Germany’s search for their first win in the UEFA Nations League continued on Sunday evening as they failed to overcome a stubborn Switzerland side.
Joachim Low’s side claimed the lead early in the first period as Ilkay Gundogan’s well-placed shot found the bottom corner of the net. That was about as good as it got for the visitors though as the hosts roared back into the tie. Just as quickly as Germany claimed the lead before the break, Vladimir Petkovic’s troops equalised through Silvan Widmer’s first strike for his country.
Here are three things we learnt from the game:
Germany’s wait goes on
Considering that Germany are one of the powerhouses of European and indeed world football, it is somewhat of a surprise to learn that they are yet to claim a single victory in the UEFA Nations League. Of the six matches that they have played in the competition up to this point, they have claimed draws in four of those and lost two.
Last time out, it was somewhat understandable having been placed in a group alongside reigning world champions France and also the Netherlands. This international break gave them a huge chance to end that run, playing a Spain side in transition and a Switzerland outfit not considered to be at the top of world football. Die Mannschaft were uninspiring in both games however and currently sit third in League A Group 4. Consequently, they are not considered as one of the favourites to claim glory in the competition, currently sitting at a price of 16/1 with 888Sport to lift the trophy come the end of the campaign.
Good result or missed chance?
Whilst it is admirable from a Swiss perspective claiming a draw against the four-time World Cup winners, they could so easily have been rewarded with maximum points. The hosts were brilliant on the evening, setting up to win the match and they actually had the chances to do so.
Renato Steffen had to be denied by Bernd Leno in the Germany goal, with Haris Seferovic then going even closer. The forward managed to get beyond the German defence and only had the Arsenal stopper to beat but cannoned his shot off of the outside of the post. Those chances came before Widmer’s equaliser, with yet more opportunities coming as the visitors struggled to deal with their hosts attacking intent. Considering all of those openings, Petkovic may well feel slightly aggrieved that his side did not manage to claim just their second win against Germany in over 60 years.
Gundogan the stand out
In a German midfield filled to the brim with talent, Ilkay Gundogan has continually gone slightly underappreciated by his country. Partnered in the centre of midfield with Real Madrid stalwart Toni Kroos, it was actually the Manchester City man who set the tempo throughout the majority of the clash.
His composure on the ball was vital to Germany controlling the clash and could well have notched himself a few assists had it not been for poor finishing from the German frontline. His pass success of 93% was particularly impressive, highlighting how instrumental he was in the centre of the park. It was also his goal in the first-half, a well-placed low shot from outside of the area, that stopped Low’s troops from falling to another shock defeat. He now needs to take his form from the international stage to his club following a somewhat inconsistent campaign last time out.
Switzerland: Sommer (7); Benito (6), Rodriguez (7) (Zuber (6), 64′), Akanji (7), Elvedi (6), Widmer (8); Steffen (7), Xhaka (7), Sow (6) (Aebsicher (N/A), 80′), Embolo (7) (Vargas (6), 73′); Seferovic (6).
Germany: Leno (7); Ginter (7), Sule (6) (Tah (6), 62′), Rudiger (6), Kehrer (7); Gundogan (7), Kroos (6), Gosens (6) (Can (N/A), 78′), Sane (5) (Brandt (6), 45′), Draxler (5); Werner (6).
Goals: Gundogan (14′), Widmer (57′)
Referee: Michael Oliver
Yellow Cards: Sule (30′), Steffen (49′), Draxler (90+2′)
Red Cards: N/A
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