Germany plays 1:1 against Italy: it went well again – Sports

Hansi Flick put his hands on his hips and looked as if he had to sort out his thoughts first. What was going on in his head? Nobody knows exactly what the sometimes obscure national coach thinks, but Saturday evening in Bologna allowed plenty of different opinions. For example: Phew, good job again! Or: Well, I’ve seen that better than DFB-Elf. Or: fits, in the end, the Italians are the European champions.

The German national team drew 1-1 at Renato Dallara Stadium, and it was a difficult match in which Joshua Kimmich scored the equalizer with an unclear goal. The question really arises: what can we do with it now?

From the start of his expedition as a national coach, Fleck has produced a sparkling white budget, where some beauty spots become visible if you examine them closely. Flick has had eight wins from nine games with DFB-Elf, and it shows a plus-31 goal difference – at first, the ranks are falling jaw.

However, it is undeniable that most of the opponents at that time were more in the “football dwarf” category and the first endurance test ended in a 1-1 draw with Holland. So this was the Italian’s second high-level rehearsal, although before the match many wondered how difficult it would be. Because of AzureAs it is known to interested football fans, they have managed to fall from the throne of the sky to the bottom of the sea in a short period of time: from European champions to losing qualification to the World Cup in less than a year. On the other hand, aren’t soccer teams, especially Italians, particularly dangerous when they feel trapped?

The Italians defend with skill and great physical effort

Italy coach Roberto Mancini did without some of the remaining footballers, who embody a high standard, for experimental purposes. However, how seriously Flick took this task could be seen by his lineup, which represented a sort of eleven start to emergencies. There was a lot of physicality on the pitch: Niklas Sule and Antonio Rudiger formed the central defence, Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka played in the midfield – these are four players who do their daily defensive work and can think about the future at the same time.

Italy coach Roberto Mancini gives instructions to his players during the UEFA Nations League soccer match between Italy and Germany at Renato Dallara Stadium in Bologna, Italy, Saturday, June 4, 2022 (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

(Photo: Antonio Kalani/The Associated Press)

But they rarely manage to change the rhythm of the game so that the spaces that Leroy Sane and Serge Gnabry love are created. Every now and then they switch sides, but without any significant return. This even frustrated Thomas Muller, who loves to create spaces himself. This frustrated Timo Werner even more, who needs a few square meters of space to be able to undo his fast horsepower – and who loses nearly every moment of danger when an opponent’s defense prevents him from running deep. The Italians defended skillfully and with great physical effort.

The result was a game that lacked elements of both surprise and entertainment. The ball was rarely accelerated by the DFB team in the first half, and when the ball went vertical, the Italian legs were usually in the way. So real opportunities were scarce. Gnabry had his opponent swayed after 15 minutes, but a shot stopped her. The same fate befell Muller’s chance, he shot Goretzka twice above it, and his other shots were hampered.

DFB-Elf has a lot of control, but it gets tangled up a lot more often

Lacking ideas, the Italians also did it cleverly: they took space and speed out of the game and were happy to have the same thing at their disposal every now and then. DFB-Elf was able to intercept most of the Italian counter-attacks, but if the ball slips, things get suspicious. Above all, it was difficult for Rudiger and Sully, the powerful and agile striker Gianluca Scamaca to seize; Skamaka had the best chance of the match so far, with a shot at the post before the end of the first half.

Little changed in this photo in the second half. The DFB-Elf had a lot of control, but tangled a lot for those moments when you just couldn’t tangle. The game never really came alive, even when Flick brought in new cast of Jamal Musiala, Jonas Hoffmann, Kai Havertz and Ilkay Gundogan. It was also because of the Italians. They did not show the self-confidence of a pregnant European champion, but they also did not perform in the bent position of a non-participant in the World Cup.

In this regard, a completely unburdened player is, for example, 18-year-old Wilfried Genow, who also took part as a substitute. This was an act one would like to see from the replaced Sanneh. It was fitting that the equalizer soon after produced largely random ping-pong, during which the ball was shot, blocked, perimetered and blocked – and finally fell to Kimmich, who scored big to make the score 1-1 (73rd place 73rd). ). The Italians complained that the ball bounced off Werner’s arm in front of Kimmich’s feet. However, the attacker was more or less hit by a bullet and his arm was close to his body. So the goal was calculated. The game quickly recovered from this turmoil by picking up on its usual rhythm.

In the end, both teams may still be satisfied. Flick’s eleven players, who had little chance of being out of control, survived another match unbeaten – and the Italians surely had an even worse experience than the 1-1 draw against Germany.

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