Loew scores another tactical coup - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Loew scores another tactical coup

04/07/2010 06:12:47 AM Comments (0)

Germany had a perfect game plan to defeat Argentina and the ideal man to implement it.

Coach Joachim Loew devised a masterful tactical strategy to take advantage of Argentina's defensive weaknesses, and midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger steered his team with vision and precision that earned him the player-of-the-match honours in Germany's 4-0 World Cup quarterfinal victory on Saturday.

"It was a grandiose game from Bastian," Loew said. "The work he put in, the distance he covered, how he led the team in organisation, nearly every attack originated from him. And he had a great assist.

"There are few midfielders today who are playing at his level."

Schweinsteiger's cross from a free kick allowed Thomas Mueller to head Germany's opening goal in the third minute. And Schweinsteiger's weaving run through the slow-footed Argentine defense led to defender Arne Friedrich's goal - Germany's third - to put the outcome beyond doubt.

Loew knew it too, running along the touchline and jumping wildly as his players celebrated one of their most impressive wins in recent years.

"I really have goose bumps. We've beaten two strong teams and we've already come far," Schweinsteiger said. "Great compliments to the team. We were tactically very good and we scored at the right time. Argentina is one of the best teams in the world."

Just as he knew how to expose England's weaknesses in a 4-1 victory in the round of 16, Loew again found the right formula for his young but increasingly confident team.

"The team showed the desire of the champions. It was a dominant display and the goals were created with class," Loew said. "The team was driven by a great ambition to win this game. The power and the pace we had even under pressure was world class.

"We had a high degree of discipline in the defense and we covered a lot of distance."

A big part of Loew's plan was to negate the threat of Lionel Messi.

"I was not surprised by Argentina's lineup or their game," Loew said. "We analysed their game and we knew what to expect. We knew that Messi would play deeper in the midfield and we managed to take him out of the game.

"He was always under pressure and we did not foul him or give up many fouls."

Messi, considered the best player in the world, finished the tournament without scoring a goal. The Germans mostly managed to avoid making any fouls near their penalty area, and the few shots and free kicks Messi took were either high or caught by goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

"We managed to virtually eliminate him from the game," Loew said.

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