Germany ended their run of UEFA Nations League matches with a 3-3 draw to England in front of a sold out Wembley stadium just a few days after losing 1-0 to Hungary in Leipzig. After a scoreless draw first half, goals from Manchester City’s İlkay Gündoğan (penalty) and Chelsea FC’s Kai Havertz put Germany 2-0 up, but England responded with a pair of unanswered goals from Manchester United’s Luke Shaw and Chelsea’s Mason Mount before. Havertz’s 87th minute tap in from close range canceled out what Harry Kane and England probably felt was the match winner having converted his penalty in the 83rd minute.
Former Bayern Munich coach Hansi Flick’s Germany side finished Nations League A Group 3 in third place behind Italy and Hungary, while England finish in the fourth spot and have been relegated to League B. The group standings panned out quite opposite of how people felt they would’ve from the offset with both Italy and Hungary failing to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar, but from the German perspective, there’s a lot Flick has to ponder before he makes his final roster in just a few weeks’ time.
After the match, Gündoğan stressed that fact that Die Mannschaft need to work on being far more consistent if they want to have a chance of going far in Qatar, where it really matters — the Nations League matches really don’t bear too much significance to be quite honest. For what it's worth, this last set of international matches, even though they came in the form of Nations League matches and not “friendlies,” was really the last opportunity Flick had to look at some different players and different tactical options, but can’t be to blame for Germany’s lack of consistency from both matches.
“We certainly didn’t perform as we had imagined — especially against Hungary. For 20 minutes today we showed that we can play at the highest level. At a World Cup you don’t have room for mistakes. We have to be consistent over 90 minutes,” Gündoğan stressed after the final whistle (@iMiaSanMia).
It’s a level of consistency that Gündoğan is quite certainly used to at Manchester City playing for Pep Guardiola, and while it’s a different set of players at the German national team, the quality is there to be performing consistently strong and it will be up to Flick to get the decisions right in Qatar against Japan, Spain, Costa Rica, and whoever we might face if we advance to the knockout stages.
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