N. Ireland 0-2 Germany: 3 Talking Points | UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifiers
Germany picked up three points after overseeing Northern Ireland's first defeat of the Euro 2020 qualifying campaign. The visitors continued their good run in Belfast as they ended up 2-0 winners over the resilient hosts.
By all accounts, Germany were supposed to be made to earn their three points against an inspired Northern Ireland, and that's exactly what happened. The hosts began the night on the front foot. They ran the game against Germany for large parts of the game, but the four-time World Cup winners looked to threaten the hosts early on through some good counter-attacking football.
N. Ireland went close numerous times in the first half but couldn't put their chances away. As the football gods would have it, they were punished for it early in the second half. Germany were squandering most of their chances as well, till RB Leipzig's Marcel Halstenberg got on the scoreboard with a sweet volleyed strike.
Steven Davis and co rallied once again to try and make life difficult for the German defence, but the visitors were a more cohesive unit in the second half. Going forward, they were still dangerous in attack but didn't seal victory till the 92nd minute when substitute Kai Havertz released Gnabry. The Bayern Munich forward was able to squeeze home a goal from an incredibly tight angle to ensure Germany's win to top the group.
Joshua Kimmich is wasted in midfield
Once again, Joachim Low started the Bayern Munich full-back in the centre of the park at the base of a midfield three. He's accustomed to the position and does a fair job of playing there when deployed there for both club and country.
However, with the potency of his delivery while playing at right-back, the shift to the middle takes a lot of what's good about Joshua Kimmich's play out of the game. He's a reflection of former German captain Philipp Lahm in the sense that he is technically well suited to both positions. Kimmich is, however, a much more effective right-back than defensive midfielder at this stage of his career.