After defeat to England, Germany turned things around and delivered a much-improved performance against Italy in Munich. A new formation helped the balance of the team as four different players scored for Germany.
Germany 4-1 Italy
(Kroos 24', Götze 43', Hector 59', Özil 75' pen. - El Shaarawy 83')
Germany finally overcame their Italian curse on a rainy night in Munich on Tuesday, beating the Azzurri for the first time since 1995. With five changes to the starting line-up, Joachim Löw's side silenced their critics with a comprehensive victory against a tepid Italian team.
Fielding a five-man defensive unit, Germany looked solid but uninspired in the early stages. Mesut Özil created a chance on the break but Sebastian Rudy delayed too long to play the return pass for the Arsenal midfielder.
With Italy playing only three at the back, Germany continued to find space to exploit. Thomas Müller, captain for the day, was a persistent threat on the right, and it was no surprise the Bayern Munich man was involved in the opening goal.
Toni Kroos took advantage of Müller's deflected cross to curl the ball into the bottom corner from the edge of the box to open the scoring. After a familiar slow opening, Kroos' goal sparked some life in Germany. Soon after, Özil and the lively Julian Draxler tested Gianluigi Buffon. At the other end, a Marc Andre ter Stegen, largely untroubled, was rushed once or twice in possession but wasn't punished.
Müller and Draxler lead the way
Just as Italy looked to have found their feet, the hosts scored their second. A magical first touch from Müller drew the Italian defense towards him, but the 26-year-old forward somehow found space to chip the ball into the area where a brave Mario Götze squeezed between two Italian defenders to head home.
At the start of the second half, Riccardo Montolivo and Simone Zaza missed good chances to score but in truth, a goal would have flattered the visitors. Germany continued to be the better side and after fine combination play between Julian Draxler and Mario Götze, Jonas Hector finished past Buffon to score his first ever international goal.
Rudy, persistent down the right flank all evening, was then fouled in the box by Buffon after taking down Kroos' raking long ball in the 75th minute. Özil wrong-footed the Juventus keeper to add some gloss to the scoreline.
There was still time for Stephan El Shaarawy to come off the bench and score a consolation courtesy of a Rüdiger deflection,. However, ithe goal did little to brighten the an otherwise gloomy evening for the Azzurri.