Deschamps followed the same game plan as against Iceland: he wanted to give the ball to the opponent and wait for counters as his team isn’t strong in possession game. France showed its usual 4-4-2 defending, their first line sat at the halfway line.
France’s game plan didn’t work at all as Germany had enough space in their own half to build-up from the back. Schweini dropped back and asked for the ball, Kroos also played relatively deep. He often bypassed France’s midfield line but it’s no surprise, we have been knowing even until now that he is the King of Vertical Passes. Özil often did vertical switches with Emre Can. By the way, the three forwards played in a free role as usually.
Germany especially overloaded the left side of the pitch to create spaces in the right side and exploit them with Emre Can and Kimmich who often went to the right half-space with a diagonal cut. They were also dangerous in the right side as sometimes Can had a really wide position and he opened up space for Müller and Draxler. Don’t forget: four-man defence might be stretched easier than five-man- defence. The defensive line of Germany sat approximately in the halfway line which might be advantageous for counters, but as Germany’s positional structure was compact, France didn’t have enough space to do them.
Germany on the left side.
Germany on the right side. Kimmich,Can and Özil exploit.
During the additional time of the 1st half, France took the lead despite being in minority thanks to Schweini’s handball and Griezmann’s penalty. In the 2nd half, Germany’s positional structure became less compact. Germany’s 3-1 unit became isolated from 4-2 and the attackers had a high position, they were waiting for crosses and vertical passes.They could open up half-space some times, creating chances with it., but obviously, this positional structure opened up huge spaces for French counters.
Too many players in an (almost) flat line, lack of verticality. Spaces behind the ball aren’t covered.
The 2nd goal came in the 72nd minute thanks to Kimmich’ s and Neuer’s mistake. Germany wasn’t yet able to score, although Kimmich hit the bar.
I think Germany made a mistake playing in a too direct style, not paying attention to transitions of France. However, I liked their flat crosses instead of knocking the ball in the air.
I’m feeling sad, Germany had the most developped and entertaining team play, but they couldn’t reach the final.