Bayern Munich attacker Serge Gnabry scored an eye-catching back-heeled goal to help Germany come from behind to secure a point in a 3-3 draw with Switzerland in UEFA Nations League League A Group 4 on Tuesday.
Germany 3-3 Switzerland
Goals: 0-1 Gavranovic (5'), 0-2 Freuler (26'), 1-2 Werner (28'), 2-2 Havertz (55'), 2-3 Gavranovic (57'), 3-3 Gnabry (60')
Sent off: Schär (90+3')
Germany started brightly at Cologne's RhineEnergieStadion as they looked to build on the momentum gained from their first Nations League win against Ukraine on Saturday. However, they suffered an early setback when Mario Gavranovic looped a header over Manuel Neuer - who had produced a sublime save to deny Xherdan Shaqiri moments earlier. Joachim Löw's side probed for an equaliser and dominated the ball, enjoying 62 per cent possession in the first half, but it was the Swiss who found the net again when Remo Freuler chipped Neuer following a swift counter-attack. Affronted at being two down, Die Mannschaft soon rallied and pulled a goal back two minutes later when Timo Werner dribbled past a crowd of players on the edge of the area before placing a low shot past Yann Sommer into the far corner.
The home team remained in the ascendancy after the break, with Werner drilling over, Kai Havertz hitting the post and Antonio Rüdiger firing a header off target. That pressure soon took its toll, though, as Havertz scored a wonderful individual goal, intercepting a pass in midfield before surging forward to level the score with a well-placed shot. Switzerland restored their lead almost instantly, however, with Gavranovic lashing in his second of the game after Neuer had made two quickfire stops from former Eintracht Frankfurt forward Haris Seferovic. Yet it was Gnabry who was to have the final word, cleverly back-heeling in Werner's low cross from the right to ensure Germany a point to stay in second spot in Group A4 following Ukraine's surprise win over leaders Spain.
- Germany have won 36 of their 53 meetings with Switzerland to date, drawing eight and losing nine.
- Switzerland recorded their only win in their previous 21 matches against Germany in May 2012, with then Hoffenheim forward Eren Derdiyok scoring a hat-trick in a 5-3 triumph in Basel.
- Joshua Kimmich earned his 50th Germany cap in this match; Kroos his 100th.
- Neuer kept out 72 per cent of the 118 shots he faced in the Bundesliga last season. Sommer repelled 75.2 percent of 161 for Gladbach.
- Gladbach defender Matthias Ginter scored the second goal of his 32-match international career in the win over Ukraine.
- Switzerland's Ricardo Rodriguez was part of the Wolfsburg team that finished as 2014/15 Bundesliga runners-up, whilst winning the 2014/15 DFB Cup and 2015 Supercup.
Germany: Neuer (c) - Klostermann, Rüdiger, Ginter (Can 77'), Gosens (Halstenberg 57') - Kimmich, Kroos - Goretzka, Havertz (Draxler 77'), Gnabry - Werner
Unused subs: Leno, Trapp, Koch, Tah, Brandt, Waldschmidt, Neuhaus, Süle, Hofmann, Can
Out: Amiri (not included), Dahoud (not included), Gündogan (not included), Hector (neck), Henrichs (not included), Kehrer (groin), Reus (not included), Sane (knee), Schulz (not included), Serdar (thigh), Stark (not included), ter Stegen (knee)
Coach: Joachim Löw
Switzerland: Sommer - Widmer, Elvedi, Schär, Rodriguez - Zuber (Fernandes 66'), Xhaka, Freuler (Benito 85'), Shaqiri (Sow 66') - Seferovic (Itten 85'), Gavranovic (Mehmedi 75')
Unused subs: Mvogo, Omlin, Omeragic, Cömert, Vargas, Sow, Fassnacht, Lotomba
Out: Akanji (not included)
Coach: Vladimir Petkovic
As it happened!
Referee Ruddy Buquet blows his whistle to bring the match to an end and once again Germany and Switzerland share the points. Germany were much improved in the second half and deservedly pulled level twice, although there remains room for improvement at the back.
90+3' SCHÄR SENT OFF!
The former Hoffenheim defender is shown a second yellow card for a hefty challenge on Draxler about five yards outside the Switzerland penalty area. Kroos takes the free-kick but it's headed clear of a packed six-yard box.
90' FOUR MORE MINUTES
Germany are looking more likely to score, even if Switzerland are still defending bravely at this late stage. There will be four minutes of added time.
88' CLASSIC NEUER
A long ball forward from Switzerland and for a moment Mehmedi looks to have a chance to bear down on goal. Suddenly Neuer appears though, a good 15 yards outside his area, to head the ball clear.
85' TWO MORE SWISS SUBS
Seferovic and Freuler are replaced by Itten and Benito.
81' SIDE NETTING FROM DRAXLER
Brilliant work defensively from Goretzka to anticipate a pass on the edge of Germany's area, before striding forward to help out in attack. The ball is worked to Gnabry on the right, who slides it into the path of Draxler, who lashes a shot at goal from a tight angle. It's well struck, but smashes high into the side netting.
77' FIRST CHANGES FOR GERMANY
Can and Draxler come on for Ginter and Havertz.
75' ON COMES MEHMEDI
Gavranovic, who hit two of Switzerland's goals, is taken off. He's exhausted himself from pressing high again and again. Wolfsburg attacker Mehmedi takes his place on the field.
70' KROOS AGAIN
Another free-kick for Germany, and Kroos takes it again. This time it's a bit further out and to the left of centre. The Real Madrid midfielder strikes it well enough, but it goes wide without troubling Sommer.
66' DOUBLE CHANGE FOR SWITZERLAND
Shaqiri and Zuber go off, Fernandes and Sow come on.
63' DANGEROUS TERRITORY
Germany win a free-kick in a central position, right on the edge of the 'D'. Kroos lines it up, looking to crown his 100th cap with a goal, but he hits the wall.
60' GNABRY EQUALISES!
Werner is surrounded by red Switzerland shirts on the right-hand side of the box but he still manages to dig out a low cross into the middle, where Gnabry is waiting. He flicks it with his right heel, getting the angle just right to evade Sommer's gloves. We're all square again!
57' SWITZERLAND LEAD AGAIN!
Germany were only on level terms for a few seconds. Seferovic collects Freuler's diagonal ball into the box. His shot and follow-up effort are both saved by Neuer, but the rebound is lashed high into the net by Gavranovic!
Shortly afterwards, Gosens is replaced by Halstenberg.
55' BRILLIANT EQUALISER FROM HAVERTZ!
Stunning from the former Leverkusen man. He's a good 40 or 50 yards from goal as he leaps into the air to intercept a pass from the centre-back that is intended to go wide to the left. He gets a toe on the ball and then surges forward, holding off a defender as he gets into the box before slotting coolly past Sommer and into the corner.
52' CHANCE FOR RÜDIGER!
Kroos floats in a lovey free-kick from deep and Rüdiger bounds in at the back post to meet it. He gets a firm head on the ball, but directs it straight at the ground, where it hits a defender before being cleared.
49' HAVERTZ HITS THE POST!
Beautiful footwork from Havertz, who collects the ball on the right-hand corner of Switzerland's penalty area. He jinks past Rodriguez and Xhaka and snaps a shot at goal with his left foot. It beats Sommer's dive, but hits the base of the upright and bounces clear.
48' WERNER BLAZES OVER
Havertz finds Chelsea teammate Werner with a probing ball forward. He cuts in from the left-hand channel and shoots, but lashes it high over the bar.
46' SECOND HALF!
Switzerland get us underway once more. No changes from either side during the interval.
Switzerland take a narrow lead into the break, having scored with two of their three shots on target so far. Germany have had more of the ball (62 per cent), and Werner's goal has changed the panorama somewhat ahead of the second half.
44' SIDE NETTING FROM KROOS!
A lovely shift of weight from Kroos to jink past his marker, 30 yards out. The ball sits nicely for him to hit and he lets fly with a fierce left-footed drive, but it pings into the side netting.
42' GORETZKA ALMOST THROUGH!
Kroos shoulders Shaqiri off the ball in midfield and strides forward. He has Werner sprinting to his left, but instead opts to slide the ball into the path of Goretzka, darting into the box. He almost gets there, but Sommer pounces off his line to smother the ball.
38' GOOD BREAK FROM GERMANY
A Swiss attack breaks down and Germany go on the front foot, playing the ball forward to Werner on the left. He jinks inside and plays a reverse pass into the run of Gnabry. He tries to dribble past Elvedi, but Switzerland double up on him and the Bayern attacker is eventually crowded out.
35' SOMMER SAVES FORM GOSENS
Gosens' initial pass into the Switzerland penalty area is cut out but not cleared, allowing the left-footer to latch onto the rebound. The curls a brilliant first-time effort towards goal, but Sommer gets a fingertip to the ball to tip it over.
33' SOLID FROM GOSENS
A good interception from the Atalanta player, who slides in on the left to nick the ball off Freuler's toe - he'd have been in behind the Germany defence otherwise.
28' WERNER PULLS ONE BACK!
A timely goal from Germany to reduce the deficit and swing momentum back their way. Werner is a man on a mission after his earlier miss and dribbles along the edge of Switzerland's penalty area from right to left before placing a low shot past Sommer and into the bottom corner. Game on!
26' GOAL! FREULER DOUBLES THE ADVANTAGE!
Absolutely ruthless stuff from Switzerland here as they go 2-0 up! Germany lose the ball in midfield and from there everything happens very quickly. Seferovic curls an inviting low ball across the penalty area, and Freuler audaciously chips it over Neuer's head. Rüdiger tries to clear it off the line but can only help it into the net!
25' CHANCE FOR WERNER!
Kroos intercepts a sloppy pass from Shaqiri in the centre circle and instantly plays a laser-guided pass on the ground into the path of Werner. He's just inside the Switzerland area and tries to stab the ball over Sommer, but doesn't make a clean connection and the chance goes begging!
23' SEFEROVIC FIRES OVER
The Swiss are looking dangerous on the counter-attack and go close through Seferovic, who's teed up by a delightful back-heel from Shaqiri. Seferovic catches his shot well, but he's under pressure and it whizzes over the target.
22' KIMMICH FROM RANGE
Neat, quick passing from Germany as they work the ball from right to left and back again. They're waiting for a space to play a final killer ball, but Switzerland stay compact. Kimmich tries his luck from 25 yards, but skews his shot off the outside of his boot and it sails well wide.
20' LAST DITCH TACKLE FROM RODRIGUEZ
Werner plays a quick one-two on the edge of the Switzerland penalty area, sprinting in to collect the return pass. Just as he's about to pull the trigger, though, Rodriguez slides in with an excellent tackle before he can get a shot away.
15' SEFEROVIC ALMOST THROUGH!
Neuer with an uncharacteristic mistake at the back as an attempted pass to Klostermann on the right doesn't clear Seferovic, who intercepts with his head. He controls the ball but doesn't have time to shoot, instead flicking a pass to the onrushing Shaqiri, whose shot is blocked. That's a huge let-off for Germany, as it could have been a lot worse.
14' GNABRY ALMOST IN
Swift passing from Havertz and Werner, with the ball quickly worked to Goretzka. He spies Gnabry scurrying into the box on the right and tries to slide a ball into his path, inside Rodriguez. The AC Milan defender is alive to the danger though, and slides in to clear for a corner.
11' GERMANY PUSHING
The hosts are trying to settle again after the shock setback, and have been camped out in Switzerland's half for the past few minutes. The away side are very well organised though - they're Swiss, after all - and are not giving Germany any space to work in.
7' ANOTHER CORNER
Rodriguez takes it for the visitors, but this one comes to nothing.
5' GOAL! GAVRANOVIC OPENS THE SCORING!
From the ensuing corner following Neuer's save, the Swiss go in front. The initial delivery is half-cleared to the edge of the Germany area, but it's headed back towards goal straight away. Gavranovic is unmarked in the edge of the six-yard area, and he loops a header of Neuer and into the net!
5' HUGE CHANCE FOR SHAQIRI!
Gnabry loses the ball on Germany's left and Freuler immediately charges forward. His low ball into the box is straight to the unmarked Shaqiri, who turns and shoots on the edge of the six-yard box, but his effort is brilliantly saved by Neuer.
3' GORETZKA FIRES OVER
Germany have looked lively so far and are pressing Switzerland on the edge of their own penalty area. Bayern midfielder Goretzka has a glimpse of goal from distance, but it's off target.
1' HAVERTZ ALMOST THROUGH
Lovely skill from Gnabry on the left and his diagonal pass gives Havertz a chance to sprint forward. He beats a defender to the ball, but his attempted shot on his weaker right foot is cut out easily enough.
Germany get the action up and running in Cologne!
OUT ON THE PITCH
The players are lined up out on the turf, ready for the national anthems and coin toss. Just a few more moments and then we'll be underway.
HISTORY ON GERMANY'S SIDE
The teams' draw in September was one of just six times they have shared the spoils in 52 encounters.
Germany have won 36 of those, while the Swiss have triumphed just nine times, most recently in a 5-3 friendly success in May 2012.
Shaqiri started that match for Die Nati, while Draxler is the only member of the current Germany squad also to feature that day.
TEAM NEWS - SWITZERLAND
The Swiss seem set to line-up in a traditional 4-4-2, with Gladbach duo Yann Sommer and Nico Elvedi both in the starting XI, alongside Eintracht Frankfurt summer signing Steven Zuber on the right wing.
In Granit Xhaka (Gladbach), Ricardo Rodriguez (Wolfsburg), Fabian Schär (Hoffenheim), Xerdan Shaqiri (Bayern) and Haris Seferovic (Frankfurt), there are a number of former Bundesliga players in the side from the off.
100 UP FOR KROOS
Former Bayern and Leverkusen midfielder Toni Kroos makes a milestone appearance for Germany in this game, earning his 100th international cap - the 12th player to reach the landmark for Die Mannschaft. Joshua Kimmich, meanwhile, makes his 50th outing on the international stage.
TEAM NEWS - GERMANY
Having fielded a three-man defence in recent games, including against Ukraine at the weekend, Löw's looks to be reverting to a back four here.
Bayern centre-back Nikas Süle drops to the bench as Robin Gosens comes in at left-back, while Chelsea duo Kai Havertz and Timo Werner are given the nod from the off here, having featured off the bench on Saturday.
A WARM WELCOME!
Thank you for tuning in as we build-up to Germany's Nations League assignment at home to Switzerland, a match that gives Die Mannschaft the chance to open up a seven-point gap on their visitors in group A4. The teams drew 1-1 at the start of September though, so victory is far from a foregone conclusion for Löw's side here.