Germany just doesn’t get warm with the Nations League!
At the start of the new season there was a 1-1 draw against Italy in Bologna at 28 degrees. After the meager yields in 2018/19 (two points from four games) and 2020/21 (two wins from six games) again no win at the start.
Means: Hansi Flick (57) remains undefeated in his tenth game as national coach (eight wins, two draws). The national team do their best, the atmosphere in the team is good.
But: 172 days before our World Cup starts, Flick still has a big problem! After the 1-1 draw with Holland, he’s playing against a big opponent for the second time and he can’t win again. The last win against a top opponent was at the EM 2021 (4: 2 against Portugal). After that there was a 0:2 against England and the two draws.
The start of the game is really good! The national team starts exactly as Flick had asked for in the training camp in Marbella (Spain): high intensity, lots of sprints, hardly any time or space for the opponent.
The problem: It only takes 15 minutes! Gnabry shoots at Donnarumma from a tight angle (15′) – after which the DFB team quickly breaks down. Italy buys the nerve from Germany and at times crushes the national team with its pressing.
Consequence: The Italians have the best chance of the first half! Scamacca hits the left post with a low shot from 20 meters (35′).
Take a deep breath! And then tear your hair out! After a counterattack, Gnabry was completely free from 14 meters over the goal (38th). The best German chance in the first half – there was more in it!
The second half continues with dominant Italians. The Squdra Azzurra creates good chances – even though the team has been completely rebuilt. After the embarrassingly missed World Cup qualification (playoff against North Macedonia), the European champion is in a state of upheaval.
But against the big rivals, the team gives everything – and deserves to take the lead. The criminally free Pellegrini pushes the ball over the line after a great solo by Gnonto (70′). 1-0 Italy!
Surprising at this point: Germany shakes itself briefly – and hits back just three minutes later! Werner is shot in the penalty area, Kimmich sinks the rebound in the goal. The equalizer (73rd)!
Flick on RTL: “We want to set an example from the start. It’s not just about winning Nations League games, the players also have to show themselves for the World Cup.”
The starting eleven with surprise defender Benjamin Henrichs (25) and the Bayern block of six Munich players (Neuer, Kimmich, Goretzka, Gnabry, Sané, Müller) only do this for short periods of the game. After the equalizer, the DFB team got better again, but it wasn’t enough to win.
In addition to the big problem, Germany’s curse on Italy will remain. The last away win against the big rival was in a friendly in 1986 – 36 years ago…