Sunday, 10 June 2012

Group B: Germany v Portugal Post Match Analysis

        Gomez, 72

Germany start in their 4-2-3-1 shape, starting 11:
GK: Neuer, LB: Lahm,  CB: Babstuber,  CB: Hummels, RB: Boateng  CM: Khedira  CM: Schweinsteiger, LFW: Podolski, CW: Ozil,  RFW: Muller, ST: Gomez.
SUBS USED: Gomez/Klose 80 Ozil/Kroos Muller/Bender 94

Portugal start off in their 4-3-3 shape, starting 11:
GK: Patricio,  LB: Coentrao, CB: Pepe,  CB: Alves  RB: Pereira,  DCM: Veloso, CM: Moutinho, CM: Meirelse,  LFW: Ronaldo  ST: Postiga,  RFW: Nani.
SUBS USED: Postiga/ Oliveria 70, Meeireles/verela 80


The selection in the defensive area was intriguing. To the joy of the German fans, Hummels started and he did not disappoint. He is as comfortable with the ball at his feet as he is with it in the air and he showed this again by not putting a foot wrong all game; the rest of the Germany/Bayern  back line would have been pleased to have him alongside them. Lahm had moved to the left while Boateng played at right back. The pair were quite reserved in the attacking sense as they always had the threat that Ronaldo and Nani possess in getting in behind. Boateng stayed narrow and tried to push Ronaldo out wide, making a very important  last ditch challenge on Ronaldo after a beautiful pass from Moutinho, that surely gave them all three points. Lahm stayed wide on Nani, which left Babstuber to deal with Postiga knowing he had Hummels to sweep up if he did get beaten which rarely happened. I was wondering how high Germany would press with Portugal being so dangerous on the counter and press high they did, though they were forced to with the Portugal defence and midfield three playing so deep for most of the game.

In the middle :
Moutinho and Veloso are excellent at playing long ball to wide areas and this is where Portugal's danger lay, they tried to hit Ronaldo with diagonal balls time and time again. The threesome sat deep and Veloso was the deepest, though he didn't do a lot of defending as most of his time was spent getting the run around from Ozil. Moutinho tried to help out in the attacking third but is not quite suited to playing the number 10 role. Germany's double pivot of  Schweinsteiger and Khedira played well together, they were always covering for the other and they always seemed to be available for both the defence and attacking four.   

Wing Play:
The turf will be worn out on the sides as both teams seem to play down these channels. Portugal naturally play this way; it was the Germans who changed their style a little and like any great side their attacking stride didn't falter for the change. Ozil was good again, starting off in central areas and moving wide; he played on the flanks more than the centre and used the ball well. Poldolski could have scored with a good shot with the outside of his boot early on but apart from that chance he didn't have the greatest of games for his high standards. Muller, however, had a good game, and found space and time to put in a few crosses. Portugal looked dangerous for a while after the first sub and this was because they had three wingers playing behind the new man up top and their attacking running style showed what this team enjoys doing. However, this only played into Germany's hands as they found space to hit on the counter.

Up Top:
Postiga is not the best in the box, unlike Gomez, but he did work hard and always helps out his team. He moved to the wings when needed and this allowed Ronaldo to come inside. I feel though, that Portugal are okay on the outside and would have benefited from him staying central. The Portuguese bottle-necked themselves when the front three came inside to meet the German barricade, and without the man at the edge of the box or the fullbacks pushing on and stretching the play, they ran out of ideas. Gomez got the call over Klose this may change as time goes on, as Gomez only had three shots this was partly down to a lack of support but mostly his lack of work rate, he had one in the first minute and most notably the goal on 72 minutes. Just as Low was thinking about a change, Gomez got lucky with the deflection from the cross, but make no mistake; there was no luck involved with the header, it was sublime.

Full Time:
Germany once again showed that they can do the lot. They probed and didn't mind going out wide and playing in more crosses then they are used to. This team will be hard to beat and will really want to get the job done against Holland if not to rest players in the third game, but to take out a nemesis. Portugal may decide that they have to go all-out attack against Denmark as anything apart from a win will make it tough for Bento's boys.

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