English young guns impress in German stalemate

Updated / Friday, 10 Nov 2017 22:26

Sebastian Rudy and Mats Hummels of Germany battle for possession with Jesse Lingard

England made light of their injury worries as World Cup preparations got off to a promising start, with Gareth Southgate's young side fighting out a spirited goalless draw with Germany.

The first friendly in the build-up to Russia 2018 could have been thrown off kilter by the withdrawal of seven players, yet a youthful Three Lions line-up took their chances to impress against the reigning world champions.

England's inexperienced side produced entertainment that was all too rare during qualification, with Southgate's men showing endeavour, creativity and steel as the friendly against Germany ended 0-0.

Questions over Chelsea midfielder Danny Drinkwater's commitment dominated the build-up to a match that saw two players on loan from the Premier League champions make promising debuts.

Tammy Abraham proved a handful during his first 60 minutes of international football and man of the match Ruben Loftus-Cheek flourished under the Wembley floodlights, as did fellow debutant Jordan Pickford.

The Everton goalkeeper may have only been able to watch on helplessly as Leroy Sane hit the bar, but he proved the scourge of Timo Werner in a first half that saw Phil Jones limp off through injury.

The Manchester United defender could well become the eighth withdrawal from England's initial squad, but the other absentees gave Southgate an encouraging insight into the strength in depth at his disposal.

Joe Gomez and Jack Cork also made their debuts as Eric Dier captained his country for the first time on an experimental evening that sets things up nicely for Brazil's visit on Tuesday.