After Podolski exited for the final time, unusually to some stirring classical music as the game continued, the final stages were given over to multiple substitutions and a flat finale for Southgate's side.
Their biggest came after 30 minutes when Adam Lallana took advantage of a Joshua Kimmich mistake to charge through but, with only Marc Andre ter Stegen to beat, his low, angled shot bounced off the post.
"My last game, against a good team in a very nice stadium, I scored a goal and it was 1-0".
It was the flawless moment for Lukas Podolski - who was signing off from the German global team last night in his 130th appearance - and speaking after the game, Gareth Southgate branded the goal a "fairytale goal" while also praising his side's performance.
Ultimately though, it ended in defeat for England, with many fans concerned about the prospect of the "same old England" despite the appointment of a new manager...
"I decided six weeks ago that is what we were going to do tonight, once I'd studied all the videos of the way Germany played and I watched them a lot last summer live".
Pleased with the performance.
It represented the 130th and final global appearance of Podolski's career, with the 31-year-old now retiring from the national scene.
England are also back in qualifying action on Sunday and play host to Lithuania in the hopes they can maintain an undefeated record in Group F, where they lead Slovenia by two points.
Ted Koppel Tells Sean Hannity He Thinks He's Bad for America
In a series of tweets, Hannity later accused CBS of offering "Fake Edited News". Koppel: "No, let me finish the sentence before you do that".
"We should have won the game, the one missing piece was the finish".
"I have seen Germany pin teams back with the system we have played in the past, I didn't want us to be on the back foot and we created the good chances we had".
"I don't know why the fans are protesting".
Now sitting two points clear at the top of their World Cup qualifying group, England are expected to seal their spot at Russian Federation 2018, but the expectation levels from fans could be at an all-time low after being humiliated at the last two major tournaments.
"We lost our shape in a little spell towards the end of the game and they had a bit more control, but for the majority of the game we were the better team".
Germany's Thomas Muller comes on as a substitute to replace Timo Werner as coach Joachim Low looks on during the global friendly between Germany and England at Signal-Iduna-Park, Dortmund March 22, 2017.
"London, in particular, has suffered that before, so we wanted to put on a performance that had the passion and the desire that reflected that".
"It was one of our better decisions to have a game", Strachan said.