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Germany 8-0 Estonia
(Reus 10′, 37′, Gnabry 17′, 62′ Goretzka 20′, Gündogan 25′ pen., Werner 79′, Sané 88′)

Ilkay Gündogan delivered a superb performance to help Germany end the international season on a high. He was instrumental in giving Germany a 5-0 halftime lead, deftly setting up goals and converting a penalty of his own.

Estonia struggled all night to keep up with the pace of Germany’s attack but paid the price for giving Germany too much space. Marco Reus took full advantage in the first half, topping off his superb 65 minute appearance with a stunning 30-yard free kick.

Leroy Sané scored a goal that was incorrectly ruled out for offside, only to then to grab a goal from perhaps an offside position in a game that Germany might have won by double figures if they had taken more chances in the 15 minutes after the restart.

“I’m relieved that the game turned out this way. There was a bit of pressure there,” Marcus Sorg, Germany’s coach on the sideline in the absence of the injury Joachim Löw, said afterwards. “We are at the start of a development… The team, who is still in upheaval, is full of intent. Something is growing here. That much was clear today,” Sorg added.

The crowd in Mainz were left delighted by the huge score and the superb display of flowing football that Germany put on. Joshua Kimmich and Gündogan conducted from midfield, Gnabry and Reus feasted in attack and there was time for Timo Werner to feed off the scraps.

This ends a season of recovery for a Germany team desperate to return to former heights. This new team is slowly putting the pieces together again and although reading too much into a thrasing of an inferior opponent would be foolish, this was the perfect way to finish the season.

Germany return to action on September 6 when they face the Netherlands in Hamburg.

Fußball: Länderspiel 2019 - EM Quali - Deutschland vs. Estland (picture-alliance/dpa/M. Becker)

Marco Reus scored the opener on a night when he was in superb form

As it happened:

FULL TIME

Germany finish this.one as comfortably as they started it. Marco Reus was superb, Ilkay Gündogan magnificent and Germany swept their way to an enormous victory to end this season’s international football. The only complaint would be that Kai Havertz and Julian Brandt, amongst others, didn’t get any game time. That would be picky though, given the score. A superb outing, and likely a supremely entertaining evening for any Germany fans in Mainz or watching on from afar.  

88′ GOAL! 8-0 Germany (Sané) Draxler picks the lock again, but this time Sané takes advantage. A sweet, curling finish into the far corner. Lovely. The Man City man looks happy to be on the scoresheet, given his goal earlier was ruled out for offside (when it wasn’t). Funny, this one might have been.

86′ Germany keep creating half chances, even as the game comes to the end, but don’t take them. Draxler has made a difference.

79′ GOAL! 7-0 Germany (Werner) Lepmets makes a superb save to deny Werner, but moments later Draxler slips through Werner on the left-hand side of the box and the combination of Werner’s pace and deft finish is enough even to beat Lepmets. Seven. 

77′ Germany’s chance-conversion has dropped a bit this half. Gnabry turns a defender inside out but then flashes an effort past the far post. Nearly the hat trick…

74′ I know it’s 6-0 but Lepmets really has been Estonia’s best player. Sané gets space and curls one through defenders but Lepmets pushes it away. Another good save.

70′ CHANCE! Werner nearly converts a low cross. By the way, the USA women’s team are also currently 6-0 up (against Thailand at the 2019 World Cup in France). I wonder who will finish with the higher score? The race is on!

68′ Leroy Sané scores a superb goal, taking a ball down on the angle and then converting across goal into the far corner. But it won’t stand because of a very late, and it turns out incorrect, offside flag.

67′ Marco Reus won’t get his hat trick tonight. He makes way for Timo Werner. Sensible, all things considered. Germany have taken the first set. Have Estonia got an answer?

62′ GOAL! 6-0 Germany (Gnabry) Draxler to Halstenberg works again and the RB Leipzig wingback plays a perfect ball across the box for Gnabry to tap in. The Bayern man is close in terms of offside, but there’s no VAR today so he gets away with it. Similar to his first, but a much smoother finish.

57′ CHANCE! Draxler makes an instant impact, adding pace to the game. He slips a ball wide to Halstenberg, who crosses for Sané. It’s just behind him. From the corner, Reus smashes a first-time volley but Lepmets punches clear. To be fair to the Estonia keeper, he has done all he could have done tonight to keep the score down.

53′ Niklas Süle shows off his footwork in Estonia’s box. It has been that kind of night. Gündogan departs for Julian Draxler. A magical performance from the Man City man. Truly the best of the midfielder’s skill set was on show tonight.

48′ The first chance of the second half falls to Zenjov! A mistake by Goretzka lets the Estonia striker in. He bursts through but curls it just wide. Decent effort. Nice stat for you below. Five years later, and Germany have scored five in the first half of a game again.

46′ The second half has started. Marcel Halstenberg is on for Nico Schulz.

HALFTIME

Germany are comfortable thanks to a lightning start. Marco Reus has impressed, and scored the pick of the goals with a stunning 30 yard free kick. Cruise control for the home team, who will likely make quite a few changes. A fun way to end this season.

44′ CHANCE! Well, what’s this? Estonia have a free kick. They drill it low and towards the goal, but Neuer absorbs the ball as if it were oxygen. Easy.

42′ Mexican waves roll around the stadium in Mainz. They’ve certainly been entertained, perhaps too much. The reason behind that stadium reaction remains unclear. I think Germany have had the ball in Estonia’s half for 99 percent of the half. There were two moments when Estonia roamed forward, but it cannot have been for more than 40 seconds in total.

37′ GOAL! 5-0 Germany (Reus) … And Reus curls an absolute peach into the top corner. Unstoppable. What a strike. Reus has two, Germany have five and well, perhaps it’s time to ask, will Estonia have the chance to make unlimited subs in this one? They might need to.

35′ Germany’s players must already be thinking of the holidays that will follow this one. The 2018/19 season is over for many after this game. The win here is sure. Now it’s just a question of how much fun this group wants to have. After a small breather, they get a free kick, 30 yards out fairly central…

30′ CHANCE! Reus unleashes a beauty from range, but Lepmets tips it onto the bar and over. Germany are in top gear now. Estonia are rolling down the hill with no brakes.

28′ Sané bursts into the box on the right and Lepmets makes a strong save to make sure the Estonian crumble at least holds for a moment. Blimey. How many more goals are going to go in here?

Germany v Estonia - UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifier (Getty Images/A. Hassenstein)

25′ GOAL! 4-0 Germany (Gündogan pen.) Gündogan thwacks it home, sending the keeper the wrong way.

25′ PENALTY TO GERMANY! A ball into the box, Goretzka gets brought to ground by an errant arm. Ilkay Gündogan steps up.

25′ Well, four minutes have passed and Germany haven’t scored. Frankly, I’m surprised. Estonia are hardly putting any pressure on Germany in part of the pitch.

21′ GOAL! 3-0 Germany (Goretzka) Estonia are crumbling here. Kimmich chips it into the box like he’s lifting a golf ball out of a deep bunker. Goretzka rises and glances a header into the far corner. I hear the cricket World Cup is on at the moment. Perhaps Estonia have been watching too much of that. This scoreline is in danger of following suit.

17′ GOAL! 2-0 Germany (Gnabry) Gündogan with another delicious ball over the top puts Sané in behind the defense. He gets to the byline and then pulls it back for Gnabry, who bundles it in without really knowing much about it. Easy.

17′ Germany are toying with Estonia. They’ve had 86 percent of the ball so far. That is a lot. Expecting another goal soon…

13′ CHANCE! Another lovely move that only Lepmets prevents from ending in a goal. The ball is dinked into the box, headed back into Goretzka’s path and his first time touch looks perfect for the bottom corner, but Lepmets does enough to stop it from creeping in. Germany look very good. Estonia, on the other hand…

10′ GOAL! 1-0 Germany (Reus) Sometimes football can be so simple. Gündogan with a delightful ball out wide to the right that is perfect. Kehrer takes the cross first time and Reus snaffles up the chance in the box. Three touches result in a goal. Very crisp and just the way Germany like it.

6′ Gnabry tries something acrobatic but it drifts wide of the post. The pre-game banner by the way read: “Fighters today, winners tomorrow. Pain is temporary, pride lasts forever.” Nice sentiment. I wonder whether this Germany team can truly embody that. It has been a while since a Germany team has.

3′ Germany start brightly, with Gnabry looking lively. It falls to Kimmich on the edge of the box and he whips it goalwards but it’s easy for Lepmets. Expecting a big win tonight for Germany. I’d go for 4-0.

1′ Germany get us started!

— Good crowd in Mainz. The teams are out. Time for the anthems. Estonia’s is short. Germany’s is delivered with strong trumpets. Everyone in the team sang, if that’s important to you.

Germany v Estonia - UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifier (Getty Images/A. Hassenstein)

— TEAMS! No Kai Havertz, which is a surprise. Thilo Kehrer comes into the defense for Jonathan Tah. Lukas Klostermann also makes way for Leon Goretzka, who moves into midfield. It could also be that Kimmich plays in a midfield three, but I think a back five with wingbacks is more likely. Estonia are playing a lot of defenders (Teniste is really a wingback) but I think that’s how they’ll line up. Counterattacking approach I think.

Germany XI: Neuer – Schulz, Kehrer, Süle, Ginter, Kimmich – Gündogan, Goretzka – Gnabry, Reus, Sané

Estonia XI: Lepmets – Kams, Vihmann, Teniste, Mets, Pikk – Puri, Tamm, Vassiljev, Dmitrijev – Zenjov  

— Germany will be hoping they find the sweet spot tonight.

— The atmosphere is already building in Mainz.

— … And perhaps birthday boy Kai Havertz can be the man to provide that spark.

— This was a long time ago, but Germany wouldn’t mind a similar result tonight. They got the win against Belarus last time out, but a few more goals wouldn’t have gone amiss. They’ll be aiming to do that tonight…

— It’s been 80 years since these sides last met. When they met in 1937, Germany’s Ernst Lehner scored two goals directly from corner kicks.

— Germany have now won each of their last 13 qualifiers (FIFA World Cup and UEFA European Championships combined), equalling the record they set between 2010 and 2012.

— Leroy Sane, who scored Germany’s opener against Belarus on Saturday, has scored four in his last five games, having been without a goal in his first 15 senior international outings.

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