England’s rousing comeback highlights Germany’s vulnerability | Jonathan Liew

England’s rousing comeback highlights Germany’s vulnerability | Jonathan Liew

26-Sep-2022 22:43:18 | The Guardian

Hansi Flick has a long list of issues to solve if the four-time World Cup winners are to challenge for more success in Qatar

Serge Gnabry was on the pitch. They thought it was all over. With Germany 2-0 up at a sullen Wembley, Hansi Flick decided to kick back and roll out his substitutions. On came Gnabry, trying to play himself back into form after an indifferent start to the season with Bayern Munich. On came Robin Gosens, spying a chance to reclaim the left-back berth. But with 20 minutes to play, the prevailing sense was of a winding down, a gear shift, an opportunity to knock the ball around as the stands slowly emptied around them.

On this front, it’s fair to say things didn’t quite go to plan. Indeed, perhaps the clearest indication of the suffering Germany endured during those final 20 minutes came at full time. As the whistle blew, centre-backs Nico Schlotterbeck and Niklas Süle bent double, the weariest men on the pitch, having borne the brunt of a chastening late England assault. Kai Havertz’s equalising goal had salvaged a little solace from the jaws of catastrophe. But Germany’s body language told its own story: the basic dislocation of a team coming to the collective realisation that it does not know itself quite as well as it thought.

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