Kevin Volland had an offside goal disallowed, while Andrea Belotti struck the far post late on in the second half as Italy and Germany rallied to a hard-fought goalless stalemate at the Estadio Giuseppe Meazza.
The friendly did not do many favours to either country’s FIFA rankings, but it allowed both teams to experiment their less experienced players in a less taxing environment.
The game was not without its share of quality football, but both sides defended in a manner befitting the football culture of their own countries. Germany dominated possession and had more shots, but Italy had the best chance of the game. The whole game was played in an end-to-end fashion, with neither team taking too many risks in possession and opting to keep the ball moving from wing-to-wing.
Here are 5 talking points from the game.
#1 Italy’s lineup and tactical setup
In one of Giampiero Ventura’s crucial early friendlies in the early part of his tenure, he set his side up in a 3-4-3 formation. He also fielded a number of untested players. Torino right wing-back Zappacosta was fielded in only his second international, while United full-back Matteo Darmian occupied the left wing-back role.
Striker Belotti earned only his 5th international cap.
Out of the back 3, only Bonucci had significant international experience, while Rugani and Romagnoli have yet to feature for Italy in a major international tournament. Simone Zaza and Nicolas Sansone were thrown on at the fag end of the game.
Understandably, Italy were on the backfoot from kickoff against a comparatively seasoned Germany side, even though Die Mannschaften were playing away from home.