Germany in seventh heaven ahead of Euro 2020 | Sports | German football and major international sports news | DW | 07.06.2021

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Germany in seventh heaven ahead of Euro 2020

In their last test ahead of Euro 2020, Germany sealed a confidence-boosting win against Latvia. Kai Havertz impressed, as did Joshua Kimmich despite the Bayern Munich man not starting in midfield.

Gündogan celebrates his fine goal for Germany against Latvia

Gündogan celebrates his fine goal for Germany, their second of the night.

Germany 7-1 Latvia, Düsseldorf
(Gosens 20', Gündogan 22', Müller 28', Ozols og 39', Gnabry 45', Werner 50', Sane 76' — Saveljevs 75')

The joy is back for Germany. Granted, this comprehensive win was expected against the nation ranked 138 in the world but it has been a long time since Joachim Löw's side had this much fun on the field.

"The result was not the most important thing but the way we played football was. But when I think back it was a long time since we got a big win so it feels good," Thomas Müller told RTL afterwards.

Kai Havertz was superb, delivering on the instinct his game is built off, Thomas Müller got back on the scoresheet and Robin Gosens finally arrived in a Germany shirt. The news shortly before kick off that a member of the Latvia camp had tested positive for COVID-19 didn't stop the game going ahead as Germany's performance was the shot in the arm this team needed.

Games designed for the superior side to flex their muscles are rarely telling, but for this Germany team at this moment in time the friendly against Latvia really was. For a side desperately in need of a confidence boost, this couldn't have come at a better time. The 1,000 fans watching on in Düsseldorf were treated to a Germany side in full flow.

With Löw opting for Joshua Kimmich at right back, perhaps a sign of things to come for Germany's opener against France, Germany looked more expansive out wide. And aided by a clearly weaker opponent, Germany took advantage.

Havertz's movement allowed Gosens to score first and two minutes later Germany had two goals when Ilkay Gündogan smashed in a gorgeous strike. Two quick goals set Germany in motion and for the first time in a long time they kept going. Gosens cut one back for Thomas Müller to score in Germany colors again, Havertz got on the scoresheet and then Mats Hummels showed off his passing to set up Serge Gnabry.

The right time to find form

This was not a day for Manuel Neuer, who celebrated becoming the first German goalkeeper to make 100 appearances but was denied a clean sheet by wonder strike. This was a day for Germany to show their quality and feel good ahead of the tournament. Chance conversion issues were dispelled and the back three, thanks to lots of space and players full of intent, was not a problem.

Germany face France in Munich in just over a week, and Löw has called for more tempo and intensity than was on show in Düsseldorf. Up until then most of the talk will be about who will join Müller and Gnabry in attack and whether Kimmich will play in midfield or at right back. All the while, Germany quietly keep their momentum building.

Just last night, Germany's U21s were crowned European champions. The man in charge of all of Germany's football teams Joti Chatzialexiou said "no one put a cent on that team winning." And yet Stefan Kuntz's side did just that, with a victory of unity rather than because they have the best youngsters in Europe.

Löw's side do not have to worry about a lack of quality and much has been made of how united this team is. Maybe, right on cue, Germany have played themselves into contention. Or maybe it's just a big win against an inferior opponent. The answer will come in just over a week's time.

Relive Germany vs. Latvia on page 2:

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