Germany’s Tactical Choices Key in Win Over Scotland

Germany thrashed Scotland 5-1 in the inaugural match of the European Championship in Munich last Friday, June 14. Florian Wirtz, Jamal Musiala, Kai Havertz, Niclas Füllkrug and Emre Can scored for the host nation in a stunning display. Antonio Rüdiger scored an own goal to spoil the scoreline somewhat for the hosts.
Germany will face Hungary on Wednesday in their next match. Die Mannschaft will start as the favourite in that match, too. However, it was the tactical adjustment made against the Scottish team that must have been heartening for the German supporters.

Toni Kroos’ Positional Adjustment Stood Out for Germany

Germany started the match with a 4-2-3-1 formation with Toni Kroos and Robert Andrich in the double pivot. İlkay Gündoğan started as the No. 10, with Wirtz and Musiala on the flanks. However, as the match progressed, the Germans switched to a 3-4-3 with Kroos staying back as the left-sided centre-back. In fact, the 34-year-old Real Madrid midfielder played as the deepest possible deep-lying playmaker.
It was his typical long pass to the right flank that led to Germany’s first goal. Kroos mainly stayed back to negate any counter-attacking threat Scotland might have posed – not that the Scots managed to threaten much that way. It was keeping in mind Germany’s sufferings at the hands of the likes of Mexico, Hungary and Japan in the last few major international tournaments through counter-attacks. Kroos staying back along with Rüdiger and Jonathan Tah made sure that there were three men almost always protecting the Germans’ own half.

Long Through Passes Made Germany’s Job Easier

Germany played a lot of through passes to their forwards and also kept supplying their wingbacks, Maximilian Mittelstädt and Joshua Kimmich, who ventured forward frequently. They also kept delivering crosses frequently enough to torment the Scottish defence. Musiala’s frequent dribbling runs, shrugging off three to four opposition players almost at will, were also refreshing to watch.
The quality of the crosses was good and the build-ups quite quick to keep the pressure on the Scottish defence. Germany scored two goals by having almost 75% ball-possession during the initial 25 minutes. It was a blow Scotland could never recover from.
The fact that two of their substitutes (Can and Füllkrug) scored in the second half, showed the kind of night the host nation had. It might have already fired a warning to its upcoming opponents, Hungary and Switzerland, in the group.
Julian Nagelsmann should be happy with the kind of show his team put up on the day.

Germany will have to play against Hungary and Switzerland in their next two matches in the group. While Hungary could prove to be a tricky opposition, the hosts should not have much trouble in overcoming them. Nagelsmann’s men will have their eyes on the top spot in the group, which should help them get a more favourable opposition in the last 16.

The Germans have always done well in the major tournaments on home soil, and this year’s tournament should be no exception. However, they will have to keep up the good work if they are to seriously challenge for the title.

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