Friday, 22 June 2012

EURO 2012 Quarter-final: Germany v Greece

Lahm 39                                           Samaras 55
Khedira 61                                        Salpingidis 89
Klose  67
Reus 74

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, LW: Schurrle, CW: Ozil,  RW: Reus, ST: Klose
SUBS USED: Schurrle /Muller 66  Klose /Gomez 79 Reus/Gotze 80

Greece start off in a 4-5-1 shape: starting 11:
GK: Sifakis, LB:Tzavellas, CB: Avraam Papadopoulos, CB: Kyriakos, Papastathopoulos, RB: Torosidis CMKatsouranis, CM: Maniatis,CM: Makos  LM: Samaras, ST:Salpingidis , RM: Ninis 
SUBS USED: Ninis  /Gekas 46  Tzavellas/Fotakis 46  Makos/Lymp 71

A Little look:
Both teams go into today's game without ever tasting the bitter fruits of defeat in a Quarter Final of a European Championship. Germany feel at one with the Euro's; they have reached the final six times out of seven when making it past the group stage, winning it in '72, '80 and '96, which is more than any other nation. Greece go into tonight's game with a few changes. Tzaveals comes in at left back  for the suspended Holebas, whilst their creator, Giorgos Karagounis, watched from afar. This allowed Makos to be given a starting berth. Germany, knowing this game was going to be played in one half, mixed things up a bit by bringing in players such as Reus and Schurrle who are as fleet of foot and as sharp on the pitch as Stephen Fry's wit. 

Something had to give today, and it was the Greek resistance that was just too inviting to the Germans  pressure, and it was the former who found themselves between a rock and a hard place. The Greeks just couldn't rally the troops when they got the ball and their set piece plan didn't come to fruition as the only had one corner and no attacking free kicks. Without their puppet-master pulling the strings, they were about as entertaining as a Punch and Judy show on Margate beach. Germany had 75% of possession and 66% was in the attacking half which showed that Low was right to go with the changes up top. 

Germany dropped off right at the start of the game and this caught Greece by surprise. It was funny to watch the first five  minutes as they did not know how to take it, but the Germans had a plan and as soon as they went to the full backs they were closed down. After the first funny five minutes, the German defence played very high, knowing that the Greeks don't possess a threat in behind. Salpingidis does have good movement, but he was left all alone. Lahm and Boateng did really well again, Lahm especially enjoying the freedom to go forward and this showed with his goal coming inside on his strong foot and hitting a sweet shot into the far corner. The pair always gave the team an out ball. Hummels didn't have to do a lot, however that didn't stop him from making an excellent tackle very late in the game. Greece changed things at the half, bringing on two players. This meant that Torosidis  moved to left back, while Makos moved to right back. This did not work; they conceded two goals in this time and Makos was later taken off. Both full backs for the Greeks were beaten too regularly. 

In the middle:
Germany completed 649 of their passes out of 709 (92%). The little triangles and one-two's were just great to watch, however they seemed to be a little careless at times and gave away silly balls whilst not under pressure. Schweinsteiger stayed a little deeper than Khedira, who was told to get himself in the box to add some power. He was very clever with his movement and worked hard to find space. He had the joint most shots-on-target for Germany, along with Klose. Khedira continually made late runs into the box; this worked well for him and he got his goal from a late run with a sweetly hit volley. After Schweinsteiger's shaky start to his passing, he grew into the game and played well, however he tackled well all game  and found himself drifting to the right. Makos was playing slighty in front of the other two midfielder's in order to add some energy. He did better in the first half then when he was moved to right back in the second. The game seemed to pass Maniatis by. Katsouranis, try as he might, just had too much to do: he found himself deep for most of the game and although he became the furthest forward of the three at times, this didn't last as he knew where his team needed him.

Wing play
Dortmund lose a fantastic player in Kagawa but have gained one in Reus. He did really well today and you can see why Klopp brought him to the club. Him and Ozil didn't seem to be on the same page to start with, but that soon changed with the pairs' little lay offs and movement. It was a joy to watch as it got Reus in the box time and time again for goal-scoring chances. He later moved to the left to leave Muller to take up his regular post for Germany and it's on the left side that he got his goal with another well hit shot, the sort that the Monchengladbach fans have seen him strike all year. 
Ozil, put simply, was sublime again, his movement to the wings again was great. Unlike The Clash, he just knows when to stay and when to go. He was a part of all things good for Germany, and it's a shame that he didn't get himself on the score sheet but this wasn't through a lack of trying, and he played a beautiful ball to set a goal up.

Up Top:
Gekas added some much-needed forward play to Greece, along with  Salpingidis moving to the wings. He did well for the first goal, but it was far too rare of an occasion, and the Greeks after scoring, just went back to how they were before the goal. Samaras kicked more players than ball in the early part of the game and spent most of his time in field and deep. Klose did the job that was asked of him; he linked play well, along with making a menace of himself in the box. His ability to carry the ball better then Gomez helped, as he nearly got in a few times like this.  

Full time:
Germany will be pleased with hitting four goals today, which will only help confidence in breaking down a tough defence. Be it Italy or England, they won't mind, although I believe Italy would be the preferred choice as it's the last big rival they would like to get one over on. Low, knowing he has vast  options on the bench and still another gear to go into, will be pushing his team over the next six days to polish up this finely tuned footballing machine.  
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  1. I actually thought Germany looked quite vunerable defensively on the break and was it me or did the germany defenders make Sameras look really fast, I've never seen him move that quickly. If England do manage to get to the semis and face germany they can give them more problems than the greeks but given the fact the germans have got 6 days rest before the semi(more if you include poldi, gomez and muller) Germany might smash us or Italy.

  2. I think Sameras will be hurting for a week after last night iv never seen him run that fast either although Boateng and swine are not the fastest players. Six days is a lot but I believe once you have four or more days rest it doesn't matter to much as Germany cant sort the tactics out till they know who they will face.The bonus they do have is that they have no one suspended while England have 4 players a booking away from a ban.

  3. how crap was swinesteiger! his passing was awful, maybe England fans should watch that and not look at any player who is foreign with rose-tinted glasses and assume that it is only England players who have no technique and can't pass five yards. if that was gerrard everybody would be saying thats whats wrong with english football and telling him to watch any foreign player to learn how to play 'football'

    1. Sweini is awesome! it's not passing thats the problem with english players it's disipline and movement once the ball is played that the English lack, anyone can feel nerves or become careless or sloppy when your teammates make the game look that easy to play.

  4. He did look off the boil to start with and played a couple of bad balls that stood out however he did Finish with making 109 passes out of 118 which was the most in that game. swine has not been at his best but he is still the deep laying brain for Germany