Germany primed for Euro: Werner

Germany primed for Euro: Werner

BERLIN • Chelsea striker Timo Werner scored twice on his return to Leipzig on Saturday, as Germany went top of their Nations League A Group 4 after a convincing 3-1 win over Ukraine.

Having moved to the Premier League side in summer after four years with RB Leipzig, Werner played a starring role behind closed doors at the Red Bull Arena.

“I had four good years here and it was fun to come back here and win,” he told local broadcaster ZDF.

Despite missing the suspended Toni Kroos and Joshua Kimmich, whose knee injury will keep him out until next year, the hosts were still too strong for the visitors even though Werner admitted that the absentees “made it hard to find our rhythm”.

However, he believes Germany will hit their peak when they start their Euro 2020 campaign against world champions France in Munich in June.

“We have enough time to improve before the Euros,” Werner added.

The win leaves Germany undefeated in their last 12 games and top of their Nations League group on nine points, one ahead of second-placed Spain, with the sides due to meet in Sevilla tomorrow.

“We had plenty of tempo in the first-half, controlled the game after the break, even if we gave away too much possession at times,” said coach Joachim Low.

“All in all, we have to be happy with the win.

“We wanted also to warm up as a team (ahead of the Euros) and we did that to a certain extent.”

The game was confirmed only hours before kick-off, as five members of the Ukraine team were quarantined after testing positive for Covid-19 last Friday.

But the Ukrainians took an early lead when Roman Yaremchuk caught Die Mannschaft’s defence napping, spoiling captain Manuel Neuer’s hope of a clean sheet on his 95th appearance to equal Sepp Maier’s record for the most number of caps as Germany goalkeeper.

Low’s side roared back with three unanswered goals by Leroy Sane and Werner, who scored either side of half-time, to seal the win.