Germany crush Italy 4-1 in friendly

Munich, March 30 (IANS) A fine defensive display and clinical efficiency up front helped Germany inflict a 4-1 defeat on Italy in a football friendly match.

Thomas Muller, who captained Joachim Low’s team for the first time, set up both Toni Kroos and Mario Gotze in the first half here on Tuesday, before Jonas Hector opened Germany’s account and Mesut Ozil converted a penalty.

Italy rarely threatened but managed a consolation when Stephan El Shaarawy’s shot from a distance was deflected in by his club team-mate Antonio Rudiger.

It was Germany’s first win over Italy since 1995.

Thomas Muller assisted on both of Germany’s first goals, first as Toni Kroos gave the Germans the lead in the 24th minute and then with a chipped pass for Mario Gotze to head in.

The rout was on in the 59th minute when Julian Draxler raced in on goal and fed across for Jonas Hector to score Germany’s third. Mesut Ozil added a fourth from the penalty spot in the 75th minute after Italy keeper Gigi Buffon tripped up Sebastian Rudy.

Italy found a consolation goal through substitute Stephan El Shaarawy, whose speculative 83rd minute effort took a big deflection off Antonio Rudiger and looped into the net.

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