Netherlands 3-0 Germany match report: UEFA Nations League
Goals from Van Dijk, Depay and Wijnaldum gave the home side a resounding win over their arch-rivals.
Netherlands vs Germany match report:
It was a game that ahead of kick-off suggested it could be fun. And that, fortunately for all those tuning in, certainly came to fruition. There were goals, several missed chances, a fast pace, and a little controversy to keep everything flowing for the full ninety minutes. In the end, the scoreline hints at a dominant home display from the Netherlands. There is no question that Ronald Koeman's men impressed, but this game was in the balance until near the final whistle.
Dutch delight in Amsterdam
Blows were shared by both sides in the early stages although it was the visitors who had a greater deal of control. Holland, having shown plenty of promise in their opening 2-1 defeat at the hands of recently-crowned world champions France, looked to feed in their creative forwards when the opportunity arose, and slowly gained more of the possession and territory from their more distinguished guests. The goal that the more-than fifty thousand spectators were hoping for came on the half-hour mark.
It came from a corner, swung in from the right by the always-lively Memphis Depay, and met by the Beşiktaş winger, Ryan Babel, out-jumping two defenders. His firm header had Neuer beaten but the crossbar came to the German rescue, at least for a moment. As the ball thudded down off the turf it was Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk who was first to react, nodding in the opener.
From then on the game took a rather familiar pattern. The home side were happy to soak up the German pressure - without it ever feeling like a backs-to-the-wall approach - while maintaining their threat on the counter, Depay often the one encouraged to hold a high position. Thomas Müller had a great opportunity to equalise before the break which could have changed the complexion of the tie. He didn't.
Late conclusion for Koeman's heroes
Chances came and went for both sides in the second half. Germany continued to try to make something happen with more of the play in their oppenents final third (aided further with the introduction of Leroy Sané and Julian Draxler) while Koeman's team were happy to pick off more direct chances. And it was the Lyon man, Memphis Depay who eventually made those breaks count on the 87th minute. Second half substitute Quincy Promes was released on the right with acres of grass to run into. He pulled a perfectly weighted ball across the goal for his supporting teammate to control and fire home. That was that.
There was still time for Depay to hit the bar on another break away before Wijnaldum put the icing on the cake. The Liverpool midfielder chose to go alone and showed the class and confidence of a star forward to create space and drill home past Neuer. A first win for the Netherlands over their neighbouring rivals in 16 years, and one that suggests Koeman may have put Dutch football back on the map.
Netherlands vs Germany live online: latest news
Netherlands vs Germany live online: preview
These two sides are looking to rebuild their reputations at the top table of world football. The Netherlands have been away from that company for longer, today's side ranked by FIFA at 17th, a significant improvement on their lowest ever position (36th) just a year ago, but a far cry from 2011 when they topped the charts. Germany fluffed their lines in this summer's World Cup, arriving in Russia as reigning champions, but are always in the same dining conversation as the big boys before every tournament.
Netherlands team news
There are no injury concerns for manager Ronald Koeman so it is merely a question of who to pick in his starting XI. Liverpool duo Virgil Van Dijk and Georginio Wijnaldum have been playing well for their club and are likely to form part of the Dutch spine, with Barça's Cilessen in goal. Up front, a former Red, Ryan Babel is expected to line up alongside Lyon star Memphis Depay and the highly-rated Sevilla man, Quincy Promes.
Germany team news
Joachim Löw has a number of players out, including Marco Reus, Antonio Rüdiger and Leon Goretzka. Leroy Sané is expected to take his returned place in the national team with Timo Werner leading the line. Neur will be hoping for a quiet night behind his trusty Boateng and Hummels, although variations across the eleven could be seen after the 0-0 opening day draw with France.