- Despite a sell-out crowd at Wembley, England lost to Germany 2-1 on Saturday
- A late Klara Buhl strike handed England their fifth defeat in seven matches
- England’s form since the World Cup is a cause of concern for boss Phil Neville
- REPORT: A late Germany goal seals win against England at sold-out Wembley
Klara Buhl’s low finish in the 90th minute meant Germany beat England at a sold-out Wembley
The England starting XI pose for their pre-match photo – they’ve struggled since the World Cup
Whilst the occasion itself was a step forward, the display of Phil Neville’s side was a step back
Leah Williamson, making her 13th appearance, had a tricky day at the office on Saturday
England skipper Steph Houghton looks dejected as she applauds supporters after the game
England just can’t shrug off that World Cup hangover. Nine of the last 13 goals Phil Neville’s side have conceded have come direct from crosses or corners.
Despite countless reassurances that they’re ‘working on it’, the Lionesses appear to have learnt little defensively since leaving France empty handed in the summer.
England should know better than to allow Kathrin Hendrich time and space to pick out target-woman Alexandra Popp. Germany skipper Popp, arguably one of the games’ best headers of the ball is a player who has spent almost her entire career scoring goals from that position.
It was international goal number 53 for the VfL Wolfsburg striker – and back to the drawing board for Neville.
Germany, who had clearly done their homework, overloaded in the wide areas and England stood and watched.
It was looking all too easy for the visitors – who had won 20 of the previous 25 meetings between these sides before Saturday’s showpiece friendly under the lights at Wembley – and England are still some way from closing the gap on the second best team in the world.
Germany were dictating the tempo in the Lionesses’ den. It wasn’t until Nikita Parris saw her third England penalty saved by SC Freiburg shot stopper Merle Frohms that the Lionesses showed any sort of urgency, though the second half started in much the same fashion as the first, littered with technical errors.
Neville is probably paying the price for switching his back four all too often as part of his questionable rotation policy. Giving the same duo time to establish a centre back partnership will be vital ahead of the home Euros in 2021.
Twenty-two-year-old Arsenal defender Leah Williamson, who earned her 13th senior cap in front of the record 77,768 supporters who had braved the torrential downpours, looked vulnerable from the off against Popp.
Although England’s shape improved, they rarely had Martina Voss-Tecklenburg’s side on the back foot.
Worryingly, despite Neville’s drive to build a faster, fitter and more durable England side and the rigorous testing taking place behind the scenes at St George’s Park, they looked sloppy and fatigued.
After five defeats in seven games, England have lot of questions to answer if they have any hopes of record crowds becoming a regular occurrence.