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Ilkay Gundogan Shines for Germany Amidst Controversy

Estonia v Germany - UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifier Photo by Mike Kireev/MB Media/Getty Images

The Manchester City midfielder was a key performer for Germany against Estonia during the international break. For a player that has recently been lavished with praise from manager Pep Guardiola, the former Borussia Dortmund man showed just why. He had a hand in all of Germany’s three goals on a night where Die Mannschaft needed all three points to boost their chances of qualifying for Euro 2020.

Down a player after just 14 minutes with the sending off of Juventus midfielder Emre Can, the Germans settled for a goalless first half against the home side. Although not expected to trouble the four-time World Champions, the Estonians had grown in confidence as the match progressed due to the extra man advantage. But Joachim Low’s men still dominated play and turned things around in the second half with Gundogan playing a key role.

He opened the scoring with a shot from 18-yards in the 51st minute of the game. Another shot from the City midfielder six minutes later found the back of the net after deflecting off Estonian defender Karol Mets. The defender was later credited with the goal as an own goal. However, Gundogan capped off an excellent performance on the night by providing an assist for Timo Werner to score the third goal in the 71st minute.

Missing several key players like Toni Kroos, Serge Gnabry, Leon Goretzska, Antonio Rudiger and our own Leroy Sane due to injury, Low needed a good performance from his team to secure a much-needed win. Gundogan stepped up to the plate inspiring his teammates to deliver the three points.

The 28-year-old alongside Emre Can had caused some controversy before the game by liking an Instagram post by Turkish striker Cenk Tosun. The post showed several Turkish players saluting during their qualifier against Albania which was seen by some as an expression of support for the Turkish military’s action in Syria. That led to criticism from several quarters as the action is deemed political.

But Gundogan later addressed the issue in an interview stating that he had no such intention and had withdrawn his like.

It is hoped that he will carry the form displayed with the national team back to City to help the team close the gap on Liverpool.