Hansi Flick's super series continues: under him, the national team is still unbeaten. After the endurance test against Italy, neither the coach nor his players find anything really good about the draw. It should be better against England.
Germany plays against the European champions in a friendly game, er, sorry, in the opening game of this year's Nations League. So the team of national coach Hansi Flick can play against Italy, which could not qualify for the World Cup in Qatar at the end of the year. A little reminder: In the summer of 2021, the country became European champions, but then collapsed in an inexplicable way. Coach Roberto Mancini is still in charge - he hasn't been sacked despite the botched World Cup qualification - but he's put together a whole new team. Goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma is also still there, the eternal defender Giorgio Chiellini was recently dismissed at the Finalissima - as FIFA called the game of the European champions against the best in South America, Argentina. In case of defeat, bitter end. In the Nations League in a group with Germany, Hungary and England, the fresh team should be able to restart.
And Germany? Flick is looking for his starting eleven for the World Cup. Instead of friendly games now in the Nations League. First interim result: 1: 1, many mistakes, little pace and the blemish of still not having beaten a top nation in the post-Joachim Löw era. The giants, they're giving Flick a hard time.
Italien: Donnarumma / Paris St. Germain (23 Jahre / 43 Länderspiele) - Florenzi / AC Mailand (31/48), Acerbi / Lazio Rom (34/24), Bastoni / Inter Mailand (23/12), Biraghi / AC Florenz (29/14) from 80. Dimarco / Inter Mailand (24/1) - Frattesi / Sassuolo Calcio (22/1) from 85. Ricci / FC Turin (20/1), Cristante / AS Rom (27/24), Tonali / AC Mailand (22/9) from 80. Pobega / FC Turin (22/1) - Politano / SSC Neapel (28/6) from 65. Gnonto / FC Zürich (18/1), Scamacca / Sassuolo Calcio (23 / 4) ab 85. Cancellieri / Hellas Verona (20/1), Pellegrini / AS Rom (25/23). - Trainer: Mancini
Germany: Neuer/Bayern Munich (36 years/110 international matches) - Henrichs/RB Leipzig (25/7) from 59. Hofmann/Borussia Mönchengladbach (29/11), Süle/Bayern Munich (26/38), Rüdiger/FC Chelsea (29/51), Kehrer/Paris St. Germain (25/19) - Kimmich/Bayern Munich (27/65), Goretzka/Bayern Munich (27/42) from 69. Gündogan/Manchester City (31/57) - Gnabry/Bayern Munich (26/32) from 80. Raum/TSG Hoffenheim (24/6), Müller/Bayern Munich (32/113) from 70. Havertz/FC Chelsea (22/26), Sane/Bayern Munich (26 /43) from 59. Musiala/Bayern Munich (19/12) - Werner/FC Chelsea (26/50). - Coach: Flick
Schiedsrichter: Srdjan Jovanovic (Serbien)
Goals: 1: 0 Pellegrini (70th), 1: 1 Kimmich (73rd, according to video evidence)
Before kick-off: It starts with a clear sign of fairness. While the German national anthem sounds, boos and whistles can be heard from the stands. But the Italian national players and most of the fans intervene - and drown out the unsportsmanlike behavior with clapping. Remarkably good.
15 minutes: Serge Gnabry tests keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma: after a short start he leaves Biraghi and closes powerfully - but the Italian goalkeeper is the winner of the small duel.
36 minutes: The DFB-Elf plays more in front of the opposing goal, but the Italians have the biggest chance. Only the outer post stands in the way of Gianluca Scamacca's 1-0! The full shot from afar would have outwitted Manuel Neuer, but the goal post is a few centimeters in the way.
40 minutes: The Germans are also aiming better now, but not (yet) well enough. The attack wants to solve it in the small-small, it feels like everyone can aim for the goal or pass on. Leon Goretzka misses a shot from a good position, his rebound lands on Gnabry, but he shoots far over it.
48 minutes: And again Scamacca! Left criminally alone by the Germans, he heads the ball just past the far corner.
56 minutes: Italy now pushes the goal much harder than in the first half. Germany has its problems with that. Lorenzo Pellegrini moves in good, old Robben manner from the right inwards and flicks the ball past Thilo Kehrer, but also past the long corner. It was close!
60 minutes: Donnarumma keeps the ball loose, but at least we can register an offensive attempt by the DFB team. Gnabry plays from the right in the middle, but Timo Werner comes too late, Italy's goalkeeper is undeterred.
70 minutes: GOOOOORRR for Italy! The game had just calmed down and there was hardly anything compelling to do when Pellegrini scored for Italy. He is completely unguarded at the far post when substitute Wilfried Gnonto fits into the six-yard box from the right. The lead is deserved, Italy currently have more of the game.
73 minutes: GOOOOORRR for Germany! The prompt reply comes from Joshua Kimmich. Suddenly the atmosphere in the stadium is right again. The Bayern motor initiates the attack itself, the ball comes through Kai Havertz to substitute Jonas Hofmann. The Gladbacher crosses, but shoots at teammate Timo Werner. The ball falls in front of Kimmich's feet, who only has to pull it off from a short distance. Short discussions of the Italians, who want to have seen a handball by Werner, are nipped in the bud.
78 minutes: The equalizer wakes up the DFB-Elf, who are now doing more for the game again. But Donnarumma is there when Kimmich tries to score the lead. The Italian keeper can deflect his direct shot after a cross pass with his right hand.
90. 4 minutes: Last corner for Germany, Kimmich puts the ball in front of the goal, Donnarumma passes because Rüdiger disturbs him. There is a counterattack for Italy, which, however, comes to nothing.
Hansi Flick remains undefeated. The team has now completed ten games with him as coach, there have been eight wins and now the second draw. Because the team in Bologna reacts well when they fall behind. Just three minutes after Pellegrini's opening goal, Kimmich equalized - and shortly afterwards even had the winning goal on his foot. This does not succeed, the 1:1 is statistically appropriate for eleven to eleven shots on goal.
The first 15 minutes are good too. The DFB-Elf attacked early, determined the pace, the game, and obviously wanted to play together. This early phase leads to the first major opportunity through Gnabry. It's a quarter of an hour, with which the team itself is very happy.
The fact that the German delegation is not satisfied with much of what follows can also be interpreted positively. Self-criticism is the first step to improvement. And there is a lot of self-criticism on the muggy evening in Bologna: "It's not enough for us, we wanted to win," says Kimmich on RTL. "The claim is that we play more dominantly, purposefully and clearly forward with a significantly lower error rate," says Thomas Müller on record. "We made a lot of mistakes, lost our rhythm and let ourselves be fooled," Flick said after the game. Against England next Tuesday (8.45 p.m. / ZDF and in the ntv.de live ticker), Flick pretends to “do things better that we didn’t do well”. The game is then the third endurance test in a row after the games against the Netherlands and Italy - nobody seems to want to be satisfied with the third draw. And this attitude can also be viewed positively.
The self-criticism is clear. The Germans let themselves be lulled after a good start and seem strangely passive at times. The pace falls asleep, the offensive danger is lost. This is also due to the poor performance of Leroy Sané. He can't shake off his low form from FC Bayern at the DFB. While he starts out committed like his peers, he quickly falls off. There are neither dangerous passes nor any other scene that suits the DFB offensive. The winger plays completely harmless - Flick watches it for 59 minutes, then he has had enough. substitution.
Now it's not Sané's fault alone that Italy are increasingly coming into play. The game lacks entertainment and scenes during major phases that could surprise fans and opponents alike. There are only a few chances because the Germans rarely have ideas on how to cleverly outplay the Italians.
They resort to counterattacking, especially in the first half, but it's quite dangerous. In particular, Niklas Süle and Antonio Rüdiger, who also belong in the "massive" category, have their problems with the massive striker Gianluca Scamacca. His post shot is the best chance of the game in the first half. It rarely gets so precarious that Flick has to worry about his super series, but the team is not yet ready for the World Cup.
Hansi Flick (national coach) on RTL: "We can't be satisfied. The first quarter of an hour was okay, after that we couldn't find the space and lost our rhythm. We let ourselves be fooled. It was a balanced game overall. We didn't have enough pace and overall far too many mistakes in our game."
Joshua Kimmich (goal scorer): "It doesn't matter if it was fair or not. It's not enough for us. We wanted to win today. We knew that Italy was in transition and they didn't have one or the other player on the pitch. Unfortunately we didn't succeed. We didn't manage to put our game on the pitch. We didn't play as hard as we're used to. Maybe it was something because of the high humidity."
Thomas Müller: "We actually started quite well in the first quarter of an hour, but then the game was delayed due to simple mistakes in possession. In the first half we have to make it 1-0. The Italians did well. But the claim is that that we play more dominantly and clearly up front - with a lower error rate."
Roberto Mancini (Italy coach): "I particularly liked the way the young talents performed - courageously against Germany, one of the best teams in the world. After a hesitant start, they found the necessary ease."