Serge Gnabry scored two first-half goals as Hansi Flick’s Germany thrashed Armenia 6-0 to go top of 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying Group J.
Germany 6-0 Armenia
Goals: 1-0 Gnabry (6'), 2-0 Gnabry (15') 3-0 Reus (35') 4-0 Werner (45') 5-0 Hofmann (53'), 6-0 Adeyemi (90'+1)
An early warning shot from former Borussia Dortmund midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan was as good as it got for Armenia in a one-sided encounter in Stuttgart. Thilo Kehrer headed a Joshua Kimmich corner against the angle of post and bar as Germany assumed total control, before Gnabry collected a smart pass from Leon Goretzka to fire in the opening goal. After Goretzka shot narrowly over, Gnabry doubled his tally following a lovely piece of play involving Leroy Sane and Marco Reus. Sane whipped an effort against the woodwork, before Gnabry and Timo Werner combined for Reus to add a third. Werner prodded in on the stroke of half-time to consolidate the hosts’ advantage.
The onslaught continued into the second half as Gnabry sent an acrobatic effort over the crossbar. The next attempt stuck, with Jonas Hofmann driving in from 18 yards after Kimmich’s corner was only half cleared. Substitute Jamal Musiala made David Yurchenko work after Hofmann had seen his effort cleared in front of the goal-line, before going close to teeing up Werner as he had against Liechtenstein days earlier. Yurchenko thwarted the effervescent Goretzka, and Antonio Rüdiger miscued from a corner, but there was still time for another as 18-year-old Florian Wirtz found fellow substiute Karim Adeyemi for a debut goal in added time.
- Flick has now won his opening two games as coach of Hoffenheim, Bayern Munich and Germany.
- Gnabry has scored 18 goals in 28 games for Germany.
- Manuel Neuer won his 105th Germany cap.
- Reus marked his 46th international with his 14th goal, and first since June 2019.
- Werner’s registered 18 goals in 44 matches for Germany. He scored 91 times in 222 Bundesliga appearances for VfB Stuttgart and RB Leipzig.
- Hofmann scored his first Germany goal on his fifth appearance for the national team.
Germany: Germany: Neuer (c) - Hofmann, Süle, Rüdiger, Kehrer (Raum 83') - Kimmich (Gündogan 61'), Goretzka - Gnabry (Adeyemi 72'), Reus (Wirtz 60'), Sane (Musiala 60') - Werner
Unused subs: Leno, Trapp, Baku, Schlotterbeck, Klostermann, Neuhaus, Dahoud
Out: Gosens (foot), Havertz (illness), Müller (thigh)
Coach: Hansi Flick
Armenia: Yurchenko - Hambardzumyan (Terteryan 57'), Voskanyan, Haroyan, K. Hovhannisyan - Wbeymar (Udo 46'), A. Grigoryan - Barseghyan (Bichakhchyan 70'), Mkhitaryan (c), Bayramyan (Avanesyan 83') - Adamyan (Geloyan 46')
Unused subs: Buchnev, Beglaryan, Spertsyan, Vardanyan, Mkoyan, Karapetyan, A, Hovhannisyan
Coach: Joaquin Caparros
GERMANY HIT ARMENIA FOR SIX
Gnabry takes the headlines, but this was a sensational team display by Flick's Germany. They go top of Group J at the halfway stage in qualifying.
Florian Wirtz cuts a ball back for fellow sub Karim Adeyemi to stroke home on his senior international debut.
GOAL! 6 : 0
GORETZKA ON THE HUNT
There's a senior international debut for Hoffenheim's David Raum at left-back. Moments later, Goretzka draws another decent stop from the Armenia goalkeeper.
CAT AND MOUSE
Germany have dropped the tempo, but that's because they can. Total dominance from Flick's side in Stuttgart.
FANS ON THEIR FEET
Serge Gnabry receives a rapturous ovation as he makes way for teenaged debutant Karim Adeyemi of Red Bull Salzburg. Gnabry, like Kimmich and Werner, is a product of the vaunted Stuttgart academy.
Musiala's at it again, threading a pass through for Werner as he did for the opening goal against Liechtenstein. Yurchenko is first to this one, though.
Musiala's involved right away, the Bayern teenager drawing a save from Yurchenko after Hofmann's shot had been cleared in front of the goal-line.
No surprises to see Armenia make a change at right-back, not that it's about to get any easier for the visiting defence. Hansi Flick has just introduced Jamal Musiala, Florian Wirtz and Ilkay Gündogan.
Germany are cantering to the top of Group J. Kimmich's corner is cleared only as far as Jonas Hofmann, who rifles the ball home from the edge of the area.
GOAL! 5 : 0
Germany win a free-kick that finds its way to Gnabry. He goes for the spectacular, but plants his overhead-kick over the crossbar.
Germany are unchanged, while Armenia sacrifice Adamyan for an extra man in midfield in Ishkhan Geloyan. Solomon Udo's also on for the beleaguered visitors.
IT'S A ROUT!
Timo Werner gets in on the act on the stroke of half-time! Kimmich takes out the Armenia defence with a lovely clipped cross that's helped on by Goretzka. All Werner has to do is turn it goalwards. This is the kind of football we expected from Flick's Germany. Unplayable!
This is a gala first-half display from Germany. It's another fine team goal as Werner helps Gnabry's cross into the path of Reus. He's 10 yards out, and does not miss!
Germany come again with Reus. He carves out the shot, but it's too close to Yurchenko in the visiting goal. The Dortmund man looks all the better for a longer rest period over the summer, having ruled himself out of Euro contention to recover from a gruelling domestic season.
A shot comes in from Hoffenheim's Sargis Adamyan, but it doesn't trouble Neuer. The Bayern and Germany skipped posted a Bundesliga-record 205th clean sheet prior to the international break. At this rate, he'll be on for a 44th shut-out in 105 internationals.
Leroy Sane has the freedom of the Mercedes-Benz-Arena pitch. He drifts inside, before whipping an effort against the bar. It wouldn't have counted, though - the Bayern man was offside.
GNABRY AT THE DOUBLE
That's 18 goals in 28 senior internationals for Gnabry. Not bad for a player who largely operates as a winger!
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MADE IN THE BUNDESLIGA!
Germany get the second goal their dominance deserves. Leroy Sane and Marco Reus are the architects with a lovely interchange out wide. Reus slips the ball inside - it goes through Werner, but not Gnabry. Another fine finish. Flick's men are cruising.
Antonio Rüdiger's attempted back-pass lacks the legs, but Manuel Neuer is quick to sweep up the danger. Classic Manu.
Yurchenko keeps Armenia in the game with quick-fire saves from Goretzka and Leroy Sane. A second goal is incoming...
GORETZKA LETS FLY!
Germany have their tails up, with Goretzka looking really up for it. He picks up possession and takes aim, but it's just over the Armenia goal. The Bayern man's been unlucky not to score domestically so far this season - he might just break his duck today.
MADE IN MUNICH
Way to settle the nerves! Leon Goretzka comes in off the right and lifts a ball through to Serge Gnabry, who drives confidently into the bottom corner. Lovely goal.
OFF THE BAR!
First chance for Germany, and almost the opening goal. Kimmich floats a corner onto the head of Kehrer, who directs the ball against the upright!
Mkhitaryan collects collects a pass from out wide, but can't keep his long-range effort down.
Can Germany make it two from two under Flick? Stay tuned to find out...
RIP GERD MÜLLER
There's a minute's silence prior to kick-off, in memory of the legendary Müller. As you'd expect, it's immaculately observed by the fans in attendance.
'THE PENALTY BOX WAS YOUR HOME'
Germany fans have prepared a tifo to honour Gerd Müller, who passed away on 15 August, aged 75. The letters spell "Gerd", followed by his national team number 13. The accompanying banner reads: "The penalty box was your home - The [World Cup] star of '74 bears your name - The nation's Bomber - not forgotten". Müller scored 68 goals in 62 games for his country, as well as a Bundesliga-record 365 in a Bayern shirt.
ONE HUNDRED NOT OUT
Manuel Neuer and Thomas Müller, not involved through injury, are honoured before the game after recently breaking through the 100-cap mark. Neuer makes his 105th senior international appearances today, while Müller moved onto 106 at the UEFA 2020 Euros.
AMIRI GIVES BACK
Speaking of Bayer Leverkusen, Nadiem Amiri has invited Afghan refugees to today's game. "As a German with Afghan roots, I am following the recent developments in Afghanistan closely," said the five-time Germany international, who spent time at a refugee centre in Stuttgart this past week. "It was clear for me that I would like to help these people who have fled to Germany — as my own family did — as best as possible."
Musiala isn't the only teen super-talent on the Germany bench. Florian Wirtz, who made his senior international debut last time out, is also waiting in the wings. The 18-year-old Bayer Leverkusen man ranks as the youngest player to reach seven Bundesliga goals, replacing Timo Werner in the all-time record books.
THE DAY SARGIS ADAMYAN SANK BAYERN'S BATTLESHIP
As far as full Bundesliga debuts go, few can compare with Sargis Adamyan's. The Armenian put two goals past Manuel Neuer back in October 2019 to hand Hoffenheim their first win on Bayern soil. He's scored eight times in 36 Bundesliga matches all told, compared to two in 25 for his country.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan will be a familiar face to some Bundesliga fans. The Armenia captain spent three seasons at Dortmund between 2013 and 2016, producing 23 goals and 36 assists in 90 Bundesliga appearances. Now 32, Mkhi arrived at current employers Roma via a spell in England with Manchester United and Arsenal.
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The return of Serge Gnabry should have the desired effect. The Bayern winger is Germany's highest scorer of the post-2018 cycle with 13 goals in 25 appearances.
'JAMAL WILL GO FAR'
Bayern Munich’s Jamal Musiala ears must have been burning these past few days. The 18-year-old set up Timo Werner for the opener against Liechtenstein, and could win his seventh cap for Germany in Stuttgart. Werner says the teenaged midfielder “has a huge future”, while Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann has hailed his “street footballer” abilities.
WHAT'S AT STAKE?
Only the group winners qualify automatically for the World Cup, which takes place in Qatar between 21 November and 18 December, 2022. The runners-up enter a play-off for the six remaining European qualifying berths.
ARMENIA: THE LOWDOWN
Group leaders Armenia are unbeaten in qualifying. They recorded successive wins over Liechtenstein, Iceland and Romania, before being held to a goalless draw by a North Macedonia outfit that recorded a shock 2-1 victory in Germany earlier in the year. Hoffenheim’s Sargis Adamyan and former Borussia Dortmund playmaker Henrikh Mkhitaryan are the ones to watch.
THE STORY SO FAR
Flick’s one from one as Germany head coach, following Thursday’s 2-0 win in Liechtenstein. It wasn’t easy, but goals from Timo Werner and Leroy Sane were enough to take the four-time world champions up to second in World Cup qualifying Group J. Victory in Stuttgart will see them reclaim top spot from visitors Armenia.
MORE ON THOSE TEAMS
Hansi Flick makes six changes to the side that beat Liechtenstein 2-0. Captain Manuel Neuer's back in goal following a knock. Bayern teammates Leon Goretzka and Serge Gnabry also get the nod, while Gladbach's Jonas Hofmann comes in at right-back for Ridle Baku. Former VfB Stuttgart defender Antonio Rüdiger comes into the back four, with Thilo Kehrer moving to left-back in place of the injured Robin Gosens. Dortmund skipper Marco Reus replaces Kai Havertz, who is ill.
GERMANY STARTING LINE-UP
Neuer (c) - Hofmann, Süle, Rüdiger, Kehrer - Kimmich, Goretzka - Gnabry, Reus, Sane - Werner
Leno, Trapp, Baku, Schlotterbeck, Wirtz, Adeyemi, Musiala, Klostermann, Neuhaus, Dahoud, Raum, Gündogan
ARMENIA STARTING LINE-UP
Yurchenko - Hambardzumyan, Voskanyan, Haroyan, K. Hovhannisyan - Wbeymar, A. Grigoryan - Barseghyan, Mkhitaryan (c), Bayramyan - Adamyan
Buchnev, Beglaryan, Terteryan, Spertsyan, Geloyan, Vardanyan, Avanesian, Mkoyan, Udo, Karapetyan, A, Hovhannisyan, Bichakhchyan
Germany welcome Armenia to VfB Stuttgart's Mercedes-Benz-Arena in 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying. Kick-off is at 20:45 local time, so join us around an hour beforehand for confirmed team news and live text build-up.