Yesterday, as soon as the match started, I thought to myself, “I don’t know if I’ll be able to watch it till the end. These are going to be the longest 90+ ever.” All because I was so worried. Besides, it was my birthday, so I was hoping for a good present from the team :)
The first thing I noticed was the way Mark van Bommel and Lahm greeted each other. No hostility, but van Bommel did not seem very friendly. Frankly, I am not sure how he can look into Philipp’s eyes after his recent statement.
The first touch is important, and I was watching closely to try to guess how this game would go for Philipp. In my opinion, he did just fine. He did some beautiful tackles, provided solidity. My impression was that the Netherlands practically stopped attacking through his side and moved to the other. He was also more active in the attack. In other words, “On the left side, the captain had Robben in Bayern-duel well under control. In terms of attack, he got back in his usual top shape as the time went by.” (The source.)
I guess it is all about finding one’s rhythm, getting settled so to speak. It looks like many noticed the positive change:
Philipp Lahm: the captain really did a good job in the defense. Right from the start, he breathed down his Munich colleague’s (Robben’s) neck. He attacked him again and again, and altogether radiated calm in Germany’s game. However, he somewhat cut back [on his efforts] in the second half. Grade: 3. (The source.)
Philipp Lahm: Eliminated the threat from Robben quite early in the game. Lost hardly any one-on-one duel and even had time to join the attack. (The source.)
Philipp Lahm: completed his first mission four minutes into the game, i.e. won a duel against his club colleague, Robben. After that, one or two times [he] had to realize that Robben had more than one trick up his sleeve, hence was surprised once or twice. All in all, however, again very serious in the defense. Apparently, Robben also saw that, which is why he caught Lahm off guard for the third and final time in the beginning of the second half and moved to the other side to Boateng. Lahm stayed on Lahm’s side and, in the absence of Robben, joined the attack significantly more often. Much better than in the first game. (The source.)
My note: the majority of readers thought it was a good game for him.
Philipp Lahm: Before the halftime, he had to deal with Robben. After that, with van Persie. Then a little bit with Kuyt. [He], himself, was responsible for the [mentioned] rotation on his side. There was no opponent who could match him. In addition, [he] was stronger in the attack than it was the case in the first match. (The source.)
The bottom line is that Lahm had a good game, and I could not be happier for him. The only thing that bothered me was the fact that my Internet connection stopped working 10 minutes prior to the end of the match. I am sure all of you can imagine how frustrated I was. Going back to the opening line of this post, oh, the irony! :)
Good luck to the captain and his team in their upcoming match against Denmark!