England’s Heaviest Defeats

Liam Bewsher

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England’s Heaviest Defeats

Here we take a look at England’s heaviest defeats in international football following Tuesday night's humiliating thrashing at the hands of Hungary at Molineux, with pressure mounting on Gareth Southgate due to the Three Lions' woeful Nations League performances which have seen them fail to score from open play in League A Group 3.

As things stand, England are three points behind second-bottom Italy with just two games to go, with one being against the Azzuri, whilst the other is at home to Germany, with Southgate’s men facing the prospect of potentially being relegated to League B following back to back defeats against the Magyars.

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Brazil 5 England 1 (1964)

The first defeat on this list goes all the way back to 1964, just two years before England would become world champions in 1966 on home turf for the first and only time to date.

Brazil’s goalscorers on the night were Rinaldo (2), Pele, Julinho and Roberto Dias, inflicting a heavy defeat on Sir Alf Ramsey’s men, despite Jimmy Greaves equalising in the 49th minute of the game itself.

England’s team did look very different to that which won the World Cup itself, with only George Cohen, Sir Bobby Moore, Ray Wilson and Sir Bobby Charlton going on to play in the World Cup final against West Germany

At the time, Brazil were back-to-back reigning world champions, having beaten Sweden 5-2 and Czechoslovakia 3-1 in their previous two World Cup finals and took no mercy here under the management of Aymore Moreira.

England 0 Hungary 4 (2022)

England’s latest thrashing at the hands of Hungary features as their fourth-worst defeat of all time in terms of scoreline, with the Three Lions losing back-to-back matches against the Magyars who are ranked 40th in the FIFA World Rankings.

This latest loss has further raised questions as to whether Southgate’s management is holding England back with the Three Lions squad quality significantly improving since the start of the former Middlesbrough manager’s reign.

Nevertheless, a brace from Roland Sallai and a Zsolt Nagy put the Magyars into a shock 3-0 lead, whilst a red card for John Stones compounded England’s problems, before Daniel Gazdag fired in a fourth to seal England’s heaviest home defeat since 1928. Prompting fans at Molineux to chant “you don’t know what you’re doing” towards Southgate and England.

England 1 Scotland 5 (1928)

Predictably, England against Scotland features after previously mentioning it as the joint heaviest home defeat in the Three Lions' history.

This was the day when the ‘Wembley Wizards’ were created, a nickname that was given to the Scots by their supporters after hammering their fierce neighbours 5-1 in the 1928 British Home Championship.

Scotland hadn’t won any of their matches in the championship in the run-up to this game, before giving England a 5-1 hiding thanks to a hat-trick from Alex Jackson and a brace from Alex James, before Bob Kelly scored a late consolation goal in the 89th minute of the match.

Yugoslavia 5 England 0 (1958)

In 1958 England suffered a humiliating 5-0 defeat away at Yugoslavia under the management of Walter Winterbottom.

The home side were clearly one in the ascendancy at this moment in time, having finished fifth in the World Cup that year, as well as being runners-up at the 1960 European Championship in France.

England’s side that day featured the likes of Sir Bobby Charlton, Sir Tom Finney and Johnny Haynes in a year where they’d finish as the 11th best team at the World Cup, before not entering the inaugural 1960 European Championship.

Milos Milutinovic struck in the 23rd minute of this match before Aleksander Petakovic bagged a hat-trick, whilst Todor Veselonovic added a fifth late on to complete the route for Aleksandar Tirnanic’s men.

Hungary 7 England 1 (1954)

Ironically, it is Hungary who features in top spot for England’s heaviest ever defeat, with this coming in 1954, back in an era where the Magyars were deemed as one of the best teams in world football, with the likes of Sandor Kocsis and Zoltan Czibor, formerly of Barcelona, forming a deadly partnership up-front with the well renowned Ferenc Puskas

In this defeat, Puskas and Kocsis both scored braces, Mihaly Lantos, Nandor Hidegkuti and Jozsef Toth all got on the scoresheet. The Three Lions only goal in this match came through ex-Manchester City and Carlisle United forward Ivor Broadis when the score was already 5-0 to Hungary.

England’s most notable players that day were the likes of Finney, Roger Byrne and Billy Wright with the latter captaining the side.

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