Timo Werner and Leroy Sane were on target as Germany kicked off the Hansi Flick era with a 2-0 win over minnows Liechtenstein on Thursday.
As expected, Germany controlled possession for long parts of the game but were not able to make the most of it, with chances not exactly free-flowing in the early parts. However, four minutes from half-time, Timo Werner broke the deadlock, diverting a Jamal Musiala pass into the back of the net.
The situation was pretty much the same in the second half as well, with Germany enjoying large phases on the ball without really threatening Liechtenstein’s goal on the night until the 77th minute when Leroy Sane added another goal to make it 2-0 for Die Mannschaft, with the assist coming from his Bayern Munich teammate Leon Goretzka.
It was not the best of performances from the European giants but Hansi Flick will be happy with kicking off his stint as the Bundestrainer with a victory, which takes Germany to within one point of Group J leaders Armenia. Here are our player rating for the German stars from the night.
Bernd Leno: 6/10
Starting in place of the injured Manuel Neuer, the Arsenal goalkeeper will have seen fewer easier clean sheets in his career. Liechtenstein did not force him into a single save all night, while he completed each of his 13 passes.
— Germany (@DFB_Team_EN) September 2, 2021
Ridle Baku: 6.5/10
The 23-year-old right-back was a constant outlet down the right flank with his forward forays but the end product was not always up to the mark. Did play a couple of key passes and showed good energy throughout.
Thilo Kehrer: 7/10
Getting the nod ahead of Antonio Rudiger, the PSG defender put in a confident display against Liechtenstein. Not overtly troubled in defence, the German provided great quality on the ball, helping build play from the back. Completed 98% of his passes, played two key passes as well.
Niklas Sule: 7/10
Much like his defensive partner, Sule, too, enjoyed a comfortable outing in terms of defending. Saw a lot of the ball and made good use of it to ensure that his team stayed on the front foot.
Robin Gosens: 8/10
Lively and purposeful down the left flank, the German left-back posed a threat each time he ran up the field. Put in a few dangerous balls, and was not afraid to have a go at goal by himself, even striking the woodwork on one occasion. Finished with a total of six shots taken and two key passes, while also completing three tackles.
Ilkay Gundogan: 6.5/10
The Manchester City midfielder did his bit to ensure Germany stayed on top throughout. Kept things ticking over in the middle, made some driving runs forward and even created a couple of opportunities that did not lead to much.
Joshua Kimmich: 7/10
Captaining the team in the absence of Neuer, Kimmich was oozing quality as usual in the middle of the park. Sprayed the ball forward with precision and cutting edge, which allowed Germany to keep Liechtenstein under the pump. Completed 87% of his passes, created three key passes as well – the second highest of the night.
Jamal Musiala: 7/10
— 🇺🇸 FC Bayern US 🇨🇦 (@FCBayernUS) September 2, 2021
The youngster was one of the biggest beneficiaries of Hansi Flick’s time at Bayern Munich and he was trusted by the manager at the international level too. On Thursday, Musiala wasn’t entirely at his best but showed what he is capable of in the moment leading to the first goal, displaying some fine footwork before setting Werner up. Flitted in and out of the game, though.
Kai Havertz: 6.5/10
Helped Germany stay on top of things with some neat passes in the final third, also played three key passes. Was not able to make a major impact on the proceedings, however.
Leroy Sane: 8/10
Buzzing. Has not had the best of times at Bayern Munich but showed what he can do when he gets going. Always looking to beat his man and open up the defence, Sane completed five dribbles and made a game-high four key passes. Topped it off with the goal to put the game to bed in the second half.
Leroy Sane has scored his first ever goal for Germany in a World Cup qualifier.
The winger finally opens his account.😅 pic.twitter.com/cQORig6Agi
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 2, 2021
Timo Werner: 7/10
The Player to Watch in our match preview, Werner was not involved a great deal on the night, but showed good pace and instincts to make the run and get on the end of Musiala’s pass to open the scoring. Will be a major boost for his confidence.
Serge Gnabry: 6/10
Came on at the hour mark. Lively cameo but little came off.
Jonas Hofmann: 6/10
Sent on for the final thirty minutes. Helped keep the ball moving well without really standing out.
Marco Reus: 6/10
The Borussia Dortmund captain spent half an hour on the pitch during which he had a shot blocked.
Leon Goretzka: 6.5/10
On for Gundogan in the 73rd minute. Set up the second goal for Sane.
Florian Wirtz: N/A
Replaced Kimmich with less than ten minutes left.