During the bitter walk into the dressing room, the completely frustrated national coach Julian Nagelsmann and his badly beaten players could still hear Austrian cheers like "Oh, how beautiful that is." After the next low blow, the DFB team is threatened with the next tournament debacle at the European Championships: Nagelsmann and the German national team said goodbye to the long international break with an alarming feeling of frustration.
Seven months before the opening game, the DFB selection lost 0-2 (0-1) against Austria in Vienna on Tuesday and is carrying a huge mortgage into the tournament year. Bayern star Leroy Sané hit opponent Phillipp Mwene from FSV Mainz 05 in the face at the start of the second half and may miss the entire European Championship preparation due to a red card suspension.
“You won’t be successful like that,” admitted captain Ilkay Gündogan on ZDF. "It can't be any worse right now. Maybe it's the only positive aspect. (...) It's bitter that we have to live with the negative results for three or four months now. Every individual has to be clear about what they can do to achieve optimal performance." Everything on the pitch has its reasons, said Gündogan, who expects a lot of criticism: "Germany is a country of debate. That's probably good after the game."
Dortmund professional Marcel Sabitzer (29th) took the lead in front of 46,000 spectators. RB Leipzig's Christoph Baumgartner (73') decided the game. After Sané's freak out (49th), Nagelsmann tried several substitutions, none of which helped. There have never been two autumn defeats at the end of the year before a European Championship or World Cup - the DFB selection will not have a chance to make amends until March at the earliest.
Three days after the 2:3 against Turkey, Nagelsmann strengthened the criticized defense with Leon Goretzka as security and three real central defenders for the coaching duel with his former sponsor Ralf Rangnick. However, the DFB selection remained extremely vulnerable against motivated hosts.
“We do have a bit of pressure on results. We also have pressure on the manner,” said Nagelsmann on ZDF. He probably didn't like what the coach, who was wearing a dark winter jacket, saw on the sidelines. The DFB team repeatedly got themselves into trouble by losing the ball quickly in the build-up game.
The addition of veteran Mats Hummels as another central defender alongside Antonio Rüdiger and Jonathan Tah should bring more stability to the German game. But the opposite was the case, the defense was shaky and vulnerable. After just 90 seconds, Leipzig's Baumgartner fired his first warning shot at the German goal, which was once again guarded by Kevin Trapp. A first chance came from Kai Havertz, of all places, on the left side, whose role in the Turkey game was viewed so critically, but who was not at fault in this situation.
Havertz once again had complete freedom as a rail player on the left side and provided some impetus, even though the German game remained shockingly harmless offensively in the first 45 minutes. Far too little came from the midfield, where Leon Goretzka played alongside captain Ilkay Gündogan instead of Joshua Kimmich.
The Austrians, on the other hand, were different: they repeatedly posed problems for the European Championship hosts with long balls, as with two chances by Freiburg's Michael Gregoritsch (12th and 17th). This couldn't go well for long. Again the Austrians quickly bridged their own half. Sabitzer was not consistently attacked by Tah, so the Dortmund player was able to shoot in with a powerful shot down the left. Rangnick, who confidently led Austria to take part in the European Championship and had eight Bundesliga players in the starting eleven in the game against his home country, clenched his fist.
Once again, the German side couldn't keep a clean sheet, which was the tenth time in a row since the 2-0 win against Peru in March. Nagelsmann waited in vain for his team to react in the first half; Serge Gnabry's seemingly helpless long-range shot was almost representative (40'). Accordingly angry, Nagelsmann quickly stalked into the locker room at halftime. "This is sobering football. (...) Not much fits together," criticized ZDF expert and former world champion Per Mertesacker at the break.
It was now up to Thomas Müller, who came on for Niclas Füllkrug in the second half. The hoped-for signal effect was immediately counteracted by a stupid action by Sané. The Munich player, who has been so outstanding this season, allowed himself to be carried out after a heated duel with Mwene when he pressed his hand into the Mainz player's face and pushed him to the ground. The red card was only logical, even after that Sané still had to be tamed with the help of Austria's veteran Marko Arnautovic. For Sané it was the first dismissal of his professional career.
Nagelsmann then returned to the back four with the substitution of Benjamin Henrichs, and shortly afterwards Florian Wirtz, Kimmich and Robert Andrich also came into the game. Germany now had to take risks and was therefore open to counterattacks like Gregoritsch's shot (64th). How easy it was to overturn the German selection became clear with the second goal conceded, when Gregoritsch served Baumgartner with a direct ball, which gave Trapp no chance. “Oh, how beautiful that is,” was the resounding response from the German team in the Ernst Happel Stadium, who could have lost much more in the final phase.
Note: This article has been updated