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International Break Update: Germany 4-1 Azerbaijan

Kroos on cruise control.

Germany v England - International Friendly
Toni Kroos
Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Joachim Löw chose to make seven chances in the lineup from their friendly match against England, however the one guy all Madridistas hoped to see on the bench wasn't rotated.

Toni Kroos is the first name on Löw's list and it's easy to understand why. Toni is the kind of player you build your team around. While all of this is nice and pleasing to hear, it doesn't mean that Löw must play Toni in every single game for full 90 minutes. Luckily, it seems that Löw is starting to understand this, as he took Toni off in 89th minute...

Germans approached this game with their classic German efficiency and they did just enough to comfortably win the match. It was beyond obvious that Germans knew that they are way superior to Azerbaijan players and they acted accordingly on the pitch.

Every single match against these so-called minions is only about one thing - how soon can you score? If you score early, they know it's game over and they don't try to battle you so ferociously. However, if you don't, it can become very hard for you.

Germany broke the deadlock in the 19th minute and it paved the way to a super comfortable victory. The Germans became even more relaxed on the pitch and they paid for it ten minutes later. Azerbaijan got one back and you might start to wonder if they could get something out of it. These thoughts were quickly discarded, when Müller and Gomez got 2 goals in quick succession, meaning game was over before half time.

The second half could be described as cruise control, as the Germans were trying to keep the ball all time and see out the match. Schürrle then later sealed the victory with the fourth goal. Toni released Hector with a beautiful through ball and Schürrle surprisingly didn't miss.

Player Performances

Toni Kroos

Toni had a very quiet match. He was secured in possession and distributed excellently, but it was evident that he wasn't really trying. He didn't try to press as vigorously as he does in Madrid. Basically, he was on autopilot. He lightly jogged around and didn't track back as much as he probably should. But to be fair, it wasn't really that important, because a) he had Sami Khedira next to him, who can cover a lot of ground and b) Azerbaijan rarely managed to create any danger.

One thing I found a bit strange was that his set-piece deliveries were a bit subpar. They weren't bad per se, but they were lacking in precision a little. Although the reason for it might be that Germans didn't really train set-pieces and Toni was trying to guess the movement of his teammates.

There were 2 major positives from his performance. Firstly he didn't get an injury (THANK YOU JESUS!) and secondly, he played only 89 minutes of out 93. And every single minute counts.

To sum it up, it was a decent performance from Toni. He didn't do anything spectacular, but he wasn't bad. It was his usual energy-efficient performance. I liked that aspect a lot.

Rating: 7/10

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