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England coach Gareth Southgate was full of praise for his team after saving a 1-1 draw away to Germany – especially for star striker Harry Kane and the many ways he helps the Three Lions function.
The home side worked hard to get through the middle and as a result, had a good chance of getting one back as Jonas Hoffman tried lifting the ball over keeper Harry Kane.
Despite only 37 percent possession, England produced more shots (15 to 10) and had more expected goals (1.92 to 0.71).
It was Kane’s 50th career goal for England, but Southgate said the real story is how well-rounded he is as a striker, becoming much more than a goal scorer.
“Rightly, the fact that he’s scored 50 goals will be the central part of the story,” he said. “But his all-round play, the way he led the line, the way he competed, the way he pushed from the front for us today was unique.
“I think his quality drops deep – I know people say he drops too deep – but you need a player who can come and connect the game.
“He gives us so many different opportunities and when we had runners past him like Raheem [Sterling] and Bukayo [Saka] and Mason [Mount]then that part of his game comes into its own.
“There are small moments where he comes and takes the ball and relieves the pressure that one almost takes for granted, but they are such an important part of the game in terms of the fighting qualities of going down against an elite nation.”
—England (@England) June 7, 2022
Southgate said he was pleased with his team’s overall performance and highlighted how difficult it is to achieve an away result against one of the world’s best teams.
“First, I was pleased with the level of performance because this type of showdown challenges everything – technically, tactically, physically, psychologically,” he said.
“The players have had to give absolutely everything to get a result of the match.
– I thought we were okay in the first half. We sometimes seemed like we could create problems, but the quality of our passes in different phases of the game was not at the level it was supposed to be.
“The second half we were a little too passive in the period when we closed in, but the response to it was fantastic.
“I think we created quality chances and I think we deserved something from the match in the end.
“It’s a great honor for the players that they have shown that mentality, after going backwards, not giving in and continuing to push until the very end.”
England’s Nations League campaign continues on Saturday at home against Italy.