Demolition in Dublin: Six of the Best

It’s a cool but dry evening in Dublin, and the home side take to the field in their traditional green and white ensemble with Germany in their familiar Schwarz und Weiß.

There are no last-moment surprises from the German Nationaltrainer, with the expected starting eleven lining up for the Mannschaft. In fact, it is probably one of the most easily predictable starting elevens for a while.

Between the sticks, Manuel Neuer. A solid enough back four with Jérôme Boateng coming in for the suspended Philipp Lahm at right back and Per Mertesacker replacing the injured Mats Hummels in the centre. Alongside them, Holger Badstuber and Marcel Schmelzer. The first-choice defensive midfield duo of the returning Bastian Schweinsteiger and Sami Khedira. The now familiar attacking midfield trio of Thomas Müller, Mesut Özil and Marco Reus. Then the one man up front, Miroslav Klose – making his 125th international appearance.

After a couple of formal announcements from the two team captains we have the national anthems, which are made to sound slightly bizarre by a suited and kilted Dudelsackband. It must be one of the strangest renditions of the Nationalhymne I have ever heard: I like the sound of the bagpipes, but Joseph Haydn’s wonderful composition was clearly not written with that instrument in mind.

1 min. The home side get things under way and are immediately on the attack as German left-back Marcel Schmelzer concedes a corner which comes to nothing. The men in green should have won another corner seconds later but the officials don’t see the ball deflect off Jérôme Boateng.

4 mins. A long punt up from Irish ‘keeper Keiren Westwood, and after Jonathan Walters holds the ball up well Keith Andrews sends a shot well wide of the target. It has been a bright start by the home side.

5 mins. Walters finds space out on the left and pulls the ball into the German box, but cannot find a green shirt. Per Mertesacker collects and clears.

6 mins. Germany finally put a few passes together as Miroslav Klose finds Thomas Müller who wins a throw out on the left. Moments later Müller sends a cross into the Irish box where it is hacked away by Darren O’Dea. The resulting corner comes to nothing.

9 mins. The Mannschaft put a few close passes together just outside the Irish box, but it’s a case to too many touches as the move breaks down and the home side punt the ball up the field.

12 mins. Germany break swiftly up the field, and a promising move comes to a disappointing end as Boateng fails to communicate effectively with Klose.

15 mins. Finally, Joachim Löw’s side are able to relax a little on the ball, and Marco Reus works his way down the left before sending a looping ball into the Irish penalty area. The cross is a little too high for Müller, who heads the ball over the bar.

17 mins. Bastian Schweinsteiger is starting to impose himself on the game, and is starting to get involved in upping the tempo. He breaks down the right and plays the ball into the opposition box, but Müller’s first touch is too heavy.

18 mins. Good possession from the Mannschaft, but once again it’s far too intricate and the ball is once again given away. Klose is looking sharp, Mesut Özil is starting to find some space in midfield and Müller is getting plenty of the ball.

20 mins. The home crowd are starting to get impatient as Germany slow things down with a little keep-ball.

21 mins. The Irish are packing the defence and playing one man up front, and are looking to punt the ball forward at every opportunity. Walters is left to chase, but Manuel Neuer is alert as he hares out his area to head the ball back into the Irish half.

23 mins. Schmelzer looks slightly uncomfortable on the ball as he attempts to run clear, and is saved by the referee who blows for a foul on the Borussia Dortmund left-back.

25 mins. Yet another elaborate and over-complicated move by the Germans breaks down, and the Irish run the ball clear. Sometimes you want a Michael Ballack on the pitch.

27 mins. A long-range potshot from Khedira takes a deflection for a corner. In keeping with the recent fashion, the Eckball is awful. The only upside is that Germany are able to keep possession of the ball.

30 mins. Germany look to break through the middle of he field, but Reus’ pass is overcooked. Moments later, the Borussia Dortmund man is put through and seemingly fouled by John O’Shea. It looks as though the Italian referee is awarding a penalty, but he inexplicably books Reus for diving. An awful decision by the official: that could very easily have been a penalty and a red card for the Irish defender.

32 mins. Not to worry. After some good close possession play on the left, Schweinsteiger flicks the ball into the box where it is picked up by Schmelzer, who chests the ball down nicely before mis-kicking. Aiden McGeady fails to clear the danger, and the fleet-footed Reus breezes in to skip past Seamus Coleman and lift the ball neatly over Westwood and in off the underside of the crossbar with his right foot. A clinical finish, and justice has clearly been done. 1-0.

35 mins. Having taken the lead the visitors are now looking comfortable. Müller cannot find Klose in the box, and Boateng is causing trouble for the green-shirted defence on the right.

38 mins. Plenty of space now for Germany, and after a series of passes Müller launches a long-range effort that flies over the bar.

40 mins. Germany are under pressure at the back, but break beautifully. After some good defensive work by Schmelzer Özil makes the initial break away, spreading the ball wide to Boateng who sends it across the width of the pitch to find Reus in space. The Dortmund man doesn’t need a second invitation as he moves the ball forward before crashing a lovely left-footed shot past Westwood into the bottom right-hand corner of the Irish net. 2-0.

43 mins. It’s easy now as half-time is approaching. Patient build-up play, looking for the killer pass.

45 mins. The referee blows his whistle, and the two teams make their way off the field. After looking ordinary for the opening period, Germany have come alive through the magnificent Rolls Reus. Sharp, clinical, and great to watch.

There’s a change at half-time as Toni Kroos is on for Sami Khedira. The German number six was slightly quiet, and it is revealed that he has a slight hamstring twinge. Germany get things under way.

47 mins. Kroos is fouled out on the left by O’Dea, resulting in a free-kick for Germany and a booking for the Irish centre-back. Reus deftly lifts the ball into the box and it is put behind by a green shirt. The corner from Özil is better than anything that was produced in the first half, and Klose’s header goes wide.

50 mins. The home side are trying to get back into the game, and are having their best spell since the opening minutes. Having been allowed to relax for most of the first half, Neuer responds well to a good shot by Simon Cox.

51 mins. The Irish make a change as Shane Long is on for Keith Fahey.

54 mins. Germany break, and as Klose looks to collect Müller’s pass he is hacked down by O’Dea. This time the referee does point to the spot, but having already picked up a yellow card O’Dea is slightly lucky to still be on the field. Özil steps up to coolly send the penalty into the right side of the net with his left foot. No run up, a slight pause, and a clinical finish. It’s Özil’s fourth strike in three games. 3-0.

58 mins. Jogi’s Jungs are running riot now. Another swift break, a pin-point through-ball from Schweinsteiger to Klose, who rounds Westwood before finding the target from the tightest of tight angles. Miro silences his critics, and edges ever closer towards Gerd Müller’s record. 4-0.

61 mins. It’s turning into a walk in the park for the Mannschaft now. More trickery from Özil, the Irish are once again at sixes and sevens, and the ball falls to Kroos who cracks a stunning low left-footed volley past Westwood. 5-0.

65 mins. Müller’s pass across the Irish box to Reus leaves the Dortmund man with a little too much to do.

67 mins. Jogi Löw makes a second change, with two-goal hero Reus making way for Lukas Podolski.

68 mins. Boateng bustles forward and looks to find Klose, but a green shirt gets there first to send the ball behind for a corner.

70 mins. McGeady is off for Andy Keogh as Trappatoni makes his second change. There are no tactics here, as Keogh is making his first appearance in two years. With this in mind, might Heiko Westermann be given a few minutes game time?

72 mins. No Westermann, as André Schürrle is on for Klose. With just inder twenty minutes remaining, there’s plenty of time for more. Even Schmelzer is looking comfortable on the ball.

75 mins. There’s a small moment for the Irish as Keith Andrews gets one more shot off target on the stats list. Some of the home crowd are leaving already. What a contrast to the last visit to Dublin, and that tedious goalless draw at Croke Park.

78 mins. Germany are walking the ball around the park, and Shane Long gets a booking for a desperate challenge on Kroos.

79 mins. Özil sashays nonchalantly to the edge to the Irish box, and rolls the ball inside to Boateng, whose firm shot is on target but safely collected by Westwood.

83 mins. It’s like being out on the training field for Jogi Löw’s side. It’s pass after pass after pass, and Kroos finds space some twenty yards out before drilling a right-footed shot that slams into the back of the Irish net. It’s a nice round half-dozen for the Mannschaft. 6-0.

84 mins. Robby Brady is on for Simon Cox for the Irish.

86 mins. Badstuber finds his way into the referee’s notebook for a needless challenge on Walters.

90 mins. The ground is emptying fast now, as the touchline official signals two minutes of additional time. More nice passing, and Kroos gets a shot on target. There’s no hat-trick however as Westwood collects.

90+1 mins. Keogh forces a fine save from Neuer as the Irish finally get a shot on target, but the German ‘keeper is unable to stop the Irish from getting their consolation. Brady’s right-sided corner is swung in, and Keogh arrives unmarked at the far post to head home from the edge of the six-yard box. It’s yet more poor defending from a corner. 6-1.

90+2 mins. The Italian official puts the Irish side and the remaining home supporters out of their misery.

It’s a record home defeat for the Irish, and after sluggish performances against the Faroe Islands and Austria Joachim Löw’s team have been able to once again find the opposition goal at will. The inability to take and defend corners still remains a problem however, and there will be some annoyance at the Republic’s last-gasp consolation effort.

It’s three from three, nine points in the bag, and eleven goals in three games – with Sweden to come next Tuesday.

v Republic of Ireland, Aviva Stadium, Dublin, 12.10.2012
Republic of Ireland

6-1 (2-0)
Reus 32., 40., Özil pen 55., Klose 58., Kroos 61., 83. / Keogh 90.+2.

Germany: Neuer – Boateng, Mertesacker, Badstuber, Schmelzer – Khedira (46. Kroos), Schweinsteiger (c) – Müller, Özil, Reus (66. Podolski) – Klose (72. Schürrle)

Republic of Ireland: Westwood – Coleman, O’Shea (c), O’Dea, Ward – McCarthy, Andrews, Fahey (51. Long) – Cox (84. Brady), McGeady (69. Keogh) – Walters

Referee: Nicola Rizzoli (Italy)
Assistants: Renato Faverani, Andrea Stefani (Italy)
Fourth Official: Luca Banti (Italy)

Yellow Cards: Reus 30., Badstuber 86. / O’Dea 47., Long 78.
Red Cards: – / –

Attempts on Target: 11 / 4
Attempts off Target: 3 / 2
Corners: 6 / 3
Fouls Committed: 9 / 9

Attendance: 40,000

Demolition in Dublin: Six of the Best

6 thoughts on “Demolition in Dublin: Six of the Best

  • October 13, 2012 at 21:40

    I can only see the Sweden game away being the only possible stumbling block for another perfect 10!

    With regards Miro passing Der Bombers record – I think if it was a WM or EM final and Miro needed a goal to pass it, I don’t think any sane German fan wouldn’t want him to! Whether Klose does or does not become Germany’s top scorer will not take away Gerd’s outstanding and astonishing record. It was an incredible achievement – 68 goals in 62 games. I don;t think anyone should begrudge Klose passing it. He is a true sportsman and gentleman on and off the pitch.

  • October 13, 2012 at 16:11

    Great result with some great goals from Germany. It was typical Germany – they step up against tougher opposition and give a great display when it matters. Hopefully this will continue against the Swedes on Tuesday night. Really annoyed at them conceding the late goal though and, yet again, from a corner. The only blot on an otherwise perfect result.

    • October 13, 2012 at 17:25

      I too was annoyed at the clean sheet being smudged at the end. Corners are a real problem at the moment, both offensively and defensively – it’s the same problem at FC Bayern as well.

      If the team play this way against Sweden – let’s forget about the slack opening twenty minutes – we should get another three points in the bag. With then two games againsy Kazakhstan to come, Germany should be away and clear with six from six.

      We can then all think about Brazil.

  • October 13, 2012 at 05:31

    Hi there, a few comments from my side:

    1- FInally Westermann back in the squad, he deserved more than that in my opinion in the past two years

    2- It was almost like Germany were letting the Irish score a consolation because they felt sorry for them. Boateng stood by for the first shot on Neueur that resulted the corner, and the corner it self was a joke.

    3- Der Chef, deep down, are you wishing that Klose doesn’t score those 3 goals? or it really doesn’t matter if he overtakes Der Bomber? I personally feel confused, not knowing what to want.

    4- Kroos is playing fantastically behind the attacker, i believe he should be behind Klose, and Ozil moved to the right or left.

    5- It is clear that we need a striker, who do you think can replace Miro Klose if required. Gomez? Kiesling? Pold? Shurle? or someone new? Maybe Dani Schahin?

    • October 13, 2012 at 17:22

      Excellent points…

      1. Agreed about Westermann, though I don’t see how he’s going to feature when Hummels is fully fit and back in the squad.

      2. I know it was 6-1 and that we should be pleased, but the inability to defend corners is becoming a major concern. Against better teams, it could be the difference between winning and losing. Corners are a problem in general, in that there are no ideas when taking them either. When I see how bad the corners are I take my mind back to the final of Mexico ’86 and Andy Brehme.

      3. About Klose, yes and no. I like Klose and he has worked hard for the past decade, but Der Bomber was just… Der Bomber. Even if and when the record is beaten, Müller will always be remembered.

      4. Kroos had a great game, and did make a major difference. That said, on this occasion his long range efforts hit the target. Assuming Kroos is to play in the Özil position with Schweinsteiger/Khedira behind and Reus being the phenomenon that he is, I guess you are seeing Thomas Müller being the one to miss out?

      5. Gomez would be the man we are looking at, but there will always be the issue of how he fits into the playing style of the side. Kießling is scoring goals for Leverkusen at the moment, but I would actually look at Reus – with Müller out on the right of the midfield.

      We can of course look at it another way. Do we actually need an out and out striker?

    • October 14, 2012 at 04:59

      Like Der Chef said, Ireland’s goal was indicative of a wider problem that has been rearing its ugly head for years now. It cost the team in 2010 and it’ll cost them again at this rate.

      Also don’t think moving Özil to accommodate Kroos is wise. Özil is THE heartbeat of this German side and as good as Kroos has been, its unwise to undo one of the great parts of this side.


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