Germany were awarded a penalty inside the first 10 minutes when Jens Hofer’s high boot caught Leon Goretzka in the box. The Liechtenstein defender was sent off before Ilkay Gündogan put away the spot-kick. The visitors held out another 10 minutes before a triple blow from the 2014 world champions. Daniel Kaufmann turned Freiburg captain Christian Günter’s cross into his own goal to double the hosts’ advantage in Wolfsburg. Moments later, Sane added a third when he finished off a one-touch move from Marco Reus and Goretzka. The Borussia Dortmund captain then got one himself only a minute afterwards when he put away a loose ball after the goalkeeper failed to hold a cross ahead of Sane. Liechtenstein had just one shot, from over 30 yards, in the first half but it was well off target as Manuel Neuer remained a spectator at the Volkswagen Arena.
It was five for Die Mannschaft early in the second half when Sane latched onto a ball across the box and found the bottom corner, with Müller kindly jumping over the shot to give his Bayern teammate the glory. Half-time substitute Lukas Nmecha almost had a debut goal when he struck the outside of the post. With the intensity dropping, a third Wolfsburg player joined the fray on his home ground as Maximilian Arnold earned his second cap seven years after his third. Müller then brought up the half dozen when he helped a Florian Neuhaus header over the line. The best of the night came from Germany’s other Wolf, Ridle Baku, curled one into the far top corner on his weaker left foot. Müller then got his second with minutes to go, crashing in off the underside of the bar. It was nine before the night was out when Max Göppel headed into his own net. Already assured of their place in Qatar next winter, Germany have won eight of their nine games in Group J with one left to go in Armenia on Sunday.
Flick has won his first six games as Germany boss, surpassing his predecessor Joachim Löw's national record for the best start as Bundestrainer.
Sane has scored six goals in his last seven games for club and country.
Müller overtook Jürgen Klinsmann into outright sixth for most appearances with Germany (109).
Nmecha became the 18th Wolfsburg player to earn a cap for Germany. It was the first time three Wolves had been on the pitch for the national team.
Die Mannschaft have scored in their last 29 World Cup qualifiers.
Germany’s record against Liechtenstein in World Cup qualifying is now four wins from four, 21 scored and none conceded.
He doesn't do pretty goals but he just puts them away. A rebound comes out to the feet of the Bayern forward, he puts his boot through it. It takes a deflection off two defenders, off the underside of the bar and in.
Probably the best of the night as Baku cuts inside on his left foot and he bends one perfectly into the far top corner for his maiden international goal in his third game for Germany - and on his home ground of course!
The substitute wants in on the act as he turns a header from 15 yards towards goal but only onto the crossbar. Wouldn't have counted in any case as the flag went up.
A wry smile between two Bavarians as Müller pinches a goal off Neuhaus, whose header was going in after a goal-line save from a corner. The Bayern man simply wanted to leave nothing to chance as he tapped in his 41st international goal.
A particularly loud roar goes up around the Volkswagen Arena for one of their own (in fact, their record appearance maker in the Bundesliga) as Maxi Arnold comes on for only his second senior cap - seven years after his first. It means all three Wolfsburg players in the squad are on the pitch on their home ground. There will also be no hat-trick for Sane as he's also cheered when making way for Volland.
The scorer of the first has a crack from 20+ yards but it's straight at a grateful Büchel.
He's looking for that hat-trick but is twice denied by Büchel down at his right-hand post.
NMECHA OFF THE POST!
The ball bounces around the Liechtenstein box before finally sitting for Nmecha, who wraps his foot around it at waist height but is denied a debut goal by the right post.
The ball comes across from the right and Sane is able to get his shot away unchallenged. It's going for the near bottom corner, Müller has to jump over it in front of the goalkeeper. VAR checks whether he was offside but no damage done and Sane has his 11th international goal.
A very, very high boot catches Goretzka in the head in the penalty area. A clear penalty, but the Bayern man is in some pain there.
It's a 5-3-2 from the visitors who are camped on the edge of their own box with the two strikers no more than 10 yards further forward. There are a lot of bodies in the middle for Germany to have to find a way through.
You won't be shocked to hear that it's Germany who are on the ball in the opening minutes. Liechtenstein have barely had a player over the halfway line.
HOFMANN AT RIGHT-BACK
First thing to note as the teams were lining up is that it is indeed Hofmann who's at right-back, behind Baku. It could've been roles reversed based on club roles, but Hofmann has been a regular on the right of defence under Flick.
The two teams are out at the Volkswagen Arena for the anthems. The Liechtenstein anthem has caught us off guard a bit as it's called "Oben am jungen Rhein" but is set to the melody of the British anthem...
THOMAS PASSES JÜRGEN
Müller is winning his 109th cap tonight, which takes him past Jürgen Klinsmann and into outright sixth for most appearances for Germany. Next in his sights is long-time teammate Philipp Lahm (113), who turns 38 today. The remaining four ahead of him are Bastian Schweinsteiger (121), Lukas Podolski (130), Miroslav Klose (137) and Lothar Matthäus (150), who is currently pitchside in Wolfsburg talking to Joachim Löw and Hansi Flick on TV.
Tonight’s game is the first involving Germany’s senior national team to be officiated by a female referee, with Croatia’s Ivana Martincic (right of picture) having been appointed by UEFA. Sanja Rodjak-Karsic (l.) is one of the assistants.
Hansi Flick was always seen as the natural successor to Joachim Löw, who will be honoured ahead of kick-off for his 15 years of service as national team head coach. It was Löw’s record of five wins to begin a tenure as Bundestrainer that his former assistant Flick equalled in the last international break. The man who made so much history in charge of Bayern could now do so for his country if Germany are victorious again tonight.
Seven wins from eight and an eight-point advantage over Romania means Germany have already secured top spot in Group J and automatic qualification for Qatar next winter. Down at the other end of the table, Liechtenstein have managed just a solitary point this campaign, drawing 1-1 away at Armenia in September. Germany have scored 23 times and conceded only three, while tonight’s opponents have conceded 23 and only scored two – one apiece from the Frick brothers.
Only four players remain from the 4-0 win in North Macedonia a month ago that saw Germany become the first team to qualify for the 2022 World Cup. They are captain Manuel Neuer, Thilo Kehrer, Thomas Müller and Leon Goretzka. It’s all change otherwise as Flick utilises Germany’s strength in depth given a number of absentees.
Majer, Lo Russo, Brändle, Grünenfelder, Kardesoglu, N. Frick, M. Büchel, Meier, Yildiz, F. Wolfinger, Spirig, Kollmann
B. Büchel - S. Wolfinger, Malin, Kaufmann, Hofer, Göppel - Sele, Frommelt, Hasler (c) - Salanovic, Y. Frick