The replay of the final of the last Euro ended with a tasteless division of points in the Nations League (0:0). The other “big ones” were also all kept in check.
Almost a year after the traumatic defeat on penalties (1-1, 3-2 after penalties) in the final of the European Championship, England lost on 3 ). Combined with the points shared between Germany and Hungary (1-1) this result leaves Gareth Southgate’s men bottom of Group A3 with 2 points, closely led by their evening guests (5 points). Ironically, this re-run of the final was the first in official UEFA competition for England, who were forced to serve out their penalty behind closed doors following the serious incidents before the game at Wembley. Fans without tickets had prevailed and brawls broke out in the aisles of the stadium.
With only 2,000 youngsters allowed into the stadium accompanied by a parent, the atmosphere was good-natured, but mostly comfortable. Southgate felt his team had probably run out of juice in the 1-0 defeat in Hungary and the 1-1 draw at Extremis in Germany (1-1) and had replaced half of his team. He notably lined up his two “Italians”, AC Milan defender Fikayo Tomori and Roma striker Tammy Abraham, against players they know well, while Harry Kane started on the bench.
Despite the imperative to take the 3 points, England struggled to really move the non-brilliant but disciplined Italian block. The Three Lions nonetheless created two huge chances, Mason Mount touching the crossbar on a clever serve from Raheem Sterling (9′) before the Manchester City player missed a cross just behind him while he was alone at the far post and inside stood six meters (52nd). But the point is ultimately quite logical, as the Squadra Azzura also had some great chances. From the 3rd minute, Davide Frattesi, who appeared in front of Aaron Ramsdale and preferred Jordan Pickford for this match, crossed his shot a little too strongly. The Arsenal goalkeeper then made a fine save just before the break in front of Matteo Pessina (43′) and in the second half correctly assessed a shot by Wilfried Gnonto, who had just come into play, which landed outside his small net (70′).
In the end, the game won’t have learned much that we don’t already know about the two teams that are in the warm-up phase. But welcoming Hungary in 3 days, back in Wolverhampton but this time with a fuller stadium, will be England’s last chance to claim first place in the group sent to the Final Four.
Germany still frustrated by Hungary
Germany conceded their third consecutive draw in Hungary with a 1-1 result in the Nations League without dispelling their chronic attacking weakness against their first opponent.
However, the game started at a hundred mph with two goals in the first ten minutes. Zsolt Nagy burst into the full Puskas Arena with joy and beat Manuel Neuer in the 6th minute. But the euphoria of the 65,000 spectators was short-lived: central defender Niko Schlotterbeck launched wonderfully deep from his own half, and Jonas Hofmann, the attacking midfielder from Mönchengladbach, erased the Hungarian goalkeeper in the middle of the race and equalized (1-1, 9th minute). .).
The game remained balanced but gradually lost momentum. Hansi Flick’s sluggish men have forgotten their basics, this fast switching game that is otherwise their trademark. And it took another phenomenal save from Manuel Neuer at the end of the first period (44′) to prevent the hosts from taking the lead again after a close shot by Attila Fiola.
After the break, the four-time world champion controlled the game but struggled to slow down. And the young strikers Jamal Musiala (Bayern) and Kai Havertz (Chelsea) didn’t show their usual performance either.
Hofmann missed a golden opportunity for a brace when he tried to serve Timo Werner in the penalty area instead of trying his luck and the ball was deflected off a defender for a corner (72′). The Hungarians, for their part, did not take advantage of several mistakes made by the German defense, including a fatal back pass from Parisian Thilo Kehrer (74th).
Team coach Hansi Flick is still undefeated after 12 games on the bench, but Germany isn’t really a bogeyman ahead of the World Cup in Qatar in November/December. He still has to welcome Italy in Mönchengladbach on Tuesday. In the first leg in Bologna, the Germans were surprised by an inexperienced but dynamic side who scored the opening goal before conceding a 1-1 draw.
Wales snatch a point from Belgium
Wales snatched a 1-1 draw with Belgium in Cardiff to earn their first League of Nations point. In front of spectators at the Cardiff City Stadium, the Welsh team, newly qualified for the World Cup in Qatar, thought they had taken the lead in the 5th minute when Ethan Ampadu hit the net from a corner with a left-footed shot, but his goal was saved after VAR intervention canceled by the French referee Benoît Bastien because one of his team-mates was found offside.
The Belgians, who had opted for AC in this competition after losing their opening 4-1 to the Netherlands and then losing 6-1 to Poland, found Youri Tielemans (51′) ahead at the start of the second period, served by Michy Batshuayi .
But Brennan Johnson equalized in the 86th minute. First ruled out for offside by the assistant referee, his equalizer was confirmed when VAR intervened again. One point leaves the Welsh, then beaten 2-1 by the Netherlands in Poland, bottom of Group 4, which is dominated by the Netherlands (7 points) ahead of the Belgians (4 points) and Poland (4 points). .
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