After getting their UEFA Nations League campaign underway with a goalless draw with France in Munich, Jogi Löw’s men are up against the Netherlands in Amsterdam. It is not a “must win” scenario, but three points will bring die Nationalmannschaft level on four points with the current world champions, with the meeting in Paris to follow.
The coach has made a few tweaks to the team that started in Germany’s last competitive encounter against les Bleus. Jonas Hector is back at left back in place of the injured Antonio Rüdiger, while Nico Schulz – who scored on his debut in the friendly against Peru – is on the bench. The rest is pretty standard. Jérôme Boateng and Mats Hummels in the centre, and Matthias Ginter at right-back.
In midfield, Joshua Kimmich plays the “six” role, while Emre Can joins Toni Kroos in the engine room. It is Can’s first appearance in the Nationaltrikot for almost a year.
Further up the field, there is a flexible-looking trio. Thomas Müller and Timo Werner assume attacking winger roles, with debutant Mark Uth spearheading the new-look attack. Alternatively it could be a 4-1-4-1, with Uth ahead of four-man midfield.
— Germany (@DFB_Team_EN) October 13, 2018
The two teams are out for the national anthems, and there are plenty of boos from the home crowd for the German Nationalhymne. Some of the less palatable remnants of the old rivalry still remain, it seems.
1 min. Germany, kitted out in their traditional colours, kick off. The Dutch are also in their famous ensemble of orange shirts, white shorts and orange socks.
2 mins. Almost an early chance for the Dutch. The ball is fed into the path of Memphis Depay, but Germany skipper Manuel Neuer is there first to intercept and gather.
5 mins. Werner makes a dart down the left, and wins a corner. The Oranje clear, and the Germans recycle the ball.
8 mins. Another corner, and again the tall Dutch defence are able to clear safely.
11 mins. A swift break by Ronald Koeman’s side, and Steven Bergwijn is challenged well by Hummels. Germany are bossing the possession, but the fleet-footed Dutch are looking far more dangerous in the final third. This is turning into a familiar pattern.
15 mins. Werner gets on the end of a Müller pass, and just has ‘keeper Jasper Cillessen to beat. He cannot control his shot, which goes wide.
18 mins. Kroos finds Müller in space, and der Raumdeuter’s left-footed effort is sweetly timed and on target. It is at a good height for Cillessen though, who dives to his right to push the ball away.
19 mins. Uth fires in a low shot from distance, which is gathered by Cillesen.
20 mins. Free-kick to the Netherlands out on the left, which is floated in by Depay. Matthijs de Ligt has a free header, but it is directed straight at Neuer. Where did he find all that space? The play switches to the other end. Dutch debutant Denzel Dumfries is robbed by Uth, whose shot is turned behind by De Ligt.
21 mins. Another corner, and another easy Dutch clearance.
24 mins. The Dutch win their first corner. It is swung in low, and Germany are able to clear their lines.
28 mins. Some good movement down the left from the men in white and black, with Werner combining well with Uth. The Leipzig man is unable to control the ball in the box though, and is penalised as he tries to win it back.
30 mins. Dumfries wins another corner for the home side. Depay swings it in, and Ryan Babel gets there first, beating Hector in the air. Babel’s header crashes against the underside of the bar, and Neuer is hopelessly out of position. The German ‘keeper gets back up quickly, but can only flap at the ball as Oranje skipper Virgil van Dijk is first to the rebound to head the hosts in front. 0-1.
32 mins. The pressure is on now. A team that has struggled to score, has to score. The Jogi Löw conundrum.
34 mins. The Dutch break swiftly down the right, and Dumfries sends in a low cross towards the far post. Babel is waiting to strike, but Ginter makes a brilliant interception. That could so easily have been a second for the Oranje.
37 mins. A loose German pass sets up another swift move from the home side, and Georginio Wijnaldum shoots wide.
38 mins. A dozy moment for the Dutch defence, and Müller has a sight of goal after collecting Can’s pass. He cannot quite get his foot around the ball, and finds the side netting.
42 mins. Boateng swings the ball in towards the edge of the Dutch box, and Uth’s header is easily collected by Cillessen.
44 mins. There is simply no creativity from this German team. Plenty of possession and technical correctness, but nothing to suggest that they can produce anything special. The coach has pace on the bench. The start of the second half would be a good time to make use of them.
45 mins. The whistle blows right on the dot for half time.
Once again, Germany have flattered to deceive. They have controlled the tempo without looking in anyway dangerous, and it is hard to argue that the home side do not deserve their lead. The goal was messy, but this has become symptomatic for the Jogi Löw and his team over the past year.
Up front, the struggle goes on. Will we see a change of pace in the second half?
46 mins. There are no personnel changes, and the Netherlands get things restarted.
48 mins. A sniff of a chance for the visitors. Hector finds the fast-advancing Werner down the left, and the Leipzig man delivers a crisp square ball into the box. Müller is there, but is beaten for pace by Daley Blind. Not long ago, he would have finished that.
48 mins. Dumfries has a shot from distance, which takes a deflection. Neuer turns it around for a corner, which is easily cleared.
52 mins. Hector fires a dangerous ball into the box, but the impressive de Ligt gets there ahead of Uth.
53 mins. Werner looks to burst towards the byline, but runs out of space. There is a hint of a challenge from de Ligt, but not enough to justify any penalty claims.
57 mins. A double change for Germany. Müller and Can are off, Leroy Sané and Julian Draxler are on.
58 mins. Sané shifts down the left and cuts the ball back for Uth, but there is a Oranje shirt in the way. The resulting corner is predictably poor, and is cleared with ease.
62 mins. Sané has made a difference here. The speedy winger has some space and looks to weave towards the peanlty area, but he is well marshalled by de Ligt.
63 mins. Germany are applying all of the pressure here, but are still unable to test Cillessen in the Dutch goal. Approach play is all well and good, but the work in the final third has been dreadful.
64 mins. Yet another German corner, yet another easy Dutch clearance.
65 mins. That was the moment. A lovely ball from Kimmich finds Sané, who has managed to lose his marker. The Manchester City man has a clear sight of goal, but sends his low shot across Cillessen and narrowly wide of the far post. That should have been 1-1.
— Germany (@DFB_Team_EN) October 13, 2018
67 mins. Draxler sends the ball into the box for Uth, who is challenged as he looks to pull the trigger. Might that have been a good penalty shout? There are no complaints from Jogi Löw’s men. Uth is a little slow to get to his feet, but looks OK.
68 mins. In fact, that is Uth’s final piece of the action. The Schalke man is off, and Julian Brandt replaces him. Meanwhile, Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman makes two changes. Arnaut Danjuma is on for Babel, and Quincy Promes replaces Bergwijn.
69 mins. Kimmich floats the ball out to Draxler who is lurking inside the box on the left, and the substitute lashes a volley that flies just over the target. Great skill, but again another shot that misses the target.
71 mins. Sané dances into the box, and his deflected cross is fumbled by Cillessen as Draxler challenges. The Dutch ‘keeper flops to the ground, and gets given the benefit of the doubt by the referee.
74 mins. He should have scored the equaliser, but Sané has been a lively addition. He wins a free-kick, which Kroos floats wide. That was a pretty poor effort.
76 mins. Germany have the ball in the Dutch half, but a misplaced Sané pass allows the hosts to set up a quick counterattack. Depay fends off Hector’s challenge before bustling past Boateng, but his weak shot is gathered by Neuer.
77 mins. The third and final change for the Dutch. Frenkie de Jong is off, and Nathan Aké is on.
78 mins. Sané wins another corner, and once again it is easily cleared. There is almost a chance of a quick counter.
80 mins. Depay sets up Wijnaldum, whose first-time effort is spooned over the German goal.
81 mins. Ginter is challenged in the box by Danjuma, and there is a good shout for a penalty. The loose ball falls to Werner, whose shot in the crowded box is blocked. A hobbling Ginter makes his way to the touchline, and Germany are temporarily down to ten men.
82 mins. Ginter is back on, and Germany look to build again. For what it is worth, that definitely looked like a penalty.
87 mins. Draxler needlessly gives the ball away, and the home side quickly make their way into the German half. Hummels is out of position, and sub Promes picks out Depay. Neuer attempts to close down the Dutch striker, but Depay bundles the ball into the back of the net through the legs of the ‘keeper. That is surely it now. 0-2.
89 mins. Werner looks to beat Cillessen at his near post, but the Dutch ‘keeper is up to the task as he pushes it over. Let us not speak about the resulting corner, which is rubbish. Utter rubbish. Germany have had a dozen corners, and all have been woeful.
90+1 mins. Boateng looks to play the offside trap as the Oranje break quickly again, but Depay through is on goal. He shrugs off the German centre-back’s challenge, and smashes the ball against the crossbar. Neuer was a spectator.
90+3 mins. The Germans give the ball away again, and the Dutch make them pay. Wijnaldum executes the perfect finish after collecting Blind’s pass, drilling the ball past Neuer and into the bottom left-hand corner after dancing past a static Boateng with embarrassing ease. That is really the icing on the cake for the Dutch. As for the misplaced pass, it looks like Draxler again. 0-3.
The final whistle saves us from any more of this horror. Germany’s goal-scoring crisis continues. Once again, they set the pace and controlled the possession, but could not hit the target. When they did have a chance, they made a hash of it. Meanwhile, the Dutch looked like the Germany of old as they made the most of their opportunities with an almost clinical precision.
The fact that these Dutch opportunities were presented to them makes this foul dish taste even worse. For the last two goals, Germany simply gave the ball away. For all of the promise and possession, Löw’s men were let down by Sunday league errors. Was the result flattering to the hosts? Perhaps. But it is what it is, and statistics are what they are.
Jogi Löw’s time in charge has seen a number of excellent records being broken. It is also seen some absolute shockers. This defeat is the latest bum stat. As well as being the biggest loss against the Dutch in all of the 41 meetings between the two countries, it is the first time that Germany have failed to score in three successive competitive matches in their history.
Unless there is a dramatic turnaround in Paris in three days time, it looks like the final curtain is being drawn on the Löw era. If his position was looking shaky in the summer, it is starting to look untenable now.
v Netherlands, Johan Cruyff Arena, Amsterdam, 13.10.2018
– / van Dijk 30., Depay 87., Wijnaldum 90.+3.
Germany: Neuer (c) – Ginter, Boateng, Hummels, Hector – Kimmich – Can (57. Draxler), Kroos – Müller (57. Sané), Werner – Uth* (68. Brandt)
Netherlands: Cillessen – Dumfries, de Ligt, van Dijk (c), Blind – de Roon, F. de Jong (77. Aké), Wijnaldum – Bergwijn (68. Promes), Depay, Babel (68. Danjuma)
Referee: Cüneyt Çakır (Turkey)
Assistants: Bahattin Duran (Turkey), Tarık Ongun (Turkey)
Goal Assistants: Halil Umut Mele (Turkey), Barış Şimşek (Turkey)
Fourth Official: Serkan Ok (Turkey)
Referee Observer: Markus Nobs (Switzerland)
Yellow Cards: – / –
Red Cards: – / –
Ball Possession: 60% / 40%
Attempts on Target/Blocked: 12 / 9
Attempts off Target: 9 / 6
Corners: 12 / 4
Fouls Committed: 11 / 16
* Full international debut