England's World Cup plans went Per-shaped last night as they were beaten by bitter rivals Germany. Also: David Moyes has suffered another injury blow with Phil Jones ruled out for two key games.
England manager Roy Hodgson admitted his side lacked quality last night as they were taught another pre-World Cup lesson by Germany. Also: Kevin Pietersen feared his international career was over in the midst of the text crisis that ripped England apart last year.
Kevin Pietersen insisted yesterday that he has no intention of imminent retirement and sounded ready to eat Australia for breakfast. Also: While Europe came alive last night with Cristiano Ronaldo's heroics in Stockholm and France's great comeback in Paris, so Wembley muttered and grumbled as a familiar plot-line involving England and those obdurate chaps they call Die Nationalmannschaft unfolded.
The scale of the challenge facing England at next summer's World Cup finals was laid bare last night when they were beaten 1-0 by an experimental Germany missing many of their leading players. Also: So there will be no Zlatan Ibrahimovic at the World Cup finals. A crying shame to say the least, but comfort yourself in the knowledge that the remarkable figure of Cristiano Ronaldo will be in Brazil next summer.
Roy Hodgson made history at Wembley last night - but not the sort he will want to be remembered for. Also: Desperate Crystal Palace have re-opened talks with Tony Pulis about their vacant manager's job.
Per Mertesacker condemned England to their first back-to-back defeats at Wembley for 36 years. Also: Cristiano Ronaldo grabbed a sensational hat-trick to book Portugal's spot at the World Cup finals.
Again, England suffered the ignominy of being booed inside their national stadium. They had lost for the second time in five days, the first occasion since 1977 they have been beaten on their own ground in successive matches, and the truth is there was not a great deal to discourage the sense that Roy Hodgson's team are still having trouble shaking off some old failings. Also: If Portugal decide to record a song to accompany their passage to Brazil, maybe they will consider borrowing something from the Millwall pantheon in honour of their captain.
This is the first time that England have lost back-to-back games at Wembley since the Tartan Army were on the pitch and Rod Stewart was at No 1 with 'I Don't Want To Talk About It', which reflected the reaction to England's defending last night. Also: BT is flirting with the idea of bidding for the rights to the World Cup after the head of its broadcast wing said last night that he would "welcome" talks with FIFA on the matter.
Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker's goal saw a second-string Germany side sink England's big guns last night. Also: Alastair Cook has called on his England side to storm the fortress of the Gabba in the first Ashes Test, which starts here today, and inflict a devastating blow on Australian confidence.