Germany edge towards summit

Euro 2016 Qualifier Group D

Goals from Marco Reus and Thomas Muller within five minutes just before half-time were enough for Joachim Low’s men to pick up the three points in Tbilisi.

The world champions had chances for more and never looked in danger of conceding, but it was still not the most inspiring of performances from a side who have struggled notably since lifting the World Cup.

Reus went close to giving Germany a flying start early on as the home fans tried to play their part in roaring their team forward, even if they rarely crossed the halfway line.

Low’s side pegged their hosts back in search of an opening goal, with Muller sending his shot wide of the far post from a corner.

They had to wait until five minutes before the interval to break the deadlock.

Mario Gotze skipped his way through the Georgia defence and, although they were ultimately able to stop him, they could not prevent Reus from sweeping the loose ball inside the near post.

Reus was denied a second moments later before Muller got a lucky rebound and finished for his fifth goal in qualifying just before the interval.

Reus hit the crossbar on the hour mark, but that proved to be the closest Germany came to adding a third in a subdued second half. Having already done enough damage, the visitors took maximum points without breaking a sweat in Tbilisi.

“A look at the table before the game was enough to see the urgency of the situation,” Germany coach Joachim Low admitted afterwards.

“We played a dynamic game, we then controlled it in the second half but did not have the same drive towards goal.”

Low said their conversion rate would need to improve after again spurning several good chances and hitting the woodwork twice.

“We again missed some good chances. We had good combinations but failed to score a third or fourth goal.”

World Cup winning goalkeeper Manuel Neuer is also confident his side are returning to their best form after a sluggish start to this campaign.

“We are not yet fully on track and still have to improve,” the Bayern custodian said. “But there is sufficient time and I am very confident.”

GEORGIA: Loria, Lobjanidze, Kvirkvelia, Amisulashvili (Dvali 4), Kashia, Navalovski, Kobakhidze, Kankava, Makharadze (Kenia 63), Okriashvili (Chanturia 47), Mchedlidze.

GERMANY: Neuer, Rudy, Boateng, Hummels, Hector, Schweinsteiger, Kroos, Muller (Schurrle 86), Ozil, Reus, Gotze (Podolski 87)

Referee: Clement Turpin (France).

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