Germany rounded off a successful World Cup qualifier in 2022 by facilitating a 4-1 victory over Armenia in Yerevan on Sunday night.
Hansi Flick’s team was the first nation to qualify for next year’s showpiece in Qatar already in October – and secured the top spot in Group J – so the press has been off in the national team break in November.
After hitting the post from close range five minutes in, Chelsea’s Kai Havertz opened the scoring with a push after a quarter. Ilkay Gundogan scored two on the half after VAR reviewed a clumsy challenge on Florian Neuhaus in the hosts’ penalty area.
Although Armenia threatened at halftime, all hopes of a riot were extinguished early in the second period when home goalkeeper Stanislav Buchnev inexplicably allowed Gundogan’s weak shot through his hands and into the net.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan got a consolation with his own penalty on the hour after a foul by Neuhaus, but he was the villain five minutes later and gave the ball to Jonas Hofmann when Germany pressed before the Mönchengladbach man showed good calm to finish.
The guests dominated the ball possession for the rest of the match, but could not expand their position.
This is how Germany’s players rated …
Kehrer in action / KAREN MINASYAN / GettyImages
Marc-André ter Stegen (GK) – 6/10 – Waited 21 minutes for his first touch. Abused from the scene.
Thilo Kehrer (CB) – 7/10 – Looked quite comfortable in a back three, although he must be aware of the threat from Khoren Bayramyan.
Mathias Ginter (CB) – 7/10 – Really comfortable on the ball and helped Germany play out from the back.
Jonathan Tah (CB) – 8/10 – Very solid, vigilant and careful with Armenia’s threat during the break.
Gundogan was dominant / KAREN MINASYAN / GettyImages
Jonas Hofmann (RWB) – 8/10 – Excellent delivery to help Havertz’s opener. Be able to move forward at will and pose a threat, get your reward with your own well-occupied goal.
Florian Neuhaus (CM) – 7/10 – Nice and tidy in the middle. Slammed to eventually win the penalty after a VAR check. Slightly clumsy to then let in a point kick after the break. Booked and subbed.
Ilkay Gundogan (CM) – 8/10 – Intelligent forwarding caused Armenia all sorts of problems. Cool as you like from the spot for 2-0.
David Raum (LWB) – 7/10 – Looked pretty good as a back. Like Hofmann, did well.
Havertz came on the results list / Alexander Hassenstein / GettyImages
Kai Havertz (RF) – 8/10 – Hit the post in the initial exchanges, should have scored. Opened the shooter with a skilled finish after a quarter. Willing runner and a threat all the time, but could not add to his bill.
Thomas Muller (CF) – 7/10 – Involved in the build-up to one and got an easy assist for Gundogan without ever being involved that much. Subbed.
Leroy Sané (LF) – 7/10 – Started bright. Forced a good save in the first half before it sounded off something. Subbed.
Lukas Nmecha (CF) – 6/10 – Another suggestion above, but could not get anything to happen.
Maximilian Arnold (CM) – 6/10 – Booked, but neat and tidy in possession.
Julian Brandt (AM) – 7/10 – Buzzed around and tried to make something happen.
Kevin Volland (LF) – 6/10 – Tried to mix in and could very well have scored from close range.
Ridle Baku (RWB) – N / A