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Bayern’s Toni runs German show at Wembley

Bayern and the German national team clearly feel comfortable at Wembley: six months after FCB’s Champions League triumph, Germany recorded a prestige 1–0 victory over England at the famous stadium in London on Tuesday night. It was the Germans’ sixth consecutive victory over England, who last beat their continental rivals on home soil 38 years ago.

The 85,934 crowd saw Arsenal centre back Per Mertesacker powerfully head home the 38th-minute winner as Joachim Löw’s team rounded off a highly satisfactory calendar year featuring nine victories, two draws and only one defeat. The assist for the winning goal was provided by man of the match Toni Kroos, a commanding and elegant presence throughout.

Kroos and FCB team-mates Mario Götze and Jérôme Boateng started the game as the only survivors from Germany’s 1-1 draw away to Italy four days ago. Philipp Lahm, Manuel Neuer and Mesut Özil did not even make the trip to London, Sami Khedira succumbed to a serious cruciate injury in Milan, and Thomas Müller spent the 90 minutes on the Wembley bench.

Boateng takes a knock

The eight new faces in Löw’s starting line-up included 33-year-old Roman Weidenfeller, the oldest goalkeeper to make his senior international debut in German FA history. The Dortmund keeper had virtually no chance to make a mark as the home side failed to muster a single shot on target throughout the 90 minutes. Weidenfeller also benefited from one moment of good luck when the lively Andros Townsend’s long-range effort came back off the post after 57 minutes.

Otherwise the visiting defence was solid and composed with an excellent display by Boateng, although the FCB star was substituted at half-time with a calf problem. The home side put in plenty of effort but there was a gulf in class when it came to passing and movement. The main complaint about the visitors’ assured display was a failure to turn their superiority into more goals, with Marco Reus (49) and Götze (64) not making the most of good opportunities.