Löw voted for defensive stability instead of taking risk in offense and he suited his formation to the opponent: he started with a 3-4-3. Höwedes, Boateng and Hummels were the three centre-backs, Hector and Kimmich played in the wings. Khedira and Kroos played in the centre of the midfield. concerning the final third, Löw missed Julian Draxler. The goal poacher Gomez was the centre forward, with Özil and Müller in his two sides. Conte pasted his usual 3-5-2 formation to the tactical table, but Parolo was the defensive midfielder this time, and Sturaro played with Parolo as central midfielder.
Germany dominated in possession, but it was sterile. Kroos was perfectly marked by Eder so he got isolated. By the way, Germany focused to stretch out Italy’s five-man-defence, but, especially in the half-spaces, they didn’t really exploited the Italian midfield line, although it would have been necessary as Italy had just three man in the midfield line. These little issues resulted Germany’s wing-oriented play.
Italy pressed really hight just in kick-off situations, and occasionly when a German player faced his own target when getting the ball.
Italy spent just a little time in possession. They used a triple-width system, one of the CMs always drifted wide to help the wingbacks and the wingers whilst the other CM stepped forward. They mainly tried to apply direct vertical passes or switching the ball to the far-sided wingbacks as usual. Germany used a 5-2-3 pressing, but they pressed high just occasionally.
Germany still had some problem with exploiting the vertical centre of the pitch as Kroos was tightly marked. Schweinsteiger and Özil had a relatively free roam in the second line, whilst Müller always played in the right half-space. They often tried to switch the ball to the other side thanks to wingbacks’ high position, but as Italy’s 5-3-2 block played well, they didn’t have enough space to do penetrative combinations, and they crosses weren’t so effective. After 65 minutes played, Germany took the lead thanks to Gomez’s drift wide, Hector’s cross and Özil’s poaching. Soon after, Bonucci equalized from penalty thanks to Boateng’s stupid mistake.
In the extra-time, neither of the teams took any risk, however we would have expected from Löw returning to his usual 4-3-3, but defensive stability and nulifying the opponent was more important for him. Finally, Germany advanced after penalty shoot-out-no dout, it was more exciting than the match, but its level was also really poor…
Germany managed to win an imbalance battle. Their possession-based style seems effective, but I think they should take more risk in the future.