Despite the resumption of the qualifying round for Euro 2020, the control game in Dortmund between the finalists of the 2014 World Cup was friendly only by the sign. In fact, the teams of Germany and Argentina put on a performance that was in no way inferior in its intensity to the most status official meetings. Lionel Scaloni’s team could well have taken revenge for the defeat five years ago in the decisive match. However, Joachim Lev & Co. were clearly against this scenario. Final 2: 2, as a natural outcome of the fiery confrontation.
After a disastrous performance at the 2018 World Cup, the head coach of the German national team constantly rotated the composition. As a result of personnel changes at Signal Iduna Park, fans for the first time saw a curious picture. Namely, the complete absence of world champions in the application for the match.
Joachim Löw has always insisted on a significant reduction in the average age of players, and implemented his plan as soon as possible.
A little over a year after the disaster at the world championship in Russia, the German national team has changed beyond recognition
From the first minutes the super-three of attackers entered the home stadium of Borussia. Julian Brandt – Kai Havertz – Serge Gnabry. Largely due to their mobility, ease, speed in decision-making, these guys over and over again outstripped the defense of the Argentines, led by ex-Spartak Marcos Rojo.
But even in this ultra-talented combination, there was a leader. Nimble, ubiquitous, motorized – it’s all about the 24-year-old Bayern striker. In the course of the meeting, the feeling was created that Gnabry was a couple of moves ahead of the slow pair of central defenders “albiseleste” Akuña-Otamendi.
And if in the case of the second goal of the Germans, Serge cut the entire defense of the Scaloni team with one flank pass, then Gnabry managed to send the first goal scored to Marchesin’s goal, having escaped the guardianship of four players at once! However, few people expected that losing 0: 2 by the break, the “sky blue” will return to the game.
Without Messi, but with Alario
The absence of the main star of the two-time world champions in the starting lineup should not have surprised fans of either the Argentine national team or Lionel Messi himself. His namesake, who replaced Jorge Sampaoli as head coach, as well as Joachim Lev, is playing with optimal combinations of players.
As a result, Scaloni decided to give the recent Ballon d’Or a chance to recuperate after playing for Barcelona. In addition, this year the Argentines will no longer have official matches. In three days, the team will play another freight train with Ecuador, after which they will go on vacation.
In the first half, the lack of Messi was especially acute. The center of the field with ex-Zenit midfielder Leandro Paredes looked sluggish against the background of a more powerful bunch of Jan-Kimmich. The latter repeatedly baffled the “sky-blue” by active connections to the attack, where someone from the Brandt-Havertz pair was already waiting for his transmission.
However, having completely crushed the opponent in the first half, the Germans noticeably surrendered in speed in the second. And here, at the most opportune moment, the key coaching decision of another Lionel – Scaloni – had to be. In the last half hour of the meeting, the 41-year-old specialist released his joker, Lucas Alario, onto the field.
The Bayer striker did not disappoint the coach and almost immediately after the substitution scored the most important goal, which allowed the Argentines to return to the game. Tall, jumpy, with his entry into the attacking line, the game of “albiseleste” has noticeably simplified, being reduced to flank canopies.
However, the emphasized straightforwardness ultimately did not at all beg the effectiveness of this kind of tactical move. The final score is on the scoreboard, and the fans are left wondering why the head coach did not release Lucas from the first minutes. Who knows, perhaps then the course of the meeting would be dictated by the Argentines themselves.
Germany 2-2 Argentina, Ocampos ?
In addition to the abundance of goals and not at all friendly pace of the game, this meeting will be remembered by many for several more openings. If the Germans have a young talent from Bayer, Kai Havertz opened the scoring for the Bundestim, then the “blue-white” had his first match for the national team by midfielder of “Sevilla” Lucas Ocampos.
At the end of the meeting, when “albiseleste” finally pressed the hosts to their own goalkeeper’s room, it was the 25-year-old midfielder who was quicker than the others, sending the ball into the near corner of the goal of Andre ter Stegen. The participation of the Barcelona goalkeeper in this meeting, by the way, was a big question from the very beginning.
Boycott by Uli Hoeness
Their face-to-face duel with the Bayern goalkeeper led to numerous rumors about the conflict between Manuel Neuer and Joachim Loew. The longtime leader and captain of the national team was dissatisfied with the decision to announce plans to replace him in the next matches in Germany.
Even the president of “Bavaria” intervened in a difficult situation, adding his portion of oil to the goalkeeper’s fire. “Before this happens, we will stop releasing players to the national team. We will never accept such a change. Joachim Loew will hear our words, ”Uli Hoeness said recently.
Nevertheless, the head coach was not taken aback and found a middle ground. The 59-year-old specialist released Ter Stegen to the match with Argentina from the first minutes and at the same time reassured Neuer.
I have already repeated earlier that Manuel Neuer is our captain. Thus, he is our number one at the current stage, if nothing extraordinary happens, “Lev emphasized before the game.
Indeed, Manuel sat on the bench for all 90 minutes, but it seems that he was not at all upset by this alignment. Towards the end of the match, the camera caught a close-up of the smiling Bayern goalkeeper. Self-confidence shone in those eyes.
In the end, everyone was satisfied: Ter Stegen, having gone out for once at the start, and Neuer, having received evidence of his own immunity in the Bundesmannschaft. But the head coach of Germany is unlikely to be satisfied with the final result of the meeting (2: 2). The outcome of the match at Iduna Park could have been completely different, the Germans did not fail in the second half.
Joachim Lev has something to think about before the official matches with Estonia (October 13) and Belarus (November 16). Argentina’s national team will fly to Elche, Spain, where this Sunday they will meet with the Ecuadorian national team in a friendly match.