De Ligt: Netherlands were scared to attack Germany

Nico Schulz scored in the last minute to earn Germany a 2-3 win in Amsterdam, with Matthijs de Ligt critical of the home team's passivity.

De Ligt: Netherlands were scared to attack Germany

Matthijs de Ligt felt that Holland were scared to attack Germany in the first half of their Euro 2020 qualifying defeat in Amsterdam last night. Serge Gnabry and Leroy Sané scored fantastic goals to put Joachim Löw's side 2-0 up at the break in Group C on Sunday. De Ligt's first international goal halved the deficit shortly after the restart with Memphis Depay then drawing Ronald Koeman's men level. But Germany, who were beaten 3-0 by Holland in the Nations League last year, snatched the points in the last minute when Nico Schulz struck.

Euro 2020 Qualifier - Group C - Netherlands v GermanyMatthijs de Ligt celebrates his goal with De Jong

Holland should have gone for the win

Koeman made changes at half-time to get his side back in the game and Ajax captain De Ligt accepted the hosts were too passive in the opening period. "The first half wasn't good," the teenage centre-back told NOS. "We didn't put on the pressure and they had a lot of space. Germany has very skillful players with guys like Sané, Gnabry, [Leon] Goretzka and [Toni] Kroos. Maybe we were somehow scared to attack Germany. In the second half we showed we're a good team, but that was too late. It's the Dutch mentality to try to score a third goal. You could keep pressing or defend and we did the first thing, but you should remain focused and maybe we lacked that in the end."

First-half difficulties

Virgil van Dijk agreed with De Ligt's assessment, both centre-backs having appeared unsettled by Löw's use of a formation that included no strikers but saw Sané and Gnabry roam off the flanks. "We knew we have a long way to go and tonight proved that," the Liverpool defender told NOS.  "We came back so well and then you should grab a point at least. Too bad it didn't work out that way. We had difficulties in the first half. They had a lot of movement and we weren't organised well. We improved a lot in the second half when Frenkie de Jong played more from midfield."