Germany and England neutralize each other in the League of Nations, Italy benefits

In the shock of the second day of the League of Nations, Germany, generally dominating, was hooked at the end of the meeting by England, who equalized on a penalty from Harry Kane (88th). The Mannschaft had opened the scoring through Jonas Hofmann who, in the 51st minute, took advantage of the passivity of the Three Lions defense and a very clever pass from Joshua Kimmich to score from the heart of the area.

The Gladbach player’s strong strike crowned a clear domination of Germany, more enterprising and better in place collectively throughout the match. But Hansi Flick’s men ended up giving way under the opposing waves and had to settle for a draw, like Saturday against Italy (1-1). After its surprise defeat in Hungary on Saturday (0-1), the English selection avoided the worst but it still has work to hope to regain its momentum of a year ago, when it reached the final of the Euros and dismissed hands down Germany (2-0) in the round of 16.

Many changes on both sides

In this match where coaches experimented – a four-man defense for Gareth Southgate, seven changes in the starting XI from the game against Italy for Hansi Flick – the first period was rhythmic, intense, open, but rich in individual errors and poor in clear chances. Disturbed by the injury exit of Leeds midfielder Kalvin Phillips in the 15th minute, the English were incisive at times – two strikes from Kane, one on target (7th), the other not (26th) and a good save de Neuer against the stirring Saka (43rd) – but, above all, dominated by draft Germans in attack. Jamal Musiala, the 19-year-old nugget from Bayern, passed through the youth selections in England but great hope of the Mannschaft, twirled, dared, tried but in front, the last German passes too often failed in a vacuum.

Jonas Hofmann goalscorer against England.  (Reuters)

Jonas Hofmann goalscorer against England. (Reuters)

In the second period, Hofmann’s goal finally sealed German domination. And the goal of the K.-O. was not far, by Thomas Müller, first who, alone at the far post, without the firm hand of Pickford, would have scored (69th), then by Kai Havertz, who missed his face-to-face ten minutes later.

Carried by the good entry of Grealish, the English threw all their forces into the battle and had several equalizing balls, in particular by Kane, already, frustrated by the remarkable stop of Neuer (76th). The Tottenham striker scored his 50th national goal ten minutes later (three short of Rooney’s record) which saved the day. Saturday, the Three Lions will receive Italy, with the hope of showing more consistency, while Germany, undefeated for eleven matches (but which remains on three consecutive draws), moves to Hungary.

Italy beat Hungary

For its part, Italy continued its reconstruction operation well by beating Hungary (2-1) and thus taking the lead of the group. Goals from Barella (30th) and Pellegrini (45th) allowed the young Italians to win. After the reduction of the score by an own goal from Mancini (61st), the Nazionale was able to rely on a very good Donnarumma, evening captain, to maintain the advantage in the last half hour.

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