Italy beats Germany 4-1 in football friendly
2 March 2006, FLORENCE - Italian coach Marcello Lippi was all smiles on Wednesday after his side had comfortably beaten World Cup hosts Germany 4-1 in Florence.
2 March 2006
FLORENCE - Italian coach Marcello Lippi was all smiles on Wednesday after his side had comfortably beaten World Cup hosts Germany 4-1 in Florence.
"I am happy because this win here (the Azzurri played in Florence after a 13-year absence) has a particular value. I found a group of boys with an incredible desire to be in the national team and I am really happy about this. This win was a good injection of confidence."
Lippi had plenty of reasons to smile as his side ran rings around a disappointing German team that seemed to be playing without any intention of defending.
Lippi's German counterpart, Juergen Klinsmann, said after the defeat that he still believed in his side - which has been criticised for being too inexperienced.
"There are no young and old players, there are just good and bad players and I still believe in this side. Of course we are disappointed, but we do not need to fall apart now.
"We will accept the criticism that will come and we will work to show that we are better than the game showed."
In Florence the home side were leading 2-0 after just seven minutes.
Alberto Gilardino opened the scoring in the fifth minute before German midfielder Sebastian Deisler gave away the ball in the centre of the field two minutes later and Luca Toni made no mistake after being sent through.
Germany tried to settle down after going behind, but could not find their play against an Italian side that was in control throughout.
The Italians allowed Germany more of the play towards the end of the first half and relied on their chances on the break. They showed all their experience six minutes from the changeover as Daniele De Rossi was allowed a free header and had no problems beating Jens Lehmann.
In the second half Germany came out of the change-rooms a more determined side and pressurised the home side for every ball. They soon found themselves another goal down though as substitute Bastian Schweinsteiger lost the ball and Alessandro Del Piero's diving header found the back of the net in the 57th minute.
Chelsea reserve player Robert Huth pulled one back for the World Cup hosts eight minutes from the end after a corner.
German captain Michael Ballack, who was tightly marked throughout the game, said that he had no answers for such a defeat. "Four goals speak for themselves. They are a very strong message and we will need to work hard.
"Luckily for us, the next game is not in a few months, it is in a few weeks and that will work in our favour as we will be able to show that we are better than we were today."
Subject: German news