< Slovakia, 26 June 2016

France, 7 July 2016 >

GERMANY 1(6) - (5)1 ITALY (pens)

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Stade de Bordeaux

"It was a dramatic game, right until the last shot."
Germany - Mesut Ozil 66'
Italy - Leonardo Bonucci 80' (pg)

The Italy 'curse' is finally broken as a heart-stopping penalty shoot-out takes Germany through to their fifth consecutive tournament semi-final. It was Jogi's first ever penalty shoot-out as Bundestrainer.

Germany beat Italy to reach Euro 2016 semi-finals after epic penalty shootout
Die Mannschaft into last four after crazy shootout - with link to live ticker

Germany reach the semi-final after a thrilling shoot-out against Italy
Neuer and Hector the penalty heroes as Germany end Italy hoodoo

"Obviously I'm happy and when you factor the opposition into it, it feels even sweeter. The tournament isn't over yet though, there's still a lot of football to be played. The youngsters were impressive during the shootout and I've already congratulated Jonas Hector on grabbing the winner. The Italians were good today and have been throughout the tournament."

Hector is the unlikely hero as Germany beat Italy on penalties
Germany finally defeat Italy to stride into semis

"I experienced something similar in 2006 in the World Cup against Argentina. It was a game on a tactically very high level from both teams. But we had the upper hand. Italy are strong through their spine and we denied them. Conceding from a penalty was a bit unlucky. I can't imagine that Italy would have scored from open play." - from UEFA.com

Jogi also spoke of how experimenting with a back-three in the friendly in March, so helped the match today, "We talked about a back three. It was necessary to change the team a little bit. Italy are a different side to Slovakia. They play with two central attackers and two wingers, who play high up the pitch. It's too dangerous to take them on in a 4 v 4. They play from the wings into the middle, try to lay it off and then make runs from deep. It is predictable, but they do it well. Right after the Italy-Spain game, it was my first thought to play like this."

"Right after the World Cup it was clear to me that we would have to expand our options and not play the same way all the time - or we would be found out too easily. We have practised and played with a back three several times, in March against Italy for instance. It was no great change for the team."

Thrilling drama for Germany, bitterness for Italy

Low: "Dramatic game" - from Football Italia

Unexpected heroes emerge as Germany extend penalty record

"Usually, we have good penalty takers, although they haven't scored today," Löw told journalists. "The experienced players missed and the youngsters scored.
"It was great that youngsters like Kimmich and Hector, in their first major tournament, kept their nerves on such a stage."
"Takers one to five were clear quite quickly," Löw added, of the epic shootout. "Then you have to let players choose depending on their feelings.
Joachim Löw hails his team of 'fighters' as Germany overcome Italy
"From a fighter's point of view, it was amazing what the side did," said Löw as Germany reached the semis at a Euro finals for the third time in a row.
"If you want to criticise anything, sometimes we lost the ball too easily. We had a chance for a second goal, but Buffon produced a save and then an Italian player stopped Müller."
"It wasn't great to see Sami come off after just 15 minutes," admitted Löw."He had problems with his hamstring, I don't know if it is serious. Gomez had muscle problems, but I can't say too much about it. We have to recover and look after some players because a game like this affects the body."
"It was necessary [change in formation]. You have to change the side after a game like Slovakia which was very different," explained Löw. We tried to close down the centre for Italy.After I saw the Spain game, that was my first thought."
"After the World Cup, I realised we had to change a little bit. We played a 3-5-2 against Italy in March and it worked."
Löw dismissed any suggestion his players would be drained by the marathon against Italy."When you're in the semi, of course, the goal is to reach the final. The players have to recover, but of course we want more," he said.
Löw: "What my team accomplished today was great"
On dfb.de, Jogi elaborated on the penalty shoot-out, "Mesut [Özil] immediately said that he wanted to take one, so did Müller and Draxler. Our first five takers were decided quite quickly. After that you have to let the players decide amongst themselves. Usually we have many good penalty takers, although some missed their attempts today. I enjoyed seeing youngsters such as Kimmich and Hector step up onto a stage like this and keep their nerves."

On the injuries to Sami Khedira and Mario Gomez, necessitating their subsitution, "Having to make a change 15 minutes into a game like this is clearly not what you want. Sami had problems with his groin and wasn't able to sprint anymore. I don't know if he will be available on Thursday. Gomez also has muscular problems but he detected the issue quite early on. We'll have to see how it goes." Sami Khedira was replaced by Bastian Schweinsteiger, on whom Jogi commented "It was clear that we would need his service at some point in this tournament. He worked hard to get himself into the match. It wasn't easy for him, as it was his first lengthy appearance in a long time. But it was important to have such an experienced player on the pitch."

He concluded by adding that if you reach the Semi-Final, you naturally want to reach the final as well, but that the players will have to regenerate now but "we definitely want more".

Feedback and analysis:
Manuel Neuer edges Buffon in battle of Germany and Italy's great goalkeepers - Manuel's two saves proving crucial in the penalty shoot-out.
Germany remove the weight of history with Italy triumph
Germany vs. Italy was like a perfectly played chess match settled by a drunken bar fight

Analysis and feedback was, in the main, extremely positive for Jogi!
Löw's high-risk tactical gamble pays off for Germany

The only negative voice was that of Mehmet Scholl, who seemed to have hoped to write the response to a defeat, and had to continue with his script:
Wegen Taktik! Scholl attackiert Löw - der erklärt seine Wahl
or, even better, to quote Zeit Online 'make headlines to justify his salary'!

Löw takes flak despite decade of German success - thelocal.de tells it like it is.
They'll appreciate him when he's gone, you mark my words...

On their potential opponents in the Semi-Final, Jogi said "France are surely favourites [against Iceland], they are playing at home, they have great individual quality. Iceland have caused an upset, they are well organised in defence, it will not be easy for France, but I think they will go through should they perform."

Asked again about the Italy match in a press conference the following Monday, he said "I knew that we could score against Italy but the past counts for nothing, it's all about the present. We were obviously unbelievably happy after the game; there was pure joy and an immense excitement. We have all calmed down bit by bit though. The players were mentally and physically tired. We put in an extremely energetic performance."

Post-match interview on Sportschau

Das Elfmeterschießen mal anders (the players describe the penalty shoot-out in gestures only) and Die Mannschaft ist zurück in Evian

And a personal thanks to Brighton Big Screen for their wonderful Fan Park atmosphere!


The Coach-Cam for the match goals, including the penalty shoot-out

Starting Line-Up:
Manuel Neuer, Benedikt Höwedes, Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng, Joshua Kimmich, Sami Khedira (Bastian Schweinsteiger), Toni Kroos, Jonas Hector, Mesut Özil, Mario Gomez (Julian Draxler), Thomas Müller

Jogi made just one change from the team that beat Slovakia, changing his formation to a back-three with wing backs to mirror the Italian defensive formation. This meant an unlucky omission for Julian Draxler who was replaced by Benedikt Höwedes.

UEFA Press Conference, 1 July 2016, with Mesut Ozil

Germany coach Löw bracing for Italy surprise at Euro 2016

Germany coach Joachim Löw reckons Italy will try to catch his team out with an unexpected lineup when the two sides meet in their European Championship quarterfinal on Saturday.
"We have to assume that the Italians will want to surprise us, that they'll do something with the starting formation we hadn't expected,'' the Germany coach said Friday.
De Rossi is a very good player; he was injured. Of course it's important for Italy that he plays, but Italy have several good midfielders. Italy always finds a good solution."
Löw has a full squad of 23 players to choose from as he bids to secure Germany's first ever win over Italy at a major tournament.
And he is not taking anything for granted, despite the Azzurri's injury problems as they prepare to face Löw's world champions.
"The Italians are definitely at the same level," Löw said.
Löw: "Italy artists of defence" - from football-italia.net
"We have a 50 per cent chance of winning," Löw told Bild.
"We'll give everything to succeed. The players are very focused, we've prepared the match with Italy intensively and we're very confident.
"We have to overcome our greatest obstacle in this European Championship. We know we have artists of defence in front of us, who don't give their opponents chances."We have to be good at exploiting the ones we do get. We're strong in attack though, and I know the Italians have great respect for our players."
Other points from the press conference:

a potential system change: "Naturally we've studied the Italians intensively over the past week. Italy do not only possess defensive qualities, but they have good abilities in attacking areas as well. We will be facing a different calibre of attack compared with our previous four games. We have studied them closely and I think we are well prepared. I expect a close contest and we know what to expect. It's not about a whether we go for a three-man backline or not, but rather that we have to find the right balance between attack and defence. We can't make too many mistakes and allow too many chances."

the atmosphere in the team: "You shouldn't be misled into that everything is easygoing here. The players are highly focused during training sessions and the tension levels rise prior to every knockout game. Every match could be our last and you can feel the tension. Concentration in training is high, but there is also the necessary level of relaxation. There is a good atmosphere in the team - it's what is required."

Germany's recent friendly win over Italy: "The Italians will not allow themselves to be fazed by a friendly defeat. We know the Italians and know that they can grow stronger as a unit during the course of a tournament. They have a well-oiled setup; a lot of their players have known each other for a long time and play together at Juventus. Friendlies aren't that important. What matters is what happens at the tournament and we expect Italy to be a strong side."

their opponents: "We are definitely confident, since we know our own strengths. The team is full of self belief. The stronger your opponents get, the more you have to point out and realise what makes them strong. Italy find good solutions in attack and defence. It's important to know a lot about your own game, but also about the opponents' game. ...being favourites: Our opponents tomorrow can also win the European Championship. Any team that manages to reach the semi-finals want to get to the final as well. Both teams have the quality, but there is still a long road to the title. We have to play our next game first, before looking at the semi-final, which will likely be against the hosts - another really tough game. It's still a long way, but the team that wins on Saturday will be amongst the favourites for the title."

Antonio Conte e Joachim Löw: chi vince la partita di stile? - corriere.it compares the personal style of Jogi and Antonio Conte

Reise nach Bordeaux - 1 July 2016

An interview with Jogi from ZDF - where he is giving nothing about his team for tomorrow, 1 July 2016

No training photographs from 30 June 2016

Training, Evian, 29 June 2016

Press Conference, Evian-les-Bains, 28 June 2016

"That's cold coffee. I prefer a fresh espresso. We just have to make sure that it tastes good on Saturday."

Jogi went for a coffee analogy when asked about Germany's defeat to Italy in the Euro 2012 Semi-Final, saying that he considered it now "cold coffee" and his preference was for a fresh espresso!

Joachim Löw upbeat as Germany seek first tournament win over Italy

"It will be an incredibly tough match against the Italians," Low said. "They sometimes defend with nine or 10 players behind the ball and narrow the spaces so that even a team like Spain found no way past them."
He praised Conte for recognising that "catenaccio alone does not win you a tournament" and added: "They are not the Italians you usually see. They are not only focused on the defence but are also strong in attack.
"It will be a very tight match, and the outcome is relatively open. We don't fear the Italians, but they are on a top level. Their defence has been playing together for ages, and they are a much better team than they were in 2008, 2010 and even 2012."
In 2012, Low tried to contain playmaker Andrea Pirlo in the semifinal defeat by assigning Toni Kroos as a man-marker.
He admits now that "it didn't work," with the midfielder -- who is not in the current Italy squad -- beginning the move that led to the first of Mario Balotelli's two goals.

Low said (on Italy being mainly written off before Euro 2016): "I knew about their qualities. They said they are too old, they play too defensively, but the truth is different. That mix of class, experience and a defensive base is important, but you also have to make your case in attack, and they can do just that."
He highlighted Italy's ability to hand possession to their opponents and wait for the counter while also having the potential to press high up the field with "physically and psychologically strong players."
Low, who has made minor adjustments to his starting formation throughout the tournament, said he is working on a plan for a team that is capable of breaking down Italy's defence while having the ability to cope with attempted counter-attacks.
"It will not be an easy job to find ways to do it," he said. "We need to tinker a bit. Creating chances will be harder than against Slovakia, and Italy are dangerous on the counter."They might hand us the ball, but they might also attack us early."
He said there is "no set starting formation" and he is not even certain of his system at this point.
"We are thinking about what their plan against us might be and take it into consideration," he said. "That's independent from playing a back four or with three at the back. We have to play to our strengths. The Italians have their own strengths, and we need to shut them down."
However, he added: "That defeat in 2012 helped us in 2014. It also helped me in my personal development. It was a painful defeat, but it helped me in making a few decisions at the 2014 World Cup."

Löw: "We don't have a mental block against Italy"
We don't have a mental block against Italy. I don't see the benefit in thinking about the past. It's old news and I prefer to focus on the future. We will have to see how it all goes on Saturday.

We have no trauma about Italy, Germany's Löw says of nemesis

"We have never beaten them in a tournament but we have no Italy trauma," Löw said. "I do not rate the past too much.
"They are now a different team. That's all cold coffee. A fresh espresso is better and I hope it tastes better on Saturday," he said, taking a sip from his own coffee.
"We don't fear them. We know what we can do and if we do it then we have a good chance to win it," said the coach.
Germany went through to the last eight with a comfortable 3-0 win over Slovakia but Loew said not too much should be read into that victory.
"I think emotions from the outside are running pretty high. We were almost written off after our 0-0 (group match) against Poland. Then we win 3-0 and everything is great. Okay, we did it well ... but with all due respect for our opponents, I don't think that this victory was the measure for winning the tournament.
"What we need now is humility and modesty. Let's keep the bar low, the ball on the ground. I have a good feeling for the weekend but we need to improve. What we have been playing is not enough to win this tournament; we have to get better."
Auf einen Espresso mit dem Bundes-Barista

Turning to his own camp, Jogi said that there has only been a few small knocks to deal with in the past few days, which were picked up by Same Khedira, Mats Hummels and Julian Draxler. However, they shouldn't be a problem. "Klaus Eder and Dr Müller-Wohlfahrt are doing an amazing job. They are an efficient team that works around the clock everyday and I have total faith in them. It's amazing what they do. If it wasn't for them, Jerome Boateng wouldn't have been able to play against Slovakia."

Joachim Löw to turn to Sami Khedira ahead of Germany's quarter-final clash vs Italy

"I'll be talking a lot to Sami, he's important because he knows a lot about Serie A," said Loew ahead of the plum last-eight tie at the European Championship finals.
"He'll give me a few pieces of info I don't already have, he knows what they are like from seeing them everyday in training. How they react under pressure and things like that.
"Sami is smart and clever. He takes over the tasks that are given to him."
And on individual players:
Thomas Müller's performances: "Thomas is a winner. No matter what he does, he will always want to win. He has improved continuously since 2010 and is just in a phase where he isn't scoring at the moment. I am nevertheless very happy with him because he is making runs that are causing our opponents trouble and giving us options. The running he does is valuable to us. Thomas works amazingly hard defensively as well, closing down the ball quickly, That is also an important quality."
Bastian Schweinsteiger's role: "Basti is very important. He speaks a lot with the young players. Currently he has been speaking a lot to Mario Götze to help him improve. Basti is very intuitive and valuable. Furthermore, he is now fit enough to be able to start. He has made a good impression."
Lukas Podolski: "He is a role model for the young players, always gives his best and sets the tone. The team has a lot of respect for him and the youngsters look up to him. It was great to see how the fans reacted to him after the Slovakia game."
the spine of the team: "It has been a massive advantage to us over the years. Neuer, Hummels, Boateng, Khedira, Kroos, Özil and Müller are eight very good players who have played together for a long time now. Therefore, we didn't need too long during the preparation to grasp the system we wanted to play ahead of the tournament."

Jogi also praised the players who had yet to appear on the field in the tournament: "The way that they have been holding themselves has shown great strength of character. They are doing their best and keeping the standard high in training. I wouldn't like to be without any of these players. I have absolute faith in all of them. They have already given a lot for the team."

the improved performance after the Poland match: Our balance between defence and attack was better. The attackers defended better. Kroos and Khedira did some great work.

the euphoria after the Slovakia game: I think modesty and humility are the order of the day. We shouldn't be overcome with euphoria, we need to stay grounded as the quarterfinals is just another step along the way. It would be wrong to put too much worth on the win over Slovakia. That was not the standard. Nevertheless we are in good spirits going into the weekend. We have to improve in all areas.

the six day break before the quarterfinals: It is definitely not a disadvantage. It means that we have the chance to recover from a couple of small knocks. The players need that. The team will definitely be waiting with anticipation.

the importance of the players' fitness: I know that the youngest team in the tournament is taking on the oldest but the Italians had the advantage of being able to rest key players in their third group match. I don't believe that the players' fitness will be the decisive factor. Even the older Italian players such as Bonucci and Chiellini are in good physical shape.

a possible semi-final against surprise package Iceland: We aren't thinking that far ahead. It was a big surprise to me that Iceland beat England. They did really well, were very organised and their structure made them hard to play against.

No more Golden Goal stories please, Löw tells Bierhoff
Germany coach Joachim Löw will not be celebrating the 20th anniversary of his team's golden goal over the Czech Republic in the Euro 1996 final, having heard the story far too many times from its scorer Oliver Bierhoff.
Asked whether there would be any celebrations or even a cake for current Germany team manager Bierhoff, who scored both goals in their 2-1 victory over the Czechs, Löw was quick to say: No, no. There won't be.
"I will be happy if I don't hear that story on Thursday as he constantly keeps telling it," Löw said on Tuesday, amid loud laughter from reporters. "I will be avoiding him on that day."

Löw: "The way Italy is playing is impressive" - 28 June 2016
Germany will take on Italy, who beat defending champions Spain 2-0 in the round of 16, in the quarterfinals of the European Championship on Saturday evening (21:00 CEST) in Bordeaux. "I believe that the best teams in the tournament so far are playing each other now," said Germany head coach Joachim Löw, he continued, "I am expecting a fiercely contested, interesting and intense match."
Germany have played Italy eight times in World Cups and European Championships but have not managed to win any of these matches. The DFB team lost 2-1 to the Azzurri at Euro 2012 and 2-0 after extra time at the 2006 World Cup in Germany in their previous two encounters at major tournaments. "We have the chance to change that now," said Löw. Germany triumphed 4-1 in the friendly between the two sides in March this year.
Germany's head coach was full of praise when talking about the Squadra Azzura's performances in the tournament so far. "The way that Italy have played has been impressive," said the World Champion's head coach. "Italy have players who are trained to be defensively strong but they also have great attacking players who can counter quickly. They are good going forwards and that is something that you could see again today."

Jogi speaks to tv.dfb.de about Italy, who they learnt would be their quarter-final opponents on Monday evening. - 27 June 2016

Joachim Löw has given the players Tuesday free after Monday afternoon's training session, following their progression to the quarterfinals of the European championship in France, which will take place on Saturday (21:00 CEST) in Bordeaux. The team will only work individually on their recovery on Tuesday. The next training session for the whole team is scheduled for Wednesday in Evian. - 27 June 2016
Löw explained his decision: "We are heading towards the business end of the tournament and are expecting opponents who will be extremely demanding. We will have to be as fit and fresh as possible. The team is being given the day off to recharge their batteries."

< Slovakia, 26 June 2016 | France, 7 July 2016 >

Last updated 7 July 2016
With thanks to everyone on the Group for their help and support, especially Lucille, Silke, Susanne, Sarah, Taylor and Delmy.
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