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Di Maria stars in Argentina win over Germany

Thursday 4th September , 2014 11:33 am
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New Manchester United signing Angel Di Maria set up three goals and scored another as Argentina beat world champions Germany in Dusseldorf.

Di Maria, a £59.7m capture, provided a delightful pass for Sergio Aguero to fire the South American side ahead.

Tottenham’s Erik Lamela doubled the lead with a volley before Swansea’s Federico Fernandez made it 3-0.

Di Maria made it 4-0 before Chelsea’s Andre Schurrle and an own goal by Fernandez reduced the deficit.

Only four members of the Germany starting XI when the two sides met in the World Cup final 52 days earlier started the friendly, as Argentina gained a modicum of revenge for the narrow 1-0 defeat in July.

Mario Gomez, who missed the World Cup because of injury, wasted three chances for the hosts and received some boos from the home fans when his best opportunity on the stroke of half-time went begging.

By then, Germany were already two goals down because of the vision and precision of Di Maria.

Argentina's Federico Fernandez

Federico Fernandez joined Swansea from Napoli in August for around £8m

In the 20th minute, he curled a cross in behind the Germany defence with the outside of his left boot, serving the ball on a plate for Aguero to lift it into the roof of the net from point-blank range.

Five minutes before the break, Di Maria, who missed the World Cup final through injury, got to the byeline and lifted the ball back for Lamela to place perfectly into the top left-hand corner with a side-footed volley.

It became 3-0 for Argentina almost immediately in the second half when Swansea’s Fernandez arrived to head Di Maria’s cross past Germany’s substitute goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller.

Three minutes later, Di Maria crowned his excellent personal performance with a goal, racing in from the right before dinking the ball delicately past the onrushing Weidenfeller.

Germany grabbed a consolation moments later through Schurrle, while Marco Reus hit a post before Mario Gotze’s wayward effort was deflected into his own goal by Fernandez to bring the hosts back to within two goals.

Germany manager Joachim Low:

“We would have beaten Argentina in the final on July 13 even if Di Maria had been playing.

“He couldn’t have beaten us on that day.”

Argentina manager Gerardo Martino:

“Di Maria is one of the best four or five players in the world and so his performance didn’t surprise me.

“His absence {in the World Cup final] was noticeable.”

Germany v Argentina

Argentina ended Germany’s 18 match undefeated run

Argentina's Angel Di Maria (right) celebrates scoring against Germany

Angel Di Maria made his Argentina debut in September 2008

Germany players at the end of their 4-2 home defeat to Argentina

Germany did not conced a single first half goal in Brazil on their way to winning the 2014 World Cup

Germany v Argentina

The last time Germany found themselves 4-0 behind was in a friendly match against Romania in April 2004

Source: BBC Sport

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