Hansi Flick continued his 100 per cent winning start as boss as Germany took a step closer to Qatar 2022 with a convincing 4-0 triumph over Iceland.
Fresh from scoring twice in the 6-0 win over Armenia on Sunday, Serge Gnabry wasted little time in opening his account in Reykjavik, tapping in at the far post from the excellent Leroy Sane’s pass, and although the linesman’s flag was raised immediately, the goal was given after a lengthy VAR review.
Iceland’s defending was non-existent as the unmarked Antonio Rudiger’s bullet header from Joshua Kimmich’s free-kick delivery put Germany in total command at half-time.
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Albert Gudmundsson thought he had halved the deficit minutes after the restart when he reacted quickest after his namesake Johann crashed a shot off the frame of the post, but he was in an offside position.
The hosts’ backline was left exposed as they pushed for a way back into the game, and moments after substitute Kai Havertz inexplicably fired wide with the goal at his mercy, Sane put the game beyond doubt with an unstoppable shot from an angle.
Germany kept coming and it looked like it was going to be another night to forget for Timo Werner who spurned three gilt-edged chances – including missing with the goal gaping – but he finally got on the scoresheet in the 89th minute with a neat shot that spun in after hitting the woodwork to cap another productive night for Flick’s men.
Victory moves Germany four points clear of their nearest rival Armenia with 15 points from a possible 18.
Iceland v Germany scoreboard
Image credit: Getty Images
TALKING POINT – Flick’s winning start continues
That could hardly have gone better for Hansi Flick. Three wins in six days, 12 goals scored, and 0 goals conceded. The standard of opposition has to be considered, of course, but it’s how Germany have played that will have pleased the boss most.
Germany exited the Euros with a whimper, but the appointment of Flick has given everyone a lift, and with six players from his former Bayern Munich side starting the match, it hasn’t taken Die Mannschaft long to implement the 56-year-old’s desired style of play.
There was even a late goal for Werner, whose confidence had been taken a battering after a wasteful display. Flick will hope that when Germany are back together in November, the 25-year-old will be in better form.
MAN OF THE MATCH – Joshua Kimmich (Germany)
Everything flowed through the Bayern midfielder on a night he once again demonstrated his excellent range of passing, intelligent movement and sublime set-piece delivery.
Iceland: Halldorsson 7, Saevarsson 5, Bjarnason 5, Fjoluson 5, Skulason 5, B. Bjarnason 5, Palsson 5, Johannesson 5, J. Gudmundsson 6, A. Gudmundsson 6, Helgason 6.. subs, Sigurdsson 5, Baldursson N/A, Thorsteinsson 5, Gudjohnsen N/A.
Germany: Neuer 6, Hofmann 7, Sule 6, Rudiger 7, Kehrer 7, Kimmich 8*, Goretzka 7, Gnabry 7, Gundogan 7, Sane 8, Werner 6.. subs: Havertz 6, Wirtz N/A, Musiala 6, Klostermann 6, , Dahoud, Gosens 5.
6′ – GOAL! Iceland 0-1 Germany (Serge Gnabry): Germany are ahead already! Kimmich controls a ball over the top on his chest and rolls it back to Sane, whose first-time pass is delightful to set up Gnabry for a tap-in at the far post. The linesman’s flag is up immediately but after a lengthy VAR review the goal is awarded.
24′ – GOAL! Iceland 0-2 Germany (Antonio Rudiger): Woeful defending from the visitors as Germany double their lead through Rudiger! After Goretzka draws the foul from Gudmundsson, Kimmich whips in a teasing cross and the Chelsea defender is left unmarked to finish with a bullet header.
49′ – Goal ruled out! Johann Gudmundsson’s fantastic strike from distance crashes off the frame of the post and his namesake Albert is there to tap home the rebound… but it’s not going to count; he’s offside!
55′ – Miss! Would you believe it! Germany carve open the Iceland defence on the counter-attack but Havertz, with the goal at his mercy after brilliant work by Werner, inexplicably fires wide!
56′ – GOAL! Iceland 0-3 Germany (Leroy Sane): Havertz, take note! The angle is against Sane but he blasts a shot into the roof of the net following a Goretzka pass. Unstoppable!
61′ – Oh my, that’s a sitter! Musiala’s fine pass leaves Werner with what looks a simple finish but with the goal gaping he spoons his effort over the bar!
89′ – GOAL! Iceland 0-4 Germany (Timo Werner): Werner finally gets on the scoresheet! It’s a neat goal too as his shot crashes off the post but spins over the line.
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Source: Euro Sports