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Pick 6: Germany routs Norway with ruthless display

Die Mannschaft win 6-0 in Stuttgart

Germany v Norway - FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images

Germany was peerless Monday in World Cup qualifying with a 6-0 win over Norway in Stuttgart.

Connect four

Germany, which looked sleepy and uneven in last week’s 2-1 win over Czech Republic, played with pace and precision in the first half reminiscent of its display versus Brazil in the 2014 World Cup semifinals. Germany was the warm knife, and this time Norway played the role of all-too-soft butter.

Mezut Ozil opened the scoring in the 10th minute with calm and cool side-foot finish from Jonas Hector’s piercing pass into the penalty area. Ozil turned provider on the next goal as he tapped a quick pass to Julian Draxler, who deftly turned the ball onto his left foot and slotted home the second goal in 17th minute.

Thomas Muller, who wore the captain’s armband for the second straight game, set up Timo Werner for the next two goals. The first Muller-to-Werner connection came in the 21st minute as Muller steered a delicate back-heel touch — from Toni Kroos’ pass — into Werner’s path and he easily finished to make it 3-0. Werner secured his brace, and extended the lead to 4-0, when he headed home Muller’s 40th-minute cross whipped in from the right side.

Super subs

Leon Goretzka and Mario Gomez got into the scoring act in the second half. Goretzka, who came on for Muller at halftime, headed home Draxler perfectly lofted pass in the 50th minute to extend Germany’s lead to 5-0. Gomez, who replaced Werner in the 66th minute, finished the scoring in the 79th minute with a diving header as he met Joshua Kimmich’s seeing-eye cross.

Germany has now won all eight of its qualifying matches and has outscored opponents 35-2 in the process. Die Mannschaft can secure passage to Russia in 2018 with one point from its two Group C remaining qualifiers.

Match Details

Germany: Ozil (10’), Draxler (17’), Werner (21’, 40’), Goretzka (50’), Gomez (79’)

Yellow Cards
Norway: Selnaes (13’), Linnes (83’)

Germany XI: ter Stegen, Hector, Hummels, Rudiger, Kimmich, Kroos, Rudy (Khedira 61’), Draxler, Ozil, Muller (Goretzka 45’), Werner (Gomez 66’)

Norway XI: Jarstein; Ellabdellaoui, Nordtveit, Skjelvik, Aleesami; Elyounoussi (Svensson 58’), Berge (Valsvik 45’), Selnaes (Linnes 75’), Daehli; King, Berget.

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