SCHURRLE: PRESENT FOR MY MUM
Andre Schurrle was the hero for Germany last night, netting an incredible 19-minute hat-trick in the second half as the Germans recovered from 2-0 down to triumph 5-3 in Sweden.
Goals from Mesut Ozil and Mario Gotze either side of the interval had leveled up the scores at 2-2 before Schurrle struck for the first time, alertly intercepting a pass from Per Nilsson before outpacing the Nuremberg defender and calmly finishing past Johan Wiland in the Sweden goal.
Schurrle scored his second and Germany's fourth nine minutes later, latching on to a Gotze pass in the inside-left channel and again slotting the ball beyond Wiland with ease. The hosts fought back and scored again, sparking the possibility of a repeat of the extraordinary 4-4 draw between the two sides in Berlin last year.
But Schurrle had the final word, saving his best for last. He picked out the top right-hand corner of Wiland's goal from the edge of the box with a curling effort that the Swedish goalkeeper didn't even try to stop. It left Schurrle with a question about what to do with the match ball that his three strikes had earned.
'This is my first hat-trick so I've got to see,' he said. 'Maybe I'll give it to my mum.'
Germany finished as top scorers across the whole of European qualifying, scoring 36 times in total. Schurrle is part of an attacking squad that features the likes of Ozil, Gotze, Thomas Muller, Marco Reus, and Toni Kroos, and our winger thinks that attacking strength proved too impressive for Sweden to deal with.
'We've seen once again how strong we are going forwards. Everybody struggles against us.
'In the second half, we upped the tempo and they had problems and we fully deserved to beat them.'
Germany coach Joachim Low had words of praise for his hat-trick hero, and believes that his summer move to Stamford Bridge has helped him progress ahead of the World Cup next summer.
'I told him recently that last year I wasn't very happy with his development, but now, in some games with us and in England, he has shown again what he can do.
'He is dynamic, works back well and has a strong finish. His physical strength was also an issue, but he has worked hard on that.
'If he continues to play like that, the World Cup will certainly not pass him by.'