The Germany national team wrapped up the season with a thrilling goal fest against Estonia in Mainz. With Marcus Sorg in the dugout once again, Die Mannschaft shipped eight past the visitors in the third Euro 2020 qualifier, and final game of the 2018/19 season. Marco Reus bagged his third brace for the national team (10', 37'), while Serge Gnabry added a sixth and seventh international goals in seven games (17', 62'). Leon Goretzka (20'), Ilkay Gündogan (26'), substitute Timo Werner (79') and Leroy Sané (88') completed the rout for the goal-hungry Germany team.
Despite three wins from three, Die Mannschaft remain second in Group C behind Northern Ireland, who have also claimed maximum points, but played one game more. The last time Germany won by such a margin was over two years ago when they beat San Marino 8-0 in a World Cup qualifier.
Marcus Sorg made two changes to the team that beat Belarus 2-0 last week, with Jonathan Tah and Lukas Klostermann making way for Thilo Kehrer at right back and Leon Goretzka in central midfield in the starting XI. Niklas Süle and Matthias Ginter continued their central-defensive partnership with Nico Schulz completing the back four at left back. Joshua Kimmich and Ilkay Gündogan paired up in holding midfield, behind Goretzka and an attacking trio of Serge Gnabry, Marco Reus and Leroy Sané. Manuel Neuer captained the side in his 88th match for the national team.
The gulf in class was evident from the opening minute at the Opel Arena in Mainz, as the world’s 96th ranked side struggled in the face of Germany’s relentless attack. Sorg’s side notched a 4-0 lead inside just 26 minutes – their highest lead in such a short space of time since the 7-1 semi-final win against Brazil at the 2014 World Cup.
In particular, it was Kimmich and Gündogan’s chipped balls over the top that caused Estonia real problems. Gnabry had missed a chance to backheel Germany into the lead after just five minutes following such a ball from Kimmich, but Dortmund’s Reus would make up for it after ten minutes when he tapped in from a Kehrer cross.
Estonia pulled their players deep into their own penalty area, but simply couldn’t get near the ball or their opponents. This time it was Goretzka who failed to make Reus and Goretzka’s build-up count, before Gnabry made up for his earlier miss by netting from close range following a perfect lay-off from Sané. Once again, Gündogan was instrumental in the build-up with a looping ball over the back line.
Kimmich added his 13th Germany assist just three minutes later when his chipped cross was nodded in by club colleague Goretzka. Gündogan added a fourth from the spot after Goretzka was pulled down from the box.
With half time approaching, there was no sign of the German goal machine slowing down. Reus’ effort from the edge was tipped onto the bar by the goalkeeper, before Gnabry fired another chance just over. Then, when a set piece presented itself from around 25 yards out, Reus curled beautifully round the wall and into the far corner to give Die Mannschaft a 5-0 lead at the break. It was the first direct free-kick goal since Torsten Frings versus Switzerland in 2007.
Gnabry adds a second, Sané rewarded in the end
Marcel Halstenberg (for Schulz) and Julian Draxler (for Gündogan) were introduced after the break and both made quick impacts. An inch-perfect cross from Halstenberg met by Sané was only narrowly blocked to deny a sixth, before the full back delivered another perfect cross to tee up Gnabry for his seventh goal in seven international matches.
Sané thought he had added Germany’s seventh of the night, but was denied by the linesman’s flag (67’), before Werner claimed that honour for himself off the bench. Another Sané strike was ruled out with eight minutes left to play, but finally bagged his first and Germany’s eighth of the night in the closing stages of the match.