Germany boss Joachim Löw has insisted his side deserved to beat Italy on Saturday following a cagey and tactical affair that eventually ended with a penalty shoot-out win for Die Mannschaft.
Löw, 56, also admitted that Germany rode their luck against the Euro 2012 runners up, claiming that the tie should have been wrapped up in normal time.
Instead, Germany ran out 6-5 winners on penalties with Liverpool target Jonas Hector scoring the winning penalty.
“It was a game on a very high tactical level from both sides,”Löw told reporters, as quoted by Goal.
“I think we were superior. The Italians’ strength was in the centre and we did well to contain them. I didn’t think they would score but the penalty was unfortunate.
“Of course it was lucky in the end but through the game we were superior, we had two or three more chances than them.
“We could have won the game when Mario Gomez was alone in front of Buffon but he saved very well.”
Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil, Man Utd’s Bastian Schweinsteiger and Bayern’s Thomas Muller all missed their spot kicks, only to be bailed out by the reliable Manuel Neuer, who heroically saved two efforts.
Löw revealed how he didn’t have much say to the penalty takers, but did hail the nerve of Jonas Hector and Joshua Kimmich, both of whom confidently dispatched their spot kicks.
“I did not have any influence. The first five decided quite quickly and then you have to let players choose depending on their feelings,” Löw added.
“We have some good penalty takers even though we missed some.
“What was positive was that the youngsters Hector and Kimmich stepped forward and, in such an atmosphere, that they kept calm.”
Germany haven’t missed a penalty in a shoot out since 1982. 21 consecutive successful executions.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) July 2, 2016
In order to deal with Antonio Conte’s formation of having three centre-backs, Löw opted for the same, starting Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels and Benedikt Hoewedes with Hector and Kimmich playing as wing-backs.
The German boss said dynamic tactics has been key since their World Cup victory in 2014.
”After the World Cup it was apparent we had to change a little bit otherwise the opposition would know us too well,” he continued.
“We have trained with it and used it in March against Italy so it wasn’t such a big change for the side.
“France will be different opposition, I will have to see how to play that match, or Iceland of course.”