Germany – Spain: Late Equalizer For Spain After First Half Pressing Duel (1-1)
With the teams lining up in systems which saw them matched up man for man when pressing, much of the first half revolved around who could get the upper hand against the man-marking of the opponent. Spain grew into the game well in this respect but were punished by Germany for not capitalising as Timo Werner netted early in the second half. Germany sat back in a low block for most of the remainder, and Spain left it late to break them down as José Gayà scored in added time.
Tactical analysis and match report by Josh Manley.
This week sees the beginning of the second iteration of the UEFA Nations League. The first matchday gave a tie between two of Europe’s most successful international teams in the last decade, Germany and Spain.
Germany brought a slightly weakened squad to this international break, as some of the key players who participated in the latter stages of the Champions League just a couple of weeks ago were given a rest. This meant the likes of Manuel Neuer, Joshua Kimmich and Serge Gnabry were unavailable for selection here.
With Neuer absent and Marc-André ter Stegen injured, Kevin Trapp was given a start in goal for Germany. Further ahead, Leroy Sané was given a start upfront in their 5-2-1-2 system alongside Timo Werner, as Julian Draxler played behind them as the number ten. There was plenty of creativity on the bench for Germany with Julian Brandt and Kai Havertz ready to come on if needed.
Luis Enrique’s Spain lined up in a 4-3-3 shape with a technically accomplished midfield three of Sergio Busquets, Thiago and Fabián Ruiz. Ahead . . .