England’s five greatest moments against Germany

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Ahead of tonight's friendly, we take a look at the Three Lions' finer moments against their great rivals, including Liverpool, Newcastle, and West Ham legends.

5. Alan Shearer’s winner - Euro 2000

England were rubbish at Euro 2000. Kevin Keegan’s side contrived to throw away a 2-0 lead against Portugal in their group opener to lose 3-2, and pulled off a similar trick in their last game, when Phil Neville literally handed Romania a 3-2 win. Sandwiched between those two horror-shows, however, was a delightful win over a delightfully wretched German side. Alan Shearer was the man on target in the second half, stooping to head in David Beckham’s free-kick. England won 1-0 and, briefly, gloriously, anything seemed possible.

4. Emile Heskey makes it 5-1 in Munich

Emile Heskey was still considered a pretty good striker back in September 2001, so much so that he partnered Michael Owen in England’s crucial qualifier in Munich. Carsten Janker gave Germany the lead, but his irritating, finger-wagging celebration merely served to spur England on. Owen equalised, Steven Gerrard walloped in a second, and Owen grabbed two more in the second half to put England in dreamland. Step up big Emile, who loped onto a through-ball from midfield and slotted past Oliver Kahn to put England 5-1 up.

3. Alan Shearer’s header – Euro ‘96

One of the greatest, most nerve-shredding and simultaneously awful nights in the history of the English national side. Terry Venables’ side took on Germany for a place in the final of the European Championship. England won an early corner. Paul Gascoigne took it. Tony Adams flicked it on. Shearer headed it in. Wembley erupted. And then it all went wrong. Stefan Kuntz (you remember the jokes) slotted Germany level. The match went to extra-time. Gazza missed a sitter. Darren Anderton hit the post. And then Gareth Southgate tried to take a penalty and…bugger.

2. Gary Lineker equalises – Italia ‘90

England have never got closer to repeating their World Cup win of 1966 than 24 years later in Italy. After stumbling through the group stage, edging out Belgium and coming from behind to beat Cameroon, Bobby Robson’s side faced West Germany in the semi-final. Andreas Brehme’s bizarre deflected free-kick gave the Germans the lead, but England were made of strong stuff in those days and their moment of glory arrived 10 minutes from the end. Gary Lineker controlled the ball on his thigh, and dispatched a classy shot across Bodo Illgner into the corner. Obviously, we lost on penalties, but just for a while Lineker had England so close to the World Cup final.

1. Geoff Hurst hits the bar and…? – World Cup ‘66

Yes, Geoff Hurst’s fourth goal in extra-time which sealed the World Cup for Alf Ramsey’s team remains the iconic moment of English football, but it was Hurst’s second goal of the game, earlier in the extra-period, which swung the contest in the home side’s balance. You know it wasn’t over the line. We all know. West Germany certainly knew – and, in hindsight, that makes the moment all the sweeter…

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