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Sports

Germany Crush Euro Co-Hosts Switzerland 4-0

Germany scored an emphatic 4-0 victory over Switzerland in an international friendly in Basel with two goals by Mario Gomez.

Switzerland's Tranquillo Barnetta, right, and Germany's Bastian Schweinsteiger fight for the ball

Switzerland's Barnetta, right, and Germany's Schweinsteiger fight for the ball

German coach Joachim Loew said he was "quite satisfied" with his team after their 4-0 rout of Switzerland.

"I think the side deserved their victory," Loew said. "I am also quite sure that the Swiss will be a very different side at the finals," he added.

Germany were helped to a convincing win with goals by Miroslav Klose (23), Mario Gomez (61 and 67) and Lukas Podolski (88).

Strong start for guests

Germany, whose first-ever international was also against Switzerland in Basel 100 years ago, took the lead midway through the first half after Bastian Schweinsteiger sent VfB Stuttgart striker Gomez into space on the right flank.

Germany's Miroslav Klose fights for the ball with Switzerland's Stephan Lichsteiner

Klose (center) brought in one of Germany's four goals

Gomez played the ball into the goalmouth where Swiss goalie Diego Benaglio palmed it into to Klose's path, who tapped in the ball for an initial score.

The home side nearly levelled the game on the half hour as Philippe Senderos passed to Alexander Frei near the German goal, but the Borussia Dortmund striker headed the ball straight into the arms of German goalkeeper Jens Lehmann.

Shortly before the break, Schweinsteiger was lucky to escape with a yellow card after throttling an opponent, but the Swiss failed to capitalize on the resultant free-kick.

Back-to-back for Gomez

Germany continued the second half where they had left off, with Gomez adding two scores within six minutes.

Captain Michael Ballack

Ballack said the win will bring the German national players confidence for the Euro Cup

In the 61st minute, Werder Bremen midfielder Clemens Fritz managed to rob Tranquillo Barnetta of the ball and pushed it sideways to Gomez, who side-footed his shot past Benaglio.

Six minutes later Gomez beat the offside trap after being sent through by German substitute Podolski. Benaglio was unlucky as Gomez' shot went in through his legs.

Two minutes from time, Podolski scored with a breakaway goal after going around Benaglio.

Germany captain Michael Ballack said that the team managed to come back strong after disappointing in their last friendly against Austria in early February. Though Germany ultimately beat the other European Championship co-hosts 3-0, they'd opened the match with a scoreless first half.

"We were very aggressive and played well," said Ballack. "It was a solid performance and winning 4-0 against a Swiss side that has achieved good results in the past is something that should give us confidence for the Euro championships."

Barnetta, who plays his club football in the German Bundesliga for Bayer Leverkusen, was disappointed with the loss, but agreed with Germany's Loew that his team could do better.

"We will not give up and I am sure we will be a very different side at the Euro finals," he said. "Losing 4-0 is a very bad result, but we will have to come back."

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