Considering Liechtenstein travelled to Germany as 200/1 outsiders, they could ill-afford to play with anything other than eleven men but clearly Jens Hofer didn’t get the memo. His incredibly high boot in the area nearly took the head off Leon Goretzka and resulted in a red card and Germany penalty, which İlkay Gündoğan duly dispatched. As you would expect, Germany were rampant, but Liechtenstein were certainly giving them a helping hand and this time it was in the form of an own goal as Daniel Kaufmann turned in Christian Günter’s cross. Two soon became three when Goretzka’s inch-perfect pass was turned home by Leroy Sané. ‘Die Mannschaft’ were in no mood to mess around, and Marco Reus added a fourth before the game was even 23 minutes old.
Luckily for Liechtenstein, Germany heeded their plea for mercy and stemmed their goalscoring exploits after the fourth, but with 73% possession, their dominance was still clear to see. There was little German mercy shown after the break though, as Sané tapped home Reus’ cross to double his tally for the evening. Cruising home to victory, Hansi Flick introduced Lukas Nmecha for his Germany debut and only the woodwork denied him a maiden goal for the four times world champions. You got the sense Germany could score every time they came forward, but at 5-0, the game was more than done and they began to toy with the visitors.
Qualification was already assured for Germany, but by no means did they take their foot off the gas, and paid Liechtenstein the utmost of respect, but the gulf in class was there for all to see. Thomas Müller added Germany’s sixth 15 minutes from time, tapping home from all of a yard – one of the less spectacular goals of his glittering career. Ridle Baku got in on the act with the pick of the bunch, curling a delicious effort in off the upright and there was time for Flick’s side to net an eighth and ninth. Despite losing by nine, strangely, Liechtenstein will be grateful not to have faced their heaviest ever international defeat.
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