Germany made it to the last four of a major tournament for the sixth consecutive time as they defeated Italy 1-1 ( 6-5 on penalties) in the quarter-final of the UEFA Euro 2016 in Bordeaux.
After Mesut Ozil’s opener was cancelled out by Leonardo Bonucci’s penalty in regulation time, the tie went into a penalty shootout. Germany saw Thomas Muller, Ozil and Bastian Schweinsteiger miss their respective spot-kicks, while Italy’s Simone Zaza, Graziano Pelle and Bonucci failed to find the back of the net with their kicks during the compulsory shootout.
After Matteo Darmian’s soft penalty was saved by Manuel Neuer in sudden death, Jonas Hector converted his to seal Germany’s path into the semi-final where they will face either hosts France or surprise package Iceland.
Here are the player ratings from a game of two equals at the Noveau Stade de Bordeaux:-
Manuel Neuer – 8
His distribution was brilliant despite the Italians closing down on his defenders while the ball was in his possession. He made 2 saves in the shootout to help his side advance to the semis.
Benedikt Howedes – 7.5
He may have been identified as the weak link of the defensive trio by the Italians. Nevertheless, he stayed strong and never allowed Emanuele Giaccherini to dispossess him despite all the pressure he exerted.
Mats Hummels – 7
Playing on the left side of a 3-man defence, Hummels had yet another assured performance. He kept a dangerous-looking Florenzi in check. Going forward, he provided quality long passes to give the Italian defence a headache or two. He gets slightly lower ratings for his booking which rules him out of the semi-final.
Jerome Boateng – 7.5
He was unbeatable at the back. His ability to read a pass and sense any looming danger was critical to ensure Germany were relatively comfortable at the back. He gets struck down for his moment of madness which led to the penalty and subsequently, Italy’s equaliser.
Hector – 7
He was well closed down by Florenzi throughout the game. He gets the extra ratings for his assist for Germany’s opener. Apart from that, he was not afforded the space to wrap his foot around a dangerous cross.
Joshua Kimmich – 6.5
The young wingback was lively throughout the game, attempting to make those surging approaches into the box with his pace. However, he was kept at bay by both Chiellini and De Sciglio.
Sami Khedira – N/A
He had to come off after just 15 minutes due to a foot injury caused by Chiellini's momentum while making a fair challenge.
Toni Kroos – 6.5
His corners were very poor, barely any of them going past the first man. His passing was, however, pretty accurate and he moved the ball across the pitch with a lot of confidence.
Mesut Ozil – 8
He was quiet in the first half, when he looked relatively wasted on the wing. He was more threatening in the second half in a central role, making the Italian defence busy in dealing with his dangerous through balls or lofted passes. He scored Germany’s goal following some excellent work by Mario Gomez.
Thomas Muller – 6
The 26-year old was barely involved in the action until the 41st minute, when he fluffed a potential chance, only managing a tame effort towards Buffon after a fabulous move from the left. He was denied yet again by Barzagli’s foot early in the second half. It was a frustrating night in total for Muller, who is yet to find the back of the net this Euros.
Mario Gomez – 7.5
The forward had a good opportunity in the first half, breaking away from Chiellini to meet a long ball from Hummels. However, he was unable to get the required contact.
His contribution to his side’s goal was immense; holding up play on the left wing before spotting Hector’s run towards the byline to provide the perfect reverse pass. He had a glorious opportunity to double the lead soon after, but saw his backheel flick wonderfully kept out by the fingertips of Buffon. Germany lost a focal point in attack once he was substituted off for Draxler on 72 minutes.
Bastian Schweinsteiger – 6.5
After a slightly cagey first half, Schweinsteiger controlled play in midfield in the second half and in extra time. He fed the wingers on either side – especially Joshua Kimmich - with some good passing. He loses some rating points for his horrible penalty which was blazed into orbit.
Julian Draxler - 6
Draxler was nowhere near his dazzling self against the Slovakians. He was reduced to a passenger of sorts for the 50-odd minutes he was on the pitch. He could not thread his way through a non-compromising Italian defence and missed a great chance in extra-time.