DFB spectacle in a quick check: not yet a world champion, but already quite good

The expectations of the national team are not exactly high after the 2-0 win against Liechtenstein. But Hansi Flick’s four-point plan takes effect in the World Cup qualifying game against leaders Armenia. The guests have no chance. Germany shows the best performance in a long time.

What happened in the Stuttgart stadium?

Finally fans again. The DFB distributed 18,000 free tickets for the game against Armenia. As a gesture for the stamina of the audience. Due to the corona pandemic and maybe also due to the eternal DFB crisis and the fear of being left with some of the cards. So they all came and Flick hoped that the team on the pitch “can do their part to make the atmosphere great here”. The atmosphere also came up straight away.

The injured Thomas Müller and captain Manuel Neuer were honored belatedly for their 100th appearance in the DFB dress. It was a long time ago, but so far there had been no opportunity for an honor in front of the audience. They received smart caps, a medal and a warm round of applause. Thomas Müller put his cap on, laughed, and disappeared again.

Hansi Flick had turned the team upside down after the 2-0 win against Liechtenstein. The schedule is too tight, and the interests of the clubs are probably too heavy at this early stage of the season. “Everyone who plays in the Champions League has insane weeks ahead of them. We have to make sure we keep the balance,” said Flick before the game. He knows that apart from his time at Bayern.

And what was different than against Liechtenstein?

The new national coach made a total of six changes. It was a special game for Dortmund captain Marco Reus. Over seven years after a serious injury in the game against Armenia cost him the 2014 World Cup. Back then in Brazil, the then national coach Joachim Löw had surprisingly called in the trained central defender Benedikt Höwedes as a left-back. He now returned as a team manager and saw the trained central defender Thilo Kehrer appear as a left-back. The Paris St. Germain professional represented the ailing Robin Gosens. Conicidence?

The previously undefeated leaders Armenia had little to lose. The game in Germany was considered a bonus game and after the 2-2 draw between Iceland and North Macedonia in the afternoon, they didn’t even run the risk of falling from the top ranks of Group J. The question was: would you wrest a point from Germany and defend first place or would Flick’s team slowly start rolling after the difficult start against Liechtenstein? “I am convinced that we will see a better game today. Also because we have an opponent who will play today,” said RTL expert Lothar Matthäus before the home premiere of the new national coach. He should be right. So half.

Teams and goals

Germany: Neuer / Bayern Munich (35 years old / 105 international matches) – Hofmann / Borussia Mönchengladbach (29/5), Süle / Bayern Munich (26/34), Rüdiger / FC Chelsea (28/46), Kehrer / Paris St. Germain (24 / 11) from 83. room / TSG Hoffenheim (23/1) – Kimmich / Bayern Munich (26/61) from 61. Gündoğan / Manchester City (30/51), Goretzka / Bayern Munich (26/37) – Gnabry / Bayern Munich (26/28) from 72. Ademeyi / RB Salzburg (19/1), Reus / Borussia Dortmund (32/46) from 60. Wirtz / Bayer Leverkusen (18/2), Sané / Bayern Munich (25/36 ) from 60. Musiala / Bayern Munich (18/7) – Werner / FC Chelsea (25/44). – Trainer: Flick

Armenia: Yurchenko / FC Alaschkert Martuni (35 years old / 13 international matches) – Hambardzumjan / Anorthosis Famagusta (30/41) from 57th Terterjan / FC Ararat-Armenia (23/3), Voskanjan / FC Alaschkert Martuni (28/33), Harojan / FC Cadiz (29/58), Kamo Hovhannisjan / FK Qairat Almaty (28/61) – Wbeymar / FC Ararat-Armenia (29/8) from 46. Udo / FK Atyrau (26/8), Grigorjan / FC Alaschkert Martuni ( 33/39) – Barseghjan / FK Astana (27/39) from the 70th minute Bitschachtschjan / MSK Zilina (22/10), Mchitarjan / AS Rom (32/88), Bayramjan / FK Rostow (29/9) from 82. Awanesjan / FC Ararat-Armenia (22/1) – Adamjan / TSG Hoffenheim (28/26) from 46. Gelojan / Baltika Kaliningrad (29/1). – Trainer: Caparros

Referee: William Collum (Scotland)

Gates: 1: 0 Gnabry (6th), 2: 0 Gnabry (15th), 3: 0 Reus (35th), 4: 0 Werner (44th), 5: 0 Hofmann (52nd), 6: 0 Adeyemi ( 90. + 1)

Viewers: 18,086 (in Stuttgart)

Yellow card: – Haroyan (3)

The 90 minutes in the feature film

Before kick-off: The stadium rises. Once again, German football remembers Gerd Müller, the greatest of all strikers. The national team’s fan club came up with a Gerd 13 choreography. Everyone applauds. Gerd Müller. Flick could use one of those now. But is not in sight. Timo Werner starts again in the attack.

5th minute: Thilo Kehrer, the new left-back, stands in the air for a long time after a Kimmich corner, reaches the ball, heads powerfully, but only on the top edge of the crossbar. Ordinary start of the German team, where …

06.Minute, Toooor for Germany: … Serge Gnabry stands out. And how! Kimmich, Werner and Goretzka form a triangle on the right side of the penalty area. Play the ball quickly and flat. Goretzka then drips high on the starting Gnabry. He doesn’t take prisoners and builds the ball from an acute angle into the upper corner.

11th minute: Leroy Sané goes into counter-pressing, wins the ball, doesn’t wait long. His long-range shot can only be blocked with difficulty by David Yurchenko to the corner. Furious start.

15.Minute, Toooor for Germany: On, on and on. Leroy Sané breaks Armenia’s defense with a few turns, Goretzka sticks through on Reus. Cross pass through the penalty area. There is Gnabry, the old double packer that pushes in with the inside. 2-0 for Germany.

22nd minute: What about Armenia now? Towards the middle of the first half they hold the ball in their own ranks for almost 30 seconds. They don’t get over the center line. Perhaps also out of fear of Leroy Sané. He’s the ball magnet and shows one of his best games for the national team. He does not want to hit a hit yet. From 19 meters he slams the ball against the crossbar.

Hardly on the pitch and already a goal scorer. Successful debut for Karim Adeyemi.

(Photo: picture alliance / dpa)

28th minute: Signs of life from Timo Werner. Twice he is served in the penalty area, twice he misses the final consequence. The former Stuttgart can not process the passports of Reus and Gnabry. He still falls significantly on the offensive.

32nd minute: Something like a chance after a counterattack by the Armenians. But the Hoffenheim Sargis Adamyan does not bring about a sensible conclusion after a running duel. Neuer gratefully receives the ball.

35th minute, Toooor for Germany: Now Reus also has his goal. Gnabry crosses from the half-field to the incoming Werner, who puts his heel down on Dortmund, who sinks to 3-0, close to his best form.

44th minute, Toooor for Germany: Werner scores to 4-0. You were looking for him earlier. Now Leon Goretzka has found him. The Chelsea star hits with conviction and after wonderful preparatory work from Kimmich, who orientates himself around 25 meters in front of the goal, looks for a pass, sees his Bayern team-mate and that’s how it happens. Halftime. Mad game.

46th minute: It can’t all be good: Manuel Neuer clears a back pass from Niklas Süle unconditionally. So there is an objection for Armenia. But that’s more for the record.

52nd minute, Toooor for Germany: There are days when not much works out. The German national team knows that. And then there are days like this when sometimes more works than it should: The Armenians clear an imprecise corner by Joshua Kimmich in the direction of Jonas Hofmann, who is lurking in the background. He’d have to shoot, Hofmann shoots – and the ball bounces in.


Serge Gnabry scored two goals.

(Photo: picture alliance / Pressefoto Baumann)

55th minute: And almost one more afterwards: the strong Süle outplayed the midfield of Armenia with a vertical pass, Timo Werner set off for the goal and served Gnabry who had sprinted with him shortly before the goal. He caught the ball with the tip of his toe, but pushed it past the goal.

61st minute: Leroy Sané is replaced – and celebrated by the fans. A feeling that the gifted footballer must have missed. Finally, Sané had been whistled. From his home audience in Munich. The people are fickle.

62nd minute: The substitute teenagers Jamal Musiala and Florian Wirtz creatively create a great opportunity together in a confined space, which Armenia can ultimately thwart brutally and with luck.

71st minute: Karim Adeyemi from Salzburg comes for the outstanding Gnabry. The 19-year-old striker is the second debutant under Hansi Flick.

82nd minute: Timo Werner almost scores the sixth goal. But after a pass from Wirtz he is just offside.

83rd minute: Then it’s time for David Raum, debutant number three. The Hoffenheimer replaces Kehrer, who knew how to convince in the full-back position. At least forwards, he was naturally not challenged defensively.

90th minute plus 1, Toooor for Germany: Wirtz and Adeyemi combine through defense. The young Salzburg man scores 6-0. At the debut.

You can find our detailed match report here.

What was good now?

Germany pushed hard, was hot, attacked purposefully and directly, went fast and had depth. Before the game, Flick had presented his four-point plan for the national team: positioning, passing, precision and conviction. Much of that was seen against Armenia. As with Bayern, where he started with a 2-0 win against Olympiacos Piraeus and then followed up with a 4-0 win against Borussia Dortmund, Flick also took a big step in the second game as a Germany coach.

Will the national team become Bayern Germany under Flick?

Other clubs have good players too. This was shown above all by Marco Reus, who delivered a really good game. Otherwise, the Bayern players lived on their style, cultivated under Flick. That was great to watch. Especially with Leroy Sané, who not only indicated why the record champions even wanted to pay a three-digit million sum before the winger’s cruciate ligament injury to lure him from Manchester City to Germany. Sané, Gnabry, Kimmich, Süle, Neuer and later also Musiala, plus the injured Müller. There is still a lot of FC Bayern in Flicks Germany.

What is the significance of the 6-0 victory?

Marco Reus is very happy after his goal.

Marco Reus is very happy after his goal.

(Photo: picture alliance / Pressefoto Baumann)

He’s a signal. A promise of a more attractive future. It is important to redeem it. Not now, but in over a year at the controversial World Cup in Qatar. There is no question that the Flick-Elf will qualify after today’s game. This team was too good, too dominant. Nevertheless, there were some minor dropouts, such as Rüdiger too lax back pass to Neuer. But that can be overlooked on such an evening.

Will Germany never score a goal again?

That question is nonsense.

With all the young players, can Germany be unbeatable for years to come?

Now let’s not lean too far out of the window. That was a good game against Armenia. Hansi Flick smiled. But there is still a long way to go back to the top. Germany is not suddenly world champion.

Fantastic football evening, but …?

True. Even RTL expert Lothar Matthäus said that. And that’s always critical. “But we should still leave the church in the village,” added the record international.