Welcome to the World of Beckham blog, we aim to keep you up to date with developments in the career of David Beckham a footballer from the UK who has played for some of the top teams in the world.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Germany 1 England 2

This game was always going to show a different side of England with all the absentees through injury. No Rooney, Lampard, Cole (either Joe or Ashley), Ferdinand, Brown, Owen or Gerard, and no Beckham because he is not playing regular first team football. Often these injury-strewn teams allow some new talent to show and the front pairing of Agbonlahor and Defoe promised to be interesting. To be fair Germany also had their fair share of walking wounded.
It was a night for newcomers to make their mark and it was Matthew Upson that scored the first goal after 23 minutes from Downing's corner. Downing himself almost added another right at the end of the first half with a rasping left foot shot which Adler, the German keeper threw himself at, Wright-Phillips missed the rebound.
The first half was reasonably even-handed with England displaying some of the dominance in possession that they displayed in some of the qualifying games, but not to a very great extent. Germany had their moments and looked dangerous from set-pieces missing a couple of headers which could easily have evened up the score.

Both teams changed 'keepers for the second half, David James giving way to West Brom's Scott Carson, who will be keen to forget his part in the England team's failure to qualify for Euro 2008.
Darren Bent replaces Defoe up front and Germany change three of their outfield players. Germany came out strong for the second half and it wasn't until about 15 minutes into the half that England got a golden chance as Bent took the ball around the keeper, but lost his footing and didn't connect with the shot properly. Germany immediately punished England when a mix-up between Terry and Carson saw the ball trickle through Carson's legs and a German striker had the ball goal side of keeper and defender and only had to slide it into an open net. This sparked some fire back into the game with was otherwise becoming fairly dull. Marin had a good effort parried away by Carson on the 75th minute amending a little for the earlier error, which to be fair was as much Terry's error unless Carson called for the ball. Shortly after that Ashley Young came on for Agbonlahor who, like the England team as a whole, had not been as busy in the second half. A nice move through the middle on 78 minutes saw Wright-Phillips stinging the post as the German keeper got finger-tips to his shot.
It was John Terry who rescued England on 85 mins, making up for his part in the earlier defensive error. He was fed from a Downing free kick, rising above a close-marking defender to head across goal, the ball nestling in the far corner whilst the keeper helplessly gesticulated his complaints..
On 90 minutes Peter Crouch replaced Shaun Wright-Phillips as the game fizzled out without Crouch touching the ball - five wins on the trot for Capello's England.
Overall it was not the sublimely dominant performance we have almost come to expect recently, but then it never was going to be against Germany with so many key players missing. It is always pleasing to beat Germany and to grind out a result anywhere shows great character. Ground out and laboured it was though, not a pretty game - not one to watch again...

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