Germany 1-0 Argentina: World Cup 2014 Final Tactical Analysis. FIFA World Cup 2014 was one of the greatest footballing occasion of the decade. The two powerhouses of two most football fanatic continents were coming face to face. Messi the magician was in front of the greatest trophy in world football. On the other side, the resilient German spirit was waiting to clinch their 4th World Cup. The match took place on 13th July at 4 PM local time at the iconic stadium Estadio de Maracana.
Formations and Line Up of World Cup 2014 Final
Germany geared themselves up in a 4-2-3-1 formation with Klose, Muller and Ozil up top. The midfield consisted of Schweinsteiger, Kroos and Kramer. The Defence was made up of two solid full backs Jonas Hector and Philip Lahm. The mercurial pair of Boateng and Hummels were playing the centre backs. Manuel Neuer was playing in the goal.
For Argentina, the formation was a mixture of a 4-3-3 and a 4-2-2-2. The defence was looking solid with Rojo, Demichelis, Zabaleta and Garay constituted the back 4. Just sitting above them was Mascherano and Biglia. In the wide areas, Lavezzi and Perez were present. The front two consisted of Messi and Higuain.
The Tactical Setup of World Cup 2014 Final
From the German perspective it looked they will rely on their pressing game to take advantage of Argentina’s low block which left a lot of space in the half-spaces. Germany mainly lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation. They deployed Ozil and Muller in the two wings but neither of them played as an actual winger. Muller mainly played as an inverted forward. He moved upfront to support Klose. Ozil, on the other hand, played in a free role. He roamed in the zone 14 to create space. The whole width of the team was provided by their two fullbacks. Of them, Lahm was more attacking and overlapped more as left side of Argentina was not very much threatening. He mostly played as a winger aiding Muller to move upfront.
The team mainly played out from the back. Argentina looked to maintain their shape rather than pressing high. So the defenders got time and space on the ball. Boateng and Hummels were excellent with the ball. They picked Schwiensteiger, Kramer or even Kroos who dropped near the centre to start the attack. They used their vision and one-touch passing to break the mid-block of Argentina. Argentina left space in the wings which was exploited by Germany. In fact, the goal-scoring move was also created through the left-wing.
For Argentina, the story was quite different from the Germans. Argentina played in a 4-2-2-2 formation. Messi played as a false 9 and was assigned with the task of creating balls Argentina allowed Germany to bring their men forward. They looked to break opponents in transitions. But Germany’s high press forced them to go long. As both the mids were dropping to shield the defence so the gap between mid and forward became huge. Messi often dropped in their half to receive the ball but that killed the creative prowess of Argentina. German mid closed the passing channels through mid. Chances were created through wing spaces but Higuain was not clinical enough to score.
Tactical Analysis of World Cup 2014 Final
In the first half, both the teams were trying to attack their opponents from the wings a lot. The Argentinians were particularly using the right side too much of their effect. Argentina was the team in the front foot in the first half an hour. With Higuain and Messi both were finding spaces in the German backline. Higuain missed some easy chances that he could have taken advantage of. Germany were also using their right as Kroos and Muller combined in the right to unleash baggage of crosses inside the opponent box. The major picture from the first half is Germany and Argentina both pressing in the wide areas effectively. The Germans tried to take control of the midfield with the possessional game. On the other hand, Argentina were looking for the chance to break from the counter and score past the German defence.
Argentina’s 4-2-2-2 was frequently changing into a 4-3-3 on the attack, as Lavezzi moved over to the right and made good use of his pace against Howedes and Hummels, with Messi drifting over to accompany him, and Perez filling in to bolster the left of the Argentine midfield to fill out any space that the Germans can use against them.
Germans again moved back into their traditional 4-2-3-1 with Schurrle’s introduction as Kroos dropped a little deep to join the midfield two, as a result with Klose up top behind him Ozil, Schurrle and Muller were there. Muller and Ozil’s position interchanging was a unique feature of the final, as they totally confused the opposition.
The second half of the final match of World Cup 2014 was a bit scrappier than the first half as both the teams tried to play with measured risks. Though Argentina started the half brilliantly they were lacking the precision and sharpness that they were showing in the first half. With the introduction of Aguero in place of Lavezzi in the second half, the Albicelsete moved to a 4-3-3 narrow formation. The Blue and Whites were totally depending on the counters to create terror in the opponent box.
The Germans were controlling the midfield but they found little space to play through the centre because of the strong Mascherano and Biglia spine ahead of Demichelis and Garay leaving no space in the centre for the Germans to create their attack. Schurrle provided the Germans with very high work rate but he was not trying to bypass Zabaleta to get into the attacking position. The Germans tried to use the wing a lot to carve out chances but they were invariably being cleared out by the Blue and Whites backline.
With no clear cut chances in the final minutes, the game moved on into extra time, and immediately became more attacking as spaces were starting to generate in the backlines. Schurrle forced another save from Romero. After several attempts down the left, a lofted diagonal ball from that side was misjudged by Hummels and put Palacios in on goal, but as Neuer raced out of his position, Palacios lifted the ball wide.
At last in the dying stage of the extra time in the second half, the Germans scored the ball as Schurrle lifted the ball in the box from the left and Gotze showed with his fresh legs showed composure and chested the ball down and volleyed past Romero. The goal was deciding factor as the Argentine couldn’t equalise.
Stats Corner of World Cup 2014 Final
- Ozil and Schurrle gave 2 key passes each. That was the highest for the Germans. For Argentina, it was Rojo and Messi.
- Mats Hummels had 6 clearances and 4 interceptions, with a 94.4% passing accuracy. He was the Man of the Match.
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