Toni Kroos, Mario Gotze, Jonas Hector and Mesut Ozil ease world champions to victory as Azzurri’s Leonardo Bonucci suffers knee injury
- Kroos hit Thomas Muller’s cross past Gigi Buffon to give Germany an early lead
- The advantage was soon doubled, Gotze nodding another Muller corss into the back of the onion bag
- Jonas Hector scored his first for his country after finishing off a flowing move
- Bonucci suffered a serious-looking knee injury in the build-up, slipping on the turf after trickery from Gotze
- Ozil made it four from the spot after Buffon brought down Antonio Rudiger in the box
- Italy struck a late consolation, El Sharaawy’s effort deflecting off Rudiger and beyond Mark-Andre ter Stegen
- Germany sealed their first win over Italy since a 2-0 victory in June 1995
Mario Gotze scored on his international comeback to help Germany beat Italy for the first time in more than 20 years.
Gotze, who had only played 53 minutes for Bayern Munich since a groin injury sustained against Ireland on October 8, headed Germany’s second goal before the break after Toni Kroos opened the scoring.
Gotze was also involved in the third before the hour-mark, setting Julian Draxler free to cross for Jonas Hector’s first international goal.
Mesut Ozil made it 4-0 in the 75th with a penalty conceded by Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.
Substitute Stephan El Shaarawy scored Italy’s consolation in the 83rd.
Toni Kroos is the centre of attention after firing Germany into an early lead which they never looked like relinquishing against Italy
Kroos left Gigi Buffon with little chance, arrowing his low effort into the bottom right hand corner to break the deadlock
Gotze bravely goes between Matteo Darmian (left) and Alessandro Florenzi (right) to send a downward header past Buffon
Mario Gotze beams with delight after doubling Germany’s tally for the night during a comprehensive victory for the hosts
Jonas Hector unleashes a rasping drive – his first goal for Germany – to leave Buffon all ends up between the Azzurri’s sticks
Hector points at a team-mate to toast his first goal in a German shirt as his side put on a show in front of a raucous Allianz Arena
Germany: ter Stegen, Rudiger, Hummels, Mustafi, Hector (Ginter 84), Rudy, Kroos (Kramer 90), Muller (Can 69), Draxler (Volland 85), Ozil, Gotze (Reus 60).
Subs not used: Leno, Khedira, Schurrle, Podolski, Gomez, Bellarabi, Tah, Trapp.
Booked: Hummels, Mustafi.
Goals: Kroos 24, Gotze 45, Hector 59, Ozil 75 pen.
Italy: Buffon, Darmian, Bonucci (Ranocchia 61), Acerbi, Florenzi (De Silvestri 63), Thiago Motta (Parolo 68), Montolivo, Bernardeschi , Giaccherini (El Shaarawy 68), Zaza (Antonelli 78), Insigne (Okaka 68).
Subs not used: Sirigu, Astori, De Sciglio, Rugani, Jorginho, Soriano, Candreva, Eder, Pelle, Perin.
Goals: El Shaarawy 82.
Ref: Oliver Drachta (Austria).
It was Germany’s first win over Italy at the eighth attempt since a 2-0 victory on June 21, 1995.
Following the 3-2 defeat to England in Berlin on Saturday – Germany’s second consecutive loss after losing to France in November – coach Joachim Low opted for a back-three of Mats Hummels, Antonio Rudiger and Shkodran Mustafi, with Hector and Sebastian Rudy supporting on either flank.
Thomas Muller captained the side for the first time on his 70th appearance. Regular captain Bastian Schweinsteiger suffered a partial ligament in his knee in training last week and faces a race against time to be fit for the European Championship.
Italy rarely threatened reserve goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen though he looked jittery on the rare occasions he was called into action. Ter Stegen was filling in for Manuel Neuer, who had complained of a stomach bug a day after his 30th birthday celebrations on Sunday.
Just as he did against England, Kroos broke the deadlock by slotting a precise effort inside the post, his 24th-minute strike giving Buffon little chance.
With the fans sending a Mexican wave around the stadium, Muller crossed for Gotze to direct the ball inside the right post, leaving Buffon rooted to the spot.
‘It’s always worth supporting Mario Gotze because he can do things that others can’t,’ Low had said in the build-up.
Riccardo Montolivo went close after the break as Italy emerged with new intent but any hopes of a comeback were dashed in the 59th, when Gotze set Draxler free and the Wolfsburg playmaker pulled the ball back for Hector to score on his 12th appearance.
Simone Zaza shot over in response but then Buffon brought down Rudy and Ozil ended the contest.
It was Germany’s last game before Low names his initial squad for Euro 2016 on May 17.
Security was again tight ahead of the game with around 800 police officers on duty. Sniffer dogs checked around the stadium for explosives, bags were searched and body-checks were conducted.
The defeat to England was Germany’s first since the 2-0 loss to France in Paris on November 13, when attacks outside the stadium and across the city killed 130 people. The game against Holland in Hannover four days later was called off due to the threat of an attack.
Mesut Ozil was coolness personified from the penalty spot to give Germany their fourth goal during a one-sided display
Ozil beams after scoring the fourth goal as Germany got the perfect tonic to last week’s surprise defeat at the hands of England
Leonardo Bonucci lies in agony after falling awkwardly. The defender was bamboozled by Gotze’s clever flick and slipped on the turf
The Juventus man looks dismayed as he is carried from the field of play after his worrisome injury during Italy’s defeat
Source: Daily Mail