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5 Lessons from Germany, Italy clash

The two European football heavyweights in Germany and Italy renewed rivalry on the field of play in the quarter-finals of the EURO 2016 with the Germans breaking the jinx to overcome their Italian foe on penalties after normal regulation time ended one goal apiece (1-1).


/ by Editor
By Obiweluozo Martins

The two European football heavyweights in Germany and Italy renewed rivalry on the field of play in the quarter-finals of the EURO 2016 with the Germans breaking the jinx to overcome their Italian foe on penalties after normal regulation time ended one goal apiece (1-1).

This was a clash between one of the best coaches in European Football with Joachim Loew and Chelsea bound Antonio Conte trying to out muscle each other in the coaching dugout. It was an end to end game but the Germans came out on top with a positive result against an opposition that boast a favourable record against by triumphing 6-5 on Penalty kicks. The match was a fascinating encounter as both side matched each other in the contest.

On this note we evaluate the possible lessons we encountered from the Germany vs. Italy titanic clash.


Antonio Conte barks out instructions to his Italy team as they try to repeat their last-16 heroics once more on Saturday evening.
Just before the blast of the kick-off it was as if the Italians wanted to win the game more than the Germans. The Italians sang the National anthem with all the passion and ginger they could muster in their mind as kick off loomed with so much uncertainty of whom to go through in the contest. The Italian manager Conte has shown strong desire to go further in the competition and to win the EURO as he easily fumed at any wasted opportunity. Chelsea bound Conte was spotted by the Camera kicking the ball away in the sidelines when the Azurri met Spain in the Round of 16.Such passion and determination was exhibited by Antonio Conte once again against the Germans as he was meticulously shouting to his players to keep shape and organize themselves tactically and he never seemed to get tired as the game progressed althrough the encounter.


The Germans were surely up against one of the best opposition in World football, their personal nemesis and have to be in top form to overcome their major foe in European football and they did perform to an appreciable level. The game was a little bit Cagey in the early stages as understandably no team will want to concede an early goal to the detriment of their game plan. Germany had some chance with Muller who fired at goal following good work on the left by Schalke 04 Captain Benedikt Höwedes. Fortunately for Germany an injury turned providence as Sami Khedira got injured after lunging into an Italy player with captain Bastian Schweinsteiger replacing the former Real Madrid man .That change was positive as the veteran midfielder added more quality, experience and dynamism into the game whish enabled the Germans to get their foothold in the midfield. The Germans enjoyed more of the ball than Italy which lead to the opener by Mesut Ozil in the 65th minutes of the second half.


The Arsenal forward with his sleek movement and accurate passing of the ball was spot on in the game against Italy. The ease with which he handled the ball in possession during the match just got to show the depth of talent he is. Ozil’s presence on the pitch enabled Germany to find their rhythm as those sleek movement and accurate delivery of his was causing Italy problems in defence. His awareness and pass distribution was spot on as he spread play with so much ease and direction. There came in the 64th minute as Mario Gomez sneaked in a wonderful pass which lead to the opener as Mesut Ozil was smart enough to apply the finishing touch, sending the Germans into rapturous ecstasy with Buffon not having an answer to it as the Italian went a goal down (1-0).


Muller (right) is tackled by Leonardo Bonucci as he looks to break his goal scoring duck for Germany at Euro 2016.
The Italians are known for their strong defensive and coordinated unit at the heart of the defence. The Azurri are noted for their 3-5-2 formation which is a system that supports 5 men in defence when defending and five men in attack when in transition. The game was restricted to extra-time as both sides sought to keep shape at the back and nick a win late on. The Italians made several blocks to deny the Germans on numerous occasions with many defenders in defence when not in possession .There came a breakaway from Germany with Gomez setting up Thomas Muller whose shot was blocked by an Italian defender who flew like a blue angel to meticulously make an unbelievable block to deny Germany the breakthrough in the game following string of ball possession and good football from Joachim Loew men. That was how tight the game was as Germany managed to sneak in one goal off the foot of Mesut Ozil who reacted fastest to Mario Gomez inviting pass to open the scoring for Germany in the match.


The defender saw his low effort saved by Manuel Neuer who guessed correctly to his left to beat Darmian's shot away.
The Germans and Italians are very much organized and tactically oriented and it evident as none of the two was willing to concede as a result of desperate defending. The likes of Joshua Kimmich, Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels were alert in the game keeping out Italian forwards (Eder and Graziano Pelle) at bay to the frustration of Antonio Conte who would have wanted a lead over Germany in the match. The defensive correlation of Giorgio Chiellini, Bonucci and Andreas Barzagli has all the ability in its regards to swallow the best of attackers just like they did to Ibrahimovic against Sweden in the group stages. It was a tactical and a very strategic game which both sides cannot be separated if not from the (12yards) penalty kicks of which the Germans stood strong to overcome Italy 6-5 as Matteo Darmian lost the resultant kick to eliminate his country.

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