Inexperienced England hold world champions Germany to draw

Jamie Vardy misses a good chance for England

England are now unbeaten in seven matches at Wembley

Debutants Jordan Pickford and Ruben Loftus-Cheek excelled as England’s most inexperienced side since 1980 played out an entertaining goalless draw with world champions Germany at Wembley.

Everton goalkeeper Pickford, one of three debutants in the starting XI and five overall, kept his side in contention with two vital first-half saves from Timo Werner, while Loftus-Cheek, on loan at Crystal Palace from Chelsea, also impressed.

England struggled to contain Germany in the first half but grew in confidence as the game progressed and it took a fine save from Marc-Andre ter Stegen to keep out Jamie Vardy’s second-half header as Gareth Southgate’s side pressed.

There was disappointment for Manchester United’s Phil Jones, who was an early injury casualty, allowing Liverpool’s Joe Gomez to make his debut. Burnley’s Jack Cork also won his first cap as a late substitute.

Hart under pressure as Pickford shines

Jordan Pickford makes a save from Germany striker Timo Warner<!–

Jordan Pickford joined Everton from Sunderland for £30m in the summer

Southgate raised eyebrows when he announced Joe Hart remained his first-choice goalkeeper despite a poor spell for his country and an exile from Manchester City that has led to loan spells at Torino and now West Ham United.

The 30-year-old has had a tough time with the Hammers this season – and there is now every chance he will face a serious fight to maintain his England status, despite Southgate’s backing.

Southgate had planned to use Stoke’s Jack Butland in these friendlies before a broken finger sidelined him – opening the door for Pickford.

And how the 23-year-old took his chance, producing an outstanding display of such confidence and assuredness that he has now surely given Southgate food for thought.

Pickford was alert from the first minute, reacting quickly to clear a poor back-pass from Harry Maguire, then further distinguished himself with fine saves low to his left and right from Werner.

He commanded his area and also gave England an extra dimension with his superb distribution. It was a very good night for Pickford, who looked right at home on the international stage against the World Cup holders.

Loftus-Cheek stakes his claim

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‘Loftus-Cheek has given Southgate selection dilemma’

England’s central midfield has been open to justifiable accusations of a lack of creativity when Eric Dier, captain against Germany, and Jordan Henderson have been paired together.

So, with Liverpool captain Henderson injured, this was a real opportunity for Loftus-Cheek to make his mark and stake a serious claim for consideration for next summer’s World Cup in Russia.

And the 21-year-old did his chances no harm with a purposeful and powerful display, mixing subtle touches with surging runs from midfield.

This was only a friendly, of course, so will not be a truly accurate measure of Loftus-Cheek’s suitability to play on that elite stage, but the signs were good and Southgate will surely have been impressed.

The midfielder grew in confidence as the game progressed and drew Wembley’s approval on several occasions with his strong running and range of passing.

He, like Pickford, can be very pleased with his night’s work.

Informative night for Southgate – but disappointment for Jones

Phil Jones after being injured against Germany<!–

Phil Jones was the most experienced member of England’s starting XI

The currency of this game may have been devalued by so many England withdrawals and absentees – but there was still plenty for Southgate to draw from the meeting with the world champions.

His experimental side acquitted themselves well, although they were thankful to Pickford and a goal-line clearance from Jones to still be on level terms at the interval.

England’s new boys did not look overawed in the shirt and after the deadly dull conclusion to the successful World Cup qualifying campaign, this was a lively game to keep an excellent Wembley crowd of 81,381 entertained. It was certainly not a wasted exercise.

The only blot on England’s night was the latest injury to luckless Manchester United defender Jones, who picked up a problem early on and was replaced by Liverpool’s Gomez immediately after making a crucial block on the line from Leroy Sane.

Jones had played himself back into England contention after a spell off the scene and Southgate was keen to look at him in the three-man central defensive system he has started to employ.

This is another setback for the 25-year-old – now he and Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho will hope it is not a serious one.

Man of the match – Ruben Loftus-Cheek (England)

Ruben Loftus-Cheek<!–

Loftus-Cheek was at the heart of several of England’s best attacking moments, including sending Jamie Vardy clean through during the first half

What they said

England manager Gareth Southgate told ITV: “In the first half we needed a couple of really goods saves from Jordan Pickford – we caused our own problems with a couple of those. But we posed our own questions and I thought we used the ball well.

“Ruben Loftus-Cheek did everything I know he can do. It took him 10 minutes to realise he is OK at this level. He is capable of anything. He has the physical attributes and can handle the ball. He will gain huge confidence from it. There will be harder tests as the likes of Germany will have another gear to go to.”

England captain Eric Dier: “We did well. Against a well-oiled machine they will have periods in the game where they control possession but I didn’t think they hurt us. And we had our periods, broke well at times and are actually disappointed we didn’t score.”

Debutant Ruben Loftus-Cheek: “If we won it would have been better but I’m really happy. It was a really tactical game. It was good for us young players and I certainly learned a lot.

“The manager has said ‘do your best’. I had Gareth in charge for nearly three years at the Under-21s and the boys have been great. I’ve settled in really well and they gave me a platform to go out and play.

“To go to the World Cup? It’s a long season and I still have to improve. I have to keep learning and getting better and hopefully there’s a chance to get on the plane.”

The stats you need to know

  • England and Germany remain on 13 wins against each other in international competition, with the other six games ending in draws.
  • This was the first goalless draw England have played out at Wembley since October 2010, when they drew 0-0 with Montenegro under Fabio Capello.
  • It was also the first 0-0 between England and Germany since June 1982, when Ron Greenwood’s side drew against West Germany at the World Cup in Spain.
  • The Three Lions remain unbeaten at Wembley under Gareth Southgate (W5 D2), keeping five clean sheets in seven games.
  • England handed starts to debutants Pickford, Loftus-Cheek and Abraham against Germany. The last time three England debutants started in the same game was against Chile in November 2013 (Fraser Forster, Adam Lallana and Jay Rodriguez).
  • Five England players made their debut in this game (also Gomez and Cork) – their most in a single international fixture since November 2012 (six v Sweden – Osman, Caulker, Shawcross, Jenkinson, Sterling and Zaha).

What’s next?

England host Brazil at Wembley on Tuesday, while Germany continue preparations for the defence of the World Cup they won in 2014 when they entertain France the same night.

Live Text

Match ends, England 0, Germany 0.

Second Half ends, England 0, Germany 0.

Attempt missed. Jesse Lingard (England) right footed shot from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Harry Maguire with a headed pass following a set piece situation.

Foul by Mats Hummels (Germany).

Jesse Lingard (England) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt blocked. Marcus Rashford (England) right footed shot from long range on the left is blocked. Assisted by Ryan Bertrand.

Substitution, Germany. Julian Brandt replaces Leroy Sané.

Substitution, Germany. Sebastian Rudy replaces Ilkay Gündogan.

Substitution, England. Jesse Lingard replaces Jamie Vardy.

Substitution, England. Jack Cork replaces Jake Livermore.

Corner, England. Conceded by Antonio Rüdiger.

Offside, England. Ryan Bertrand tries a through ball, but Jamie Vardy is caught offside.

Foul by Mesut Özil (Germany).

Ruben Loftus-Cheek (England) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt missed. Emre Can (Germany) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Ilkay Gündogan following a corner.

Corner, Germany. Conceded by John Stones.

Substitution, Germany. Sandro Wagner replaces Timo Werner.

Substitution, England. Kyle Walker replaces Kieran Trippier.

Substitution, England. Ryan Bertrand replaces Danny Rose.

Foul by Leroy Sané (Germany).

Danny Rose (England) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Germany. Conceded by Harry Maguire.

Joshua Kimmich (Germany) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Danny Rose (England).

Substitution, Germany. Emre Can replaces Julian Draxler.

Foul by Joshua Kimmich (Germany).

Danny Rose (England) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Substitution, England. Marcus Rashford replaces Tammy Abraham.

Jake Livermore (England) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Leroy Sané (Germany) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jake Livermore (England).

Corner, England. Conceded by Mats Hummels.

Corner, Germany. Conceded by Danny Rose.

Hand ball by Danny Rose (England).

Offside, England. Harry Maguire tries a through ball, but Jamie Vardy is caught offside.

Offside, England. Jake Livermore tries a through ball, but Danny Rose is caught offside.

Attempt saved. Jamie Vardy (England) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Kieran Trippier with a cross.

Foul by Julian Draxler (Germany).

Danny Rose (England) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Second Half begins England 0, Germany 0.

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