It’s been a topsy turvy year for Die Mannschaft, and with the Euros and World Cup qualifiers, fans were treated to a plethora of competitive matches from the German national team. Not all of them were successful, but there was still some great entertainment to be seen. Here are our top five Germany games of 2021. Enjoy!
#5. Germany 9-0 Liechtenstein
2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Group J Matchday 9
11 November, Volkswagen Arena, Wolfsburg
Germany’s penultimate World Cup qualifier provided lots of highlights. Just eight minutes in, the hosts won a penalty after Leon Goretzka went down in the box for a nasty challenge to the face, and Ilkay Gündoğan converted it to open the scoring. Liechtenstein, who were now down to ten men, shot themselves in the foot again by scoring an own goal to double Germany’s lead. Barely two minutes later, Leroy Sané made it three after a great pass from Goretzka. The Bayern winger played a big role in the fourth goal as well, bamboozling the goalkeeper and allowing Marco Reus to slot home the loose ball.
There were more goals to come after halftime. Sané struck once again through Thomas Müller’s legs just three minutes after the restart. Müller also got on the scoresheet by tapping in a Florian Neuhaus header right in front of the goal. Ridle Baku then curled a world class finish in off the post for his first international goal. Müller got his brace five minutes from time via a couple of deflections, and Liechtenstein’s misery was capped by another, this time quite spectacular, own goal.
Hansi Flick’s new Germany carried on their merry run of form, even after they had qualified for next year’s World Cup. The win against Liechtenstein was Germany’s biggest in 15 years, after a 13-0 win against San Marino in 2006. Yes, it was just Liechtenstein, but considering Germany could only squeak out a 2-0 win the last time they played each other, this was a very encouraging result.
#4. North Macedonia 0-4 Germany
2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Group J Matchday 8
11 October, Toše Proeski Arena, Skopje
Germany went into their return fixture against North Macedonia knowing that they could have the World Cup finals within touching distance with a win. But the first half was far from easy. Whatever Hansi Flick had prepared didn’t work too well at first, and difficult conditions did nothing to help. Halftime came and went, and Germany needed a goal quickly.
Thankfully, right after the restart, Thomas Müller made a vital interception in midfield and Serge Gnabry quickly released Müller, Timo Werner, and Kai Havertz with a precise through ball. Müller managed to get to it first and laid it off for Havertz to give Germany the lead. The Bayern Munich veteran soon got another assist, this time in acrobatic fashion with a midair backheel flick, which Werner latched onto and finished in style. Werner soon got another goal, curling the ball beautifully into the far corner from the edge of the box. The final goal came from two youngsters, Karim Adeyemi and Jamal Musiala, the former threading the ball through to Musiala for his first international goal.
It was a win that cemented Germany’s status at the top of the group, and also avenged their ignominious defeat to North Macedonia in Duisburg back in March. What’s more, results elsewhere meant that Germany became the first country in the world to book their ticket to Qatar, minus the hosts, of course. Germany, whose qualification was in jeopardy just a few months ago, had taken the challenge and blown it out of the water.
#3. Germany 2-2 Hungary
Euro 2020 Group F Matchday 3
23 June, Allianz Arena, Munich
Germany closed out their Euro group stage against Hungary, a team that was easily the bottom of the pile among Portugal, France, and themselves. Or so they thought. Hungary were not going to go down without a fight, and it was the visitors who took a surprise lead through a bullet header that even Manuel Neuer could do little about. Kai Havertz did get the Germans back into the game with a header of his own, but it mattered not as Hungary took the lead again just seconds later. Germany were bottom of the group, and seemingly heading towards another humiliating early group stage exit.
But lo and behold, Germany’s efforts were rewarded with just six minutes left on the clock. Jamal Musiala squared the ball for Leon Goretzka to lay off into the path of Timo Werner. Werner’s initial shot was blocked, but Goretzka was first to the loose ball and fired a powerful shot into the bottom corner to level the scores. The goal instantly rocketed Germany from dead last to second in the group, and the game eventually ended with them en route to the knockout stages. Although their journey was cut short by England, it was still an improvement over the horror show of a World Cup three years earlier.
It was some great late drama, a fast-paced, entertaining game for neutrals, and overall a good result for Die Mannschaft, despite failing to win. What’s more, justice was served. Why justice, you may ask? Well, those Hungarian ultras in the stadium were a bunch of racist, homophobic jerks. Goretzka’s heart celebration towards them was the icing on the cake.
#2. Germany 6-0 Armenia
2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Group J Matchday 5
5 September, Mercedez-Benz Arena, Stuttgart
Hansi Flick’s first game in charge of Germany wasn’t impressive. A 2-0 win against lowly Liechtenstein did little to placate the nerves of every Germany fan desperate for some long overdue success. But Flick delivered on those high hopes in only his second game, with a fiery showing against Armenia. Just five minutes had elapsed when Serge Gnabry opened the scoring with a thumping half-volley, credit to Leon Goretzka for the lovely lobbed assist. Gnabry got his second of the night ten minutes later, capitalizing on a failed clearance. The Bayern winger then played a big part in Germany’s third, whipping in a cross for Timo Werner to flick back to Marco Reus, who made no mistake from close range. Provider then turned scorer as Werner tapped in a header cut back by Goretzka, who got his second assist.
Germany carried a comfortable four goal lead into halftime, but the game was far from over. Right-back Jonas Hofmann scored an absolute belter from around 20 yards following a rather poor corner for his first international goal. In stoppage time, Florian Wirtz and Karim Adeyemi combined to set up Adeyemi’s first international goal as well, showing that Germany’s future was bright.
Flick thus silenced his doubters with a wonderful display of attacking football, so characteristic of his nature shown countless times during his stint at Bayern. The Flick train never stopped chugging for the rest of the year, and ended up winning all remaining games to ease into the World Cup finals. Here’s to even more success under Germany’s sextuple-winning new coach!
#1. Portugal 2-4 Germany
Euro 2020 Group F Matchday 2
19 June, Allianz Arena, Munich
After a disappointing, yet expected defeat to France in their opening game of the Euros, Germany knew they had to win their next game to get themselves back into the tournament. Their following opponents took the shape of defending champions Portugal. Would it be another typical victory for Germany, or would Portugal take advantage of Joachim Löw’s severely weakened side?
The latter seemed to be the answer as Cristiano Ronaldo scored his third goal of the tournament via a swift counterattack. But that’s when the game started to turn strange. A series of passes between Thomas Müller, Joshua Kimmich, and Robin Gosens resulted in an own goal from Ruben Dias, and the Bayern duo then combined with Kai Havertz to force another own goal, this time from Raphaël Guerreiro. Halftime came and Germany were somehow 2-1 up despite three Portuguese goals.
Germany’s first goal of the tournament came in the second half, when Gosens squared the ball for Havertz to tap home. Gosens added a goal to his assist less than ten minutes later by heading in a cross from Kimmich. Although Diogo Jota pulled one back for Portugal, it was little more than a consolation as Germany walked away as deserved victors.
This game had a lot of meaning. For one thing, it was Jogi Löw’s last ever win in charge of Germany. It was also Robin Gosens’ one and only good performance in national colors(let’s hope that trend changes soon). Moreover, it proved how important Bayern was to Germany, as the likes of Thomas Müller and Joshua Kimmich were instrumental in creating all of Germany’s goals. Most importantly, it proved that Portugal would always be in Germany’s shadow, even when Die Mannschaft were nothing like their past selves. Plus, what’s not to like about a Germany victory at the beautiful Allianz Arena?
Which was your favorite Germany game of the year? Let us know in the comments!