Germany’s first post-World Cup test was passed with ease at Mainz’s Mewa Arena with a first half double strike from Niclas Füllkrug proving decisive. Hansi Flick set-up with a two-man front line and took the first steps towards making up for the abysmal showing in Qatar from the Nationalelf. Here we bring you five takeaways from the morale-boosting win.
1. Back to winning ways
The highly disappointing elimination from the World Cup will take a while to get over but this 2-0 win over Peru has got the fans smiling once again and Germany’s journey to the European Championships on home soil has begun. The South Americans posed few problems for Hansi Flick’s men and they can go into the friendly with Belgium next week with a win behind them.
2. The new formation looked positive
Having gone so long without a recognised striker, Hansi Flick opted to line up with a two-man frontline of Niclas Füllkrug and Timo Werner and the move paid off. The Bundestrainer’s 4-2-2-2 formation also saw two nominal number tens in Florian Wirtz and Kai Havertz with two attacking fullbacks in David Raum and Marius Wolf. Emre Can played in the more defensive midfield role with Joshua Kimmich a little more advanced. Against a higher quality opposition, the Nationalmannschaft will have to adapt, but the new system at least adds another weapon to the German arsenal.
3. Niclas Füllkrug takes the headlines
Werder Bremen’s Füllkrug was one of the few players to emerge from the World Cup with any credit and the striker carried on where he left off in Qatar with more goals making it five in five matches for the national team. Playing to his strengths as a traditional number nine, he was denied by an off the line clearance before he bagged his two goals. Surely he is nailing down his position in the team going forward to the 2024 Euros.
4. Marius Wolf can make the right back berth his own
Borussia Dortmund’s Marius Wolf was the only uncapped player to make it into the starting XI and a positive performance will give him all the belief he needs to nail down the problematic right back berth as his own going forward. He looked good going forward as he wasn’t overly tested defensively providing a precise delivery to set-up Niclas Füllkrug for his second goal.
5. First half good, second half adequate
The first half was a stroll for the Germans, but the second 45 minutes saw a demonstrable drop in intensity and flow as the substitutions took effect. Emre Can had a very impressive first half taking the more defensive role in midfield with Joshua Kimmich having to drop deeper in the second half when Can was withdrawn. Florian Wirtz struggled to put his stamp on the game in the first period with his replacement Mario Götze not able to improve upon the Bayer Leverkusen midfielder’s impact. Kevin Schade and Mergim Berisha were handed first appearances, but neither could make much of an impact.