Manager Gareth Southgate 'really positive with England performance', despite defeat to Germany

"He'll enjoy his night, we won't particularly, but pleased for him and we've got enough positives to take from the game moving forwards".

Podolski was handed a farewell game to mark the end of a career spanning 13 years that saw him claim 49 goals against England on Wednesday - a game in which he fittingly scored the victor.

The score remained goalless as the sides entered the break.

The former Middlesbrough boss was appointed as Sam Allardyce's successor back in November after leading the side to two wins and two draws during his interim stint in charge, but a Lukas Podolski strike 21 minutes from time sealed the win for Joachim Low's men in Dortmund.

Podolski was making his 130th and final appearance for Germany and marked an emotional friendly with his 49th goal, a belter from 25 yards to seal a 1-0 win in the latest instalment of this storied fixture.

"Obviously our travelling support in terms of number and the way they back the team is brilliant".

'If they go to a tournament they are always nervous, they play under pressure.

"Before it was a like a rugby style, now they have good guys, good characters - they were physical but they play more football now".

"From the atmosphere in the stadium you could see the connection I have with people from Cologne".

Podolski had to hold back the tears as the anthems were belted out before kick-off and even England goalkeeper Joe Hart felt the need to congratulate the World Cup victor in the aftermath of his 69th minute thunderbolt. We were pretty solid defensively and created three really good chances so I have to be really happy with that. I doubt that the coaches of these bands will put their best players in the starting lineups, however, the game will certainly turn out to be interesting, where both teams will be the authors of the goals scored. Germany V England friendly match will kick-start at 7:35 PM today.

"That gave me goosebumps to get a reception like that", added Podolski. Philipp Lahm has gone, Per Mertesacker has gone away and now I am away.

This summer he will leave the Turks for Kobe in Japan. It gets them into positions where they can be really unsafe, really effective.

"This is the Premier League where there are six, seven or eight teams to fight". Podolski said: 'I don't know why they (Arsenal fans) are doing this (protesting).

  • Julie Sanders