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Page last updated at 20:37 GMT, Monday, 29 June 2009 21:37 UK

Germany U21 4-0 England U21

Germany celebrate
Germany's players celebrate a resounding victory in Malmo

By David McIntyre

England's youngsters were crushed by Germany in the European Under-21 Championship final in Malmo.

The Germans went ahead when Mesut Ozil went past Martin Cranie and cleverly found Gonzalo Castro, who slotted home.

Soon after the break, goalkeeper Scott Loach misjudged Ozil's free-kick and palmed the ball into the net.

After England's Lee Cattermole hit the bar, Sandro Wagner collected Ozil's pass and fired through Loach's legs and also curled in Germany's fourth.

Despite Wagner's late double, it was the outstanding Ozil who was England's chief tormentor.

The Werder Bremen playmaker produced several moments of class and always looked dangerous on the counter-attack.

England, on the other hand, struggled without suspended forwards Gabriel Agbonlahor and Fraizer Campbell, who were sorely missed.

In their absence, Theo Walcott was moved in from the left flank by boss Stuart Pearce and operated as a lone striker.

England started strongly, with Cranie heading Adam Johnson's free-kick wide and Walcott shooting wide of the near post.

But their lack of firepower was always evident whereas the Germans, despite having less possession, looked a real threat.


And they went ahead when Castro, who also scored in a 1-1 draw against England in the group stages, made no mistake after Ozil's fine pass.

Ozil was a constant thorn in England's side and went close shortly before half-time with a 25-yard free-kick that struck Cranie and flew just over.

But there was no escape for England three minutes after the interval.

Ozil tried his luck with a free-kick from a much greater distance that was hit straight at Loach.

The Watford keeper ought to have made a routine save but was badly positioned and inexplicably allowed the ball to roll into the net.

It was a terrible moment for Loach, who had been selected ahead of Peterborough United's Joe Lewis to replace the suspended Joe Hart.

England Under-21 goalkeeper Scott Loach
Loach's mistake left England facing an uphill struggle

Cattermole struck the top of the bar with a ferocious shot as England tried in vain to find a way back into the match.

Their cause was not helped when Johnson missed the target from close range after some great work on the right by James Milner.

Worse followed for England, with Ozil again wreaking havoc and threading through a perfect pass for Wagner, whose cool finish effectively sealed Germany's victory.

Their win was rubber-stamped six minutes from the end, when Wagner sent a right-foot shot beyond Loach and into the far corner.

Germany U21: Neuer, Beck, Howedes, Boateng, Boenisch, Hummels (Aogo 83), Johnson (Schwaab 68), Castro, Khedira, Ozil (Schmelzer 89), Wagner.
Subs Not Used: Fromlowitz, Ebert, Marin, Grote, Adlung, Ben-Hatira, Ede, Sippel.

Goals: Castro 23, Ozil 48, Wagner 79, 84.

Booked: Boenisch, Wagner.

England U21: Loach, Cranie (Gardner 80), Richards, Onuoha (Mancienne 46), Gibbs, Cattermole, Muamba (Rodwell 77), Noble, Milner, Walcott, Johnson.
Subs Not Used: Lewis, Taylor, Stearman, Tomkins, Driver, Rose.

Att: 20,000

Ref: Bjorn Kuipers (Holland).

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see also
Pearce signs new England contract
29 Jun 09 |  Internationals
Euro U21 final as it happened
29 Jun 09 |  Football
Eriksson backs Pearce for England
28 Jun 09 |  Internationals
Hart final ban appeal is rejected
28 Jun 09 |  Internationals
England U21 3-3 Sweden U21 (aet)
26 Jun 09 |  Internationals
Pearce's England banish penalty pain
27 Jun 09 |  Internationals
Eng U21 v Swe U21 as it happened
26 Jun 09 |  Football
England to contest Hart booking
26 Jun 09 |  Internationals
England U21 1-1 Germany U21
22 Jun 09 |  Internationals
England U21 2-0 Spain U21
18 Jun 09 |  Internationals
England U21s 2-1 Finland U21s
15 Jun 09 |  Internationals
England U21 7-0 Azerbaijan U21
08 Jun 09 |  Internationals
England Under-21s hit by injuries
01 Jun 09 |  Internationals
Pearce stands defiant on Walcott
09 Jun 09 |  Internationals
Wenger fear over Walcott workload
25 May 09 |  Arsenal

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