Joshua Kimmich stood out as Germany eased to a 3-0 win over Iceland in their opening FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifier in Duisburg on Thursday.
Germany were hot off the gates as they grabbed the lead less than two minutes in, with the goal being created entirely by Bayern Munich players. Joshua Kimmich bypassed the Iceland defence to find Serge Gnabry, who then tipped the ball towards Leon Goretzka for a first-time shot into the net.
Shortly after, a similar ball from Kimmich found Leroy Sane, who squared it towards Kai Havertz to make it 2-0. The hosts continued to push for more goals while Iceland barely had a sight of Manuel Neuer’s goal, but half-time came with Germany still two ahead. Die Mannschaft, though, would go on to round off the win ten minutes into the second half.
This time, Gnabry grabbed another assist, as the in-form Ilkay Gundogan scored from outside the Iceland box. Gnabry then came within inches of scoring one himself, only to smash the woodwork. The commanding display, though, was the perfect start to the FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifiers for Germany, and The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Joachim Low’s men.
Manuel Neuer: 6/10
Easy as you like for Neuer, who had just two regulation saves to make all game. Had more work to do with his feet than with his gloves and misplaced just 4 of the 63 passes he attempted in his trademark fashion.
Lukas Klostermann: 7/10
A professional display by Klostermann, who did well to win the ball higher up the pitch, making 3 tackles and 2 interceptions in addition to winning 4 duels. Did not get many opportunities to whip the ball into the box, though.
Matthias Ginter: 7/10
A game in which Ginter did not have much to do, with the Borussia Monchengladbach defender making just 1 recovery. Saw the ball at his feet more often than being behind it and he recycled the possession smartly, completing 95 percent of his attempted passes (132/138).
Antonio Rudiger: 8/10
Germany did not have much defending to do against Iceland, with Rudiger producing the only noteworthy moment at the back, making a goal-saving block. Won 4 duels as well, while also having a chance to find the back of the net with a glancing header from a Joshua Kimmich free-kick, only to head it just wide. Solid enough, though.
Emre Can: 7/10
A solid display at the back by Can, who played as a left-back in the forced absence of Marcel Halstenberg. Saw a lot of the ball, which meant he progressed it forward superbly by completing 94 percent of his attempted passes (118/126) while also creating 3 chances. Won 6 duels while also completing 3 tackles.
Leon Goretzka: 8/10
Another superb performance alongside Kimmich for Goretzka, who produced a top class finish to open the scoring for Germany. Pulled the strings well from midfield while Kimmich’s presence in the middle meant he could charge forward and look for scoring opportunities, managing 5 shots on goal in all.
Joshua Kimmich: 9/10
Man of the match:
96% pass accuracy
4 key passes
5/6 long balls
2 dribbles completed
2 shots (1 on target)
— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) March 25, 2021
The man who ran the show for Germany. The young midfielder is just at the top of his game right now and that meant he carved open the Iceland defence from deep with some brilliant passes, two of which led to the opening two goals.
Despite the risky nature of his passes, he completed 92 percent of them (150/163) while playing a game-high 5 key passes in addition to making a staggering 8 recoveries. There is just nothing that Kimmich cannot do, really. Simply sensational.
Ilkay Gundogan: 8/10
There is just no stopping Gundogan from scoring these day, is it? The Manchester City midfielder was a colossus in the middle of the park, completing 141 of the 147 passes he attempted while playing as many as 4 key passes. Solid as ever off the ball as well, making 6 recoveries, but the standout moment was the silky footwork that preceded the finish for his goal. Just sumptuous.
Ilkay Gundogan has now scored 13 goals for club and country in 2021.
We're still only in March. 😅 pic.twitter.com/ZhjLt4IN5D
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 25, 2021
Kai Havertz: 8/10
Showing some improved form at club level, this was Havertz’s opportunity to continue his upward trajectory, and that is exactly what he did. The Chelsea forward got into good scoring positions, with the finish for his goal being quite delightful. There were some wasteful touches, but he made it up with some solid defensive work.
Serge Gnabry: 8/10
The German attack was on song against Iceland and Gnabry was no different. The Bayern Munich star was on the money right from the word-go, tapping the ball towards Goretzka for the opener while constantly being a thorn on Iceland’s side. Grabbed another assist when he found Gundogan before his strike but was unfortunate to hit the woodwork with an effort later in the game.
Leroy Sane: 8/10
A top class performance by Sane, who was a constant runner in the final third and often became the focal point of the attack for Germany. While he did not muster up a shot at goal, he did create a couple of chances while also grabbing the assist for Havertz’s goal. Put in the hard yards off the ball as well, making 4 recoveries.
Florian Neuhaus: 6/10
Not much to do for Neuhaus after replacing Goretzka, with the game already won.
Jamal Musiala: N/A
On for Havertz, Musiala made his debut for Germany and helped see the game out.
Timo Werner: N/A
On for Sane, Werner did not have many opportunities to make an impression, with Germany taking their foot off the pedal late on.
Amin Younes: N/A
A late introduction, Younes helped see the game out.