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3 Observations from Germany’s 3-0 win against Slovakia

Finally a great all-around performance that Germany can build on for the next game.

Germany v Slovakia - Round of 16: UEFA Euro 2016 Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Germany needs a true center forward to maximize it’s talent

Mario Götze is a good striker in theory. He’s supremely talented, has an exquisite first touch, and, when in form, a nose for goal. Unfortunately, he’s still an attacking midfielder through and through, meaning that’s still the type of role he plays when he’s lined up at striker.

He has a tendency to drift too far wide to collect the ball, which allows the center-backs to sit back and watch the action without having to be overly concerned with his movement. Mario Gomez, on the hand, is a true center forward, and tends to stay more central, demanding the attention of not only one, but sometimes both center-backs.

Both center-backs having Gomez in mind is what allows Thomas Muller to excel with his off the ball movement. He can observe, react, and get into open spaces to create danger for opposing defenses.

This has been on full display the last two games, and it’s why the team has looked so much more dangerous. It took a true center-forward to make the team gel in 2014, and it looks to be the same thing this year.

Gomez looked dangerous up front, netting his second goal in his second start. It’s clear that he’s the more dangerous forward for this team, and though he was out of the squad for about three years, now looks like a man Germany can’t play without.

Jogi Low has found his line-up

After making changes for every game in the tournament so far, the line up he used today (Neuer - Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Hector - Khedira, Kroos - Muller, Ozil, Draxler - Gomez) is the one he should stick with for the rest of the tournament. It’s combination of passing ability and clinical finishing gives them a realistic chance of winning this tournament.

They finally look dangerous in possession, and, unlike the first two games of the tournament, look like they’re playing with a purpose. We as fans can finally have some confidence in this team to come in and look dominant in games, something that has largely been missing since that one night in Rio two long years ago.

Is Julian Draxler finally breaking out?

When he first broke onto the scene five years ago with Schalke, Draxler looked like he was primed to be the next big thing in German football. Unfortunately, injuries have slowed his progress a bit, and it seems like we’ve been waiting for him to finally take that next step from budding star, to star for quite a while. If his performances at this tournament are any indication and he’s able to carry this form into next season, he could finally be turning into the player we thought he could be much sooner.

His dribbling on the left hand side has provided the German team with a touch of creativity and aggressiveness in one on one situations that can turn a half chance into a goal in the blink of an eye. His step-overs to set up Gomez’s goal right before the half left the Slovakian defender in the dust, and his goal in the second half was the perfect ending to his best performance in a German jersey so far.

All in all, a very, very good game from the Germans. Things finally looks like they’re starting to come together at just the right time.

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