Germany boss Joachim Löw: England draw wasn't a classic but players came through real test

Joachim Löw felt an understrength Germany side fared well in a "real test" away at England on Friday night as the two great rivals played an entertaining but goalless draw at Wembley Stadium.

Germany boss Joachim Löw: England draw wasn't a classic but players came through real test
(Picture: Getty Images - Laurence Griffiths)

Joachim Löw felt that Germany endured a "real test" in their goalless draw with England and admitted the clash was more a tight tactical battle than an enthralling clash at Wembley Stadium.

Neither nation lined up at full-strength in their first official warm-up matches for next summer's World Cup in Russia and played out a tight but entertaining contest.

Manchester City's Leroy Sané led the charge for the visitors in the first half, crashing a curling 20-yard effort off the crossbar, while Three Lions debutant Jordan Pickford twice denied Timo Werner.

Jamie Vardy forced a stunning stop from Marc-André ter Stegen early into the second-half while Jesse Lingard spurned a late chance to end Germany's unbeaten run late on, firing over the bar at close range.

And while Löw, Germany boss since 2006, felt that his side might have used possession better in an edgy second half less expansive than the first - he was pleased with the manner of their display.

"Game didn't quite live up to emotional expectation"

The 2014 World Cup-winning boss told journalists in his post-match press conference: "It was a real test. Since 2014, England have improved a lot and they've got a lot of young dynamic players that they have added to their team.

"The first half was very good, we had some very good attacks, I was very happy with that. The second half we could have learned to maybe break a little bit more from midfield and switch play maybe a little bit better.

"Sometimes when you're playing in the qualification you're playing against a team who just have 10 at the back and just park the bus. We've got to learn how to break through from midfield.

"We've got to learn how to work on that and we need to spend time on that. Emotionally this game today didn't quite live up to the great classic games of England against Germany where there have been tight scores and many things have happened.

"It wasn't so emotional but more a controlled game, very good defensive play and everything was very controlled.

"Second half we needed to switch faster. We had possession, but then we held it too long and England pulled in on that side again. There weren't really a lot of chances.

"You also noticed that both managers tried to test their players and bring on a lot of substitutes so that kind of affected the play a little bit."

Germany boss planning changes for France showdown

Löw handed RB Leipzig left-back Marcel Halstenberg his debut from the start as Germany, like England, fielded a makeshift eleven in an attempt to assess their back-up options.

While Gareth Southgate's men host Brazil in another high-profile Wembley clash on Tuesday, Germany travel to face France - the last team that they lost to, 20 matches ago, in the Euro 2016 semi-finals.

The 57-year-old continued: "Marcel played very well. This is his debut in front of nearly 90,000 spectators here at Wembley so that's very good and I'm very satisfied with his debut.

"As for the personnel and the next game coming up, yes there will be some changes. I rested [Toni] Kroos and [Sami] Khedira because these players have had a lot of games and you have to take the weight off their shoulders.

"For the France game I've got to take into consideration they're very fast on the attack and play a lot on the counter-attack so you've got to weigh this all up when you put together your team. Yes, there will be changes.

"I want to test players and I want to see how they actually manage to pit themselves against the best in the world.

"I want to now see what level my players are actually really at. I've got to use this situation now before the end of the year so that I can learn from that and I've got to test them and check them out myself."

Löw admits concern at Germany's growing injury list

Centre-back Jérôme Boateng was one of several key figures, alongside Manuel Neuer and Thomas Müller, to miss out for Die Mannschaft and he will not be involved at the Stade de France on Tuesday night.

"I don't think so," Löw revealed when asked whether Boateng could recover from injury to feature. "He's undergoing intensive treatment and I think he's going to be going back to Munich next week.

"It's a muscular situation and I don't want to in any way force anything that's unnecessary at this stage."

And the Germany manager also admitted he intends to continue blooding in new players so that he has an abundance of options ahead for his 23-man World Cup squad next June.

"Well of course, you do worry," Löw said on the state of his squad. "The pressure is always there. Boateng hasn't always been playing for Bayern [Munich], he's been rested a few times.

"Kroos has actually been in bed for two days although he did want to play tonight. You want to have healthy players and players at the top level at the end of the season.

"We've got periods coming up where they have three games a week and we have to compensate for this in friendlies.

"Things aren't always going to go the way you want and before tournaments we have to always make sure that we have alternatives and to bring in some younger players so that if someone is injured in May then you've got an alternative.

"This happened maybe before 2014 with Marco Reus. You have to make sure that you don't put too much pressure on the players and that the clubs don't put too much pressure on the players and that you've got everyone at top level."