Germany battered Turkey 3-0 and now leads Group A with nine points out of nine.
Germany started off as the better side and missed an early chance through Miroslav Klose. Sami Khedira and Toni Kroos had some agonizing misses as well in the first half. Turkey lost one of their best players, Mehmet Aurelio to injury midway through the half and his replacement was Tuncay Sanli. Germany eventually scored the opener in the 43rd minute. Philipp Lahm's beautiful cross was headed towards goal by Thomas Mueller. However, Volkan Demirel with assistance from both the post and bar saved. Klose was on hand nearby to nod in the rebound.
In the opening minutes of the second half, Turkey missed a golden chance to equalize when Halil Altintop was denied in a one-on-one situation by Manuel Neuer. Germany's second came close to the 80th minute; on the counter-attack, Lahm provided an excellent through-ball for Mesut Oezil and the German with Turkish parents finished coolly past Demirel. Germany finally put the icing on the cake when Demirel's clearance found Klose. Klose easily ran past the defenders and put the ball in between Demirel's legs for 3-0.
Thoughts and Observations
1. Philipp Lahm was perhaps the best player for Germany on the night. He does not have the luxury of having a decent defence alongside him at Bayern; however he does have that luxury at Germany and it clearly showed. He was forward more often than not and solid at the back when Turkey attacked. His balls into the box as well as his passes were a joy on the eyes of every supporter watching the match.
2. Toni Kroos turned out to be quite a decent defensive midfielder. He didn't come forward too many times and stayed back to ensure that Germany did not concede. The fact that Joachim Loew could replace his midfield engine man, Bastian Schweinsteiger so easily shows Germany's strength in depth. A bigger test of that depth might come on Tuesday against Kazakhstan depending on whether Mesut Oezil is fit. The German seemed to have picked up an injury against Turkey.
3 . What does Loew know about Miro Klose that Louis Van Gaal doesn't? Klose definitely gets more chances to score for Germany than at Bayern but he is quite clinical at most times for Germany. Even when he doesn't get too many chances, he usually converts more often than not. Klose has scored in the Champions League and the German Cup but he has fired blanks for Bayern in the Bundesliga so far. He recently told Bild that he might leave Bayern sooner rather than later to join another Bundesliga club to keep himself in the international frame.
4. A player who perhaps doesn't get enough credit sometimes is Manuel Neuer. However, he deserves plenty of it. He rarely has a bad game for his country. His save to deny Halil Altintop was perhaps one of the main reasons why the scoreline was quite one-sided. He looked assured at all times and did not put a foot (or a hand) wrong on the night.
5. Germany might not possess the best defence in Europe. However, despite the class of the opponents, this is one stat to look at: Germany has scored ten times and conceded just once in three qualifiers. The intentions of Joachim Loew and Germany are clear. Die Nationalmannschaft no longer wants runner-up or third place consolation medals. They want to win the big trophy and with the way they are playing, very few would bet against them from progressing far in the Euros or even from winning it.
Kazakhstan Up Next
Kazakhstan has the honour of hosting the three-time European champions for the first time in Astana on Tuesday. These two sides have never crossed each other's paths in European competition; in fact the only meeting between these two countries was in club competition when Werder and Aktobe crossed paths with Werder winning 8-3 on aggregate.
Germany has looked brilliant so far and with or without Mesut Oezil should have enough to put another win on the board.
Prediction: Kazakhstan 0-2 Germany
This quote from Miroslav Klose after the match against Turkey perhaps made most supporters smile. This is what he had to say about what would have happened to the rebound off Thomas Mueller's header had that situation occurred in a Bayern game:
“The ball hit the post and happened to rebound onto my head. At Bayern it would have gone either side of me.”