Germany 1-2 England: The English Triumph Again!

Barney CorkhillSenior Writer INovember 19, 2008

As an Englishman, there are few better feelings than beating Germany. We don't care what we beat them in—football, rugby, cricket, or war—we just love doing it!

And tonight's international "friendly" (and I use that term loosely) was no different as England travelled to the German capital Berlin with a weakened side.

You would be excused for thinking that the match was a foregone conclusion. England, tenth in the FIFA World Rankings, were missing ten players, nine of whom were likely starters, and were playing a German side unbeaten in a year who were second in the FIFA World Rankings.

To top it off, they were playing, as I have already mentioned, in Berlin, where Germany had not lost since 1973, over a decade before the Berlin Wall fell, and in the heyday of players like Gerd Muller and Franz Beckenbauer.

Even then it took a Brazil team containing the likes of Rivelino and Jairzinho, who had just three years previously won the World Cup and would later become known as the greatest side to have ever walked onto a football pitch, to defeat them.

But England produced a wonderful performance to end that 35-year record.

From the start they got at Germany, with a few of the players who perhaps wouldn't usually get a chance making the most of their time in the side. The front four of Stewart Downing, Jermain Defoe, Gabriel Agbonlahor (making his England debut), and Shaun Wright-Phillips may be a far cry from the quality of the Brazil front four from 1970, but they did their jobs well today.

Downing and Wright-Phillips especially had good games, with Downing supplying the assists for both England goals, the first coming from Matthew Upson as he bundled the ball in after a Heurelho Gomes-like error from the German 'keeper, and the second coming as captain John Terry joined his centre-back partner on the score-sheet with a trademark header.

That goal made up from a shocking and uncharacteristic error from Terry that was sandwiched between both of England's goals and allowed Germany back into the game.

With England seemingly in charge, a hopeful ball fell between Terry and Scott Carson. Carson didn't come, Terry didn't clear it, and Patrick Helmes nicked in to level the sides. If in doubt, get it out Terry!

Michael Carrick and Gareth Barry also had dominant games in the centre of midfield, and Glen Johnson did himself no harm with his performance.

Also, on a side note, the "Big Four dominance" theory was set aside today as England started with three Portsmouth players, two Aston Villa players, one West Ham player, a Middlesbrough player, and a Man City player. The only players representing the top four were John Terry, Wayne Bridge, and Michael Carrick.

Certainly, with five wins in a row now for Capello's England, and a defeat of the second best team in the world away, with nine first team players missing, things are looking up for England.

South Africa here we come?