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Monday, 3 September, 2001, 09:33 GMT 10:33 UK
England's greatest ever win?
German football legend Franz Beckenbauer says Sven Goran Eriksson's England side is the best he has ever seen.
Is it their greatest ever victory? Where does it rank among England's great performances?
Click here to vote
A Michael Owen hat-trick and a goal apiece from Steven Gerrard and Emile Heskey gave England an historic 5-1 victory over Germany in Munich.
It's the first time that England have beaten Germany on their home soil in 36 years, and only the second time Germany have been beaten in 60 World Cup qualifiers.
Reflecting on the game Beckenbauer praised Sven Goran Eriksson┐s squad selection.
"I have never seen a better England team and I have never seen an England team playing better football," he said.
Is this England's finest hour? How does Saturday's success rate with past England victories?
Of course this isn't England's finest performance, although it was definitely in the top few percent. But we have to bear in mind that Germany's defence were dreadful, that we scored at key stages of the match, and that our defence wasn't too great either. That said, it was certainly a great and historic result, but in my lifetime the best England performance I've seen was 1-1 against Germany in 1990. Then, Germany were the best team in the world but on the night we outplayed them. England 4 Holland 1 was also a better result against a better team and until we match the achievement of the 1966 team, this current team won't be their equal. But I think they can do it!
It's typically English for everyone to over hype the victory in Germany. Are you telling me that all of a sudden England are world beaters? One fact seems to have been missed: Germany are a bad team. So they won 5-1? I remember Newcastle beating Man Utd by the same score a few seasons back - big deal. When England start regularly beating the top ten teams in the world then they may be able to lay claim as one of the world's best - until then, sorry but they've proven little.
In Helsinki, your press said we saw the worst England team ever. In Munich, the best ever? Don't get carried away, there is something very wrong with such extreme change in the quality of the team. Congratulations on the win, but get back down to earth before you run out of oxygen!
I was at the match and it was an incredible feeling. Thanks Sven.
Adams and Ince would be in the team if Keegan was still manager. I think England have had good players over the years but the tactics have been poor. The English management in this country has been and still is appalling. Let's hope Sven is around in 2006
I don't know about the best performance ever but it was certainly the best post-war performance. We beat them 5-1, on their park, with their ball. At last those who weren't around in 1966 have a win over Germany to talk about for the next 40 years.
Not the greatest, but definitely the most enjoyable. Even die-hard Welshmen, myself included, will happily say congratulations to the boys for all their hard work. Owen was awesome, Beckham was a rock and Gerrard was just plain frightening. I just wish Owen would have chosen Wales over England, and then maybe I would have a team of my own to be proud of. Nice One Boys, - good luck on Wednesday
You mean to say that you think it was better than that win in 1966 that you all love to keep going on about? I think not! Ireland's result was much better considering that England couldn't beat Holland.
I can only remember two truly great England performances (I was only three in 1966): the 4-1 thrashing of Holland in Euro '96, and Saturday night in Munich. It's quite difficult to say which was better, but I think I would have to plump for '96 because the quality of the Dutch side was far higher than that of the very poor Germans on Saturday. But that shouldn't detract from the fact that England played brilliantly on Saturday. I hope it's not yet another false dawn.
Currently England may have their best ever crop of players. However, their most impressive performance in recent years was the 4-1 thrashing of Holland; the Dutch were a much better team and Shearer's men dominated more of the match.
Yes the result was excellent and exorcised the ghosts of 1990 and 1996. However, let's not get carried away by the tabloid frenzy which will no doubt follow. Win the World Cup? How about overcoming France, Italy, Brazil, Sweden and Portugal before we could even think about that!
At last England have a team and not ten other players supporting one star. The great Sir Alf always said that it was a team that won the world cup in 1966 not a set of individuals. Now I'm looking forward to Tokyo.
What a game, being a Man Utd fan it hurts me to say this but that was a victory made in Liverpool. That was by far Owen's best ever performance and Steven Gerrard was just awesome, he is the right footed Rivaldo. Get ready because the world cup is coming home!
I'm disappointed with the result - it should have been more! That was the best England performance I've ever seen. The players combined so well that they looked like are club side. Special mention goes to Owen, Gerrard, and Beckham. I can't imagine our team without them now. Even to have one of them out injured would be hugely disappointing. Somebody send me ticket info on Japan & Korea!
It's great to hear the sour grapes from Scotland. Makes my day.
Well done England, keep it up.
I've only ever seen two truly great England victories in my lifetime - beating Holland 4-1 at Euro '96 and the win in Munich. Every player was superb, especially Seaman, who needed a break to get the critics off his back. Germany were dire but England were superb.
It's amazing how fortunes change and critics become loyal followers. Those who gave Sven such a tough time when he was first appointed should do the right thing now - make a sincere apology to him about all those harsh words in the past. England has always been the best but it took a foreigner to bring it out in the open.
Congratulations to England and especially to the Liverpool boys. Let's not get carried away as the team England beat was probably one of the worse collection of German players anyone have seen for a long time. It'll be a totally different ball game when England play France, Portugal, Italy etc. Nonetheless, it was a memorable night that will live in everyone's mind for a long, long time.
This is the best England team I've ever watched. With the way they were playing against Germany, I think for England to win World Cup is not impossible.
Doesn't this go to prove what a bit of confidence and self-belief can do for a team? I always believed that in Beckham and Owen we have two of the finest players I've seen in thirty years of following the game - to see them prove this so emphatically to the world was satisfying, to say the least. We now need to consolidate and qualify for Japan automatically: let the Germans sweat over the play-offs.
This was a match to remember. But I'm only nine. I thought Germany would win 2-1 myself. I support Liverpool, so I'm glad that Liverpool players scored.
Loved it: Liverpool v Germany. Just hope we're not too tired to win the Premiership this year.
A big congrats to Christian von Baudissin for his generous comments. Let's hope we're big enough to reciprocate when the pendulum swings back.
I think I actually feel sorry for our German mates! I think the game ranks with the thrashing of an on-form Holland in Euro 96. The best thing about it though is the reaction on radio and the web from Scotland. Mainly, total silence, with the odd wee mention of luck, easy groups and so on! I'm not going to get carried away, but it underlines the fact that England are again a world-class side.
Congratulations, England. Please bring back Sven to us, when you have won the World Cup, will you?
We say in Germany "Hochmut kommt vor dem Fall" - "Pride comes before the fall". Thanks England for showing our team the door ... to humility again. Congrats!
Sven the man from Torsby has managed to make a team of the best football players in the world. And what a result! Congratulations England and see you in Korea in nine months time!
Well done boys! However, I have to laugh at the media in this country. After the Holland game it was all about how we were brought back down to earth and how we still have a lot of work to do before we will go anywhere.
Now, after last night, we are the greatest England team since 1966! We really do fluctuate between extremes in this country. Put everything into perspective, we need to play like that consistently. And really, how good were that German side?
That was fantastic ! I woke up this morning and couldn't believe it, about time them Germans got shown what we're all about. Absolutely fantastic!
The English players are now of a much higher class when it comes to technical and strategic ability. Whether the influx of high quality players from abroad is paramount or whether a long term program for training of kids from an early age is now coming to fruition, the result is great.
Sven Eriksson is a brilliant manager, unafraid to make changes to the squad, and an ability to influence the game while it is being played.
A fantastic result but lets not get carried away. The Germans were awful in all departments and I doubt if the likes of France or Argentina will fall for our long ball game to Owen. Potential is there but further progress is required before we start talk of winning the World Cup
Excellent result, wonderful game to watch. However will someone please save us from insufferable BBC commentators comparing this to '66. Pretty soon I'm expecting Lineker to say....last time the England goalkeeper scratched his head like that we went onto....etc etc you get the idea. 1966 was almost 40 years ago, it's the present that counts.
Before the match I believed that England would qualify regardless, because of the play-off draw. I was looking for a performance that would prove to me it would be worth us going to the World Cup and I'm glad, because that is what we got.
Great, fantastic, memorable, what more can one say? This is one of the best England sides ever.
What a performance from each and every player. They should be proud of what they achieved and use this victory as the chance to move on to bigger and better things. Now we can forget about 1966 and the World Cup win once and for all. Thank you Sven for what you have done for our national game.
The most explosive action I have ever seen. Michael Owen's hat trick was brilliant, but the whole team was truly outstanding. It just shows that with the right manager, the world is their oyster. Congratulations England on a historic victory.
Were you watching Scotland?
We'll send you a postcard from Tokyo!
Wonderful performance with such quality goals. The pace of our attack was sheer class! I told my children to savour this one.
Impressed by Sven's level-headedness, you feel he will build on this.
That has to be one of the finest performances ever. We have to be careful not to celebrate too much. The Germans can still top the table in front of us. Albania have to be beaten, only then will I celebrate!
I take my hat off to you England for a marvellous performance. I truly didn't think you were that good, but now I fail to see how anything can hold you back. Well done!
Now, does anyone still think it was a bad idea to hire a foreign coach?
The best night of the year. It is amazing what England can do when we actually pick our best players and let them play in their usual positions!
Hopefully when Germany are in the play-offs, it will be against a Far East team. I'd hate for them to have to cancel that tour. The best performance by England in a competitive game since the Holland match in Euro '96. We love you Sven!
No one, in all honesty, can say that they expected this result. Most of us expected at best a dour draw that would suit the Germans. It is only the German's second ever defeat in World Cup qualifiers, they will be stunned by this, and Rudi Voeller has some awkward questions to answer. Oh, to be a fly on the wall in the Franz Beckenbauer household. My dream would be for England to win the group and Germany to fail to qualify. That would lay to rest the ghosts of Leon 1970, Wembley 1972, Turin 1990, Wembley 1996 and Wembley 2000. It's not over yet, Germany can still win the group. England must ensure they don't.
Congratulations! This was a really great game. England deserves the victory.
Definitely England's greatest victory ever. I predicted England to win, but not by such a large margin.
If England continue to do well and improve themselves, I think they are able to compete with the likes of France and Argentina in next year's World Cup.
This would be their most fantastic win, but for one small thing: Our local pub team would have put up a better squad than Germany.
And let's face it, your group does not contain the most difficult of opponents!
You have found, yet again, an easy road through to the world cup!
Words are not necessary. When I think of the smugness of the Germans and the Scots over the past year, tonight makes it all worthwhile. This is England's best result since they beat Brazil in 1984, and without doubt one of the greatest games I have ever seen. We can hold our heads up again.
What a great performance! To do this in the German's back yard is something else. Amazing game and brilliant performances from all the players, but Seaman's save at 1-1 turned the game. All hail Sir Sven!
Well well well. All of you who doubted can now give the boys a greatly deserved slap on the back. From the keeper to the unstoppable Owen, who could put a foot wrong? Apart from the flapping Germans that is. better cancel that far east tour!
One of the greatest. It put to rest the notion that English football is the poorest in Europe.
England's finest hour was 1966, this is just one game. But we should build on this and push now for the title in Korea and Japan. We can do it!
You can only compare this to the 1966 final and the Euro 2000 win. On all three occasions England had needed to win, but they don't come much sweeter then beating them in their own back yard. What a match - convincingly their easiest win, and most definitely their finest hour!
This has to be the greatest. I remember the 1966 final when the Germans always claimed we robbed them with Hurst's goal off the crossbar. This time, in Munich, not one, not two, not three, not four, but FIVE goals to one. English soccer is back where it should be: at the top of the world.
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