In Focus: Five key talking points from England 3-3 Germany
England’s winless streak was extended to six consecutive games after a whirlwind 3-3 draw with Germany at Wembley.
Ilkay Gundogan broke the deadlock from the spot early in the second half, stroking his penalty into the bottom corner after Harry Maguire had felled Jamal Musiala in the box.
Kai Havertz then made it 2-0 to the visitors with a rocket from the edge of the box in the 67th minute to leave England with a mountain to climb.
However, the Three Lions roared back and Luke Shaw halved the deficit just five minutes later before Mason Mount netted the leveller after good work from fellow substitute Bukayo Saka.
England finally got themselves in front with seven minutes left after earning a penalty of their own — which Harry Kane powered home — but Havertz pegged them back with his second of the night just four minutes later as Nick Pope spilled a Serge Gnabry strike.
We take a look at five key talking points from the six-goal thriller in London.
England boss Gareth Southgate made the controversial decision to axe four players from his matchday squad ahead of the clash with Germany.
Trent Alexander-Arnold, Fikayo Tomori, Jarrod Bowen and James Ward-Prowse were sent back to their clubs having not played a minute of football for their country.
Bowen has been in poor form this season and Ward-Prowse was unlikely to start but Tomori and Alexander-Arnold’s exclusions sent a particularly strong message.
Southgate remained loyal to his tried and trusted selections such as Maguire, though the Manchester United defender did not reward his manager’s faith and endured a difficult evening.
Pope was once again selected from the start by Southgate ahead of Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsdale and Nottingham Forest’s Dean Henderson.
The Newcastle shot-stopper did not strengthen his case to oust regular No1 Jordan Pickford — absent from this squad due to injury — though.
He took some heavy touches and did not look comfortable building from the back — something Ramsdale is asked to do more often at club level.
The goalkeeper also should have done better with Gnabry’s late effort but allowed it to slip out of his grasp, gifting Havertz his second of the night.
Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden began the game either side of Kane in attack and, while the former got into some dangerous positions, England failed to score in their time on the pitch.
Saka and Mount were introduced shortly after the hour mark and their introduction turned the tide in the hosts’ favour.
The Arsenal winger in particular was very bright and had some involvement in all three of England’s goals — directly assisting Mount for the second — and was only denied a goal of his own by a fine stop from Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
The 21-year-old is staking his claim as an undroppable member of this England side.
However, the forward who decided the game was not Saka or Kane but Germany’s Havertz.
The Chelsea attacker has struggled for form this term, scoring just once for the Blues in all competitions so far.
He came to life at Wembley, though, doubling Germany’s lead with a stunning strike from the edge of the area and pouncing on Pope’s mistake to ensure his country did not leave London empty-handed.
Perhaps the 23-year-old can use this performance as a springboard for the rest of his season.
"We know we have to improve"
England captain Kane admitted that the Three Lions have to improve after failing to win six consecutive games and finishing bottom of their Nations League group, suffering relegation.
He said: "We're going to have to be ready come the start of the tournament. Major football tournaments are different to any other football you play for England.
"The pressure is high and the concentration has to be high and I feel like we respond well to that.
"We've upped our game as we've gone along in the last two major tournaments.
"We dust ourselves down, we know we have to improve but there isn't that much time now with England before that first game but we'll go away with our clubs and hopefully everyone goes away fit, strong and is ready to come back in November."