Joachim Low explained why he changed his Germany line-up to face Italy and confessed they were punished by “a classy side.”
The Germans had won a record 15 consecutive competitive matches, but were beaten 2-1 in the Euro 2012 semi-final.
“They punished us for our mistakes and went into the break 2-0 down against such a classy side as Italy, so it was always going to be difficult to get back into it,” Low told RaiSport.
Mario Balotelli bagged a splendid brace in the first half to put the match on track.
“Balotelli is a talented player, we knew that, but he punished us with two goals and we were not entirely free from errors in those moves.”
Low surprised many by picking Mario Gomez with Lukas Podolski and Toni Kroos, leaving Thomas Muller on the bench.
“I could’ve used another line-up, but Gomez had scored three goals and Podolski netted too, so I thought it was right to play them together.”