Germany Vs. Switzerland: Defending Is Stupid

Germany are favorites (or at least co-favorites with Spain) heading into Euro 2012, but they didn't exactly flatter themselves in their first tune-up friendly. Young backup goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen and the Germany backline were unfathomably awful. The Borussia Dortmund pair of Mats Hummels and Marcel Schmelzer, who had brilliant club seasons, were particularly awful in Germany's 5-3 loss at the hands of Switzerland in Basel.

Eren Derdiyok scored twice in a span of three minutes, putting his team up 2-0 with 21st and 23rd minute goals. Both were assisted by Tranquillo Barnetta, who appears to have completely recovered from a long-term injury that kept him out for much of the season. Hummels was actively beaten on the first goal, then caught way out of position on the second. Schmelzer and Per Mertesacker -- who unlike Barnetta, did not look like he has recovered completely from a long-term injury -- didn't exactly help matters with their absent defending.

Just before the stroke of halftime, Hummels redeemed himself a bit with a great headed goal, off the crossbar and over the line on a free kick by Mesut Özil. This seemed like the kind of thing that was going to shift momentum in the game and carry Germany to a positive second half performance. This did not happen.

Derdiyok was credited with a 50th minute goal, but Admir Mehmedi is likely to be given the credit upon review. Barnetta set the goal up again, providing a ball into the box for Derdiyok to win in the air and head towards goal before Mehmedi applied the final touch.

Switzerland goalkeeper Diego Benaglio made the first of two big errors in the 64th minute, when he was beaten by Andre Schürrle with a driven, swerving shot. The ball was well hit and knuckled a bit in the air, but Benaglio should have been able to stay in front of it. This was the first of four straight goals in the match that were all at least partially the result of goalkeeper errors. In the 67th minute, ter Stegen made a major error by coming off his line for a ball by Gökhan Inler. He was beaten to the ball by Stephan Lichtsteiner, who headed the ball past the keeper to make it 4-2 in favor of Switzerland.

Benaglio completely whiffed on a shot by substitute Marco Reus five minutes later, allowing the Germans to pull back within one, but Switzerland would regain a two-goal advantage once again. On a free kick by Inler, Reto Zeigler hit the post and no one from Germany was able to clear. Mehmedi eventually recovered the ball and beat ter Stegen, scoring his side's fifth goal of the night, capping off a horrible performance by Germany's defense and goalkeeper.

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