Germany and Spain, two of the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 favorites were up against each-other on Friday. It was a friendly match but both sides took it as their final preparation for Russia 2018. Germans were playing at their home and Spain were visitors, but it didn’t make a difference. It was like they were playing on a neutral ground where both sides showed their class playing freely. The game ended 1-1, thanks to Rodrigo Moreno early strike for Spain and Thomas Mueller equalizer for Germany later, but it reveals both sides’ weaknesses as well.
Spain were good in the middle of the pitch as their midfielders outclass the Germans. Isco, Andres Iniesta, and Thiago Alcantara caused too many problems for the German defenders. They find it too easy to pick a player inside Germany’s penalty box on regular occasion. The only problem was Spain didn’t have forwards in their lineup who can make the difference from their first touch.
— Die Mannschaft (@DFB_Team) March 23, 2018
Isco and Iniesta terrified the German defense. David Silva has plenty of chances to go on the scoresheet in first-half, but Manchester City playmaker wasn’t a good striking option. If they can find someone who is a good inside box player, their problems can be solved. However, they lack that option with limited one touch striking option. They have more of the aerial striker in Diego Costa and Alvaro Morata, who lacks the gravity to stay balanced to make good use of one-touch strike.
Germany were good from the flanks especially when Timo Werner had the ball. He often outruns Jordi Alba but didn’t find the options in the penalty area to make a pass. Thomas Muller was playing too deep and it was difficult for him to find himself in the penalty area. The only goal Mueller scored came from outside of the box.
When you play against Spain it never feels just like a friendly match. An intense match against a great opponent! We’ll learn from those games.
— Ilkay Gündogan (@IlkayGuendogan) March 23, 2018
Toni Kroos and Sami Khedira didn’t enjoy a good partnership. Kroos often finds himself out of the option to pass the ball when he had the possession. Well, we couldn’t say it was a bad match for the world champions but they have too many problems to be dealt with before going to Russia 2018.
Germany’s coach Joachim Loew said, “There was a good intensity to the game, it was a test in which we were able to learn a lot. Both teams have room to improve and you do not always want to show everything so soon before a World Cup.”
He adds, “You could see that Spain had a lot of combinations who play together regularly and had that automatic understanding. We knew that Spain are hard to defend against, you almost have to almost defend against them man-to-man. We wanted to see a few mistakes, so we know which areas we need to work on. Both teams will have more to show by the time World Cup comes around.”