A brilliant performance from Angel Di Maria spurred Argentina to a crushing 4-2 friendly win over world champions Germany 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.
So impressive was the performance of the Argentine winger, who had missed the final through injury, in the Duesseldorf arena that even many of the German fans applauded his performance when he was replaced late in the match.
Germany coach Joachim Loew put only four of the starting 11 that won Germany’s fourth World Cup on the pitch in the warm-up match for their Euro 2016 campaign that starts on Sunday against Scotland.
Captain Philipp Lahm, striker Miroslav 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 new Manchester United signing Di Maria in the first half but also left lots of open space for lightening counter-attacks by moving deep into Argentina’s territory.