Formation in First Half
Formation in First Half

Pepe became the third player to be sent off (early shower) in this World Cup as Germany crushed Portugal to a 4-0 win at Arena Fonte Nova Salvador. Portugal looked handicapped for most part of the match and suffered even more with an injury to left back Fabio Coentrao. A superb hatrick from Thomas Muller and a jumping header from Mats Hummels settled the matter for Germany.

Formation in second half
Formation in second half

Bastian Schweinsteiger was left out on the bench due to an injury. Philipp Lahm played as the holding midfielder and Jerome Boateng started as the right back. Joachim Loew chose a 4-3-3 formation with Mesut Ozil, Muller and Mario Goetze as forwards.
Paulo Bento used a 4-3-3 formation with Raul Miereles, Joao Moutinho and Miguel Veloso in midfield. Hugo Almieda played as the centre forward with Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani flanking him on either side.
This was a must watch game and excitement increased in the early stages when both the teams showed their ability by counter attacking on the break. After a penalty and Pepe’s red card the balance of the match tilted in favour of the Germans.

Formations –

This game was an encounter between two sides with counter attacking capability and both the teams used 4-3-3 system. After Pepe’s sending off Portugal changed to 4-3-2.

Thomas Muller and Germany’s forwards –

The star of the match was Muller but Goetze and Ozil who played alongside him were also equally good. Germany stated without a natural striker – Miraslove Klose was benched. With Goetze and Muller upfront, Loew had two false 9s. The three forwards kept changing their position constantly. This was an advantage to Germany as the opposition were not able to completely mark the German forwards.
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Muller attacking dashboard - Four Four Two StatsZone
Muller attacking dashboard – Four Four Two StatsZone

Muller created two chances in the box. He also took four shots – 3 on target and 1 off target. When in wide positions he made two crosses. Muller was also very quick while counter attacking – he combined with Goetze, Ozil and substitute Andre Schurrle a few times and posed threats to Portugal on the break.

Goetze and Ozil attacks - Four Four Two StatsZone
Goetze and Ozil attacks – Four Four Two StatsZone

Although Ozil played on both the flanks he was more effectual on the right side. Likewise Goetze was more effective on the left flank. Changing the wings checked the uncontainable forward runs of Portuguese win backs.
Ozil also aided Sami Khedira to run forward by allowing him to overlap a few times.

Portugal’s response to Pepe’s red card –
Tactically Portugal’s answer was a brave one but mentally they were not prepared for that.
Portugal responded to Pepe’s red card by bringing on the centre back Ricardo Costa in place of central mid fielder Veloso. The formation was changed to 4-3-2 in the second half – Ronaldo and Eder playing as the strikers with Ronaldo drifting to the wings or cutting in and allowing Nani with the space to move forward.

The midfield comprised of Nani, Meireles and Moutinho. Meireles joined the defenders whenever Germany attacked. From the beginning, while attacking, Portugal maintained a high defensive line and this continued even in Pepe’s absence. But these changes were not enough for Paulo Bento’s men to break open Germany’s defence and reduce the gap between the two team – mainly because of Germany’s defensive tactics.

Germany’s defence –
Germany’s 4-3-3 system allowed its two wide forwards to fall deeper and join the midfield players whenever they lost the possession. A 4-5-1 formation was deployed instead of the usual 4-3-3 in order to defend by allowing no space between the midfield and defensive lines. This was effective as it kept the Portuguese forwards away from the danger zone and they were able to get their shots only from outside the box.

Portugal Shots - Four Four Two StatsZone
Portugal Shots – Four Four Two StatsZone

Germany committed more tackles than Portugal and as per my explanation of Italy’s defensive discipline against England – Germany won the match.

Substitutions –
Germany –
1. Ozil (out) – Schurrle (in)
Just to maintain the attacking game.
2. Hummels – Skhodran Mustafi (in)
Injury to Hummels.
3. Muller (out) – Lukas Podolski (in)
To rest Muller.
Portugal –
1. Hugo Almeida (out) – Edger (in)
Inevitable. Injury to Almeida in the 28th minute.
2. Veloso (out) – Costa (in)
Tactical change – From here the formation changed to 4-3-2
3. Coentrao (out) – Andre Almeida (in)
Injury to Coentrao.

Verdict –

Best performance – Thomas Muller

Worst performance – Rui Patricio

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