Germany run riot to hit Republic of Ireland for six in Dublin
Republic of Ireland suffered a demoralising 6-1 defeat at home to Germany in their latest World Cup qualifier on Friday.
Last Updated: 12/10/12 10:08pm
Giovanni Trapattoni's men were taught a harsh lesson as a ruthless Germany side made it three wins out of three at the top of Group C and left the Irish with a sense of perspective about their chances of making it through automatically.
Marco Reus broke the deadlock just after the half-hour mark with a fine finish after being denied what he felt should have been a penalty moments earlier.
Reus then doubled Germany's advantage before half-time following a sweeping move, and Joachim Low's side were in no mood to take their foot off the gas in the second period.
Mesut Ozil made it 3-0 from the penalty spot when he stepped up to send Keiren Westwood the wrong way after Darren O'Dea had brought down Miroslav Klose.
Klose then got on the score sheet himself with a shot from a tight angle, moving him on to 65 international goals and just three behind Gerd Muller's all-time German record.
Half-time substitute Toni Kroos got in on the act with a spectacular fifth in the 61st minute as he struck a powerful volley past Westwood from outside the area.
Kroos was not finished there, though, as he completed the rout with a stunning strike after a fine passing move.
Andy Keogh pulled back a late goal for Ireland but it was scant consolation for the dejected Republic fans.
Deprived of the services of the retired Shay Given and Damien Duff and the injured Richard Dunne, Sean St Ledger, Glenn Whelan, Kevin Doyle and Robbie Keane, Trapattoni's understudies simply never got to grips with a technically superior team.
Tuesday's trip to the Faroe Islands, who suffered a narrow home defeat at the hands of Sweden earlier on Friday, now represents a key fixture for a man whose honeymoon period is now a distant memory.
It was a measure of the changes wrought on Trapattoni's squad by retirement and injury that the team which ran out against Italy in Poznan in Ireland's final game at Euro 2012 boasted a total 721 caps; tonight's team had mustered just 268 between them before kick-off, and 136 of those belonged to John O'Shea and Aiden McGeady.
After several days of a will-he-won't-he debate over Trapattoni's indication that he might opt to play three men in central midfield, the Italian did just that.
His reasoning was two-fold: an extra body in their might just help his side retain possession better, and one of the trio could attempt to shadow danger man Ozil.
The game started relatively positively for the Republic when lone striker Jon Walters laid off Westwood's clearance to Keith Andrews and he dragged his shot from distance wide.
But that proved to be a rarity as the Germans eased into their stride and started to dictate the play.
With Ozil and Thomas Muller buzzing around behind frontman Klose and Reus threatening down the left, their movement was simply too much for Ireland, who too often found themselves chasing shadows.
They soaked up the early pressure and in truth, Westwood had little to do, watching Stephen Ward slice a seventh-minute Muller cross over his own bar and O'Dea block Klose's shot on the turn 11 minutes later.
But as the pressure mounted, Ireland sank deeper and deeper towards their own goal to leave Walters isolated and invite the visitors on to them.
Reus was booked for diving inside the Ireland penalty area on the half-hour after Simon Cox, Coleman and O'Shea had failed to clear their lines, but he did not have to wait long to erase his disappointment.
With Coleman having drifted out of position, Bastian Schweinsteiger played the ball over the top of both the Everton man and the covering McGeady to full-back Marcel Schmelzer, and he cut inside to set up Reus, whose right-footed shot flew past Westwood and went in off the underside of the crossbar.
Trapattoni's men had hardly had time to swallow their disappointment when their task became almost impossible eight minutes later as Germany once again carved them open.
Full-back Jerome Boateng's crossfield pass arrived perfectly for Reus to smash a left-footed drive across Westwood and into the bottom corner.
Any hope of an unlikely fightback died in a disastrous start to the second half which saw Germany cruelly turn the screw.
Cox and Walters had both gone close to reducing the deficit in an early flurry, but order was soon restored when, after O'Dea had crudely felled Klose inside the penalty area, Ozil sent Westwood the wrong way from the spot with 55 minutes gone.
If the Sunderland goalkeeper had been under-employed for much of the first half, he was chronically exposed after the break and conceded for a fourth time within three minutes when Klose ran on to Schweinsteiger's tailor-made pass and rounded him before slotting into an empty net.
The Republic had capitulated in horrific fashion, and did so once again three minutes later when O'Shea's weak clearance fell perfectly for Kroos to help himself with a skidding shot inside the post.Kroos deepened the wounds with seven minutes remaining, drilling home from 22 yards with the Republic in disarray and Trapattoni facing a grilling.
|Republic of Ireland||Team Statistics||Germany|
|0||1st Half Goals||2|
|4||Shots on Target||8|
|2||Shots off Target||5|
|23.6||1st Half Poss.||76.4|
|24.6||2nd Half Poss.||75.4|