Germany respond to England defeat by thrashing Italy
Germany bounced straight back from their defeat to England at the weekend to break a two-decade long jinx and beat Italy 4-1 in Munich.
Toni Kroos and Mario Gotze gave Germany another ominous two-goal lead, but rather than capitulating to a 3-2 loss like they did against England, this time they went on to add further goals through Jonas Hector and Mesut Ozil.
Stephan El Shaarawy grabbed a consolation for Antonio Conte's men, but the impressive win allowed Joachim Low's side to get the better of their bogey team for the first time since 1995.
Italy were defending a proud record of over 20 years without a defeat to Germany, including semi-final triumphs at the 2006 World Cup, which they went on to win under Marcello Lippi, and at Euro 2012.
Prior to that 2006 triumph, Lippi's Italy beat Germany 4-1 in a March friendly, yet they were given a taste of some of their own medicine in Munich.
After coping with a bright opening from Italy, Germany soon settled and started to take control of the game, with Julian Draxler testing Gianluigi Buffon with the first shot of the night.
In the 24th minute, Kroos placed a fine side-footed effort past Buffon from just outside the penalty area, leaving the Italy custodian no chance with the pace and precision of his effort.
Muller set up that goal, with a cross deflected back out to the Real Madrid midfielder, and he had a go himself five minutes later with Buffon pushing his effort over the crossbar for a corner.
Back on assist duties, Muller teed up his Bayern team-mate Gotze to head in Germany's second on the stroke of half-time, with Matteo Darmian and Alessandro Florenzi both unable to deal with Germany's smallest players as he nodded in from close range.
Italy came out for the second half as they had started the first, with more urgency in their game, and Riccardo Montolivo flashed a shot just wide of the post within minutes of the restart.
Simone Zaza had a powerful volley blocked by Shkodran Mustafi and Germany broke almost immediately to increase their lead further with Hector placing a low shot past Buffon. Draxler had led the ball forward and then pulled it back intelligently, making the most of a slip by Leonardo Bonucci which saw the Juventus defender limp off injured.
Worse was to come for Italy when Buffon tripped Sebastian Rudy in the penalty area and Ozil swept in the resultant penalty.
Substitute El Shaarawy grabbed a consolation for Italy with a deflected goal, but his lack of celebration said it all at the end of a disappointing night for Italy and a superlative one for Germany.