Phil Neville unable to hide disappointment as Germany grab late winner at Wembley

Saturday 09 Nov 2019
Phil Neville's side attracted a record 77,768 fans to Wembley Stadium

Phil Neville could not hide his disappointment after his England Women’s team were defeated 2-1 by Germany in front of 77,786 fans at Wembley Stadium.

It was a record attendance for the Lionesses but Klara Buhl’s 90th-minute winner put a dampener on the historic occasion.

Neville said: “We wanted to beat the second-best team in the world and that was a real killer blow at the end.

England 1-2 Germany
  • A Women's International
  • Saturday 9 November 2019
  • Wembley Stadium connected by EE
“The first 22 minutes and the last eight minutes have cost us. We weren’t good enough and Germany were better in those periods and that’s why they won the game.

“I thought we competed well. We conceded late because we did not use our experience in game management. The players are devastated as they wanted to get a good result.

“I can’t fault the players’ endeavour, but some mistakes are costing us.”

Germany captain Alexandra Popp headed her side into a deserved ninth-minute lead and Ellen White equalised just before the break.

Ellen White (No18) was the first player to score for the England Women's team at Wembley

Nikita Parris saw her penalty saved by Merle Frohms midway through the first half and Buhl scored late on as Germany made it back-to-back wins over England at Wembley following their 3-0 success in November 2014.

Neville added: “I thought we were lucky to [be only] 1-0 [down]. After 22 minutes we started to play how we wanted to play.

“From 22 minutes to 82 minutes the game went exactly how we thought it would go.

“The emotional control in the first part of the game is something we need to work on, those real critical moments. That is top-class football. You cannot for a split second lose concentration, you cannot for one second switch off.

“It’s that consistency of performance and behaviour that we’re trying to find.”

The defeat means England have won only one game, against Portugal, since reaching the World Cup semi-finals in the summer.

And Neville was in no mood to sugar-coat his side’s results this season.

He said: “There’s no hiding away from it. One win in seven is totally unacceptable. It’s not what I see as success and we need to do something about it very, very quickly.

“We can talk about coming down from the emotional highs of the World Cup but when you get to November that becomes an excuse. We’re not having any excuses.

“It starts with me. I’ve got to take responsibility for those results. I’m the one who picks the team, I’m the one who sets the tactics.

“The team always reflects the manager. At this moment in time the results aren’t good enough which means that I’ve not been good enough.”

England's starting 11

England take on Czech Republic on Tuesday night and Neville wants his players to end the year on a winning note.

He added: “We wanted to win tonight and it’s a massive disappointment.

“But the players have to pick themselves up. That’s what the best players do: they have to go through disappointment and success. It’s a challenge.

“It’s my job to pick the right team to get a result in the Czech Republic. It will be a massive test for us.”

By Glenn Lavery at Wembley Stadium