Republic of Ireland vs. Germany  1 - 6

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Trapattoni: Ireland can still qualify

13 October 2012 16:46

Ireland coach Giovanni Trapattoni says his side can still qualify for the World Cup despite their 6-1 defeat to Germany in Dublin on Friday.

The visitors produced a ruthless display to cruise to victory and leave Ireland third in the group with three points from two games.

Italian Trapattoni does not believe his job is under threat and says he is proud of the commitment his players have shown him since he took over.

Ireland's next match is away to the Faroe Islands and three points will be crucial for Trapattoni's men but when asked if that game was vital to his job the 73-year-old told Sky Sports News: "No."

"It's a long way to Tipperary. Germany have gone, but we are in there fighting with Austria and Sweden for qualification. Why not?

"The players have to answer us and I am sure they can. We need to see their commitment in a very important situation here.

"I am proud of those players because their commitment is full, 100 per cent. I don't accept players without this commitment."

The former Italy coach looked helpless on the sidelines as his team were picked apart by a classy German outfit, but he reiterated that his desire to be a success in the Irish hot-seat is as strong as ever.

"I am proud of this team and the results it has achieved. It's not about money - it's about pride and being professional in my job. I was in four countries and I won in every country," he said.

Article

Reus: ´We have big plans´

13 October 2012 03:33

Marco Reus has warned Germany's rivals they still have plenty of improvement in them after a 6-1 thrashing of Republic of Ireland.

The Borussia Dortmund star scored his team's first two goals in Dublin as Germany made it three wins from three in their bid to qualify for World Cup 2014.

Reus was also adamant that he deserved a first-half penalty for a foul by John O'Shea.

"We have big plans," he is quoted as saying by Sportschau.

"The coach prepared us very well. We were in control of the match from the beginning, but unfortunately chances were not forthcoming.

"In the first half, it was certainly a penalty. There's no two ways about it."

Marcel Schmelzer put in a far better showing for his country after a disastrous performance against Austria a month ago, but said that he did not let words of criticism affect him.

"I was pleased with Reus' leadership, but the whole team supported me well. I will say nothing about the criticism before the game, but I'm happy about getting all three points here in Ireland," he said.

"If I didn't have so much support, I couldn't have concentrated on the game properly."

Bastian Schweinsteiger, meanwhile, saluted his defensive colleagues for dealing with Ireland's aerial game, and believes his side are on their way to another major tournament.

"We put in a very focused performance. I think everyone did a fine job. For the defence, it wasn't easy to deal with the long balls," he said.

"We are well on our way."

Article

Ruthless Germany deserved 6-1 win, says Loew

13 October 2012 01:34

Germany coach Joachim Loew believes his side's 6-1 win over Republic of Ireland in Dublin was no less than they deserved on the night.

The Euro 2012 semi-finalists cruised to an easy victory, with a brace each from Marco Reus and Toni Kroos, as well as strikes from Miroslav Klose and Mesut Oezil ensuring the result.

The result sees Germany maintain a perfect record of three wins to start their qualification campaign for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, with the resounding victory coming despite suggestions of disharmony within the German ranks over the last few months since they failed to make the Euro 2012 final.

Loew, though, felt his side had put all that behind them heading into Friday's clash with Ireland.

"The team was focused from the beginning - that was noticeable throughout the whole week in training," he told reporters after the match.

"When he had the ball, we played it forward quickly and found the right balance and we deserved to win by this margin."

German team manager Oliver Bierhoff said he had been somewhat surprised by Ireland's lack of fight on their home patch.

"We expected them to be a little bit stronger," Bierhoff told Goal.com.

"We played very focused. We have talented players with a lot of technique and other skills but the Irish team was a little bit disappointing."

And it was an opinion shared by Loew.

"The opponents were unimaginative, playing long balls forward without any real pressure," he said.

"We were much better organised defensively than in recent games."

Klose scored after a week of criticism from the likes of Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness, but insisted that his only focus was helping his side to improve on poor showings against Austria and Faroe Islands.

"I think that the first two games were very difficult, but if we prepare for a game properly like today, we can come out with a result," the Lazio man said.

"It was nice to contribute to the win with a goal on my 125th cap. But I have no comment for Uli Hoeness' criticism.

"Much has been written, but it's best for me to keep my mouth shut and concentrate on football."

Article

World Cup qualifying: Ireland 1 Germany 6

12 October 2012 22:58

Germany solidified their position atop the Group C standings with a 6-1 thumping of Republic of Ireland in World Cup qualifying on Friday.

Sweden's earlier 2-1 win over Faroe Islands had put some pressure back on Joachim Loew's men, but any suggestions of an upset were put to rest during a rampant display at the Aviva Stadium where the visitors scored almost at will.

Marco Reus set Germany on their way with the opener after 32 minutes before adding a well-taken second five minutes before half-time.

A Mesut Oezil penalty, a clinical Miroslav Klose finish and a pair of long-range strikes from Toni Kroos piled further misery on the Irish, whose only response came from an Andy Keogh with the last kick of the game.

Bastian Schweinsteiger made his return to the German squad for the first time since the Euro 2012 semi-final loss to Italy, while Per Mertesacker started in the centre of defence in place of Mats Hummels, who misses out through injury.

Seamus Coleman began at right-back to mark his first competitive start for Ireland, as Jonathan Walters was chosen ahead of Shane Long to replace the injured Robbie Keane in attack.

Germany threatened first during the initial stages, as Thomas Mueller headed just over from a well-placed clip from Reus, who was set up in space by Oezil.

But Walters was proving himself to be a handful as the hosts looked to attack through the long ball early on, and the Stoke City forward nearly broke free on more than one instance, but the close attentions of Jerome Boateng and Manuel Neuer was enough to stop him in his tracks both times.

Germany soon came to terms with Ireland’s direct approach though, and their superior passing and movement on the ground slowly wrested control of the game back into their favour.

The visitors thought that they had a penalty on the half hour mark as Reus went down under pressure from John O'Shea, but instead, the referee decided to show the Dortmund forward a yellow card for diving.

But Reus would not let that decision faze him, and two minutes later, drove Germany into the lead after latching onto a loose ball in the box and driving his finish right into the roof of the net.

Ireland struggled to recover from the setback, and their task was made that much harder five minutes before the interval as Germany hit them for a second, with Reus came up with the goods once again.

A fantastic counter-attack saw Oezil lead the charge, spreading the ball wide to Boateng, who in turn swept to Reus on the edge of the box, and the 23-year-old forward arrowed a precise finish into the far corner.

Any hopes of an Irish comeback were put to rest once and for all during a blistering 15-minute spell to start the second half. With 55 minutes gone, Klose was brought down by Darren O'Dea inside the area, and Oezil stepped up to calmly send Keiren Westwood the wrong way from 12 yards out.

It was 4-0 three minutes later, as Klose latched onto a through pass from Schweinsteiger, rounded Westwood and slotted home despite the angle diminishing by the second.

Kroos added a fifth almost instantly, volleying home from outside the box after O'Shea had failed to properly clear a clipped ball into the area.

By that point, Ireland were battered into submission, as Germany took their foot off the gas, meeting little resistance when they leisurely probed in the opposition half.

Kroos put the icing on the cake with seven minutes remaining as he drilled a well-placed shot in at Westwood's near post from outside the area as the visitors looked to finish completely in control.

But a small crumb of comfort spilled Ireland's way at the death, as Keogh forced Manuel Neuer to tip around the post, then headed home the resulting corner to finally give the home fans something to cheer.

Article

World Cup qualifying preview: Ireland v Germany

12 October 2012 09:55

Ireland are set to deploy extra numbers in the midfield in a bid to halt heavyweights Germany in their World Cup qualifier on Friday.

Joachim Loew's side will enter the Aviva Stadium match as hot favourites, having made a successful start to their qualifying campaign with victories against the Faroe Islands and Austria in their opening two games.

They need just two more wins to earn direct qualification into Brazil 2014.

But Ireland assistant coach Marco Tardelli revealed the hosts planned to use a 4-3-3 formation to counter Germany's midfield potency.

James McCarthy, Keith Andrews and Keith Fahey are expected to be the men charged with executing the defensive assault.

"I think we need to change something against Germany because the Germans are a very strong team and play 4-3-3," Tardelli said.

"So maybe it's possible for us to play 4-3-3. I don't know who the third midfielder will be but Fahey has good experience and for (David) Meyler it is very early because it's a very tough match and we need experienced players.

"Why the change? Because we have many injuries and against Germany we play 4-3-3 as they have a big player behind the two strikers, (Mesut) Oezil.

"Maybe we need a midfielder who can control and keep them in check. So we put three midfielders on the pitch and one midfielder is for Oezil."

Whether the Irish can successfully quell Germany, ranked second in the world behind Spain, remains to be seen given the visitors will have attacking midfielders Thomas Muller, Toni Kroos (both Bayern), Mario Gotze, Marco Reus (both Dortmund), Oezil and Lukas Podolski fighting for three places.

The group favourites, who last dropped points in a qualifier over three years ago (1-1 v Finland, October 2009), also welcome back key midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger for the Dublin match.

The Bayern Munich star will wear the armband for the suspended Philipp Lahm.

Lars Bender (Leverkusen), who succeeded as a makeshift right back against Greece, is injured, so the less mobile Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich) will probably come in, while Dortmund's Marcel Schmelzer will get another chance to prove his international credentials on the left.

Per Mertesacker is expected to replace the injured Mats Hummels (bruised foot) in the heart of the defence.

But perhaps the most significant concern for Germany is the infighting that's dogged the team since their Euro 2012 semi-final exit to Italy in Warsaw.

"There is friction (in the camp)," admitted Germany assistant manager Oliver Bierhoff at a press conference in Frankfurt.

"We've rarely had a situation where so many players felt they should start. We are happy and grateful this is the case. Of course, there will be some who'll be unhappy about not getting in but the team spirit has been totally sound and I'm sure it will continue to be so."

Germany leads the head-to-head record with seven wins while Ireland have taken the honours five times and there have been four draws.

The last time they met was a scoreless encounter at Croke Park in 2007.

Article

Neuer calls for defensive boost

12 October 2012 06:54

Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer believes coach Joachim Loew needs to strengthen the German defence.

The Euro 2012 semi-finalists have made a perfect start to their World Cup qualifying campaign with two wins from two, yet, despite only conceding once, the Bayern Munich custodian thinks Germany could improve defensively.

"We have to concentrate more, that is very important. We have got many great attacking players, but we cannot disregard the defence," he told TZ in an interview.

"In my opinion it is important to have a stable defence. Klose is the best example. His defensive qualities as a striker are outstanding."

The 26-year-old then went on to dismiss the claim made by club and international team-mate Bastian Schweinsteiger, who hinted that not every player put in his best effort during Euro 2012, before revealing the nature of the intense competition.

"I did not see one man after the loss against Italy who was happy to go home. We were a unit," he said.

"No one can rest. The competition is strong in our team. Everyone has to work hard to gain his place in the starting 11."

Article

Coleman in the mix to face Germany

11 October 2012 16:06

Republic of Ireland assistant coach Marco Tardelli said Seamus Coleman could start Friday's World Cup 2014 qualifier against Germany.

The 24-year-old has played an important role in Everton's superb Premier League start this season, in contrast to Fulham full-back Stephen Kelly, who has not played a minute of top-flight football in the current campaign.

Tardelli admitted both players had their own strengths and weaknesses in the full-back position, but added a decision will only be made after training.

"During training, we will understand if it's better one or the other," he told reporters.

"We know that Kelly is more defensive, and Coleman likes to attack. We know Coleman has done well in the Premier League. Now he is starting to play at the back. We know he is a good player."

The former Sligo Rovers youngster featured in Ireland's friendly win over Oman last month, but has yet to make a competitive start at international level.

Tardelli acknowledged it was important for the side to look to the future, explaining the inclusion of Coleman and Chelsea youngster Connor Clifford are indicative of the desire to build a new side ahead of the Euro 2016 campaign - even if he is no longer involved.

"I don't know if I will be here (in 2016)," he said.

"But I think it's better for the FAI (Football Association of Ireland) that we look to the future. I saw Clifford in training today and I think he is very good for the future."

Article

Podolski, Gotze fit for Irish battle

11 October 2012 15:54

Germany assistant coach Hans Flick said Lukas Podolski and Mario Gotze will be fit to face Ireland on Friday.

The attacking duo were forced to sit out part of Die Mannschaft's training session on Wednesday, with Gotze nursing a muscle problem and Podolski recovering from an ankle knock, but Flick has played down any fears that they may be sidelined for the World Cup qualifier in Dublin.

"Today was the first day that every player was there," he told reporters.

"Yesterday Lukas and Mario received treatment. Lukas Podolski had some problems with his ankle, Mario with some muscle problems. We decided to spare him towards the end of training today when it became a bit more intensive. Gotze did individual training."

Joachim Loew's side are already without injured defender Mats Hummels and midfielders Ilkay Gundogan and Lars Bender, while captain Philipp Lahm is suspended.

Flick was quick to praise the squad depth the Germans had at their disposal.

"Even despite the missing players, we can handle any absence because of our team's strength," he said.

Germany are looking to make it three wins from three when they take on Giovanni Trapattoni's men, but the former Bayern Munich midfielder has warned his side they must be at their best defensively if they are to leave Dublin with a positive result.

"Our focus is absolutely the defence. We have been working on the basics which at times have not worked that well in the past," he added.

"Defence starts from attack and we need to be compact. We need to have order and move well. Our offensive players will also need to do a lot of defensive work."

Article

Khedira: Germany got lucky in Vienna

11 October 2012 15:22

Sami Khedira said Germany will have to lift their game if they are to maintain their perfect record in 2014 World Cup qualification.

The Real Madrid midfielder feels his country were lucky to bag the full three points against Austria in September, and has urged them to improve in the upcoming matches versus Republic of Ireland and Sweden.

"We have the maximum score from our opening two games and nobody's taking that away from us. However, we also realise that we have to do more than we did against Faroe Islands and versus Austria in particular," Khedira told the official DFB website.

"We had a lot of luck in the match in Vienna, and that's not the way Germany should win games. We have to improve if we want to be successful against Ireland and Sweden. We can make a huge step forward if we beat them.

"Our group is pretty balanced with a lot of teams that are quite even. The advantage of that is that teams like Sweden, Ireland and Austria will spill points against each other."

Article

Schweinsteiger: Germany deserve plaudits

9 October 2012 20:45

Bastian Schweinsteiger wants more respect for his Germany team, following criticism of performances and lack of trophies.

The midfielder was speaking ahead of his side's 2014 World Cup qualifier away to the Republic of Ireland on Friday, in which he will captain the side in the absence of the suspended Philipp Lahm.

Bayern Munich man Schweinsteiger believes Germany should be praised for their performances - despite not winning a competition since 1996 and losing out to Italy in the semi-finals of Euro 2012.

"(Semi-final finishes) should not be taken for granted. We did not drop a point in the qualifiers, we beat top-10 teams in our group and then lost just one game," he said, referring to their European Championship campaign.

"I think it is a pity, it is not always fair but that is the way it is. There are other teams who have targets and it is not easy to keep winning.

"I don't think everything is bad, not many teams can claim to have such a track record. I think the respect is missing a bit. It is not written down anywhere that we are going to win every game."

Schweinsteiger missed his side's first two qualifiers against Austria and the Faroe Islands and now is looking forward to representing his country in Dublin against Giovanni Trapattoni's Ireland side.

"It is a special feeling playing there. The atmosphere is different, it has this special something," he said.

"We had the joy of playing there five years ago and it is difficult to win there. It would be a huge advantage to get the three points but they are a tough team with a clever fox of a coach."

Article

McClean unlikely to face Germany

7 October 2012 05:45

Republic of Ireland winger James McClean is unlikely to feature against Germany in the World Cup qualifier between the nations.

The 23-year-old reported a very tight groin following Sunderland's 3-0 loss to Manchester City in the English Premier League on Saturday.

McClean will undergo a medical on Monday to determine whether he will be fit to make an appearance against Joachim Loew's side on October 12.

Team-mate Sean St Ledger is also unlikely to feature after suffering a suspected hamstring injury while playing for Leicester City in their Championship win over Bristol City.