The key to the party was possession. What were the shared weapons to achieve it? High pressure, play from the back, advance lines to the point of confusion and obtain the supremacy of the midfield. Pure high-risk tactical chess that soon allowed Dani Olmo (it was not the only overflow of him in the match) to test Neuer, an occasion that Gnabry later responded by calling offside. The system forces goalkeepers to act as liberos and allows any steal or inaccuracy to turn into a run into the open field towards the opponent’s goal. The feints and dribbles began to be as showy as the nerves, which surfaced. How long can this plan be sustained? Little bit. Rüdiger scored with a header, but the VAR said that he was in an advanced position. Be that as it may, it is very difficult to hold the tables at this level of tension.
To achieve this, Luis Enrique and Flick moved the board. The Asturian preferred to get a classic striker like Álvaro Morata for Ferrán Torres, who diluted his impact before the closure. He wasted no time: before 60 minutes he anticipated diagonally and defined with a touch up, at the near post of a surprised Neuer. A few minutes later, Füllkurg entered, who had the opportunity to balance but missed an overflow of Musiala’s fantasizing genius, the figure of the party. The young winger would fail minutes later against Simon after an assist from Leroy Sané, but it would be the last mistake of the second half: Sané again filtered a pass between the lines, Balde got confused in the mark and Füllkurg finished off with a terrible crossed howitzer.
The Werder Bremen striker was the answer to a self-inflicted problem from the bench. It is ironic that Germany does not have a starting center forward. The land of Gerd Müller, Jürgen Klinsmann and Oliver Bierhoff resents him, as his game requires a finisher. Füllkurg is and enough. Luis Enrique’s procedure was similar: he needed to incorporate a definer like the Atlético de Madrid striker to break a game in which he had sterile possession. Some lessons emerge. It is possible to play without 9 from the area when you have Messi, who supplies everything. Without him, every system needs a clear and born striker. Even Guardiola, who made the false 9 fashionable by signing Haaland and letting Gabriel Jesus go, seems to agree with this idea.
The tie opened the game and showed the most tired face of Spain, surpassed in the final minutes, at the same time that it renewed the illusion about what Germany can do in Qatar. There was no lack of ambition: Flick accumulated players in attack and Sané had the victory in a one-on-one in which he tried to dribble past the goalkeeper with little success. It didn’t matter much, because a feeling of justice settled in the field: what had to be the best game in the first round had been. There are draws that outweigh certain stingy triumphs in beauty, there are several petty defeats.
I have worked in the news industry for over 10 years. I have a keen interest in sports and have written for many different publications. I am currently working as an author at 24 News Recorder. I cover mostly sports news but also write about other topics such as current affairs and politics. I have a strong interest in social media and how it can be used to engage with audiences.