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Flick's Germany burst into life vs. Armenia

September 5, 2021

Three days later than expected, Germany delivered an outstanding performance against Armenia that moved them top of their World Cup qualifying group. There were several standout displays in Hansi Flick's first home game.

Serge Gnabry and Leon Goretzka celebrate a 6-0 win for Germany over Armenia
Serge Gnabry scored two as Germany roasted Armenia in StuttgartImage: KAI PFAFFENBACH/REUTERS

Germany 6-0 Armenia, Stuttgart
(Gnabry 6', 15', Reus 35', Werner 44', Hofmann 52', Adeyemi 90'+1)

What a difference an early goal makes.

Serge Gnabry's cross-goal scorcher of a strike after just six minutes set the tone for Germany in Stuttgart. With six changes to the starting eleven and facing an opposition that wasn't prepared to sit deep for the entire game, Hansi Flick's charges looked fantastic and fluid as they eased their way to a win that sees them move top of Group J.

So good was Germany's performance that any number of individuals could have been the focus. Gnabry for his composure, Marco Reus' movement, the driving force of Leon Goretzka in midfield or the elusive Leroy Sané. Most noticeable of all though, was how much fun Germany looked like they were having.

"The atmosphere was exceptional tonight," Goretzka told RTL afterwards, adding that the support of 18,000 strong in Stuttgart was "like a balm for the soul."

They were enjoying pressing hard, tracking back, and moving in and around Armenia's yellow shirts like they were training ground mannequins. When Florian Wirtz sprang off the bench to dance into the box just after the hour mark, Germany's players were lining up to get on the scoresheet.

Fast and furious

This was a sample of the slick, ruthless performance that Flick made the standard at Bayern Munich, and the goal just before the break was the most beautiful constructed goal on a night of many good goals.

After Reus had scored his first Germany goal in nearly two years, Germany's one-touch passing and movement peaked. Joshua Kimmich delivered one of his classic chipped passes into the box for Leon Goretzka to head down just ahead of Werner and the Chelsea striker gratefully tucked away from close range.

"We were better in front of goal tonight and we scored early which opened the game up for us. Today was a good win and we'll take the euphoria with us," Gnabry told RTL afterwards.

This was a night when everything went Germany's way, a night when bad corners ended in 30-yard goals for players who have never scored for Germany before (Jonas Hofmann), a night when Germany fans disregarded the quality of the opposition andthe performance three days before and just let euphoria take over.

Flick let Wirtz and Jamal Musiala do just that for the final 30 minutes, astutely giving Sané the standing ovation he deserved and perhaps also needed. Karim Adeyemi and David Raum came on to make their debuts, and even though Germany had already shifted down a gear Adeyemi found time to score on debut after he and Wirtz combined like they were playing video game football.

"We have enormous quality in the team and we saw that today but it's important we deliver when it counts and I'm pleased we did that today," Flick said afterwards.

Perhaps it was fitting that on a night when Germany and their fans honored former legendary Germany striker Gerd Müller, the goals flowed for Flick's side. More will be expected on Wednesday in Iceland. The difference now is that the world knows what Hansi Flick's Germany side is truly capable of.

Re-live Germany's big win against Armenia in our live blog:

As it happened:

Fulltime: Germany 6-0 Armenia

Hansi Flick's first home game as Germany coach is a crushing victory over Armenia. Germany scored early through Serge Gnabry and that set the tone, never looking back. The opposition were not the best, but Germany can only beat the team in front of them — and they've done that in style. 

GOAL! Germany 6-0 Armenia — Adeyemi (90+1')

A sixth for Germany and it's scored by the debutant Karim Adeyemi, who's come off the bench and finished a fine move with Florian Wirtz picking up an assist. A fine way to end a fine performance.

Triple trouble

Ilkay Gündogan, Florian Wirtz and Jamal Musiala are all coming on for Germany. Joshua Kimmich, Leroy Sane and Marco Reus are given a well-earned rest.

GOAL! Germany 5-0 Armenia — Hofmann (52')

Jonas Hofmann joins the party. Kimmich's corner is cleared only as far as Hofmann, who hammers in a low shot from just outside the box.

Germany celebrate a fourth goal for Germany against Armenia, scored by Timo Werner.
A good night's work for Germany, who have steamrolled Armenia.Image: Kai Pfaffenbach/REUTERS

Halftime: Germany 4-0 Armenia

Germany have been sharp, incisive and clinical in front of goal. They've played some great football at times, and one has to say that it's the best Germany have played for a long while, even if it is against lowly opposition. Germany will be hoping to rack up a big score here tonight.

GOAL! Germany 4-0 Armenia — Werner (44')

Werner makes it four and Germany are rampant. Kimmich's pass over the Armenia defense is delectable, Goretzka nods it across goal — and Werner scores his second goal in as many Germany games with a tap-in.

GOAL! Germany 3-0 Armenia — Reus (35')

Germany with a three-goal lead and this time it's Reus, who celebrates his first Germany start in almost two years with a goal. Reus is set up up Werner's neat flick, and Reus buries his shot first time. Germany cruising.


Leroy Sane has just rattled the frame of the goal with a thunderous shot off his weaker right foot. An explosive effort which would have been some strike. The goal looks like its still trembling, as are Armenia, who are getting thwacked here.

GOAL! Germany 2-0 Armenia — Gnabry (15')

Another for Germany, another for Gnabry, who is on a hat-trick after just 15 minutes. Marco Reus delivers a low ball from the left which evades Timo Werner, but it finds its way through to an unmarked Gnabry at the far post, and he slams it home. Germany could be onto a big score here. 

Serge Gnabry scores the opener for Germany against Armenia in Stuttgart.
Gnabry's opener after six minutes set the tone for Germany.Image: KAI PFAFFENBACH/REUTERS

GOAL! Germany 1-0 Armenia — Gnabry (6')

Well, that didn't take long. Germany have an early lead and it's the Bayern Munich connection that's created the opener. Leon Goretzka's cute pass round the corner is into the path of Gnabry who absolutely thumps it across the keeper and inside the far post. Very nicely done, and Germany lead!

Go go go!

We're underway in Stuttgart.

Flick wants more

Germany coach Hansi Flick has been speaking ahead of his first game as Germany coach on home soil. It's safe to say his high standards weren't met in his first game: "Tonight it’s about precision, passing and shooting, and about concentration."

Team news

The teams are in and captain Manuel Neuer is reinstated to the starting XI. Antonio Rüdiger, Leon Goretzka, Serge Gnabry, Marco Reus and Jonas Hofmann also come in, as Hansi Flick makes six changes from the side that limped past Liechtenstein in his first game. 

Stuttgart on standby

Cutting edge lacking

Both Timo Werner, who scored against Liechenstein, and Flick mentioned profligacy as an issue in their press conferences. The Chelsea forward was upbeat.

"Sometimes you win a game like that one against Liechtenstein 8-0 because the first few chances go in. On other occasions, however, you only win 2-0," he said. "The time will come again where we score two goals from a half chance."

The lack of a top class number 9 has been a problem for Germany for some time, and Flick believes it to be a matter of conviction. "We were lacking confidence in front of goal. We need to get that back," he said.

Team news

After missing the win on Thursday, Manuel Neuer is set to return in goal. But a foot injury will keep Robin Gosens out of this one, with Hoffenheim leftback David Raum perhaps set for a debut as a result. Kai Havertz is also a doubt, as he has flu. 

 That aside, Flick suggested there are unlikely to be too many changes in these games, saying in his press conference that "the starting eleven won't change much."

Hello and welcome

Coming so early in the domestic season, this first international break is not the more popular with fans, but this triple header is pretty important to new Germany coach Hansi Flick and a group of players who, for the most part, have only known Joachim Löw as their international boss.

A win against Liechenstein on Thursday preceeded this one in Stuttgart before a trip to face Icelandon Wednesday.