It was easy to see how the evening would go. With the second of the kick-off, the German national team fell on the defensive. It took almost five minutes for a German player to touch the ball in the opposing half for the first time. Short touched, to be exact, because Serge Gnabry immediately ran back with him to the other side and lost him.
Five minutes without possession in the attack half, that's an eternity in football. In this unequal duel, it was always the Dutch who controlled ball, game and opponents. With a matter of course, as if they had, if not with a football dwarf, at least with a second-rate team to do.
Technically good, courageous and initiative: The Dutch played in the second leg of the European Championship qualifiers what had been expected of Jogi Löw's team - and he actually too. 4: 2 for Holland, that was a gracious result in the end. The German team proved at times as bizarre inferior. At the European Championships next year to be a title candidate: On the fact that they could do justice to this self-imposed claim, indicated little on Friday evening.
Gnabry skillfully touches the ball
"Today we played below our technical level," Löw admitted after the game. It looked, at least as far as the result, for a long time amazingly well. After an exact long pass from Joshua Kimmich Germany took the lead 1-0. Lukas Klostermann, who landed the Kimmich Pass, lost a lot of speed on the way to the goal. And he was also more against the ball than that he shot, so that the Dutch goalkeeper had parried first. But in the end Serge Gnabry sent the ball into it.
This gate revealed Holland's only major weakness. The defense behaved light-footed, Dutch tradition just. A pass from the other half, as Kimmich played him, should not strip a quad. Above all, no one with Virgil van Dijk, Europe's Footballer of the Year.
The Dutch defensive was therefore palpable. Only nothing followed. The German Elf buried deep in his own half and could never build his game. The center left them to the Dutch, who at times had more than 70 percent possession of the ball.
Even counter-attacks were rare. One of the few graduates from Gnabry directly. Only he was far too far away from the goal. It was a scene as the football fan knows them from the first round of the cup, when village clubs want to grab every little chance against the pros.
Nevertheless, the audience went with enthusiasm and cheered even the tiniest success of their team. Once it was loud in the stadium, as Klostermann cleared his back to the throw. The Hamburg spectators must be starving for top football for some reason.