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Italy 1-1 Germany: Initial reactions and observations

Germany’s opening game of the Nations League ends in a draw.

Germany v Hungary - UEFA Euro 2020: Group F Photo by Kai Pfaffenbach - Pool/Getty Images

Initial reactions and observations

  • The substitutions made a huge difference for Germany, especially the addition of Jonas Hofmann for Benjamin Henrichs. Hofmann may have secured his spot in the starting XI today, he was a game-changer after coming on.
  • Leroy Sane and Serge Gnabry remain frustrating pieces of the puzzle. Seems like Hansi Flick has inherited the problems Bayern had last season, and he seems no closer to solving them.
  • Thilo Kehrer really should not play against England next week. He’s simply not good enough for the left-back spot. Hansi Flick has to stop being so inexplicably loyal to the guy and start allowing David Raum to get more chances.

Full time: Italy 1-1 Germany.

72’ — GOAL! Kimmich makes it 1-1 immediately!

70’ — Goal! Pellegrini scores! Germany on their way to losing their first game under Hansi.

58’ — Subs: Musiala and Hofmann on for Sane and Henrichs.

45’ — The second half is underway!

Halftime observations and analysis

  • Miserable viewing for Bayern Munich fans. Serge Gnabry and Leroy Sane in particular have been awful.
  • Germany have been good pressing against the ball. However, the passing has been errant and chances have not been taken. Flick will want to make some adjustments at half time.
  • This fullback configuration isn’t working out. Kehrer and Henrichs are unable to progress the ball and get repeatedly caught out by Italy on the flanks. Replacing them would be the best choice for Germany.

45’ — Halftime, still 0-0.

34’ — Scamacca hits the post! Italy and Germany have been evenly matched so far, but that could’ve tipped the scales if it’d gone in.

Kickoff: We’re underway in Bologna!

One hour until kickoff: We have lineups! Looks like Flick went with Thomas Muller and Timo Werner up top, with Serge Gnabry and Leroy Sane on the wings. Benjamin Henrichs gets a start at right-back.

The UEFA Nations League is a great concept. Instead of littering the summer with a bunch of meaningless friendlies in a World Cup year, Germany can now test itself against some of the best teams in the world, and Italy.

While the Azzurri may have failed to qualify for Qatar 2022, they’re still the reigning Euro champions, making them a solid opponent to test his squad’s preparation so far. A bunch of Bayern Munich regulars will be available for this game, such as Thomas Muller, Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka, Manuel Neuer, and more. They’ll be joined by Chelsea’s German contingent, plus a smattering of other players from various clubs across Europe. With Bayern making up the backbone of this German side, it’ll be fascinating to see how they fare under Flick against a proper opponent.

While you’re waiting for the game, why not check out our podcast? We’ve got the lowdown on Sadio Mane, Nagelsmann’s potential new system, and more! Listen to it below or at this link.

Match Info

Location: Stadio Renato Dall’Ara, Bologna, Italy

Time: 8:45 pm local time, 2:45 pm EST

TV/streaming: Find Your Country

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