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Game in a sentence

Germany put on a footballing clinic in Dublin to completely destroy Ireland.

Observations

  • If you didn’t watch this game you just may be tempted to not be too surprised by this scoreline. Don’t fall into that trap. Admittedly Ireland, like I wrote at the Euro’s, look like a team who would get relegated from the Premier League but it still takes some performance to go away from home in international football and win by such a margin.
  • Heavyweights Germany were relentless and they walked off the pitch at the Aviva Stadium this evening having manhandled the Irish, dragging them all over the field and running rings around them from start to finish. If it was a boxing match it would have been called before the hour mark. TKO.
  • You’ll be hard pressed to find a better performance by a football team in any of the UEFA 2014 World Cup qualifiers than this. Eight shots on target; six goals and five of them all as a result of superb play.
  • Ireland pressed for the first ten minutes and were able to hide from danger temporarily, attempting long balls over the top against a high German defence. The first body blow for the Irish came after 30 minutes when John O’Shea lost the ball in his own end and then brought down Marco Reus in the box. It looked like a sure penalty and a red card but amazingly Reus was booked for diving. Ireland escaped but they were now rattled and on the ropes and soon down when Reus put Germany ahead. Bastian Schweinsteiger, who’d struggled with injury during Euro 2012, looked back to his best in a German shirt and one of his many precise passes started the move, lofting the ball over to the onrushing Marcel Schmelzer who found Reus and the Dortmund man did the rest with a clinical finish.
  • Eight minutes later Reus hit Ireland hard again, this time scoring with his left foot, finishing off a play that started in Germany’s own end led by Mesut Ozil. Classic Germany.
  • Ireland were shellshocked and Giovanni Trapattoni decided to abandon 4-5-1 for 4-4-2 bringing on Shane Long but minutes later the battle was over when Darren O’Dea rashly brought down Miroslav Klose in the box. Mesut Ozil’s penalty made it 3-0. Klose, who won his 125th cap, then got in on the party when he broke in, went around Keiren Westwood and superbly placed the ball in the net for his 65th international goal. Three more needed to match Gerd Muller’s record of 68.
  • At 4-0 Germany’s training game continued. Toni Kroos, on for the injured Sami Khedira, added further blackeyes to the Irish performance with two wonderful individual strikes in the second half. The first goal, hit sweet first-time on the volley with his left foot and then the second from 25 yards out with his right foot. Like Reus he scored with both feet.
  • You have to go back to 1953 against France to find the last time Ireland conceded five goals at home and Germany had that many after 61 minutes. When they added a sixth they became the first team to ever score six goals in Ireland.
  • On the subject of stats this may be one of the best in the sport: Germany extended their incredible unbeaten World Cup qualifying record which now reads 29 wins, 9 draws and 0 losses in 38 away matches all-time, dating back to their first campaign in 1934. I haven’t seen many of them but I know most will not have been a better performance than this. They were simply magnificent.

Three Stars

  1. Marco Reus
  2. Bastian Schweinsteiger
  3. Mesut Ozil

Kristian Jack