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Leon Goretzka flattened by horror tackle in romping Germany win

Toby Cudworth
Leon Goretzka was floored early on against Liechtenstein
Leon Goretzka was floored early on against Liechtenstein / Stuart Franklin/GettyImages

Leon Goretzka was fortunate to escape serious injury after being poleaxed by a reckless challenge from Jens Hofer in Germany's 9-0 win over Liechtenstein in World Cup qualifying.

The Bayern Munich midfielder started in a relatively strong Die Mannschaft side that have already qualified for next winter's World Cup in Qatar, but may wish he hadn't of after he found himself decked less than ten minutes into the game.

Attempting to connect with a cross coming into the box from the right flank, Goretzka took a nasty looking blow to the neck as Hofer, for reasons unknown, attempted to clear a chest high ball with his boot.

The end result was his studs connecting directly with Goretzka's neck, with the impact of the blow pretty significant to say the least. Needless to say, Hofer was shown a straight red card for the tackle, though he was visibly more concerned about the welfare of the 26-year-old rather than the punishment of his actions.

Ilkay Gundogan would score the resulting penalty, opening the floodgates for what proved to be a night of fun for Hansi Flick's side.

Leroy Sane and Thomas Muller bagged themselves a brace of goals, Marco Reus was also on the scoresheet for Germany and there was a first international goal for Ridle Baku - who netted on his third international appearance in the stadium that he plies his trade in.

Liechtenstein's generosity extended into the goals column as they put two past their own goalkeeper, extending their goal difference for the group stage to a remarkable -30. As for Germany, their place in Qatar is already secured, but they maintained their nine-point advantage over North Macedonia - who occupy second spot - in Group J and stretched their goal difference to +29.

Flick's side have picked up 24 points from their nine qualifying games, registering eight wins and one defeat, but more importantly Goretzka was not only okay to continue, he was then given the second half off to put his feet up as the goals rained in.

You can watch the challenge on Goretzka here.