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Germany 3-3 Switzerland: Havertz, Gnabry deny Swiss

Germany came back from 2-0 and 3-2 down to earn a point in a pulsating game in Cologne.

Highlights: Germany 3-3 Switzerland
Highlights: Germany 3-3 Switzerland

Germany recovered from going behind twice to earn a point in a thrilling UEFA Nations League showdown.

Germany vs Switzerland: as it happened, reaction

Match in brief

Mario Gavranović celebrates his second goal for Switzerland
Mario Gavranović celebrates his second goal for SwitzerlandGetty Images

Switzerland's use of two forwards paid off when Mario Gavranović converted a clever header in the fifth minute and, later, blasted them back in front with an emphatic finish from distance.

His strike partner, Haris Seferović, had set up Remo Freuler's precise clip to make it 2-0, only for Timo Werner to reduce the arrears with a clinical strike inside half an hour. Kai Havertz, who hit a post just after the break, then charged into the area on the right and slid a low finish into the far corner before Gavranović's second.

Serge Gnabry drew Germany level again with a superb back-heel from a Werner cross. Switzerland defender Fabian Schär was dismissed late on for a second booking.

Steffen Potter, Germany reporter

This was a very entertaining game and an interesting one for Germany: a classic case of a glass half-full or half-empty. To focus on the positives: fluid attacks with Werner and Gnabry really clicking, Havertz showing what he can add to the team, and Leroy Sané returning to good effect. Alternatively, you could focus on their defensive performance, conceding goals too easily and demonstrating that the quality and depth of players perhaps isn't as strong behind the attack. Joachim Löw and his staff really have their work cut out to stabilise this side. At the moment, I am not certain they will fully achieve this.

James Thorogood, Switzerland reporter

Reaction: Shaqiri 'proud' at Swiss point
Reaction: Shaqiri 'proud' at Swiss point

In a cruel twist of fate that only football could create, Switzerland have gone from reaching the finals of the inaugural UEFA Nations League campaign to facing relegation in the second. This six-goal thriller in Cologne was proof of the progress Vladimir Petković has been preaching about, but also showed that there is still much work to do if the Nati want to start beating the elite instead of just matching them.

Reaction

Joachim Löw, Germany coach: "It's good to improve at playing a back three and a back four. You have to be able to switch between systems. This team really has a lot of potential. If we go to a tournament, reaching the semi-finals is the minimum goal, always."

Toni Kroos, Germany midfielder: "Reaching 100 caps is nice. It was a special game but, if you know me, you know that I am more about results and titles. Defending is a team effort and we helped them a lot for their first and third goals. We played well after that; we played better football than in the last game [in Ukraine]. In the end, we are not pleased with a point."

Yann Sommer, Switzerland goalkeeper: "If you lead three times, you can win the game. We played a very good first half, forced mistakes and were efficient, which we have not been in recent matches. In the end, they are still Germany. It's too bad that the result will not help us, with Ukraine having won. We really wanted to beat Germany tonight."

Silvan Widmer, Switzerland defender: "We've come to Germany and scored three goals, which is something to be proud of. But when you do that, it is hard to accept not leaving with all three points, which we feel we deserved. It's also hard given the result in Ukraine [beating Spain] tonight. Now we have to win both our final games, no questions asked. Tonight's performance is a source of hope but I'd have preferred three points."

Reaction: Havertz pleased with German 'character'
Reaction: Havertz pleased with German 'character'

Key stats

• The hosts failed to win for the seventh time in eight UEFA Nations League games (D5 L2).

• Sixteen of Germany's last 23 goals have been scored in the second half.

• Switzerland have scored 19 goals in their eight UEFA Nations League group matches.

• Captain Granit Xhaka became Switzerland's joint-seventh most-capped player, drawing level with Hakan Yakin (87).

• Midfielder Kroos won his 100th cap for Germany.

Lineups

Germany: Neuer; Gosens (Halstenberg 57), Rüdiger, Ginter (Emre Can 77), Klostermann; Kroos, Kimmich; Goretzka; Gnabry, Havertz (Draxler 77), Werner

Switzerland: Sommer; Widmer, Elvedi, Schär, Rodríguez; Zuber (Fernandes 66), Xhaka, Freuler (Benito 85), Shaqiri (Sow 66); Gavranović (Mehmedi 75) Seferović (Itten 85)

What's next?

Spain visit Switzerland on Saturday 14 November while Ukraine are taking on Germany in Leipzig.