Initial reactions and observations
- Germany finally found their attacking touch after three games of frustration. Honestly, the system was working fine, it just needed that last little bit of execution for a scoreline like this to happen. Special shoutout to Serge Gnabry, who performed the almost impossible task of assisting Timo Werner not once but twice.
- The presence of proper fullbacks and Ilkay Gundogan in the center is what made the difference compared to the first game against Italy. Hansi Flick has more or less found a winning combination with this team, it just needs refinement.
- Bayern Munich contributed 4 out of 5 goals for Germany today. If only Thomas Muller had taken the penalty, it would’ve been six.
- Once again, Germany fell off after Flick made changes. The subs bench is clearly not as strong as the starting XI and it really shows. Bastoni’s final goal was especially egregious. The point I’m trying to make is ... Hansi Flick really needs to stop subbing off Thomas Muller.
- Leroy Sane overall had a few good moments but failed to make a proper impact in this match. His confidence is shot — poor guy needs a break and a reset. Hopefully he has a relaxing holiday.
90’ — Goal. Bastoni scores on the cusp of FT. Makes it 5-2.
86’ — We have pitch invaders! Security seem to be struggling a little.
78’ — Goal. Disappointing, Italy get one back.
70’ — GOAL! Another one by Werner. Howler of a pass by Donnarumma.
68’ — GOAL! Timo Werner FINALLY gets on the scoresheet, thanks to the newly subbed in Serge Gnabry. Great pass by Muller to start it.
63’ — Subs: Serge Gnabry comes on for Jonas Hofmann.
50’ — GOAL! Thomas Muller makes it 3-0 to Germany! Timely goal, given that the Italians seemed like they were mounting a comeback.
45’ — The second half is underway!
Halftime: Germany lead 2-0.
45’ — GOAL! After an eventful half, Germany have finally managed to score two goals in a single game. Gundo fires home a penalty after Bastoni brings down Hofmann in the box.
10’ — GOAL! Joshua Kimmich fires home! Excellent move by Germany.
Kickoff: We’re underway!
One hour until kickoff: We have lineups! Looks like Hansi Flick has opted to give Leroy Sane another chance in the lineup, likely on the left side of the pitch supported by David Raum. Thomas Muller returns to the starting XI after being rested against Hungary, while Timo Werner keeps his spot at the head of the attack. Jonas Hofmann, meanwhile, gets his third consecutive start.
If this lineup can’t beat Italy, then Germany have some serious problems.
Three games and zero wins on the board. That’s not just poor luck — Germany has been missing something these past few games.
Hansi Flick has had no luck with his attack so far, regardless of who he’s played in attack. Gladbach’s Jonas Hofmann has been the only true standout performer so far, scoring twice in two starts — but that’s still well below standard for a team boasting stars from Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Borussia Dortmund, and more. If Flick can’t figure out how to unlock Italy tonight, the Germans may come out of this international break with zero wins from four games, which is pretty close to a disaster.
Location: Borussia-Park, Monchengladbach, Germany
Time: 8:45 pm local time, 2:45 pm EST
TV/streaming: Find Your Country
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