"This was complete humiliation. Tottenham were destroyed by Serge Gnabry, whose four-goal demolition left the home fans booing their team off as they could hardly believe their eyes. The scoreline should send shockwaves through the Tottenham dressing room because it was horrific, embarrassing and devastating," wrote the Daily Mirror following their 7-2 hammering at the hands of Bayern Munich.
The English daily was not the only media outlet to shower praise on the 24-year-old Germany international, whose man-of-the-match performance and four Champions League goals in the space of one half earned him plaudits and made headlines across the continent.
Gnabry: "I had a super year at TSG"
On Saturday, the former Hoffenheim man will come up against his former club, whom he left for the Bavarian giants in the summer of 2018 following a one-and-a-half-year spell. Gnabry looks back on his time in Sinsheim with fondness. "I only have positive memories of Hoffenheim. I had a super year there which ended perfectly – with qualification for the Champions League. TSG was the perfect club for me to continue my development," the 10-time Germany international once said in an interview.
2017/18 was a break-out season for Gnabry, who scored 10 goals and assisted another seven for the Kraichgau club. The former team-mates who will face him on Saturday will need to be at their very best to stop the winger, whose confidence will be sky-high following his gala performance in London.
Kovac praises TSG
Gnabry & Co.'s success this season has not been confined to the Champions League, with the 29-time German champions also top of the Bundesliga after six matches and on a 20-game unbeaten streak that started last season. But coach Niko Kovac is expecting a difficult match on Saturday. "We'll need to show the same level of performance against Hoffenheim as we did against Tottenham," he declared. "We'll be under pressure and we'll have to be fully focused." The Croatian tactician believes TSG "do not deserve to be where they are. They've often been lacking that little bit of luck. Their current position in the table and points tally do not reflect their quality."
To date, TSG Hoffenheim have never won away at Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga. They will be hoping to change that on Saturday – but the excellent Serge Gnabry will have to be kept in check if they are to succeed.