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Saturday, 1 September, 2001, 19:45 GMT 20:45 UK
Awesome England thrash Germany
Michael Owen celebrates with Steven Gerrard
Owen celebrates as his hat-trick sinks Germany
Germany 1-5 England

Michael Owen blasted a stunning hat-trick as England came from behind to thrash Germany in Munich.

Sven Goran Eriksson's team are now on course to qualify for the World Cup next year, following a result that will send shockwaves through the international game.

Germany had only ever lost one World Cup qualifier at home in their history - but suddenly they were torn apart by an England team playing slick football with a clinical edge up front.

Owen will win the headlines, but there were heroes all over the pitch for England - with captain David Beckham and rejuvenated goalkeeper David Seaman in particularly fine form.

  Key moments
6 mins: Jancker bundles the Germans in front
12 mins: Owen hauls England level from Barmby's knock-down
45 mins: Gerrard crucially fires England in front on the stroke of half-time
47 mins: Owen's clinical strike gives England a two-goal cushion
66 mins: Owen completes a stunning hat-trick, blazing home following Gerrard's pass
73 mins: Heskey completes the rout with a neat finish from Scholes' pass
The win means Eriksson's men are three points behind leaders Germany in Group Nine - but they have a game in hand and, crucially, their goal difference is now substantially superior.

A win against Albania next Wednesday would take them to the top of the group.

Such a prospect looked fanciful when Carsten Jancker fired the Germans in front within six minutes.

But England's young Lions roared back in menacing fashion to destroy Germany's proud record.

And the much-heralded German engine room was completely out-paced by Owen's go-faster stripes, as England moved into pole position in the race for World Cup qualification.

Steven Gerrard celebrates
Gerrard celebrates his crucial goal
It looked bleak for the visitors when Germany took the lead, Rio Ferdinand and Sol Campbell allowing Carsten Jancker to steer home Oliver Neuville's header.

But if England's defenders looked nervous together, then Thomas Linke and Jens Nowotny seemed nothing short of petrified.

German goalkeeper Oliver Kahn looked more flappable than anyone else on a night riddled with errors across the pitch.

After all the pre-match German criticism of Seaman and the claims heralding Kahn as the world's number one, the home side's keeper was left with egg on his face.

Only 12 minutes were on the clock when Kahn was caught horribly out of position from a teasing Beckham cross.

The German keeper flapped at thin air as Nick Barmby cleverly cushioned a header into the path of Owen, who coolly slotted into an unguarded net.

Ferdinand and Jancker
Jancker out-jumps Ferdinand in the early stages
At the other end, though, Seaman was silencing his critics with a brilliant one-handed save to turn away Joerg Boehme's low shot and keep it at 1-1.

The home side were guilty of a glaring miss when Sebastian Deisler fluffed his shot when completely unmarked - and that proved to be just the second warning that Eriksson's side needed.

England punished the astonishing miss deep into first-half injury time when Ferdinand headed down a Beckham cross for Steven Gerrard to unleash an unstoppable 25-yard drive beyond Kahn's despairing grasp.

The half-time boost lifted England's spirits, but few would have predicted the astonishing second-half blitz which was to follow.

Owen gave England a vital two-goal cushion when he neatly tucked a shot inside Kahn's near post after Heskey had superbly headed down another Beckham cross.

Owen was in deadly form and he did not have to wait long for his hat-trick.

Gerrard sent him scampering clear with a superb through ball and the hungry striker ignored Heskey's call to blaze home a sensational shot into the top left-hand corner.

On a night when some of England's finest triumphs were remembered, the timing of Owen's hat-trick clinching goal - 66 - was pleasantly significant.

Heskey's moment did arrive, though, as the big striker put the seal on England's win 17 minutes from time.

Paul Scholes squared the ball into an empty German penalty area and Heskey held off Rehme's challenge to slot home and complete Liverpool's three-man contribution to the scoring.

The floodgates had long since been opened, but now the exit doors were thrown open too as German fans headed for home in their thousands.

The England supporters stayed right where they were, pinching themselves and wondering whether it was all a dream.


Teams:

Germany: Kahn, Worns, Linke, Nowotny, Boehme, Hamann, Rehmer, Ballack, Deisler, Jancker, Neuville.

England: Seaman, G Neville, Ferdinand, Campbell, A Cole, Barmby, Scholes, Gerrard, Beckham, Heskey, Owen.

Referee: Pierluigi Collina.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's Alan Green
"England achieved the greatest competitive result away from home"
England coach Sven Goran Eriksson
"We scored beautiful goals"
England captain David Beckham
""We all worked hard for each other."
England striker Michael Owen
"No-one would have predicted that result"

Sports Talk SPORTS TALK
Is England's 5-1 victory over Germany their finest victory ever? Munich magic
Was this England's finest ever win?
World Cup qualifier: Germany v England

Germany 1-5 England

Post-match features

McNulty in Munich

GOAL GRAPHICS

EXPERT OPINION

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AUDIO/VIDEO

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