Again, England suffered the ignominy of being booed inside their own stadium. They had lost for the second time in five days and when the shortcomings are this obvious, with the World Cup draw just round the corner, the only possible consolation can be that nobody surely will be foolish enough to heap unrealistic expectations on this team.
Germany, like Chile, simply reminded everyone about the standard of opposition in England's qualifying programme. Joachim Löw's team did not even have to play particularly well, with their manager acknowledging afterwards he was not fully satisfied. Yet Germany could lope through the match and still expose some old failings in their opponents.
Andros Townsend offered a few flickers of encouragement and Joe Hart, barring one moment of near-embarrassment, can reflect on a restorative performance, but it is difficult to be too positive when the opposition goalkeeper walks off the pitch at the final whistle without a mark on his kit. England did not manage a single shot on target, the first time in a home game since losing 1-0 to Scotland in November 1999. They have not beaten Germany since Colin Bell and Malcolm MacDonald scored the goals in a 2-0 win over Helmut Schön's team in 1975 and it is the first time since 1977 they have lost successive matches on their own ground.
Between them, Chile and Germany have made Hodgson's team look ordinary.
The fact is Germany won, through Per Mertesacker's headed goal, while projecting the sense they were playing a good two or three notches below their optimum. At times, especially in the first half, they showed little appetite to give everything to the occasion. It was when they decided to take the game a touch more seriously that they were comfortably the more distinguished team. All this from a side that left Manuel Neuer, Mesut Özil and Philipp Lahm at home, with Thomas Müller never required to remove his substitutes' top.
A better side than England would have taken control during that 30-minute period in the first half when Germany were misplacing enough passes to agitate Löw and leave the clear feeling that a shock might be possible if Hodgson's men could start to move the ball with more authority. Instead, England were susceptible to a cross into the penalty area, just as they had been for Alexis Sánchez's first goal for Chile on Friday, and Mertesacker took advantage despite the close proximity of Chris Smalling, Wayne Rooney and Tom Cleverley, all going for the same ball. Mertesacker had an outstanding night and this was not the only occasion he evaded Smalling in England's penalty area. Hodgson, insisting Smalling had put in a strong performance, was either protecting his player or sorely mistaken – hopefully the former. England simply cannot expect to get away with defending this generously in Brazil.
At least Hart showed the force of personality that was required on his return to the team. His first save of the night, from another Mertesacker header, was one of the game's outstanding's moments, even if England were behind within 30 seconds. The ball was never fully cleared and Toni Kroos, a considerable influence for the winning side, clipped another cross into the penalty area. Mertesacker attacked it with more intent than his opponents and his header flashed past Hart into the opposite corner.
Early in the second half, Hart was quickly off his goalline to smother Marco Reus's effort and later there was a splendid one-handed save from Mario Götze's right-foot drive. In between, however, there was another of those dashes outside his penalty area that have undermined his performances. Wembley held its breath as he collided with Smalling and the pair were fortunate Germany did not have anyone to capitalise. Hart's goalkeeping was impressive but in that moment everything could have gone horribly wrong.
Townsend was probably the only other England player to emerge with any real distinction, always willing to drive forward from his position on the right and cracking a shot against a post, from 25 yards, with their best attacking moment. Steven Gerrard and Ashley Cole came off because of the injuries that have troubled them recently. Daniel Sturridge, perhaps surprisingly, stayed on, despite his own fitness issues.
He was off the pace and his partnership with Rooney continues to smoulder rather than fully ignite. Rooney put in the usual hard running but it is all huff and puff sometimes and it had no impact against a defence superbly marshalled by Mertesacker and Jérôme Boateng.
Adam Lallana drew praise from Hodgson as "a major find" but there were times when he was peripheral, particularly in the first half, and there was something telling about the loud cheers when Jack Wilshere replaced Cleverley. Jordan Henderson was also brought on and responsible for the one occasion when Germany's defence was almost opened up. His pass was wonderfully measured and a decent touch would have left Sturridge clean through. The striker's anticipation was poor and the chance was gone.
The booing was more voluble than it had been against Chile and Hodgson, with only one more game before he names his squad, has plenty to consider.