Jonas Hofmann and Ilkay Gundogan stole the show as Germany secured a comfortable 4-1 victory over Armenia on Sunday.
Germany capped off their 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign on a positive note by securing a 4-1 win over Armenia. It was the seventh back-to-back victory for new coach Hansi Flick, who has added a whole new belief to this team after replacing Joachim Low in the summer.
Coming on the back of a 9-0 drubbing of Liechtenstein, the Germans started the game well, applying early pressure to the Armenian defence. Their pressure was rewarded when Kai Havertz opened the scoring in the 15th minute, laying the early groundwork for the German dominance that followed.
However, Die Mannschaft struggled to convert their chances for the most part of the first half, and it was not until the last minute that they won a penalty. Ilkay Gundogan was on hand to give his team a 2-0 advantage just on the brink of half-time.
Germany started the second half quite well, looking increasingly dangerous going forward. They secured their third goal through Gundogan in the 50th minute, but Armenia were able to cancel that out by winning a penalty shortly after. Henrikh Mkhitaryan capitalised on the opportunity to pull one back for his team.
But his goal only proved to be a consolation as Germany eventually scored the fourth goal around the hour mark, through Jonas Hofmann, thus adding the final gloss to the scoreline. Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will rank the German players in their comfortable 4-1 victory over Armenia this weekend.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen: 6/10
Marc-Andre ter Stegen had nothing much to do as Armenia struggled to make much happen, mustering only one shot on goal. The German captain was unfortunate to miss out on the clean sheet after Florian Neuhaus’s second-half foul led to the penalty for the Armenians.
7 – The German national team have won their last seven matches in a row, their joint-longest run this century (also seven in 2017), last having a longer winning run in 1979 and 1980, winning 12 in a row. Reboot. #ARMGER pic.twitter.com/SsIwMewkVW
— OptaFranz (@OptaFranz) November 14, 2021
Thilo Kehrer: 7/10
It was the second start in a row for Thilo Kehrer, who offered decent solidity at the back for Germany. His pace and versatility, coupled with his quality in the build-up helped Die Mannschaft remain on the top of Armenia. Kehrer is building quite a portfolio for himself under the leadership of Flick.
Matthias Ginter: 7/10
Matthias Ginter was not as involved as Kehrer in the build-up play. But he was the beating heart of the German defence, as he often threw his body on the line to prevent the opposition from creating a breakthrough.
Jonathan Tah: 7/10
Jonathan Tah offered adequate support to Ginter in the defensive side of things. He used his imposing frame to keep the Armenian forwards at bay, although the Bayer Leverkusen centre-back did produce a shoddy defensive display leading up to Armenia’s penalty incident.
Jonas Hofmann: 9/10
After a somewhat disappointing showing against Liechtenstein, Jonas Hofmann made quite an impression with his performance against Armenia. He was a menace on the right-hand side, always looking for an opportunity to make marauding runs on his flank and take on opposition defenders.
Jonas Hofmann is going to be Germany’s starting right wing back in Qatar next winter isn’t he?
— Jonathan Harding (@JonBloggs66) November 14, 2021
Hofmann’s link-up play was also spot on, with the Borussia Monchengladbach star notably registering the assist for Kai Havertz’s opener before scoring one himself, around the hour mark.
Florian Neuhaus: 7/10
Florian Neuhaus won the penalty late in the first half to help Germany double their lead. He was influential in the build-up play, often making driving runs into the final third. However, the Gladbach star conceded the penalty that allowed Armenia to pull one back in the second half.
Ilkay Gundogan: 9/10
Ilkay Gundogan was the undisputed star of the game, as he put together yet another influential display in the middle of the park. The Manchester City star was the creator-in-chief for the visitors, carving out multiple goalscoring opportunities while his link-up play with his teammates in the final third was simply impeccable. Scored two goals to cap off a brilliant attacking display.
Most goals for Germany in World Cup qualifying:
◎ Serge Gnabry (5)
◎ Timo Werner (5)
◎ Leroy Sané (4)
◉ Ilkay Gündogan (4)
The Man City midfielder’s last three goals have all come from the penalty spot. ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/RwbKRzLWDL
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) November 14, 2021
David Raum: 7/10
David Raum was given the nod ahead of Christian Gunter at left-back. The Hoffenheim starlet certainly was not as influential as Hofmann on the opposite flank, but he offered a decent amount of support out wide.
Thomas Muller: 7/10
Thomas Muller was not as influential as he was in the Liechtenstein game. He was, nonetheless, crucial to his team’s chance creation, as he opened up spaces for his teammates to run into. It benefitted players like Leroy Sane and Kai Havertz greatly, although the Bayern Munich forward was subbed off around the hour mark.
Leroy Sane: 6/10
It was not the best of performances from Leroy Sane, whose pace and trickery was not quite influential against the Armenian defence. In fact, the Bayern Munich winger looked a bit off, especially with his decision making before being taken off around the hour mark.
Kai Havertz: 8/10
Kai Havertz led the line for Germany in the absence of Karim Adeyemi, Timo Werner and Marco Reus. The Chelsea superstar did not disappoint either, playing a vital role in the first line of press. He created multiple turnovers in the final third while offering a spark in Germany’s attack. Havertz also netted the all-important opener in the 15th minute.
Kai Havertz has now been directly involved in five goals in eight World Cup qualifying games for Germany:
⚽️ 3 goals
?️ 2 assists
Goals in back-to-back games for the Chelsea man. pic.twitter.com/6NBlOnFv5O
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) November 14, 2021
Julian Brandt: 7.5/10
Julian Brandt made a rare appearance for Germany when he replaced Sane around the hour mark. The Borussia Dortmund star did not disappoint at all, establishing himself as a useful creative outlet during the final stretch of the game.
Lukas Nmecha: 7/10
Lukas Nmecha offered an impressive work rate after coming on for Muller in the 60th minute. Tried his best to create an opening and came close on multiple occassions.
Maximilian Arnold: 6.5/10
Maximilian Arnold provided more stability in the German midfield during the final phase of the game. He was solid in possession while avoiding defensive errors in the middle of the park.
Kevin Volland: 6/10
Kevin Volland was a bit wasteful as the AS Monaco striker had at least two opportunities to score a goal. He squandered both openings, although they were not the easiest of chances.
Ridle Baku: N/A
A late replacement for Hofmann. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
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