The Republic of Ireland may not have been expected to get anything out the visit of Germany but then there are defeats and there are embarrassments. If the manager, Giovanni Trapattoni, was under pressure before this result, the ice beneath his feet now looks perilously thin.
The Italian took the Republic to this summer's European Championship in Poland and Ukraine, the nation's first major championship for 10 years, but performances hence have drawn fierce criticism which is sure only to escalate after last night's capitulation at Dublin's Aviva Stadium.
Qualification is still a very real possibility, after all, Ireland have three points thanks to the opening Group C 2-1 victory over Kazakhstan but the jury on Trapattoni is out. "We played 30 minutes with good balance. After their first goal they became superior in strength and technically. We were unable to contain them in midfield," the Italian explained.
In the absence of the injured Robbie Keane, John O'Shea wore the captain's armband but what was supposed to be a proud evening for the Sunderland defender turned into a nightmare. "It's a massive humiliation at home," he said. "We gave them a helping hand with lots of the goals. There's a way to lose... and that wasn't a way to lose a game."
The Germans began the match in control which they never relinquished. Ireland simply could not get out of their own half as lone striker Jonathan Walters was starved of service.
For all the Germans were dominating possession with Mesut Özil and Marco Reus floating menacingly behind Miroslav Klose, they were creating little of note until they took the lead just after the half-hour mark. Bastian Schweinsteiger's ball over the top put full-back Marcel Schmelzer in behind Seamus Coleman and as he cut inside, Reus took over to fire past Keiren Westwood off the underside of the bar. It took the midfielder just eight minutes to double his tally, this time accepting full-back Jérôme Boateng's pass and rifling a left-foot shot across Westwood into the bottom corner.
Darren O'Dea gambled on getting to Thomas Müller's ball into the box ahead of Klose, but failed and referee Nicola Rizzoli pointed to the spot. Real Madrid midfielder Özil converted the penalty.
It was 4-0 with 58 minutes gone when Klose ran on to Schweinsteiger's defence-splitting pass and rounded Westwood before rolling the ball into the empty net. Only three more minutes had elapsed when Toni Kroos thumped a low shot inside the post after O'Shea's poor clearance with Ireland in tatters.
It became even uglier seven minutes from time when Kroos ran into space to blast past Westwood from 22 yards. Substitute Andy Keogh's injury-time header provided a scant consolation which could not dispel the impression that Trapattoni will face a grilling and a must-win fixture at the Faroe Islands on Tuesday.
Man of match Ozil.
Match rating 7/10.
Referee N Rizzoli (Italy).Reuse content