I am trying something new for the blog this season whenever I can – the “as it happened” match report as opposed to an after-the-event piece. The aim is to try and get the report to have a bit more of an ich war dabei feel, though I will of course edit out the typos. So here we go.
Nineteen year old man of the moment Mario Götze is making his first start; Christian Träsch and Mats Hummels start instead of my pre-match selection of Jérôme Boateng and Benedikt Höwedes; Lukas Podolski starts despite not being in the best of form, and as expected Mario Gómez sits up front with 109-cap Miroslav Klose on the bench. The Schiri is Hungarian Viktor Kassai, who did an excellent job in last season’s Champions League final.
2 mins Germany win their first corner. Taken by Götze, it is easily cleared. It is quickly followed by another which is badly overhit.
4 mins Bastian Schweinsteiger’s shot is high, wide and not so handsome – row Z. Brazil have hardly had a touch in these opening minutes.
6 mins Götze shows great skills and gets the first shot on target, forcing a good save from Júlio César. This is a great start from the Mannschaft.
12 mins The first bit of foolishness: Toni Kroos makes a silly backheel attempt, and Brazil almost engineer a chance. Kroos covers the ground to make up for his error.
16 mins Brazil show their pace on the break. The ball is put away for a corner which comes to nothing. The Mannschaft are looking particularly sharp in midfield.
19 mins Götze is caught dawdling and Brazil break forward swiftly. Neymar makes a great charge down the left but his cross is too high for Pato. The German defence is looking a bit wobbly but they manage to get the ball to a more comfortable area of the pitch.
20 mins Kroos gets a shot on target, but the shot is weak and easy for César in the Brazilian goal. The play quickly switches to the other end and the defence is looking shaky again but manage to clear the danger.
22 mins Great play down the right by Germany which sees a lovely one-two between Götze and Träsch, and the ball is played in to Kroos who shoots narrowly wide.
23 mins Brazil win a free-kick after an innocuous challenge from Mats Hummels. Neymar floats the ball in but it is easy collected by Manuel Neuer who finally gets into the game.
25 mins Gómez is almost in behind the Brazilian defence but Hummels mistimes the pass.
28 mins Some neat one-touch stuff in midfield from the men in white but the game seems to be going nowhere at the moment. The brightest moment in the last five minutes has been a bit of impromptu keepy-uppy from the Nationaltrainer on the touchline.
30 mins A harsh tackle from Fernandinho sees him escape what possibly should have been a yellow card.
33 mins Brazil win a free-kick just outside the area as Dani Alves is clipped. Alves tries a Roberto Carlos special and the shot is ham-fisted away by Neuer. The ball did take a slight swerve in the air, but the ‘keeper should really have caught that.
34 mins Germany break swiftly but Götze’s attempted pass out left to Podolski is a little early and the move breaks down as quickly as it began.
36 mins More pressure from the men in yellow. First Träsch puts the ball back for a corner after yet more defensive shakiness, and a testing Brazilian cross flies over everybody in a rather teasing manner.
37 mins At the other end Thomas Müller is clipped by Fernandinho just outside the box. Kroos tries to float the ball into the net but it flies narrowly over.
39 mins Pato at the other end shows great skill to work his way past his markers but his shot is closer to the corner flag than the German net. Moments later at the other end, Götze wins a corner which is badly overhit by Kroos.
41 mins Andre Santos shows neat skill but is unable to beat Hummels who clears.
42 mins More patient buildup play from Germany and Podolski fails to make decent contact as he eyes up the target.
44 mins Götze wins the ball just outside the Brazilian area and Träsch’s snapshot is deflected for a corner.
45 mins Another fast break from Brazil and Neymar shoots narrowly wide of the target.
Half-time. Quickfire analysis: Manuel Neuer has been solid enough in goal, apart from the one shaky moment. Despite maintaining a clean sheet the defence has been a little shaky with Mats Hummels standing out. The midfield has been impressive, with Mario Götze and Christian Träsch looking particularly sharp. Podolski has been perhaps the weakest link, and Mario Gómez has been somewhat anonymous up front.
Ha. I should be sitting there alongside Jogi Löw and Hansi Flick. As the players emerge from the tunnel there are two unsurprising changes by the Nationaltrainer to start the second half: André Schürrle is on for Podolski and the ever-reliable Miroslav Klose for Gómez.
47 mins The first chance of the half falls to the Brazilians, as Pato ends his run with a shot that he put over the bar and wide. The German defence were caught cold, and Pato should perhaps have done better.
50 mins Schweinsteiger shoots high over the bar.
52 mins Neymar takes on Hummels and gets his cross into the box, but it is cleared by Holger Badstuber for a corner. On the break Götze picks up the pace and tries to find Müller on the left, but Júlio César reads it well to make the interception. After a shaky start the Mannschaft have upped the pace a bit, and skipper Philipp Lahm tests César with a shot the bounces awkwardly for the Brazilian keeper.
55 mins Speculative crosses from Müller and Träsch come to nothing as play has started to lag a little.
58 mins Schürrle shows great skill to beat Dani Alves down the left. He cuts the ball back, and Lucio times his block perfectly as Götze slides in.
59 mins Great break fast from the back through Toni Kroos, who finds Miroslav Klose on the left. A sublime backheel from Miro finds Götze, who strokes the ball into the box for Kroos who has continued his run. Kroos is chopped down by Lucio – Elfmeter!
61 mins Schweini lines up the spot-kick… Tor! It’s perfect penalty as he sends César the wrong way. One for the Brazil team training session perhaps given their awful penalty shootout display at the recent Copa America. 1-0.
62 mins Andre Santos puts in a speculative cross-cum-shot which goes narrowly wide as Brazil up a gear. They win two corners in as many minutes but both come to nothing.
64 mins Götze makes a sharp run down the left but tries to do much when he could have cut the ball back a little earlier.
66 mins Germany are looking smoother coming out of defence now, and Schürrle has made a clear difference down the left. It’s the Leverkusen man who enginneers the next move: picking up the ball inside his own half from Badstuber, he finds space on the left before laying it back to Lahm. The skipper floats the ball across the width of the field to Träsch, who finds Thomas Müller. Müller exchange passes with Kroos, who works his way into the centre of the field. Then there’s the burst of pace as Kroos plays a sharp one-two with the ever-alert Klose before picking out Götze with the perfect defence-splitting pass. The youngster times his run to perfection and does brilliantly to round César before putting the ball away from the tightest of angles. Ten passes. A fabulous finish. A fabulous goal. It’s Götzinho! 2-0.
69 mins A change for A Seleção: Ganso comes on for Fernandinho.
71 mins Brazil now win a penalty as Lahm mistimes his challenge on Dani Alves. No issue with that one – a clumsy challenge, a no-brainer for Mr Kassai. Robinho to take it… Scores. 2-1.
73 mins The game has really taken off now. Klose makes a superb run down the right and gets past the defender, only to be shoved in the box. Penalty? Penalty? No. That looked like a pretty clear cut one to me, and Klose isn’t the kind of guy who tumbles for nothing; perhaps the referee didn’t want to give another spot kick so soon after the last one. Germany now up the ante, and win a free kick which is turned round for a corner by César. Ganso has been booked for the earlier foul.
77 mins Pato is replaced by Fred as Brazil make their second change.
78 mins Germany are now winning everything in midfield and are clearly chasing a third goal to clinch the contest. Klose is unlucky to be called for a foul as he beats his man to a fifty-fifty ball.
80 mins The men in white press forward again, and Schweini shows great persistence to keep challenging for the ball on the right. He battles away and beats the defender, cutting the ball back for Schürrle to slam it into the back of the net. More fabulous play, another fabulous goal. 3-1, and it is Schürrle all over now.
82 mins Götze finds Kroos with another perfect ball. The Bayern man puts the chance wide, but it has already (wrongly) been called for offside.
85 mins Götze is starting to take the mickey now as he plays a cute one-two down the left with Müller. Simon Rolfes comes on for Schweini. A typically fine display by the Bayern man. Brazil make two changes as Bayern’s Luis Gustavo comes on for Ramires and Leverkusen’s Renato Augusto replaces goalscorer Robinho.
88 mins Brazilian-born Cacau and Jérôme Boateng come on for the two men of the match, Götze and Hummels.
90 mins + 1 Germany are starting to walk the ball around now, but still look good for a sharp break at any moment.
90 mins + 2 Some sloppy defending from Germany sees Neymar score a consolation for the Brazilians. The shot is one that Neuer could and perhaps should have got a hand to, and he is beaten at his near post. That really did come from nowhere. 3-2.
90 mins + 3 The final whistle blows to call time on what has been an enjoyable second half that has seen five goals. It’s the Mannschaft’s first win against Brazil since the 2-1 win in Köln in 1993, and it has been well deserved.
First, the success stories. Mats Hummels was mightily impressive at the back – how did I dare leave him out of my selection? – while teenage sensation Mario Götze lived up to all of the pre-match hype with a scintillating display capped by his spectacular goal. Oh to see both Götze and Mesut Özil start together. Der Alte Mann Miroslav Klose looked as sharp and as willing as any of the young guys on his return to international action as a second half substitute, and André Schürrle was perhaps the secret ingredient in the mix. Despite a couple of silly mistakes – none of which, thankfully, were costly – Toni Kroos also impressed in what was for him a rare start. As for Bastian Schweinsteiger, he showed why he is such an important cog in what is fast developing into a well-honed and stylish machine – in addition to his calm and well-executed penalty, his determination to win the ball and set up the third goal speaks volumes for his heart and commitment.
A number of players were solid enough without standing out: Thomas Müller showed occasional spark and was involved in the second goal but didn’t look either as sharp or incisive as usual; Holger Badstuber was solid enough at left-back without making any real impression, and Christian Träsch was lively when going forward but prone to giving the ball away. Skipper Philipp Lahm had a quiet game, but was as solid and dependable as usual – he didn’t really need to do much more. Manuel Neuer by his high standards had a fairly ordinary game – he had little to do and had no chance with the penalty, but being beaten at his near post by Neymar’s speculative shot in stoppage time was not the best way to finish the evening.
The biggest disappointments of the evening were Lukas Podolski and Mario Gómez, both of whom were hauled off at half-time. Despite being at an age where he should be reaching his footballing peak, Poldi looks like a fading force – there was plenty of heart but little of the sharpness that usually defines his play. It was all huff, puff, mistimed runs and overhit passes. Gómez continues to be an enigma in the national shirt: just as we all think he has turned the corner, he puts in another insipid performance. While it is fair to argue that he was not provided with any real service, his lack of movement and nouse off the ball was exposed by his replacement Miroslav Klose, who showed why he has been first choice for so long. The truth is that being a centre-forward is not just about scoring goals.
A friendly it may have been, but this has been the most exciting match for me since the 4-0 demolition of Argentina in last year’s World Cup. I think I can very easily watch this match again!
This evening’s interesting fact: in scoring his first goal in the Schwarz und Weiß, Mario Götze became the youngest-ever goalscorer in the history of the German national team at nineteen years and sixty-eight days – joint with Klaus Stürmer who achieved the same feat against France in October 1954. Even more curiously, Götze’s record was achieved the day after what would have been Stürmer’s 76th birthday.
In the world of football statistics, you do find some rare gems…
v Brazil, Mercedes-Benz-Arena, Stuttgart, 10.08.2011
Schweinsteiger pen 61., Götze 67., Schürrle 80. / Robinho pen 71., Neymar 90.+2.
Team: Neuer – Träsch, Hummels (88. Boateng), Badstuber, Lahm – Schweinsteiger (85. Rolfes), Kroos – Müller, Götze (88. Cacau), Podolski (46. Schürrle) – Gómez (46. Klose)
Referee: Viktor Kassai (Hungary)
Assistants: Gábor Erős, Tibor Vámos (Hungary)
Fourth Official: Markus Schmidt (Germany)
Yellow Cards: – / Ganso
Red Cards: – / –
Attempts on Target: 7 / 4
Attempts off Target: 5 / 5
Corners: 6 / 6
Fouls Committed: 12 / 8