36 mins: White does well to slip the ball through for Mead, who just beats the goalkeeper to the ball and is brought down by Frohms. Parris steps up, whacks it straight down and it is saved by Frohms’ feet. That is three she’s missed on the trot.
35 mins: Germany’s goalkeeper and two centre-backs pass the ball in a triangle for a while until England decide to put any pressure on. PENALTY TO ENGLAND!
33 mins: England are matching Germany finally and look dangerous going forward, something they could not claim in the opening 20 minutes.
31 mins: Mead is completely and utterly cleaned out near the halfway by a dreadful challenge from Doorsoun. The Germany defender catches Mead around knee high with the studs. Doorsoun is booked but it really should be a red card. I know it’s a friendly but the referee has got that wrong. On the upside, Mead is up and about.
29 mins: Walsh plays a lovely pass out to Mead on the left wing, allowing the Arsenal player to attack the full-back and lift in a cross, which is turned behind by defender. England are trying to be smart with their corners – this one is played shot and back to Mead who whacks it straight out for a goal kick.
27 mins: The crowd get very excited very time England instigate an attack but also seem deeply worried whenever they have to defend.
Here is Germany’s opener …
25 mins: Germany break on England from a corner, ending with Buhl cutting into the area and hitting a low shot at goal but Earps gets down well and holds on.
C Noyes has been on again: “Possibly a good time to mention that the USA’s second goal in the WC semifinal came from several failed attempts to play out of the back. Lionesses lost possession and did not recover it until Telford stooped down to pick the ball our of her own net. Not sure what Phil’s playing at.”
23 mins: Houghton takes matters into her own hands and whacks a long ball for White to compete for. England then win the second ball but White is tackled, it might have been a foul, and the ball is turned over. Then Parris gets round the back of the defence and pulls a cross back from the byline but it’s turned behind. This is the first bit of intent England and shown and they need to keep it up.
21 mins: Phil Neville is shouting a lot on the touchline. More terrible defending from England, allows Buhl to collect the ball in space 20 yards from goal, turn and fire a shot off which flies well wide.
19 mins: Williamson plays a 30-yard pass across the box to Houghton which she just about gets to first but is then dispossessed on the edge of the box, needlessly putting pressure onto the defence. Some of England’s thinking at the back defies logic.
Germany get a corner which results in some pinball inside the box but England just about manage to get it clear after a few shots at goal.
17 mins: It is far too easy for Germany on the flanks, aided by the fact England’s full-backs are playing ridiculously narrow when defending. Greenwood was inside the box when Hendrich had the ball on the touchline. A cross is chipped into the box for Oberdorf to flick towards goal but Earps is equal to it.
15 mins: England’s passing has been very sloppy. First Houghton and then Walsh misplace simple passes. They really need to start focusing on the task in hand her otherwise it could be a long evening in the rain.
13 mins: Heindrich is once again allowed space to whip in a cross but on this occasion Starke gets underneath the ball and heads it high and wide.
11 mins: Can England recover from that? They have been second to almost everything in the opening 11 minutes or so. Bronze tries to bring some impetus to the game, but overruns the ball and smashes into Kleinherne
GOAL! England 0-1 Germany (Popp, 9)
Poor defending from England allows Hendrich to lift an early cross into the box to Popp, who directs the ball into the corner from eight yards and through Earps’ hands. The goalkeeper really should keep that out – it’s another bad mistake from Earps in an international.
8 mins: Mead tries to send a through ball for White to latch onto but Doursoon reads it and slides in to intercept before the striker can get to the ball.
6 mins: England are passing it around the back as they look to settle into the game. Sadly, the first pass to go forward is intercepted. It’s a nice theory to pass the ball around defence but there needs to be something better at the end of it.
4 mins: Off the bar! Germany run at the England defence, before the ball is played through to Popp in space, who whacks a shot from inside the box only to see Earps tip it onto the bar and over. Germany look the more confident in the early stages.
2 mins: A couple of early offsides in the opening stages, hopefully the game gets a bit of a more fluid flow to it.
There is a pre-match moment of Remembrance, attended by numerous British military personnel, which will include a minute’s silence.
C Noyes has been in touch: “Have a hunch Germany are going to give England a beating and the termination of the Reign of Phil will be discussed in earnest. They look like a team that has decided it wants a new manager.”
I suspect the FA will only take action if things get bad in competitive games. He is trying different things, admittedly they’re not working, but there is still time.
The officials seem genuinely excited to be at Wembley in front of a huge crowd. They might not be so pleased after they give a controversial decision.
The ground does not look 100 per cent full right now but the extra space is being taken up by waving flags.
Speaking on BBC, Neville points out the team are yet to reach the heights expected of them since the World Cup but says he has full faith in this team.
The pundits have got massive umbrellas as it is bucketing it down at Wembley. I hope Gabby Logan has laminated her notes.
Some good news for Phil …
It is very wet in London, once again. Let’s hope it’s not put anyone off attending.
Phil Neville thinks England have plenty more to give in the future. Let’s see if he gets any of that today.
They are getting up to the levels we have talked about in terms of professionalism that I want. Back in the first six months it was ‘I say, you do, I say, you do,’ in terms of driving the culture. Now I’ve got the players and captains in particular that are driving the culture from within.
I have taken a step back in terms of being that person that always drives things because ultimately from a learning point of view, it is better peer to peer telling each other what to do in terms of standards than me always driving that.
From a playing point of view I still think we have got another 10 to 15 per cent to go from what I see as really perfect football and that is what we are working on and that is what I want to see.”
Additionally, let’s see how Phil Neville can sort out this England team …
A lovely story of being a committed fan of the England women’s team …
I played 11-a-side earlier and with the scores at 2-1, I took control of the ball of the left flank, beat two players down the wing, got to the byline and sent an a cross with the outside of my right foot, which was headed home. I am expecting a statue of me to be built on Blackheath in the next week.
Walsh is at the base of the midfield. Her importance to Manchester City was proven when she missed their defeat to Arsenal due to suspension, as City could not control the tempo which she helps to do thanks to her passing capabilities.
It’s certainly a big day at Wembley …
Earps gets the nod in net. She had a poor game against Brazil at the Riverside but has been a standout performer in the WSL, so deserves another chance to prove herself to be an England No 1.
Speaking of Demi Stokes …
My far more esteemed colleague Suzanne Wrack says this is the best team. I think this XI is the most balanced available and it’s great to see White back to lead the line following injury. I personally think it’s a bit of a toss up between Greenwood and Stokes at left-back, so the latter will feel aggrieved to miss out.
Lucy Bronze remembers having to pay for her own kit …
England: Earps, Bronze, Houghton, Williamson, Greenwood, Scott, Nobbs, Walsh, Mead, White, Parris
Germany: Frohms, Kleinherne, Hendrich, Oberdorf, Starke, Marozsan, Popp, Dabritz, Buhl, Magull, Doorsoun
A lot has rightly been made of the record crowd expected at Wembley today but there is plenty of intrigue on the pitch. England have struggled in recent times, winning just once in six matches, including a lot of mediocre performances as Phil Neville looks to find the right formula going forward but his chemistry so far has not found the solution. In a recent friendly against Brazil, England were pretty woeful for large parts, meaning improvement is certainly required on the big stage.
England do not have best record against Germany, having won just once in 25 fixtures, losing 20 of them, so the game will be a barometer of where this current crop of players are at.
In terms of the crowd, it will be a fine sight to see a packed Wembley for such a fixture and hopefully everyone involved will thrive on the extra support. These are the kind of occasions the women’s game need to continue the upward curve they have enjoyed in recent years.
Let’s just hope it’s a cracking spectacle.