2-1 against Serbia: Who received special praise from Rangnick

2-1 against Serbia: Who received special praise from Rangnick

Image: GEPA pictures/ Armin Rauthner (GEPA pictures)

The success on Tuesday in Vienna’s Happel Stadium not only meant the sixth international victory in a row, but also gave the German, according to his own account, valuable new insights. In this context, Rangnick highlighted, among other things, the performance in the opening phase and the strong defense.

  • also read: ÖFB team won penultimate European Championship test against Serbia in Vienna 2:1

“Basically, I’m very happy with the game and the result. We played an almost perfect first half hour in which we completely dominated the game.” But after that, the match threatened to tip over. “At some point, the Serbs started to fight back. After the goal was conceded, it was a very physical game with an extremely large number of tackles and interruptions. That’s why it wasn’t quite as nice to watch,” said Rangnick. “But I think it’s nice that we managed to pull off a game like that for once, where it was all about holding our own.”

“Almost only positive findings”

After the break, the Serbs fought hard for an equalizer. “But we didn’t allow much. In the second half we had the clearer chances,” emphasized Rangnick.

After the match, the 65-year-old spoke of “many conclusions and almost only positive findings. But I ask for your understanding that I will keep them to myself as far as individual players are concerned.” A little later, Rangnick went into more detail – for example, he praised substitute central defenders Leopold Querfeld and Philipp Lienhart. The latter returned after an injury break of several months.

Special praise for Prass

Alexander Prass, who was called up as a left-back, was particularly highlighted. “Today he finally answered the question of whether he can play that. The way he defended was really good.” Rangnick said that he had already recommended to the then Salzburg sports director Christoph Freund two years ago that he should bring in Prass as a left-back.

To the team boss’s delight, there were no serious injuries in the intense match. Florian Grillitsch had to be substituted shortly before half-time due to swelling above his left eye, but according to Rangnick he should be ready to train again by Thursday at the latest. Gernot Trauner, who missed the last three training sessions, is also on the mend.

If the Feyenoord legionnaire recovers from his ailments in time, he will probably form the central defense alongside Lienhart on Saturday in St. Gallen against Switzerland, revealed Rangnick. The coach also announced that Heinz Lindner will be in goal for the last European Championship test. The Upper Austrian is thus celebrating his comeback in the ÖFB team after more than 16 months and after recovering from a tumor.

“Frustrating situations for Arnautovic”

Further personnel changes are to be expected against the Swiss, with Marcel Sabitzer and Phillipp Mwene likely to slip into the starting lineup. “Those who were rested against the Serbs will get their chance,” said Rangnick.

Marko Arnautovic will probably start on the bench at the EURO dress rehearsal. At 35 years and 46 days, the oldest ÖFB captain since Toni Polster in September 2000 against Iran (36 years, 175 days) was shown a yellow card early on against his father’s home team and stayed in the dressing room at half-time. “He had to overcome many frustrating situations. It may not have been the game he had imagined, but we were 2-0 up thanks to his help,” said Rangnick about the Viennese.

The original plan was to let Arnautovic play for an hour. “But he told me that the referee had indicated that nothing much more should happen and I didn’t want to risk a yellow-red card,” explained Rangnick.

The team boss has asked his players to train in Vienna until Friday, which is also the day the squad will be reduced by three players for the EURO and the flight to Switzerland will take place. A win against the “Nati” would equal the ÖFB record of seven international wins in a row. This has only been achieved twice before – from 2017 to 2018 and from 1933 to 1934.

By the time of the Switzerland match, Rangnick should have recovered from his minor hand injury, which he sustained with his own carabiner. The team manager himself had distributed the hooks to all of the key ÖFB players before the start of the European Championship qualifiers as a symbol of solidarity.

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