth Southgate’s team has the same 35 goals in the last 10 meetings. These teams are worth each other.
Flashback. England beat Germany 5-1 in Munich 21 years ago
When it comes to official matches, England and Germany have been methodically exchanging wins and taking revenge on each other. The English won the final of the home World Cup in 1966, while the Germans knocked out the founding fathers of soccer in the next World Cup. Two disappointing defeats for the Three Lions on penalties at the 1990 World Cup and Euro 1996 found their answer in the form of a minimal victory at Euro 2000, where Germany failed to qualify from the group.
Then, there was an exchange of away wins in qualifying for the 2002 World Cup, and the Germans could avenge their devastating defeat in Munich only nine years later at the 2010 World Cup, where they won 4-1 in the 1/8 final with a phantom goal by Lampard. As of today, the English have the last word thanks to their victory in the Euro 2020 playoffs, but the location of the Nations League match refers us to another Bundesmanschaft debacle. It was on Bavarian soil that the Germans suffered the biggest defeat in history against the English.
Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann’s goal brought the German national team to a narrow victory against England at Wembley in the autumn of 2000. That defeat was painfully received in the home country of soccer, so a year later fans demanded revenge from the Three Lions in an away match. The English got even more than they dreamed. Carsten Janker scored a quick goal, but after that Oliver Kahn took the ball out of the net five times, and Michael Owen scored a hat-trick. The England team won in Munich 5-1.