Germany manager Joachim Low was critical of his side despite a comfortable win over minnows Gibraltar.
The 4-0 victory lifted the world champions, who had lost and drawn their previous two games, from third to second place, level on points with Scotland and the Republic of Ireland.
Low said: "I am everything but satisfied with this. The team did not do what we wanted to do.
"We wanted to play as world champions and four goals are too few."
Thomas Muller scored twice before Mario Gotze and a Yogan Santos own goal sealed a comfortable win in Nuremberg.
Former Portsmouth midfielder Liam Walker went close for the visitors with a dipping shot from 35 yards.
Gibraltar, Uefa's newest member nation, have lost all four qualifiers and conceded 21 goals without scoring but coach Allen Bula was delighted with his team.
He said: "It's a great result and we really needed something like this - 0-4, I could not have asked for more."
Poland won 4-0 in Georgia to maintain their three-point lead at the top of the group.