I’m pretty sure every British football fan knows of this fixture, its one that will forever stay in our hearts as one of the greatest football triumphs for England as an international team apart from winning the world cup.
Before the 1st September 2001, Germany had only every lost 1 world cup qualifier at home in their whole history as a national team. Early on in that year they had beaten England in the last every game at Wembley earlier on in the campaign to make it to Japan 2002 bringing the end to Kevin Keegan’s reign as manager of England. Coming into this match in Munich, the most optimistic England fans were hoping for at most a draw, I’m pretty sure most were expecting us to lose to a high calibre German side especially seen as we were playing at their home of Munich. I think it’s pretty fair to say that no one, not even England manager Sven Goran Ericksson expected up to win and win as big as we did. Certainly by the end of this match its fair to say that us England fans were in dream land.
Jancker (6′) | Owen (12′, 48′, 66′), Gerrard (45+3), Heskey (74′)
Any optimism England fans had coming into the game of picking up a result against this strong Germany side was killed very early on as Germany went 1-0 inside 6 minutes. This came from a lofted pass towards the England penalty area which was then headed down by Oliver Neuville into the path of Bayern Munich Striker Carsten Jancker who then tapped the ball past England goalkeeper David Seaman. A disaster start for England and the travelling away fans…
A glimmer of hope was soon shone for the England fans… 6 minutes later Liverpool and England striker Michael Owen was fouled outside the box in the 12th minute giving England a free kick. This was taken by dead ball specialist David Beckham, however nothing came of it and the ball came high out of the box. Gary Neville managed to get his head to the ball and headed it high in the area towards the centre of the box. Midfield Nick Barmby then rose to meet the ball with a header before a rushing out goal keeper Oliver Khan who was left in no mans land. The headed ball came down to star striker Michael Owen who was left with an open goal on front of him to volley into putting England back on level terms again.
The goal line then stayed the same for the majority of that first half despite both England and Germany both creating goal scoring chances for themselves. However this deadlock was soon broken by England in first half stoppage time. England were awarded a free kick in a crossing position on the right hand side of the penalty area. This was taken by David Beckham, however nothing came of it and the ball came back to him in the same area he then sent the ball to the edge of the penalty area with his left. This cross came to the head of Rio Ferdinand who rose to meet the ball which was directed outside of the penalty area into the path of Steven Gerrard who then chested the ball down and hit straight into the bottom left corner of the net past German goalkeeper to give England a lead which most thought as impossible.
England’s next goal of the match came 3 minutes after having come back out again from half time. It started off with England talisman David Beckham picking up the ball down the right wing of the pitch and send the ball towards the penalty area with his left foot. The ball then came into the path of tall midfielder Emile Heskey who then headed the ball down towards striker Michael Owen who then powered the ball past German goalkeeper Oliver Khan despite him getting a hand to it. 3-1 England.
Michael Owen picked up his hat trick of the game 18 minutes later to make the score 4-1 England. This goal started with Steven Gerrard winning possession for England and then sending a defence cutting through ball for Michael Owen who then charged down on the right hand side of goal into the penalty area. He then hit the ball across goal into the top left corner of the net past Oliver Khan to give England a 4-1 lead and Michael Owen his hat trick. This made Michael Owen the first player since Geoff Hurst in 1966 to score a hat trick against Germany.
England then sealed the game 8 minutes later to ensure no chance of Germany coming back. This came from a wonderful bit of counter attacking football for England starting off with Rio Ferdinand winning the ball for England in defence and the distributing the ball to midfield maestro Paul Scholes. Scholes then charged up the pitch playing a one two with captain David Beckham before passing the ball to striker Emile Heskey. Heskey once picking up the ball ran past Marko Rehmer before slotting the ball low past Oliver Khan to give England a 5-1 lead, something England fans thought that they could only dream about.
Its fair to say that this match is one of the most memorable England performances that there will ever be.