Former Bayern Munich coach Hansi Flick has made it two wins out of two for his tenure as Germany’s manager thus far. His team’s comprehensive 6-0 win over Armenia in Stuttgart, just three days after beating Liechtenstein 2-0 in Switzerland, was impressive.
A brace from Serge Gnabry and goals from Marco Reus, Timo Werner, Jonas Hofmann and Karim Adeyemi secured the three points that takes Die Mannschaft to the top of UEFA World Cup qualifying Group J for the time being. Their last qualifier of this international break is against Iceland midweek in Reykjavík.
Hansi Flick made several changes to the starting lineup that he fielded against Liechtenstein with Manuel Neuer, Antonio Rudiger, Leon Goretzka, Jonas Hofmann, Serge Gnabry, and Reus stepping in for Bern Leno, Robin Gosens, Kai Havertz, Ilkay Gundogan, Ridle Baku and Jamal Musiala. The rotations, while some were necessary due to injuries and illness, proved to be more than worthwhile as Reus, Gnabry, and Hofmann were all on the score sheet.
Speaking after the match, Flick said that he really liked what he saw from his side and that he saw improvements from the win over Liechtenstein (Tz). In typical Flick fashion, he’s already focused on the Iceland match, too. “I liked it already. It was the next step we took. The team can be happy about the performance, but we have to look to focus on the Iceland game again from Tuesday,” Flick stressed.
This was also the first time in nearly 18 months that there was allowed to be a decent crowd for a Germany qualifier. There were, of course, fans present for all of Germany’s Euro 2020 matches, but it was reduced capacities at the Allianz Arena and predominantly all England fans at Wembley for the knockout stage clash. Flick was grateful to have the opportunity to play in front of a decent-sized crowd at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Stuttgart. “It’s important to deliver when it counts. The atmosphere was fantastic. I’m pleased that we were able to take the spectators with us like that. That’s how it should be, “ he said.
Reus has had such unfortunate luck with injuries when it comes to Die Mannschaft team selections and this is the first time since the fall of 2019 that he’s been in the squad. He was on the score sheet with a finely taken finish in the 35th minute after Werner had cushioned Gnabry’s cross in the box to make it 3-0 at the time. Flick is pleased to have Reus back in the squad and looking as fit as ever for both Germany and Borussia Dortmund. “It did him good to have a good preparation. He’s had a lot of bad luck in recent years. I’m even more pleased that he had a good preparation and is currently so fit,” he said.
It was Kimmich’s lobbed cross over the top that led to Werner’s goal after Goretzka had headed the cross back across the face of goal to Werner at the far post for the tap in just a minute before the halftime whistle went. The chip from Kimmich is something Flick stressed can undo compact defenses that they will continue to ace in their qualifying group. “A chipped ball like that is a good way to get past such a compact defense,” he emphasized.
Flick has already made it clear that he is going to experiment with some younger players in the German squad and it was a dream come true for Adeyemi, who scored late on in hat was his first appearance for the German senior squad. There was a lovely moment of interplay between he and Florian Wirtz in the buildup to the goal, which is something Flick said he’s seen a lot of from 19-year-old wunderkind. “Those are the things Karim showed already at the beginning of the season: That he can be ice-cold in front of goal and then also execute,” Flick explained.