Arsenal star gets one over on three Manchester United players at once

Per Mertesacker

Per Mertesacker has shown how much he was missed against Manchester United the other week - by beating Chris Smalling, Wayne Rooney and Tom Cleverley to the ball for Germany.

England have done it again, left us all feeling horribly deflated and disjointed - perhaps even scouring our ancestry for a touch of German that may allow us to sing along to the rousing ‘Deutchlandlied’ rather than our dirge version of ‘God Save the Queen’.

The Germans have conquered the English at Wembley once again - and the 12 years ago since we beat them 5-1 have never felt further away.

England actually did not play badly. There was endeavour and some good passing but the fact is we didn’t even test Roman Weidenfeller on his belated international debut.

We were poor aerially at defensive positions - in particular Chris Smalling.

Indeed that is how Germany bagged their goal - as a delightful half volley cross from Toni Kroos found the head of Per Mertesacker, who dutifully guided a lovely header into the far corner.

But did you notice something strange about the goal?

Not only did Mertesacker outleap Smalling, he also rose above Tom Cleverley and the next nearest man to him was Wayne Rooney - who dawdled for too long at the near post.

Mertesacker beat three Manchester United players to score the goal, and conclude what has been a thoroughly disappointing international break for the Three Lions and Roy Hodgson.

Mertesacker missed the game between Arsenal and United before the break after suffering with a virus.

Perhaps he was what was missing?

Here is the goal, for a painful reminder…

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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