Angel Di Maria inspires in Argentina’s rout of Germany
Repeat of World Cup Final sees only four of Germany’s winning side in action
Angel Di Maria scores Argentina’s fourth goal in the friendly international against Germany in Düsseldorf. Photograph: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters
Germany 2 Argentina 4
A brilliant performance from new Manchester United signing Angel Di Maria spurred Argentina to a crushing friendly win over world champions Germany in Düsseldorf on Wednesday in an entertaining rematch of July’s World Cup final.
Despite the absence of injured captain Lionel Messi, Argentina ran circles around the World Cup winners on their home turf in the first match for both teams since Germany’s 1-0 extra-time victory in the final in Brazil.
Germany coach Joachim Löw put only four of the starting 11 that won Germany’s fourth World Cup on the pitch in the warm-up match for Germany’s Euro 2016 Group D campaign that starts on Sunday against Scotland.
Captain Philipp Lahm, striker Miroslov Klose and defender Per Mertesacker, who all retired following the World Cup triumph, were hailed by the sell-out crowd of 51,132 while several other key players were missing through injury.
The inexperienced Germany defence could not contain Di Maria in the first half.
He set up the first goal in the 21st minute with a pinpoint lob to the penalty spot where Sergio Aguero slipped away from his marker and beat Manuel Neuer with an unstoppable volley from point-blank range.
Nineteen minutes later Di Maria broke free on the right near the touch line when he lofted a soft cross back to Tottenham’s Erik Lamela, who smashed a volley past a frustrated-looking Neuer. Federico Fernandez made it 3-0 two minutes after the intermission before Di Maria scored a superb lob to make it 4-0 in the 50th minute.
Andre Schürrle got one back for Germany in the 52nd minute, tapping in after a scramble in front of Sergio Romero’s goal and World Cup hero Mario Götze made it 4-2 in the 78th minute.