Serge Gnabry made the difference as Germany continued their perfect start to the FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifiers by beating Romania 1-0 on Sunday.
Germany made a strong start to the game, with Kai Havertz being denied by Florin Nita early on. On the opposite end, Romania sent a couple of efforts off target before the deadline was broken in the 16th minute by the visitors, as Havertz latched on to Antonio Rudiger’s long pass before squaring the ball for Serge Gnabry to tap into the net.
Joshua Kimmich then came close to scoring, only to smash the woodwork, as Germany continued to push for more goals. However, their advantage would remain just the one goal, as Nita pulled off a string of saves to deny the likes of Leon Goretzka, Gnabry, Ilkay Gundogan and Timo Werner. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Joachim Low’s men following their 1-0 win over Romania.
Manuel Neuer: 6/10
Another game in which Neuer was barely troubled as Germany remained solid for much of the game. Made just a couple of regulations stops while being typically precise with the ball at his feet.
Lukas Klostermann: 9/10
A brilliant performance by Klostermann, who was a constant outlet going down the right flank while making some important defensive contributions. Made as many as 8 recoveries, thanks to 5 interceptions and 3 tackles while also completing 3 clearances. A solid night’s work for a player who misplaced just 2 passes all game.
Matthias Ginter: 7/10
There were a few nervy moments for Ginter when Romania looked to take the game to Germany. For the most part, though, the Borussia Monchengladbach defender was solid enough, especially in the air where he won each of his duels while also covering up well for Klostermann, when needed.
Antonio Rudiger: 8/10
Rudiger had a role to play in the match-winner, as it was his long pass that found Kai Havertz perfectly before Serge Gnabry scored the goal. Not troubled a great deal defensively, although he made another important block – for a second successive game.
Emre Can: 7/10
Deployed as a left-back again, Can was a solid customer on the defensive front, although he was a little unsure of his positioning at times. Made an outlet of himself during transitions and even sent a shot just off target early on. Completed 90 percent of his attempted passes while winning 5 duels.
Leon Goretzka: 7/10
Solid work by Goretzka, who put in a lot of effort to press the Romania defenders into a mistake. Made 1 interception and 1 tackle while coming close with an effort. However, he was not as involved going forward as he can be, with Ilkay Gundogan getting into more dangerous areas.
Joshua Kimmich: 7/10
Not quite as influential as he was against Iceland as he lost the ball 15 times, but Kimmich still ensured that dominated the proceedings. Completed 90 percent of his passes while also rattling the crossbar shortly after Serge Gnabry scored. Won 4 duels while making 1 clearance.
Ilkay Gundogan: 8/10
An all-action display by Gundogan, who came close to scoring once while also setting up one chance. Off the ball, he was a solid customer, making 5 recoveries while winning 2 interceptions and as many tackles. A tad bit wasteful on the ball, though, losing possession 19 times.
Kai Havertz: 8/10
A game-changing display by Havertz, who made the all-important pass that was converted by Serge Gnabry for the match-winner. Played in another key pass while also being denied by the inspired Nita. Put in some solid work off the ball.
Serge Gnabry: 9/10
🅰️🅰️ vs. Iceland
⚽️ vs. Romania
Serge Gnabry has now been involved in three of Germany’s last four goals. pic.twitter.com/kU9rfCfamk
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 28, 2021
Top class by Gnabry, who made all the difference in the end. After being set up by Havertz, Gnabry made no error in finding the back of the net. Could have added to his tally and on another day, he could have celebrated a brace at the very least. At his creative best as well, setting up a couple of chances while boasting a passing rate of 91 percent (31/34 completed).
Leroy Sane: 7/10
Another solid performance by Sane, who constantly got into dangerous areas and played in three key passes. However, his output in front of goal was disappointing, as he missed one fine chance to find the back of the net. Typically put in the hard yards off the ball, winning 2 interceptions and 2 tackles.
Timo Werner: N/A
On for Havertz, Werner had one fine chance coming his way when he was released by Gnabry, but his effort was saved by Nita.
Florin Neuhaus: N/A
Sent on in place of Gnabry late on, Neuhaus helped see the game out.
Amin Younes: N/A
A late introduction, Younes hardly had any time to make an impact.