Germany pulled out a 1-0 victory behind a goal from Bayern Munich’s Serge Gnabry. It was not the prettiest or most efficient game, but it was a win nonetheless. Here are some quick hitters on the match:
- Romania was playing a much more compact style than Iceland did against Germany and it seemed to be effective for a while.
- Germany was able to consistently create chances, but just could not finish as many as it should have.
- Romania’s Valentin Mihalia did a fantastic job of timing his run to get behind Matthias Ginter in the 12th minute. That could have been disastrous for Germany. Coincidentally, Mihalia is one of Joshua Zirkzee’s teammates with Parma Calcio 1913.
- Germany had some nice moments and movement offensively, but lacked precision until we saw Kai Havertz break free down the right side and send a ball across the box to Serge Gnabry. Antonio Rudiger’s ball over to Havertz was pretty awesome as well.
- I was one of the folks who thought Havertz had the quality to be a jack-of-all-trades type forward/midfielder when he was linked to Bayern Munich. Havertz’s speed and vision is showing that maybe I might have been on to something. I have sort of the same take with Musiala and how he looks like a player who can seamlessly slide in between positions.
- From that point, Germany open the floodgates, but couldn’t find the back of the net. With pressure Kimmich blasted the crossbar from distance, Gnabry almost grabbed himself another. İlkay Gündoğan couldn’t convert an attempt. Gnabry missed another makeable shot. It really could have been a three or four goal game on another day.
- The pace of the Gnabry-Havertz-Leroy Sane frontline is incredible.
- Gnabry was a complete handful for Romania to deal with.
- Joshua Kimmich’s COVID-19 quarantine hair is still undefeated.
- Kimmich’s — and not just his hair — was outstanding once again by the way.
- Manuel Neuer’s purple goalkeeper kit makes him look like a commander of a special unit of the Imperial army operating under Grand Admiral Thrawn.
- After a very solid showing, Sane turned into a circus in the last five minutes of the game. Bad decisions, not hustling, poor passes...he should’ve been subbed off about 10 minutes before he was to preserve just how good he was. I hated that Joachim Löw played him that long.
- Lukas Klostermann was very solid at right-back in contributing both offensively and defensively.
- Florin Niță was outstanding in between the sticks for Romania.
- I would have preferred that Löw would have used more of his bench players in the starting XI — and used his subs earlier.
- Overall, it was a good win, but surely some fans will be left thinking about what the score should have been (and rightfully so). As for me, I’m in survival mode for the rest of this international break.
Joachim Löw must have had a premonition that he’d be criticized in the Daily Schmankerl over the timing of his subs, so he explained why he didn’t go to his bench earlier:
“I didn’t change because the game was under control for a long time,” said Löw as captured by kicker. “We barely allowed scoring chances and had good attacks forward. We were in good shape too, the midfield worked well. We were also dangerous up front. So it was just not absolutely necessary.”
Yeah...I mean...I get it...but, it’s the national team in a qualifying game you are supposed to win.
This transfer rumor never made much sense and it makes even less sense now, but here we are — Bayern Munich is once again linked to Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly. We can also add Manchester City and Real Madrid as interested parties as well:
According to La Repubblica newspaper, Bayern Munich and Manchester City remain interested in Kalidou Koulibaly with the Napoli defender who could leave for €50m. The Senegal international will see his contract expire in June 2023 and several top European clubs are reportedly interested in securing his services.
In 2018, Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis claimed he had rejected a €100 bid for the 29-year-old, but his price-tag has lowered. Given the economic crisis due to the COVID pandemic and the expiration of his contract approaching, Napoli could agree to sell their star defender for €50m. Bayern Munich and Manchester City are interested in securing the player’s services, but other top clubs in Europe, such as Real Madrid, have set their sights on Koulibaly, according to the report.
Let’s file this one away as “unlikely” for Bayern Munich.
It looks as if RB Leipzig will be adding Mohamed Simakan to its backline in an effort to help replace Dayot Upamecano:
RB Leipzig are in advanced talks to sign Mohamed Simakan. Last details then the deal will be completed. He’ll be the replacement of Upamecano. The agreement is ‘imminent’, subject to medicals [Leipzig are informed about first results of medical tests after injury] ⚪️ #transfers— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) March 17, 2021
Luka Modric’s teammates with Croatia saluted him for becoming the country’s most capped player:
According to 90min.com, Manchester United are pondering over making a move at Swiss international centre-back Manuel Akanji (25). Playing for Borussia Dortmund since January 2018, former FC Basel player is worth around 28 million euros at the time. Currently on a deal with German giants until June 2022, Akanji was inquired about by two more Premier League prominent clubs not long ago.