Timo Werner scored twice to crown a stunningly impressive Germany win against Italy in Mönchengladbach.
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Germany recorded a first ever competitive victory against Italy in considerable style to kick-start their UEFA Nations League campaign and leapfrog their opponents in Group A3.
10' Kimmich with close-range opener
45+4' Gündoğan penalty after Hofmann fouled
51' Müller adds third with half-volley
68' Werner finishes off fine move
69' Forward hits his second and Germany's fifth
78' Gnonto scores first Azzurri goal
90+4' Bastoni heads in Dimarco corner
Match in brief: Germany stun Italy with classy showing
Germany, hoping to build on a run of four successive draws, started the brighter and could have taken the lead in the seventh minute but Leroy Sané's curling effort from the edge of the box flew just wide.
Italy made nine changes from their last outing against England and almost broke through themselves a minute later, Manuel Neuer making a vital save from Giacomo Raspadori. Instead it was Germany who struck first, Joshua Kimmich coolly converting David Raum's low centre from the left.
Germany looked the likelier to score the second goal of the game, Gianluigi Donnarumma making three saves as half-time approached. The Italy goalkeeper was beaten just before the interval, however, İlkay Gündoğan lofting his spot kick down the middle after Jonas Hofmann had been sent tumbling by Alessandro Bastoni.
The Azzurri started the second half purposefully, Bryan Cristante unable to cap a neat passing move, but any hopes of a comeback were effectively extinguished in the 51st minute, Thomas Müller's half-volley flying just out of the reach of Donnarumma to open up a three-goal cushion.
The introduction of Serge Gnabry just after the hour indicated the home team were not going to let up and it was the Bayern forward who was instrumental in teeing up Timo Werner for two close-range finishes in as many minutes.
One bright spot for Roberto Mancini's men has been the recent emergence of Wilfried Gnonto, the 18-year-old tapping in his first international goal from close range after Neuer had spilled Dimarco's fierce shot.
The latter was also involved in added time, delivering the corner from which Bastoni headed in Italy's second, but Germany had already done more than enough.
James Thorogood, match reporter
Having been criticised for being too passive with their possession in recent matches, Germany produced a positive and purposeful performance to secure their first win of the Nations League campaign against an Italy side whose experiments did not pay off in Möchengladbach. Flick is still yet to suffer defeat 13 games into his tenure as head coach, and as the only unbeaten side left in Group A3, Germany will fancy their chances of featuring in their first Nations League finals this time next year.
Manuel Neuer, Germany captain: "We played with confidence and you could tell that we wanted to dominate the whole game and make improvements from recent results. We managed that, but it’s still frustrating to concede two late goals."
Timo Werner, Germany forward: "We wanted to get at our opponents early and disrupt their game which we managed to do very well tonight. This was the first match out of the four where we were able to dominate the game, execute our pressing and show what we're really capable of."
Roberto Mancini, Italy coach: "It's a pity to end the season like this. Germany are strong but we allowed them to play the way they prefer. The group, however, is still open. We made a few mistakes and we did not defend well as a team. When you go behind against these kind of players, you always take a lot of risks because they have great pace and they are so dangerous with space."
Gianluigi Donnarumma, Italy goalkeeper: "We are angry, there are no excuses tonight. We have to look each other in the eyes and start again in order to show that this is not the real Italy. We lacked everything tonight."
- Germany beat Italy in a competitive match for the first time at the 11th attempt.
- Die Mannschaft also scored four or more goals against Italy in a competitive fixture for the first time.
- Neuer won his 116th cap for Germany, putting him joint sixth with Philipp Lahm in the nation's all-time appearance charts.
- Kimmich has scored two goals in his last four Germany internationals, as many as he had managed in his previous 57.
- Müller scored his 44th international goal to overtake Uwe Seeler and go outright seventh in Germany leading scorers.
- Werner's two goals came in the space of just 91 seconds.
- Italy conceded five in a match for the first time since 1957.
- Gnonto struck his first international goal on his fourth Azzurri appearance.
Germany: Neuer; Klostermann, Süle (Tah 87), Rüdiger, Raum; Gündoğan (Stach 87), Kimmich; Hofmann (Gnabry 64), Müller (Musiala 75), Sané; Werner (Nmecha 75)
Italy: Donnarumma; Calabria, Mancini (Scamacca 78), Bastoni, Spinazzola (Dimarco 65); Frattesi (Caprari 46), Cristante, Barella; Politano (Luiz Felipe 44), Raspadori (Scalvini 46), Gnonto
What happens after the UEFA Nations League group stage?
The four group winners in League A will advance to the knockout finals with, in principle, one appointed as hosts. The semi-finals will be played on 14 and 15 June 2023 with the final and third-place play-off to follow on 18 June.
The teams finishing fourth in the groups in League A will be relegated to League B for the 2024/25 edition.