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Germany had more quality than England, concedes Hodgson

Per Mertesacker's headed goal made the difference at Wembley and, while his side's work-rate pleased the Three Lions boss, their lack of cutting edge was their undoing

England boss Roy Hodgson concedes that a lack of quality undermined his team's efforts as they slipped to a 1-0 defeat to Germany on Tuesday.

On the back of Friday's 2-0 loss to Chile, the Three Lions were undone at Wembley once more as Arsenal centre-back Per Mertesacker made the most of slack marking to score the only goal six minutes before half-time.

Tottenham winger Andros Townsend hit the post after the break amid an enterprising display and Southampton playmaker Adam Lallana showed some nice touches, as he had against the South Americans, but England were ultimately toothless and Joe Hart's return to action with three impressive saves prevented further damage.

ENGLAND UNDERWHELM
PLAYER RATINGS: Greg Stobart at Wembley evaluates an unimpressive Three Lions performance
Hodgson told ITV: "I think it was a harsh defeat to be fair but, whether we deserved better [or not], I think we needed better quality tonight.

"The effort, the work-rate and the desire we put in I can't fault at all but I thought, for all the time we had the ball in the German half, we weren't as efficient with the ball as the Germans were when they had it in our half.

"We had an awful lot of the play, we had some good movement and we got in the positions but, unfortunately, the quality of our passing and our shooting wasn't as good as the Germans and we paid the price at a set-play.

"We knew set-plays were going to be difficult for us with so many big players in their team and we were a small team."

Defeat consigned England to consecutive Wembley defeats for the first time since 1977 but Hodgson insists that the two matches have given him a good opportunity to assess his squad ahead of next year's World Cup in Brazil.

"During the game we've used a lot of players," he remarked. "It's been a positive exercise.

"We learned a lot, both positively on some occasions and negatively, but I'm more than disappointed that so many people have come to watch us play in these last two games and we haven't been able to send them home happy with a good result."

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