2020 came to a painful end for the Germany national team on Tuesday night, with a heavy defeat in Seville denying Joachim Löw’s side the chance of reaching the UEFA Nations League Final Four. Die Mannschaft were beaten 6-0 by Spain, who overtake them at the top of Group 4, while Germany slip to second.
Goals from Alvaro Morata, Rodri, Mikel Oyarzabal and a Ferran Torres hat-trick inflicted Germany’s heaviest defeat since a 6-0 loss against Austria in 1931. It was also the first time Löw’s side have lost this year, having previously recorded three wins and four draws.
Toni Kroos returned from suspension to play in midfield behind the recently dangerous front three Timo Werner, Serge Gnabry and Leroy Sané. Löw’s line-up also included a new record holder in Manuel Neuer, who won his 96th cap to overtake Sepp Maier as Germany’s most-capped goalkeeper. It was a much busier night for him than usual though and he had to be on his toes to keep out a low Sergio Ramos free-kick early on (7’).
Germany sat back and allowed Spain to have the ball inside their own half for the opening 15 minutes, hoping to catch them on the counter using that pacey attacking trio. Gnabry was almost through at one stage too, only to be denied a shooting chance at the last (14’). It wasn’t a sign of things to come though, as Spain controlled the play while making sure they kept things tight at the back.
Morata opened the scoring with a header from a corner kick (17’) and Spain could have been out of sight inside half an hour with Torres having a good chance (21’) and Morata having a second ruled out for offside (23’). Germany had no answer to the hosts’ dominance and the chances kept on coming. Neuer had to make another good save to deny Torres (30’), but he was helpless three minutes later when the Manchester City forward volleyed in a rebound to make it 2-0. Another set piece made it three at the break, with Rodri applying a precise headed finish in the 38th minute.
Jonathan Tah replaced Niklas Süle at centre-back following the interval, as Manuel Neuer was called upon to make two quick saves early on to deny Dani Olmo and Koke (47’). However, he was then unable to prevent Torres from scoring his second of the night in the 55th minute.
Spain remained the better team during the second half, as Germany failed to pose any real threat. Löw brought on fresh legs, with Luca Waldschmidt and Florian Neuhaus replacing Sané and Leon Goretzka in the 61st minute. They were then dealt another blow as Torres scored to make it 5-0, completing his hat-trick.
It took Germany until the 77th minute to record their first shot. Gnabry had a go from range, but his shot bounced back off the woodwork. The closing stages of the match saw Oyarzabal come off the bench to score a sixth goal for Spain. Germany won't return to action now until March 2021's international break.###more###