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Mertesacker optimistic about World Cup

Per Mertesacker thinks Germany are shaping up well ahead of the World Cup following their latest win over England.

Mertesacker's first-half header gave Germany their fourth straight victory over England on Tuesday night.

We had a different squad for these two games and we showed overall that we have maybe 30 players who can be selected for the World Cup and that is a good sign.

We are confident as a team. We were very stable in the 1-1 draw against Italy in defence. This is very positive.

We have excellent team spirit as well as the large selection of good players.

That's why I look optimistically to Brazil. Those things can make the difference in the summer.

– Arsenal and Germany defender Per Mertesacker.


Joe Hart individual highlights against Germany

The spotlight was on Man City goalkeeper Joe Hart at Wembley tonight, dropped by his club manager Manuel Pellegrini and restored to first team action by Roy Hodgson against stellar opposition.

After England's narrow defeat, Steven Gerrard told Gabriel Clarke he felt Joe Hart was England's best player.

Defender Phil Jagielka said: "I've backed Joe all the time, all the players have backed Joe all the time.

"He's been in for some criticism, some of it a little bit harsh.

"But Joe's a big boy and that's the only way he can prove his critics wrong by making some fantastic saves.

Jagielka's defensive partner Chris Smalling added: "I think he did very well tonight.

"He produced a couple of really good saves and bailed me out at one of the corners as well. I think he was terrific tonight."

Andros Townsend, who hit the post in the second half for England, added to the praise.

The Tottenham winger said: "He made a great save from the corner before the one they scored.

"He's been fantastic and hopefully he continues that form."

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Highlights: England 0-1 Germany



HT - England 0-1 Germany

England trail at half-time, with a second defeat at Wembley in four days on the cards. It's a little harsh on Roy Hodgson's side, which made most of the running in a low-key 45 minutes.

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