World champions Germany and Italy battled to a goalless draw at Milan’s Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on Tuesday evening.
Italy 0-0 Germany
The teams lined up with matching three-man defences in Milan, which made for few clean-cut chances in an otherwise busy first half. FC Schalke 04 man Leon Goretzka was denied by Gianluigi Buffon from close range in the opening minutes, before former Borussia Dortmund striker Ciro Immobile flashed over after getting in behind Goretzka's club captain, Benedikt Höwedes. Thomas Müller - captaining the side in the absence of FC Bayern München colleague Manuel Neuer - then whipped a dangerous ball across the face of Buffon's goal, but the chance went begging and the sides went in at the break with the scores level.
With the deadlock resolute, Joachim Löw shuffled his pack on the hour, bringing on Serge Gnabry - who scored a hat-trick against San Marino on Friday - and Kevin Volland for Goretzka and Müller. Bayer 04 Leverkusen man Volland thought he'd scored his second goal in as many Germany games minutes later, but his tap-in was ruled out for offside. Italy substitute Federico Bernardeschi was denied by a spritely Bernd Leno soon after, before Volland fired another chance narrowly wide. Andrea Belotti hit Leno's post in the dying minutes, but the shot stayed out and it ended 0-0.
Man of the Match
Julian Weigl dictated the tempo before coming off late on, with his 75 touches and 50 completed passes only surpassed by Sebastian Rudy inside the final 15 minutes.
Germany’s production line should stand them in good stead for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Of the 15 players who featured in Milan, Weigl, Gnabry, Goretzka, Joshua Kimmich and Jonathan Tah are each still eligible for the Under-21s.
- Nine Bundesliga stars started for Germany in Milan, with a further four coming off the bench.VfL Wolfsburg’s Yannick Gerhardt made his first senior Germany appearance, becoming the 86th debutant of coach Joachim Löw’s tenure.Germany have lost only one of nine matches at the Stadio Guiseppe Meazza.