Germany coach Hansi Flick criticised the UEFA Nations League schedule, claiming teams are being forced to play too many games in a World Cup year.

Die Mannschaft have already played two of their League A fixtures and will play two further games against Hungary and Italy during this window of international games.

The Nations League group stages will wrap up with a pair of games in September.

Germany's players involved in June's games will have less time to recover ahead of the new domestic season, with the Bundesliga starting a week earlier than last campaign on August 5. The Champions League group stage, in which Germany has four participants, will begin on September 6 having started on September 14 last year.

And, with the rescheduled World Cup beginning in Qatar on November 21, Flick believes too much of a burden is being placed on his country's players.

Asked at a media conference ahead of Saturday's game with Hungary if the Nations League games were putting a strain on players, he replied: "I agree with that.

"Four matches are too many after such a season. You have to take the two years into account.

"We had a pandemic and a lot of matches piled up. We will be having 'English weeks' [two-match weeks]

"There will be almost no pre-season preparation then it's Bundesliga and Champions League matches every three, four days until the World Cup.

"This should be looked at and we need to ask ourselves how we can offer players a break because that is important.

"UEFA or FIFA should look into these things and take some measures.

"Now we have to prepare well, we have these four games. We accept them. It is tough for the players after a long season. But we accept it because all teams have the same starting points.

"What we are focusing on is to play a good World Cup in November."

England can look forward to a bright future as Gareth Southgate's Three Lions bid for World Cup glory in Qatar, according to Antonio Rudiger.

The new Real Madrid defender got a first-hand look at the Euro 2020 runners-up when Germany were held to a 1-1 Nations League draw in Munich on Tuesday.

It was the hosts who had the majority of possession but Harry Kane's late penalty – his 50th international goal – sealed a point for Southgate's men, cancelling out Jonas Hoffman's strike.

Rudiger, who signed for Madrid after his Chelsea contract expired, was impressed by England's strength in depth, and reserved special praise for Jack Grealish, who came off the bench in midweek.

"The England squad has great quality," he said.

"It's like [Bukayo] Saka comes out, Grealish comes in. I saw a lot of big, big names were on the bench.

"England have a lot to be optimistic about for the future. I think you people don't need to worry too much. The English players are definitely getting better.

"You have to think about it like this, that players like [Marcus] Rashford and [Jadon] Sancho didn't even make the squad.

"That tells you that you have a lot of depth in the English squad and you have big, big players like Harry Kane, [Raheem] Sterling and Grealish – big names, big players.

"I think Grealish gave the team a real impact – because he came on and he gave good one v ones and everything.

"He is a very dangerous player and those sort of players are going to win you games."

England will face Wales, Iran and the United States in Group B at the World Cup, which starts on November 21.

England manager Gareth Southgate highlighted the pressures that come with such a high-profile role, and implied there will be some changes to the starting-11 in the next couple of Nations League games.

The Three Lions are coming off a 1-1 draw away against Germany, and will now prepare for fixtures against Italy on Saturday, and Hungary on Tuesday.

Harry Kane netted his 50th international goal in that last fixture, and while he is clearly the first-choice striker, the rest of the team is relatively unsettled.

England is currently sitting last in the Nations League's League A Group 3, and Southgate insisted there will be some experimentation as they try to find their optimal starting group ahead of the World Cup.

"You have seen right across Europe – France changed 10, Spain changed eight, Portugal changed seven," he said.

"This is quite a unique set of games where teams are thinking about player welfare to a degree, freshness, but also they are preparing for a World Cup, because they know what’s coming and what they haven’t got in terms of friendlies ahead of the tournament.

“Harry [Kane] is… a phenomenal professional, the way he looks after himself. I’m not saying he’s going to get his desire to start all four games, by the way, because there’s also Tammy [Abraham] that we want to see perform as well."

Southgate went on to discuss how demanding of a role he has, and that it feels like "you have got to win every match".

"I know what I wanted from these games," he said. "I also accept that with England, you’re going to be judged, and you have got to win every match.

"But I’ve got to think a little bit differently to that and accept that if there is criticism, fine. 

"I have got to make the right decisions for the players, for the team, to try to improve the team and if that means criticism, then so be it. 

"If my decision-making is affected by that, then it’s something I am not going to be successful with."

Gareth Southgate has challenged Manchester City attacker Jack Grealish to improve tactically if he is to become a regular starter for England.

Grealish was introduced from the bench with 18 minutes remaining of Tuesday's Nations League showdown with Germany in Munich.

The 26-year-old made a difference down the left-hand side for England, who secured a 1-1 draw through Harry Kane's late penalty after Jonas Hofmann had opened the scoring.

Despite his limited minutes on the pitch, Grealish managed six touches in the opposition box, which is double that of any England player other than Kane (seven).

He created one chance and was also involved in the build-up to the incident that saw Kane felled in the area to win the penalty that he converted for his 50th England goal.

However, while Southgate was pleased with the impact made by Grealish, the Three Lions boss indicated that he is still after more from British football's most expensive player.

"At the start of the game the challenge for the wide players was to attack, defend and to try to score goals – it's a high tactical level and you've got to be spot on," Southgate said.

"That's an area Jack can get better at. What he did do was carry the ball as the game opened up with a bit more space and opportunity. 

"The impact he and Jarrod Bowen had was really important in those attacking areas. There's a good challenge there among those players, but we've got to keep pushing them."

 

Only half of Grealish's 22 caps for England have been starts, and asked if he sees the former Aston Villa star continuing to be an impact substitute or a regular in the long term, Southgate said: "He can do both.

"If we didn't trust him we wouldn't put him on the pitch with 20 minutes to go in the belief he can make a difference."

England were three minutes from successive defeats to begin their Nations League campaign when Kane converted his late penalty.

The visitors fielded their most experienced starting line-up under Southgate in terms of average age (27 years, 89 days) and most caps won (481 prior to kick-off).

With home games against Italy and Hungary still to come this window, Southgate is happy with the progress being made by his side just five months out from the World Cup.

"These series of matches are about improving and learning as a team and you can't get that against lesser opposition," he said. 

"The quality of the game tests every part of the player. I think we'll review it and see things we can get better at.

"Coming away from home and getting a good result was a challenge for the players. Top teams don't lose two on the bounce and they've responded to that in the right way.

"It's an important sign for when you are in a team – we've got seven or eight players still in there that got to a World Cup semi-final. 

"That's important as they put their bodies on the line and on nights like this, you have to do that to get a result."

England manager Gareth Southgate was full of praise for his side after salvaging a 1-1 draw away from home against Germany – particularly for star striker Harry Kane and the multitude of ways he helps the Three Lions function.

The home side looked poised for victory after Jonas Hoffman's 50th minute strike, but the visitors were rewarded for their strong play in the dying stages as Harry Kane converted a penalty in the 88th minute to tie things up.

Despite having just 37 per cent possession, England produced more shots (15 to 10) and had more expected goals (1.92 to 0.71).

It was Kane's 50th career goal for England, but Southgate said the real story is how well-rounded he is as a forward, becoming much more than a goal-scorer.

"Rightly, the fact he's got 50 goals will be the centre part of the story," he said. "But his all-round game, the way he led the line, the way he competed, the way he pressed from the front for us today was exceptional. 

"I think his quality to drop deep – I know people say he drops too deep – but you need a player that can come and link the game. 

"He gives us so many different options, and when we had runners past him like Raheem [Sterling] and Bukayo [Saka] and Mason [Mount], then that part of his game comes into its own. 

"There are little moments where he comes and takes the ball and relieves the pressure that you almost take for granted, but they're such an important part of the game in terms of the battling qualities of going down against an elite nation."

Southgate said he was pleased with his side's overall performance, highlighting just how difficult it is to earn a result away from home against one of the world's greatest teams.

"Firstly, I was pleased with the level of the performance because this type of fixture challenges everything – technical, tactical, physical, psychological," he said. 

"The players have had to give absolutely everything to get a result from the game. 

"I thought in the first half we were okay. We looked at moments like we could cause problems, but the quality of our passing in various phases of the game wasn't at the level it needed to be. 

"Second half we were a little bit too passive in that period where we conceded, but the response to that was fantastic.

"I think we created quality chances, and I think we deserved something from the game in the end. 

"It's a huge credit to the players that they've shown that mentality, having gone behind, not to give in and to keep pushing right to the very end."

England's Nations League campaign continues on Saturday, at home against Italy.

Harry Kane reached the milestone of 50 international goals during England's 1-1 draw against Germany in Tuesday's Nations League action, and the data shows just how lethal England's number nine has been in his 71 caps.

Kane's landmark strike came from the penalty spot in the dying stages as Germany led 1-0, the Tottenham star coolly converting in the 88th minute to salvage a draw for the visitors in Munich.

It was a deserved result for England, who had more shots (15-10) and a better expected goals figure (1.92 versus 0.71), despite far less possession (37.3 per cent).

For Kane, it was the 15th penalty he has scored for his country, and by netting it away from home at the Allianz Arena, he now has 20 home goals, 20 away, and 10 at neutral grounds.

Despite having a strike rate of 0.7 goals per game in international play, the Nations League has been Kane's toughest competition, with his goal against Germany only his second in 14 Nations League fixtures (.14 goals per game).

He has been most prolific in World Cup qualifiers, scoring 17 times in 14 games, while being similarly effective in European Championship qualifiers (15 goals in 13 games). He also has six World Cup goals in six matches.

As a true striker, he has done most of his work close to goal, scoring 48 of his 50 goals from inside the penalty box. He has tallied nine headers to go with 35 right-foot finishes and six with his left.

Speaking to the media after his third career goal against Germany – having only scored more against San Marino (five), Bulgaria (four), Montenegro (four) and Albania (four) – Kane said he likes nothing more than putting the ball in the back of the net.

"I love scoring goals, I always have – especially for my country," he said.

"So whenever I can help the team, that's the most important thing. Good to bounce back with a result, it's not an easy place to come. Now we've got two games at home to try to get two wins. 

"Even going 1-0 down, it shows good character from us away from home to get back into the game and get a result against a good Germany side. 

"It shows where we are. We've still got improvement, but we're working hard and the World Cup's going to be here before we know it, so we've got to keep doing well."

He added in a tweet after the game: "50 England goals. So so proud. Treasure each and every one of them. Never take it for granted."

England's Nations League campaign continues on Saturday against Italy at Molineux.

Harry Kane salvaged a point for England by scoring his 50th international goal with a late penalty in a 1-1 draw against Germany in Nations League Group A3 on Tuesday. 

By slotting his spot-kick into the bottom-left corner in the 88th minute, Kane moved clear of Bobby Charlton and to within three of Wayne Rooney's all-time England goalscoring record. 

Jonas Hofmann put Germany in front early in the second half, the midfielder finding the back of the net for the second time in three international appearances. 

However, Nico Schlotterbeck felled Kane in the box and the Tottenham striker stopped England succumbing to back-to-back defeats for the first time since 2018 with a milestone goal. 

Thomas Muller was denied a tap-in by an important intervention from Kyle Walker and the Bayern Munich star had the ball in the back of the net in the 13th minute, though play was pulled back due to an injury to Kalvin Phillips. 

Hofmann slotted home after Harry Maguire was caught out by Kai Havertz, but the goal was ruled out by an offside flag and the decision was upheld after a lengthy VAR check. 

Kane wasted a rare chance for England in the 26th minute by blazing over when Manuel Neuer spilled a corner at his feet under pressure from Maguire. 

Gareth Southgate's side struggled to keep pace after the restart and fell behind when Joshua Kimmich picked out Hofmann, who drilled the ball past Jordan Pickford. 

It would have been two had Pickford not managed to get a strong hand to Muller's volley at the near post after an excellent delivery from David Raum. 

Neuer produced a brilliant stop to keep Kane at bay with 15 minutes remaining but the England captain finally got the better of the Germany keeper from the penalty spot to earn the Three Lions a share of the spoils. 

Germany coach Hansi Flick warned his side of the qualities England possess as he prepares for a "classic" in the Nations League on Tuesday.

England were far from their best as they fell to a 1-0 defeat on Saturday to Hungary in their League A Group 3 opener, while Germany shared the spoils with Italy.

Die Mannschaft host the Three Lions in Munich for the next Nations League encounter, with England winning the last meeting 2-0 at Euro 2020 last June.

Indeed, Germany have failed to score in their last two matches against England (0-0 in November 2017, 0-2 in June 2021), as many as in their previous 16 games combined.

Flick, speaking at a pre-match news conference on Monday, outlined his expectations for the difficulties Gareth Southgate's visitors will pose as he hailed the threat of captain and talisman Harry Kane.

"It's a classic, the games are always something special. Everything else is in the past. We're looking ahead and trying to get a better result tomorrow," the former Bayern Munich boss said.

"We showed the team what we could have done better against Italy. It's important that we go into the game with a good feeling.

"Against England it's extremely important that we keep up. The football in the Premier League is very physical.

"Harry Kane is a world-class striker and England have a lot of outstanding players in their ranks."

While Flick was quick to credit Tottenham star Kane, who has scored in both of his England appearances against Germany, he also heaped praise on the undervalued Timo Werner.

"I'll keep my thoughts to myself, but both can play in the position," he said when asked who would start between Chelsea pair Kai Havertz and Werner. 

"Timo is underestimated a bit, with also what he does for the team. He creates space in front of the defence. Both are an option for us up top."

As for his return to the Allianz Arena, Flick is looking forward to revisiting his old Bayern stadium and credited the work of his successor Julian Nagelsmann, who guided the Bavarian side to the Bundesliga title.

"It's been a long time since I enjoyed a full house in Munich, so I hope the team will be supported. I hope we play well and have the support of the crowd," he continued.

"For me, the performances with the national team and in training here are decisive. Bayern have played an outstanding season.

"The championship title is the most honest title you can win, so compliments again to Julian Nagelsmann. It's important that the players now perform well here."

John Stones says England's Euro 2020 win over Germany "set the bar" as he challenged the Three Lions to respond in Munich after defeat to Hungary.

England underwhelmed on Saturday at the Puskas Arena as Hungary won the Nations League opener 1-0 to record their first victory over the Three Lions since May 1962.

Meanwhile, Germany were held to a 1-1 draw by Italy in the other League A Group 3 game, with Hansi Flick's side next hosting England at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday.

England won the last meeting between the two sides 2-0 at Wembley Stadium last June in the last-16 at Euro 2020, with Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane proving the difference.

The Three Lions have not won consecutive games against Germany since a seven-game winning run between 1935 and 1966, the last game of which was the World Cup final.

Stones believes England must use their Euro 2020 triumph over Die Mannschaft as a benchmark for future performances.

"I think everyone felt the same as us, the incredible stage we beat them on, the occasion, it was a big step for us as a team and nation," Stones said at a pre-match news conference on Monday. 

"To progress to the latter stages of that tournament and show ourselves what we are capable of, we have set a marker and we have to be consistent with winning.

"We have set the bar, that’s the challenge for us as players now, the other day was a big learning curve for us as a collective.

"We have had an incredible run and that stopped, now it’s down to us how we bounce back, how we show our character and experience – what a game to do that in tomorrow."

Stones' Manchester City team-mate Kevin De Bruyne was quick to criticise the Nations League for adding further strain to the footballing calendar.

However, Stones disagrees with the Belgium international as he expressed his pride to play for his country on any occasion.

"You need to always be ready and fighting, the feeling in the camp and the players is that we would play all year round if we could," he added.

"We know how important this period is, not many games leading up to the World Cup, everyone is fighting for their place, trying to play well and trying to create partnerships.

"To play for your nation and be called up...when I was out of the team it hurt so when you are here to play in big games like this you can only cherish the moment and maximise the chances in front of you.

"I see this as a massive learning curve and a big step in the right direction to set us up for the World Cup."

England manager Gareth Southgate has labelled Germany as one of the benchmarks in international football due to their continued presence in the latter stages of major tournaments.

The Three Lions head to Munich on Tuesday for their second Nations League game, having suffered a surprise 1-0 defeat to Hungary on Saturday in their first League A Group 3 game.

Meanwhile, Germany shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw with Italy as preparations for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar are stepped up.

England and Germany met only last June at Euro 2020, with Southgate's side 2-0 victors at the last-16 stage in front of a buoyant Wembley crowd.

Germany have failed to score in their past two matches against England, as many as in their previous 16 games combined.

But Southgate still views Hansi Flick's side as a force to be reckoned with looking forward to the clash at the Allianz Arena and further ahead to the World Cup in November.

"You can see elements of what he did with Bayern Munich, I think seven either current or had just left Bayern, a lot of have cohesion and experience working with him," Southgate said of Flick on Monday.

"You can see the counter-pressing and the general pressing of the forwards, we have to be prepared for that. With the ball, they have some talented players.

"We saw that in summer, I think in some respects the result in summer was overlooked, I'm not sure why. The quality of the team was still very high, World Cup winners everywhere, Champions League winners.

"Real experience of those big occasions. For me, I think Brazil and Germany are still the benchmarks for teams who have regularly won tournaments, regularly making finals, even when you look at the 5-1 here [in 2001], they ended up in the World Cup final.

"You have to respect what they are and where they are as a footballing country, we have to try and replicate that and instil that mentality.

"We have to keep getting to the latter stages of competitions and games like tomorrow are exactly what we need. I think it's a great measure for us, this will be a brilliant test of what we're about and where we're at.

"It won't define where we're at in six months' time, if we win tomorrow, it doesn't mean we are going to win the whole thing in five, six months.

"One of the challenges before was can we beat the bigger teams, we've beat Belgium, Germany and Spain, we're starting to do that so now it is can we continue to do that."

England have not come out on top in consecutive games against Germany since a seven-game winning run between 1935 and 1966, the last game of which was the World Cup final.

Southgate vowed to rotate once again after offering the likes of Jarrod Bowen and James Justin starts in Budapest.

"We are going to push. We want to perform well. We will manage their load. Everyone of them wants to play tomorrow night," he continued. 

"There is huge motivation in the group. I don't think the long season was the cause of the result the other day. The heat was a huge factor.

"To talk about the season is a psychological thing. It is no different to going into the Euros or the World Cup.

"It varies slightly from game to game, you are always trying to win. You always pick a team strong enough to win a game of football. We are trying to manage players coming back.

"To play Saturday and Tuesday is very challenging. Always trying to learn things, there's the performance and result. We go trying to win and the learnings after it is how you develop and improve as a team.

"James [Justin] won't be ready for tomorrow but we are hopeful he will be back for the next game if not the one after. Marc [Guehi] should be ready for tomorrow. Fikayo [Tomori] we could probably put him in the squad but given it's a hamstring we will give him a bit longer."

Germany midfielder Ilkay Gundogan promised to support England and take the knee on Tuesday after Hungary fans jeered the action on Saturday.

England fell to a surprise 1-0 defeat in their Nations League Group A3 opener after Dominik Szoboszlai's second-half penalty at the Puskas Arena, the same Budapest venue where some England players were subjected to racial abuse in September.

Hungary were supposed to play the fixture behind closed doors after racist behaviour at Euro 2020 last year, but children accompanied by some adults were allowed to attend as a crowd of 35,000 watched on.

There were boos when England players took the knee prior to kick-off, with Three Lions manager Gareth Southgate subsequently expressing his confusion and dismay at the pre-match response.

"The first thing is that is why we do it [take the knee], to try to educate people around the world. I have no idea why people would choose to boo that gesture," Southgate told Channel 4 after the game.

England next head to Germany, who played out a 1-1 draw with Italy in their opener, and Gundogan vowed to support his opponents by taking the knee.

"We will go down on our knees together with the English because we want to support this whole initiative," Gundogan told reporters at Monday's pre-match news conference.

"We did this last year at the Euros and, of course, we will do it tomorrow too. I'm used to that from the English league, where we do it almost every match, so it's nothing new for me.

"We talked about it inside the team and we will support the opponent."

Alessandro Florenzi insisted he has faith in Italy's young talent following their 1-1 draw with Germany on Saturday.

The Azzurri opened their Nations League campaign with an improved performance from their UEFA/CONMEBOL Finalissima loss to Argentina, consistently generating opportunities against a ball-dominant Germany.

Among a string of debutants including Torino duo Tommaso Pobega and Samuele Ricci, 18-year-old Wilfried Gnonto marked his first cap for Italy with an assist for Lorenzo Pellegrini.

Wearing the captain's armband and amid Italy's failure to qualify for the World Cup, Florenzi tried to bring perspective to the window post-game.

"There were many young players compared to Wembley," Florenzi told RAI Sport. "Some of them paid a price for the nerves of their debut, others behaved like little veterans.

"We need to start again with Italy fuelled by the hunger of these young guys."

Florenzi and Gianluigi Donnarumma were the only Azzurri players on Saturday to have played over 40 caps, with six debutants overall at the Stadio Renato Dall'Ara.

While five of them came off the bench including Gnonto, a start was handed to Sassuolo midfielder Davide Frattesi.

Asked whether he felt added responsibility wearing the captain's armband, the 31-year-old claimed it was necessary for his team to rejuvenate the Italy squad.

"You feel responsibility every time you pull on this shirt," Florenzi said.

"We had to send a signal that we were starting fresh and I think we did that. Everyone gave something more to honour this jersey."

Italy next host Hungary on Tuesday, before Saturday's Euro 2020 final rematch with England.

Germany coach Hansi Flick says his side lacked "intensity" and "precision" in their 1-1 Nations League draw with Italy on Saturday.

Die Mannschaft looked the brighter side in the first half, yet the best chance fell to the Azzurri, with Gianluca Scamacca striking the post from distance.

Roberto Mancini's side were much improved after the break, though, and Lorenzo Pellegrini put them ahead in the 70th minute.

However, Germany recovered a point three minutes later courtesy of Joshua Kimmich's neat finish after a scramble in the penalty area.

The result means Flick has not lost any of his first 10 matches in charge of the national team, becoming the third Germany coach to achieve that feat after Sepp Herberger and Josef Derwall.

Despite that, Flick was not impressed with his side's display and has urged his players to improve swiftly. 

"We started the game well then lost our way after 15, 20 minutes," he told a media conference.

"Italy played very well, and we made too many mistakes in the build-up. We lacked intensity and defensive solidity.

"These are the areas we need to improve so we can do better on Tuesday. We did not apply what we had practised in training and that's not the first time it has happened.

"Italy were far more cohesive and well-drilled than we expected, so it's positive that we managed to get the equaliser straight away.

"It confirms the Nations League allows you to always face very strong opponents. Our performance was fairly negative in general today, we can and must do more. We lacked intensity and our usual precision."

Italy shocked many by failing to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar later this year, but Flick has seen enough to suggest the Azzurri will not be away from the top table of world football for long.

"Italy is a nation that lives and breathes football," he added. "They are solid defensively. I admire Mancini and the way his Italy played at Euro 2020. We all slowly became Italy fans watching the way they played in that tournament.

"The Azzurri have everything they need to reboot and reconstruct another important era."

Germany are next in action on Tuesday when they welcome England to the Allianz Arena in Munich. 

Roberto Mancini says Italy have a "long road ahead" of them despite a much-improved display in a 1-1 Nations League draw with Germany on Saturday.

The Azzurri were beaten 3-0 by Argentina in Wednesday's Finalissima – a meeting between the European champions and Copa America winners – but they delivered a bright performance against Hansi Flick's side in Bologna.

Lorenzo Pellegrini put them ahead in the 70th minute, although Die Mannschaft sealed a point three minutes later when Joshua Kimmich powered home.

Despite an improved showing, Italy have still won just one of their last six games, and Mancini urged players and supporters alike not to get carried away.

"One result changes nothing, we've got a very long road ahead of us," he told RAI Sport. "The lads did really well. It's not easy as Germany are one of the best sides in the world right now.

"We were a little hesitant at the start, then slowly started to play. It's a pity we conceded the equaliser straight after. We were naive because it was not an easy game, especially at the start.

"It was the first time they [the players] played together, they did a great job. They suffered when they had to and attacked when they had to.

"The lads did really well. They played at the same level as what is a great national team at this moment."

Pellegrini's goal was created by substitute Wilfried Gnonto, who became the first player born after January 1, 2003 to play for Italy.

The FC Zurich forward looked at home on the international stage, and he said the past week has been a whirlwind for him.

"It was a strange and exhilarating week," he said. "The coach gave me a chance and I think I made the most of it.

"It's all going so fast. I just try to enjoy the moment and every training session because being here is a privilege."

Speaking about his excellent cross for the goal, the 18-year-old added: "I knew [Thilo] Kehrer was already booked, so when I got the ball I didn't think of anything other than taking him on.

"I was determined to get past him and the ball from that angle is the toughest for a goalkeeper and defender to deal with. If you are a striker, you need to make the difference and I did that tonight."

Italy and Germany played out a 1-1 draw in their Nations League Group A3 opener in Bologna on Saturday.

Roberto Mancini's side suffered a 3-0 defeat to Argentina in Wednesday's Finalissima – a meeting between the European champions and Copa America winners – but they were much improved at Stadio Renato Dall'Ara.

The Azzurri, who hit the post in the first half through Gianluca Scamacca, went ahead in the 70th minute courtesy of Lorenzo Pellegrini's fourth international goal.

However, Germany levelled soon after as Joshua Kimmich stole in to snatch a point for Hansi Flick's men.

Germany had been comfortably the better side in the early stages, with Serge Gnabry forcing Gianluigi Donnarumma into a smart stop from a tight angle in the 15th minute.

Thomas Muller saw a powerful strike superbly blocked by Alessandro Florenzi shortly before the half-hour mark, while at the other end Scamacca struck the base of Manuel Neuer's right-hand post with an effort from distance.

Scamacca headed wide from a promising position soon after the restart, before Matteo Politano had an effort deflected narrowly wide.

Then 18-year-old debutant Wilfried Gnonto had an almost immediate impact after being introduced in the 65th minute, whipping in a wonderful cross from the right that Pellegrini steered in from close range. 

Italy's lead lasted just three minutes, though, as Kimmich clipped home from 10 yards to ensure the spoils were shared. 

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