Before an enthusiastic crowd at the Mercedes Benz Arena in Stuttgart, native sons Serge Gnabry and Timo Werner were able to propel Germany's Nationalelf to a 6-0 victory over Armenia on Sunday night.
A Gnabry brace and a Werner tally were augmented by goals from Jonas Hofmann, returnee Marco Reus, and debutant Karim Adeyemi.
|Serge Gnabry.||Photo: Steffen Prößdorf, CC BY-SA 4.0|
The German national team were able to comfortably knock the hitherto undefeated leaders of their World Cup Qualifying group of of their perch thanks to decisive goals from two Stuttgart natives. Virtually all that could go right for Germany against Armenia did so on Sunday night.
In his second match in charge of Germany's "Nationalmannschaft", new Bundestrainer Hans Dieter Flick made six personnel changes. Once again fit after sitting the Lichtenstein match out with ankle problems, Manuel Neuer replaced Bernd Leno in goal. Robin Gosens and Kai Havertz found themselves unavailable due to injury/illness. Flick also opted to sit Jamal Musiala, Ridle Baku, and Ilkay Gündogan.
The five new outfielders--Jonas Hofmann, Antonio Rüdiger, Leon Goretzka, Marco Reus, and Serge Gnabry--made for an interesting constellation. Thilo Kehrer moved out to the left-back position while winger Jonas Hofmann took over the right-back role. Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich played as double sixes. Gnarby and Leroy Sané worked the wings. Reus served behind Timo Werner in a 4-2-3-1.
Speaking to the RTL microphones before kickoff, Flick confirmed his innovative use of Kehrer and Hofmann as the fullbacks. The new Bundestrainer also promised a "new match plan and new playing philosophy" would be in force. Observers could immediately see this implemented as the team played much more creatively and courageously than in the Thursday fixture against Lichtenstein.
Some nice combination play in the 6th ended with Goretzka lifting a ball over the Armenian defensive line. Gnabry supplied a beautiful finish from an acute angle on the right. The Stuttgart native secured a brace before his hometown crowd. Sané initiated a lovely play on the left. A sharp pass from Reus then led to a saved Werner effort. Gnabry finished off the rebound for a 2-0 lead in the 15th.
The dominant hosts lorded over nearly 80 percent ball possession and created chance after chance. Sané was unlucky to hit the post in the 22nd. In the 35th, Germany's "comeback kid" got his turn to record a tally. Gnabry swung in a diagonal for Werner. The other Stuttgart native then laid back for Marco Reus with a midair back-heel. Reus--making his first start for the national team in over two years--finished deftly for the 3-0 lead.
Bayern teammates Kimmich and Goretzka put together a wonderfully timed play through at the stroke of half-time. The latter serviced Werner for his own goal and a 4-0 lead in the 44th. With the game then decided, the second 45 essentially saw the DFB-XI simply have fun. Hofmann opted to have a go from 20 meters out in the 52nd. His expertly curled finish gave Germany a 5-0 advantage.
Flick brought on the young guns late on. Musiala, Florian Wirtz, David Raum, and Karim Adeyemi all looked strong in relief. Raum and Adeyemi made their national team debuts. Some debut it proved to be for the highly touted Adeyemi. The 19-year-old combined with fellow phenom Wirtz on a one-two at 90+1. Adeyemi finished off the chance and the match with a goal 19 minutes into his debut cap.
After exiting the Stuttgart pitch to a standing ovation, Flick's squad will be heading to Reykjavík for a Wednesday showdown with Iceland.
|1||Manuel Neuer (C)|
|23||Jonas Hofmann ⚽|
|4||Thilo Kehrer ↩83|
|6||Joshua Kimmich ↩61|
|10||Serge Gnabry ⚽⚽ ↩72|
|11||Marco Reus ⚽ ↩60|
|19||Leroy Sané ↩60|
|9||Timo Werner ⚽|
|13||Karim Adeyemi ↪72 ⚽|
|20||David Raum ↪83|
|7||Florian Wirtz ↪60|
|14||Jamal Musiala ↪60|
|21||İlkay Gündoğan ↪61|
|19||Hovhannes Hambardzumyan ↩57|
|22||Sargis Adamyan ↩46|
|6||Wbeymar Angulo ↩46|
|7||Khoren Bayramyan ↩82|
|11||Tigran Barseghyan ↩70|
|18||Henrikh Mkhitaryan (C)|
|9||Ishkhan Geloyan ↪46|
|2||Davit Terteryan ↪57|
|14||Artem Avanesyan ↪82|
|17||Solomon Udo ↪46|
|23||Vahan Bichakhchyan ↪70|