Germany 3 Poland 1
Germany moved above Poland at the top of Euro 2016 qualifying Group D thanks to a 3-1 win over the former group leaders in Frankfurt.
All four goals came from Bayern Munich players, with Thomas Muller and Mario Gotze establishing a two-goal lead for Joachim Low’s men before Robert Lewandowski pulled one back.
Gotze’s second late on sealed victory for Germany, who moved two points ahead of Poland at the summit and into a strong position to secure a ticket for France when they travel to Scotland on Monday.
Germany soon made their intentions clear in Frankfurt, dominating possession in a style similar to Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga, and going in front with Bayern’s and the Bundesliga’s leading scorer Muller providing the finish to an excellent team move in the 12th minute.
Three players who ply their trade outside of Germany – Bastian Schweinsteiger, Toni Kroos and Mesut Ozil – all combined before Jonas Hector exchanged passes with Karim Bellarabi, and his cross was turned in by Muller.
After a brief hint of a reaction from Poland, Germany doubled their lead with Hector again the provider, this time pulling the ball back for another Bayern player, Gotze, to carry the ball into the area and then finish through the legs of defender Lukasz Szukala.
Muller was denied by Lukasz Fabianski, and from the chance to make it 3-0, Germany immediately found their lead halved.
Kamil Grosicki sent in a cross from the left with the outside of his boot for Lewandowski, who became the third Bayern player to score.
Poland almost levelled just before half-time with Manuel Neuer making up for his own mistake by saving from Lewandowski, and then Gotze clearing Lewandowski’s header off the line from the subsequent corner.
The visitors came out strong in the second half, but Germany experienced a resurgence when Ilkay Gundogan was brought on for Bellarabi.
It was the Borussia Dortmund midfielder’s pass which set up Mesut Ozil, but his shot was saved well by Fabianski with Muller only just failing to reach the loose ball.
Gundogan once again set up a good chance, this time for Gotze, as Germany tried to earn themselves a cushion as the clock ticked down.
And they got what they were looking for in the 82nd minute when Muller’s deflected shot was parried by Fabianski and Gotze was on hand to poke the ball in to take Germany to the top of the group and on course for qualification.