Third DFB victory in a quick check: Finally a sworn team again

Hansi Flick’s plan works. Not only does he score nine points in his first three games, the national coach also forms a team that fights for one another and moves forward furiously. Flick’s style of play makes you want more – and even a standard goal succeeds.

Hansi Flick’s plan works. Not only does he score nine points in his first three games, the national coach also forms a team that fights for one another and moves forward furiously. Flick’s style of play makes you want more – and even a standard goal succeeds.

What happened in Reykjavik?

Third game, third win: That was Hansi Flick’s clear plan for the World Cup qualifying game (the 100th in DFB history) in Iceland, so that his first international matches could be brought to a perfect end. After the meager 2-0 stuttering start against Liechtenstein, this time there should be more of the wit and the dominance from the 6-0 victory over Armenia. “The game idea – you get the feeling that the team has internalized the whole thing,” praised the national coach on Tuesday.

With a small, rather unwanted swipe at his predecessor Joachim Löw, Flick added that the much more active approach “is good for us”. That the fans really enjoyed watching a DFB game, that they were presented with a football festival, was rarely the case under Löw. “We want to prove that it wasn’t a flash in the pan,” said Leon Goretzka after the Armenia game.

The first game of the national team in Iceland since the legendary 0-0 18 years ago (including the Rudi-Völler-Weißbier interview: “Shit!”) Had to be tackled by the new national coach without the strong Marco Reus (knee problems). Ilkay Gündogan replaced the BVB captain on the ten, otherwise Flick made no changes. It’s our job to give everything and everyone wants to return to the clubs with a good feeling, “said Flick shortly before the game.” Everyone is ready for this game.

With eight degrees Celsius and rain wind whistling through the open stadium, the DFB-Elf deservedly won 4-0 250 kilometers south of the Arctic Circle and thus consolidated the top of the table in Group J. Hansi Flick succeeded in the perfect first international game phase so. The style of play and enthusiasm of his national team could in the long run trigger an enthusiasm in Germany that has not existed for a long time.


Iceland: Halldorsson / Valur Reykjavik (37 years old / 75 caps) – Saevarsson / Valur Reykjavik (36/97), Brynjar Ingi Bjarnason / US Lecce (21/6), Fjoluson / Hammarby IF (32/17), Skulason / IFK Norrköping (34/81) – Birkir Bjarnason / Adana Demirspor (33/101), Palsson / Schalke 04 (30/28) from 89.Baldursson / FC Copenhagen (19/6), Johannesson / FC Copenhagen (18/7) from 71 . Sigurdsson / FC Venice (22/16) – Johann Gudmundsson / FC Burnley (30/81), Albert Gudmundsson / AZ Alkmaar (24/23) from 80. Gudjohnsen / Real Madrid (19/3), Helgason / US Lecce ( 20/3). – Trainer: Vidarsson

Germany: Neuer / Bayern Munich (35 years old / 106 international matches) – Hofmann / Borussia Mönchengladbach (29/6) from 46. Klostermann / RB Leipzig (25/14), Süle / Bayern Munich (26/35) from 59. Gosens / Atalanta Bergamo (27/13), Rüdiger / Chelsea FC (28/47), Kehrer / Paris St. Germain (24/12) – Kimmich / Bayern Munich (26/62), Goretzka / Bayern Munich (26/38) 80th Wirtz / Bayer Leverkusen (18/3) – Gnabry / Bayern Munich (26/29) from 46. Havertz / Chelsea FC (22/20), Gündogan / Manchester City (30/52), Sane / Bayern Munich (25 / 37) from 60. Musiala / Bayern Munich (18/8) – Werner / Chelsea FC (25/45). – Trainer: Flick

Referee: Andreas Ekberg (Sweden)

Goals: 0: 1 Gnabry (4th, after video evidence), 0: 2 Rüdiger (24th), 0: 3 Sane (56th), 0: 4 Werner (89th, after video evidence)

The flick games in the feature film

4th minute: Toooooooooor for Germany, 1-0 Serge Gnabry.

The jubilation is initially canceled because referee Ekberg decides directly on offside. Kimmich had firmly attached a long ball from Süle in the penalty area and passed Sané outside. His direct cross pushed Gnabry in the middle over the line. In the end, however, the 19th international goal of the Bayern attacker counts. Dream start for the DFB-Elf – similar to against Armenia.

12.Minute: Little has come from Iceland so far. Instead, the fans loudly draw attention to themselves with a few drums, a lot of singing and the legendary “Huh”.

17. Minute: First degree of the Icelanders. The men in the blue jerseys combine beautifully from behind, cleverly shifting the side so that at the end Helgasson Neuer checks with a solid left-footed shot. The DFB captain can only fist the ball away.

24.Minute: Tooooooooooor for Germany, 2-0 Antonio Rüdiger.

The DFB-Elf scores according to a standard that has been a rarity among Löw since 2018: Kimmich chips a free kick from half-right into the penalty area, where Rüdiger cleverly breaks away from the crowd in the middle. The defensive giant rises and heads brilliantly into the far corner. That looked rehearsed!

28th minute: Goretzka’s shot from twelve meters can steer keeper Halldorsson to the corner, he catches Werner’s header safely. Germany has things under control here and is slowly increasing the pressure, although the Icelanders are defending well.

43rd Minute: Rare scene: Neuer has to intervene. The goalkeeper parries easily against Gudmundsson after an Icelandic counterattack. His front men practically do not allow anything at the back. But Iceland could have made more of this scene.


49th Minute: Toooooooor for Iceland – but offside. After Johann Gudmundsson’s shot, which was beautifully circled against the post, which Neuer cannot reach, Albert Gudmundsson slides into the empty goal. Alone, he moves from passive to active offside. The Icelanders press now, how does the DFB-Elf react this time?

55th Minute: Mega chance for Havertz, but he leaves it. Gündoğan plays a great long pass to Werner and initiates a counter-attack. The man from FC Chelsea asserts himself well and suddenly Germany has a three-on-one situation. Werner plays cleverly on Havertz, who shoots alone in front of the goalkeeper next to the goal.

56th Minute: Tooooooooooooooor for Germany, 3-0 Leroy Sané.

But now. Gündoğan plays on Goretzka, who sends Werner on a trip. Keeper Halldorsson is on the ball shortly before the striker, but cannot clear it properly. Goretzka plows through the penalty area and fits on Sané, who completes with full tension high in the mesh. A great hit!

61st minute. Timo Werner shoots the ball from five meters over the empty goal.

63rd Minute: Goretzka is already celebrating his 4-0, but the substitute Musiala jumps through the trajectory of the ball and is offside. The hit justifiably does not count.

65th Minute: The DFB-Elf now leaves too many opportunities. First Werner fails at the keeper, then Havertz in pursuit.

72nd minute: Rüdiger clears back in the center, then Gündoğan makes the game fast. He completes the counterattack himself after playing with Havertz, but Halldorsson parries.

82nd Minute: Hansi Flick’s team now has everything under control, pushes further forward, but misses further good chances.

89th Minute: Tooooooooooooooooor for Germany, 4-0 Timo Werner.

The man from Chelsea still makes his goal. Musiala directs a vertical ball into the top with her back to the goal with a sugar-sweet heel on Havertz, who places it directly on his London team-mate. Werner shoots the ball against the inside post, from there it spins over the line.

Final whistle

What was good?

National coach Hansi Flick had demanded before the game: “We want to put the opponent under pressure, force them to make mistakes and get our game through.” His team also started committed from the beginning, although the big spectacle did not materialize this time despite the early Gnabry goal. But the national team impressed in the first half with a controlled offensive and in the second with top-class players. Although this time it was not against a world-class opponent, big games are usually won with this style of play.

With the first hit, Kimmich, Sané, Gnabry showed their talent for combination again. Later on, Musiala also made an excellent spin over and over again. The offensive players’ runs in depth were not always found this time as they were against Armenia, but they were often there. Jonas Hofmann placed Flick very far in front again, so that in the setup of the game, the back four to a three-way chain and thus an outnumbered front was created. In the second half, the national team’s enthusiasm for playing resulted in real chances. But above all, the DFB-Elf is a sworn troop again, where everyone runs for the other and scurries, fights and cheers together. That is one of the reasons why Italy became European champions in the summer.

Did Germany actually score a standard goal?

Incredible but true: this question can be answered with yes. Under the direction of Joachim Löw, the standards – offensive as well as defensive – had become a kind of permanent problem in recent years. Nothing wanted to succeed. Since the 2018 World Cup, the national team has only managed one measly standard goal.

But now the rehearsed variant to 2-0 by Rüdiger showed that Flick’s commitment to the standard coach Mads Buttgereit has already paid off. “He played a big part in it,” said Rüdiger after the game. The simple chip Kimmich a little bit in the back of the defense and on the long post was only moderately creative, but successful because Rüdiger knew exactly what was to come and how he had to move. That should be enough for the DFB-Elf for now.

What is going better now under Flick?

Controlled, variable, safe on the ball and a good balance between offensive and defensive: Flick’s team was not deterred even after the good chance of the Icelanders in the 17th minute. More importantly, the team did not start to swim, as it has so often been the case in recent years after taking the lead. Instead, she increased the pressure and promptly made the 2-0. The national team reacted to the pressure phase of the Icelanders shortly after the break with a firework of chances and a 3-0 win by Sané. Just like a sworn troop.

Above all, the DFB-Elf finally showed a unity, passion and joy of playing that makes you want to play more games of this team. The fluid and self-confident offensive, which was always in motion, could hardly be stopped. Even after a clear lead and in the last few minutes, the national team kept on pushing for the next goal. 22: 8 shots on goal were recorded in the end. That was quite a difference to the last international game years. 12-0 goals and nine points from the first three games speak for themselves.

What was bad

The exploitation of opportunities. Especially in the second half, Flick’s team left some high-profile players behind. The build-up game was also a bit careless at times, so Iceland had some good chances. In one or the other counter-attack situation, either the last, decisive pass was missing or the necessary conviction and consistency was missing.

And what about Leroy Sané’s “crisis”?

As he did against Armenia, Sané showed that the so-called “crisis” does not concern him (anymore). The man from FC Bayern turned the defensive line upside down again and was one of the match winners thanks to an assist and a goal. Above all, he chased lost balls far into his own half. Hansi Flick should have liked that the most.