With no Bayern Munich players present, Jogi Löw decided to feature a relatively inexperienced side against the Czech Republic. Here are BFW’s observations from today’s friendly in Leipzig!
A typical friendly
Did you expect this game to have a high tempo and many goals? This international friendly in front of an empty crowd was epitomized by the low tempo and lack of quality from both sides. An un-anticipated game, therefore, had quite the un-exciting flow to it.
While the first half had some clear-cut chances, the second half was extremely boring except for the closing minutes. The inexperienced German side played relatively well but they often lacked the quality in their final touches. The Czech side looked extremely dull and had no real attacking outlet throughout the game.
A score-line that didn’t reflect the game
That being said, Germany dominated the game and should have won by more than one goal. A German national team characteristic as of late, this side often dominates football games but fail to capitalize.
Julian Brandt and Nadiem Amiri both missed clear cut chances in the first half and while Werder Bremen’s Jiri Pavlenka was excellent in goal, the Germans should have won by more.
Defensively, Germany was very solid and never allowed the Czech Republic any clean opportunities, except for a dangerous header in the last minutes of the game.
Two players made their national team debut today: Ridle Baku and Philipp Max. 22-year-old Mainz-native Baku played well during his debut, despite the shaky first 15 minutes. He is a smart player that makes the right runs and fits perfectly into Jogi Löw’s back-five system. Included after Joshua Kimmich’s injury, it will be interesting to see if Baku will get more chances before the Euros. His technique and overall attacking ability make him an interesting option.
PSV’s Philipp Max also had a good game and got an assist after a great low-cross to Gian-Luca Waldschmidt. Already 27, Max’s inclusion to the team was somewhat surprising but he did very well and could challenge Nico Schulz for upcoming squad selections.
However, the man of the match was Florian Neuhaus, who made his second German national team appearance. Competing with the likes of Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka, Toni Kroos and Ilkay Gündoğan, Neuhaus inclusion in the Euro squad is far from certain. That being said, today he was excellent and together with Ilkay Gündoğan, dominated the midfield in the first half. When Gündoğan was replaced by Mahmoud Dahoud in the second half, Neuhaus was able to move more further up the pitch as Dahoud dropped back. He was almost rewarded with his second goal for the national team, as his strike from just outside the penalty area smashed into the bar.