Germany V England: A game through the ages

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On Saturday 26th March, in the Olympiastadion Berlin, Germany and England will meet in an international friendly which will act as an important run out for two teams who are shaping their squads for the upcoming European Championships to be held in France this summer. Germany, of course, enter the game as the reigning world champions, having claimed the prize with victory in Brazil in emphatic fashion in 2014, whilst England were the leading side in Euro qualifying, having won all of their 10 matches, conceding only three goals in the process. Saturday’s game may be billed as a friendly, and coaches Joachim Löw and Roy Hodgson will treat it as such with an opportunity to test out different players in a variety of positions, but between supporters of the two national teams, with a rich history being shared in the sport down the years, the affair is always symbolic, invoking memories of glorious games and players from the past.

 Head to head

Official Meetings – 29

Germany wins – 12

England wins – 12

Draws – 5

Historical Meetings

England 4 – 2 West Germany (aet)

World Cup Final, Wembley, England, 1966

In English minds at least, this remains the most iconic fixture between the two sides, with a hat-trick from Geoff Hurst securing England’s sole World Cup triumph, on home soil no less in front of the watching Queen. England required extra time and a controversial third goal to take them to victory, but this remains the English national team’s finest footballing hour – one they continue to strive to repeat.

West Germany 3 – 2 England

World Cup Quarter Final, Leon, Mexico, 1970

Reigning world champions England were strong favourites when the two countries met again at the World Cup, this time at the Quarter-final stage of the 1970 tournament in Mexico. England were cruising at 2-0, but an injury to inspirational stopper Gordon Banks inspired a German fightback which was completed in extra time with another Gerd Muller goal. The Germans were defeated in the semi-finals by Italy, who were themselves outclassed by Pele’s Brazil in the final.

West Germany 1 – 1 England (Germany won 4-3 on penalties)

World Cup Semi-Final, Turin, Italy, 1990

Paul Gascoigne’s tears and England penalty misses will forever be remembered in an emotional night in Turin which saw Germany proceed to the final, where they overcame Argentina to secure their third World title, under the guidance of the legendary Franz Beckenbauer. This game was only to be the start of English woes from penalty kicks.

Germany 1 – 1 England (Germany won 6-5 on penalties)

European Championships Quarter Final, Wembley, England, 1996

English hearts were broken once again by German proficiency from the penalty spot as Gareth Southgate’s miss ensured Germany proceeded to another final at the expense of the English. Yet this time the game was being played at Wembley, the scene of the home nation’s sole World Cup triumph, and the pain was felt acutely around the country. Germany went on to claim the title with a 2-1 extra-time victory over the Czech Republic in the final.

England 1 – 0 Germany

European Championship Group stage game, Charleroi, Belgium, 2000

At first this result may seem like sweet revenge for past defeats, but Alan Shearer’s goal was not meaningful in the greater context as both sides were eliminated in the group stage, a performance which inspired the German’s into a review of their men’s game, of which the success is still being reaped today. For the English, however, this was to be the start of a period of failure for a perceived ‘golden generation,’ including the likes of David Beckham, Paul Scholes and Steven Gerrard.

England 0 – 1 Germany

World Cup 2002 Qualifying, Wembley, England, 2000

Perhaps not the most important game between the two nations in the grander scheme of things, but this game marked the last at the original, iconic Wembley stadium, under the gaze of the legendary twin towers. Dietmar Hamann’s goal and the game itself were hardly memorable for any other reason, but this defeat was yet another painful loss for the English at the hands of their old rivals in what should have been a glorious farewell to a monument to the English game.

Germany 1 – 5 England

World Cup 2002 Qualifying, Munich, Germany, 2001

Revenge was served up swiftly and ruthlessly for the previously mentioned defeat as an inspired England ran rout in Munich, putting in one of their most accomplished performances in recent memory in securing their biggest ever win over their great rivals. Germany took the lead early on, but a hat-trick from Michael Owen inspired England to a famous victory which, if truth be told, has been the exception rather than the rule since 1966.

Germany 4 – 1 England

World Cup Round of 16, Bloemfontein, South Africa, 2010

If England’s victory in Munich is 2001 had been emphatic, then Germany’s win at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa was equally as ruthless, even if England fans could point to Frank Lampard’s ‘ghost’ goal as mitigation. In truth, Germany were dominant that day and showed the signs of the young side that were to emerge triumphant in Brazil four years later.

Match odds

Germany 1.61, Draw 3.80, England 6.00

Odds courtesy of Bet365 and correct as of 15.00 GMT on Thursday 24/03/16


By: Steve Paget