Germany went top of Group J in their qualification campaign for the 2022 World Cup by hammering Armenia 6-0 in Stuttgart. Hansi Flick’s side have therefore increased their lead over third-place North Macedonia to four points.
Germany’s goals were scored by Serge Gnabry (6’, 15’), Marco Reus (35’), Timo Werner (44’), Jonas Hofmann (52’) and Karim Adeyemi (90’). Their final game of this international break will come on Wednesday evening away to Iceland in Reykjavik (20:45 CEST).
National coach Hansi Flick made six changes to the team that beat Liechtenstein 2-0 last time out. Before the game, Manuel Neuer, who returned in goal as captain, was honoured with a commemorative cap along with Thomas Müller for reaching 100 caps. The back four consisted of Jonas Hofmann, Niklas Süle, Antonio Rüdiger and Thilo Kehrer. Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka played in central midfield, with Serge Gnabry, Marco Reus and Man of the Match against Liechtenstein, Leroy Sané, ahead of them. Timo Werner, who scored in that game, got another start up front.
Germany began really strongly in Stuttgart, having their first chance after just five minutes. Thilo Kehrer narrowly headed over from a Kimmich corner (5’). Moments later, the deadlock was broken. A delightful Goretzka chip into the box over the defence found Gnabry, and he fired home past David Yurchenko (6’). Germany’s number eight then just cleared the bar with a long-range effort (8’).
The Armenia goalkeeper made his first stop of the night after 11 minutes, tipping a dangerous Sané shot wide. However, he was beaten for a second time from Germany’s next attack. Reus’ ball across the box was missed by Werner but found Gnabry at the back post and he converted to make it 2-0 (15’). The impressive Sané then fired a powerful shot onto the crossbar on his weaker right foot (22’).
Armenia looked to play on the break, rarely getting into promising positions in Germany’s half. The only chance for them in the first half was for Hoffenheim’s Sargis Adamyan (32’). At the other end, the hosts continued to perform well. A Gnabry cross was diverted to Marco Reus by Werner and the Dortmund man struck it home for his 15th international goal (35’).
Just before the break, Flick’s boys scored once more. Kimmich found Bayern teammate Goretzka with an attractive cross and he headed it across the box to Werner, who made it two goals in two games for this international break (44’).
The second half featured plenty of attacking fireworks from the hosts as well. Gnabry attempted a bicycle kick that sailed just over the bar, with Hofmann later also getting in on the action. Following a corner from Kimmich, the ball fell to Hofmann’s feet as his one-time shot sailed into the bottom right corner (52’). It was the right-back’s first ever international goal.
Despite their commanding lead, Germany continued to put their opponents under pressure. Werner squared a pass across the mouth of the goal, with Gnabry nearly getting on the end of it (53’). Just minutes after being subbed on, Florian Wirtz also came close to getting involved in a goal. He beat three Armenian defenders, as his subsequent pass sailed past Gnabry, Werner and Ilkay Gündogan before finding Hofmann. The latter's shot was scraped off the line by centre-back Taron Voskanyan, after Yurchenko had already been beaten (62’).
Minutes after being subbed on alongside Wirtz and Gündogan, Jamal Musiala also recorded his first chance on goal (63’). However, the 18-year-old’s close range effort was saved by Yurchenko. Flick’s final two subs saw two players make their Die Mannschaft debuts: 19-year-old Karim Adeyemi was subbed on with 20 minutes left to play, while 23-year-old David Raum was subbed on in the 82nd minute for Kehrer.
Werner nearly bagged his second of the night after rounding Yurchenko to bury it in the back of the net, but it was disallowed due to an offside call against the striker (82’). Instead, it was Adeyemi who would go on to add a sixth for Germany, combining with Wirtz to slot home on his debut (90’+1).