Armenia 1-4 Germany: Havertz and Gundogan help Germans sign off in style

Ilkay Gundogan struck twice as Germany rounded off a dominant World Cup qualifying campaign with a 4-1 win in Armenia on Sunday. 

Kai Havertz and Jonas Hofmann were also on target for Die Mannschaft at the Vazgen Sargsyan Republican Stadium, with the hosts replying through a consolation penalty from Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Head coach Hansi Flick made six changes from the team that thrashed Liechtenstein 9-0 on Thursday, but Germany looked strong again, easing past the side bossed by Joaquin Caparros.

The win was a ninth from 10 qualifying matches for Germany and means they finish nine points clear of second-placed North Macedonia in Group J.

Germany took the lead after 15 minutes when Hofmann played a quick one-two with Thomas Muller before crossing from the right for Havertz to steer home.

The visitors had a penalty in first-half stoppage time when a VAR review led to the verdict that Florian Neuhaus had been fouled by Taron Voskanyan in the box, and Gundogan converted with ease.

The Manchester City midfielder had his second goal five minutes into the second half when his shot from the edge of the penalty area inexplicably slipped through the grasp of Stanislav Buchnev.

Armenia captain Mkhitaryan pulled a goal back from the spot after Neuhaus fouled David Terteryan in the box just before the hour, but a mistake from Mkhitaryan allowed Hofmann to intercept and race through to restore Germany’s three-goal cushion in the 64th minute.

What does it mean? Germany thriving under Flick

This result means Germany have won all seven of their games under former Bayern Munich boss Flick, scoring 31 goals and conceding just twice.

The last game they failed to win remains their Euro 2020 exit when England beat them 2-0 at Wembley in June.

Impressive night for Tah

Although scoring goals has been most of what Germany have done in their two qualifiers in the last week, their defence has been notably stronger since Flick arrived.

Despite a conceded penalty here, Bayer Leverkusen’s Jonathan Tah was indomitable in particular, winning all of his 16 duels, including four in the air.

Armenia lose their way

The hosts showed glimpses against Germany but were broadly dominated, again. Having lost 5-0 on Thursday at home to North Macedonia, Caparros and his team have lost their way.

After winning promotion to League B in the Nations League and starting their World Cup qualifying group well, Armenia were on a roll after a five-game winning streak in all competitions when they beat Romania in March.

However, including friendlies, they have now not won any of their last nine games.