Bayern Munich duo Serge Gnabry and Niklas Süle both scored as Germany warmed up for Monday's crunch UEFA Nations League clash with the Netherlands in style, easing to 3-0 a friendly win over Russia in Leipzig on Thursday.
Germany 3-0 Russia
Goals: 1-0 Sane (8'), 2-0 Süle (25'), 3-0 Gnabry (40')
Germany started with the same pacy front three who caused France a few headaches in Paris last month – Timo Werner, Gnabry and Leroy Sane – and it took just eight minutes for them to combine for the opener, as Gnabry teed up Sane for his first international goal. The former Schalke winger had a good chance to add a second from Kai Havertz's teasing cross shortly afterwards, but his header was straight at visiting keeper Andrey Lunev. Joachim Löw's side did double their advantage midway through the half, though, with Süle sweeping in from a corner to also open his Germany account. The 2014 world champions were practically out of sight when Gnabry added a well-taken third from Havertz's through ball five minutes before half-time.
The hosts were guilty of taking their foot of the gas at the start of the second half, and Aleksey Ionov really should have done better after carving himself out some space in the penalty area – the Rostov winger dragging a shot wide with only Manuel Neuer to beat. Chances were at a premium for much of the rest of the game, with the usual raft of substitutions upsetting the flow of the action. Löw will at least have been happy to see his side keep their first clean sheet in four games. Germany will now be hoping that France can do them a favour against the Dutch on Friday and leave them in control of their own destiny in Nations League Group A1.
- Süle scored his first goal for Germany on his 15th international appearance.
- Sane also opened his account for Die Mannschaft, although it took him one more game than Süle – he won his 16th cap against Russia.
- Gnabry, who netted a hat-trick against San Marino on his Germany debut in November 2016, has now scored four goals in four matches for the national side.
- Thomas Müller came on for Bayern teammate Gnabry to make his 99th international appearance. The 29-year-old is poised to become the 11th German player in history to reach a milestone 100 caps.
- Löw took charge of his 170th match as Germany coach.
- Provided France beat the Netherlands in Rotterdam on Friday, Germany can avoid relegation from Nations League A with victory over the Dutch in Gelsenkirchen on Monday.
Germany: Neuer (c) - Ginter, Süle, Rüdiger (Tah 61') - Kehrer, Kimmich, Havertz (Rudy 65'), Hector (Schulz 70') – Werner (Brandt 65'), Gnabry (Müller 73'), Sane (Goretzka 78')
Unused subs: Leno, Trapp, Hummels, Reus
Absentees: Draxler (compassionate leave), Kroos (rested), ter Stegen (shoulder), Uth (thigh)
Coach: Joachim Löw
Russia: Lunev – Nababkin (Semenov 78'), Neustädter, Dzhikiya, Rausch (Kudryashov 73') – Gazinski (c), Kuzyaev (Kambolov 71') – Ionov (Poloz 75'), Al. Miranchuk (An. Miranchuk 61'), Erokhin – Ari (Zabolotnyi 55')
Unused subs: Guilherme, Shunin, Igntiev, Chalov, Sorokin, Mogilevets
Absentees: Fernandes (concussion), Golovin (ankle), Cheryshev (muscle)
Coach: Stanislav Cherchesov