• Germany inflicted record home defeat on Ireland
Paul will be here from around 7pm. Here's David Hytner's match preview:
Joachim Löw called it a "very fruitful discussion". To everyone else, it sounded like a very loud argument. The Germany manager admitted that Bastian Schweinsteiger had given him a "piece of his mind" and Löw had not agreed at all with the Bayern Munich midfielder.
The issue under discussion was the unity of the Nationalmannschaft, who are here to face Giovanni Trapattoni's injury-hit Republic of Ireland in World Cup qualification. Schweinsteiger had questioned it when he said "the whole bench didn't jump up" to celebrate goals at the European Championship and his comments have sparked a high profile sideshow.
Mario Götze and Toni Kroos had complained in public about their lack of playing minutes at Euro 2012 and Löw added here that "some players were not overly happy to have to sit on the bench … Per Mertesacker for one".
For the first time since replacing Jürgen Klinsmann in 2006 Löw finds himself under pressure and facing searching questions, many of which relate to the semi-final defeat by Italy in Warsaw on 28 June. Never mind that Löw's record in charge of his country reads: Euro 2008 runners-up, World Cup 2010 and Euro 2012 semi-finalists. Germany always expect to win.
Let us pray.
Check out these teams.
Ireland: Westwood; Coleman, O'Shea, O'Dea, Ward; Cox, Fahey, McCarthy, Andrews, McGeady; Walters
Subs: Forde, McShane, Long, Meyler, Kelly, Wilson, Clark, Keogh, Brady, Clifford, Randolph.
Germany: Neuer, Boateng, Mertesacker, Badstuber, Schmelzer, Khedira, Schweinsteiger, Ozil, Muller, Reus, Klose.
Subs: Zieler, Howedes, Westermann, Schurrle, Podolski, Kroos.
Referee: Nicola Rizzoli (Italy)
Out trot the teams, with Manuel Neuer having an oddly pained expression on his face, as if coming all this way for a mere formality is one of the downside's of his job. What chance Ireland wipe that bored frown off his face? Oh.
Still, on the line-ups suggest that one minor miracle has already occurred and Giovanni Trapattoni has changed his approach. Sort of. The orthodox three-man central midfield represent a a small but hopefully significant departure from his norm. So bearing that in mind, perhaps further history will be made tonight ... and Germany will suffer defeat in an away World Cup qualifier for the first time ever. Or Ireland will suffer their worst home defeat (which currently stands at 5-0, as inflicted by Spain in 5-0. Now, before you complain about that filler, know that it is better than the prematch guff going on in the stadium (but just as I say that: the band belts into Deutschland Uber Alles .... on the bagpipes!)
Other scores from this group tonight: Faroe Island took the lead against Sweden before losing 2-1; and Kazakhstan held Austria to a 0-0.
1 min: Ireland kick off and after nine seconds Jon Walters - brought into the team to rough up the Germans - takes a mighty whack off Schmelzer. Freekick to Ireland wide on the right. McGeady sends it into the area, and that man Schmelzer intervenes again, this time conceding a corner. Decent start by Ireland ...
2 min: Ridiculous decision by the referee, who fails to notice that Ward's cross from the left only went wide because of a huge deflection off Boateng. It's like the Thierry Henry handball all over again, or something.
4 min: Confident stuff so far by Ireland, who are winning everything in midfied ... and might even have created a shooting opportunity if Walters had been able to pick out McGeady just now rather than Badstuber. "Mate, the German commentators on ZDF are mad for the Dudelsack (bagpipes) anthem," chirps Rob Jacques. "Get a fiver on for it to be Xmas number one in Germany." And I am mad for "Dudelsack" as a translation for bagpipes. I hereby vow to use it liberally.
6 min: Germany threaten for the first time, with Muller cutting in off the left and crossing ... and Ward darn near turns it into his own net, woefully shanking an attempted clearance. To everyone's relief, the ball flies just wide.
7 min: Walters gets a face full of Mertersacker elbow. Fahey sends the freekick in from deep, and Ward is close to getting on the end of it, only for Khedira to usher the danger away. But so far, so good from Ireland, in the main.
10 min: There's pleasing zip and purpose about Ireland so far, and they've got the upperhand; the three central midfielder ploy is working; McGeady is looking sprightly; Waltersw is a warrior; and O'Dea has begun well. All in all, the Dudelsack version of Deutschland Uber Alles appears to have done the trick so far ...
13 min: The Germans are beginning to find their groove. Lots of pinging it about in the Irish half. Ireland are scurrying after them gamely but after several minutes of possession, Germany create a clear chance, Reus whipping a good cross into the box. Muller met it about 8 yards from goal but bopped the ball badly over.
16 min: German domination is growing, but Irish scampering is not weakening. But the home team are dropping deeper and deeper.
19 min: The increasingly influential Muller drifts in from the left and clips a cross into the danger zone ... Klose has ghosted between O'Dea and O'Shea but fortunately the cross is fractionally behind him and rather than head at goal from six yards, he has to nod it backwards to Reus, who bungles his effort.
21 min: Irish fans are booing in an attempt to put the Germans off their ominous possession play. That won't work lads: you need to get the Dudelsacks out again.
23 min: Ireland finally regain possession and McCarthy tries to instigate an instant attack, sending a raking long ball over the top for Walters to chase. Neuer, however, shows superb sweeping skills to sprint way out of his box and head it clear before the striker can connect.
25 min: Germany continue to knock it about but Ireland are keeping their shape and defending stoutly and Walters is proving a decent fulcrum on the few occasions that they get a chance to move forward. There is hope.
27 min: Not for the first time, Cox kills a promising Irish move with a sloppy pass. He's not been on his game so far.
29 min: There's a whiff of complacency about Germany. They're dominating possession but playing at a pace that is comfortable for Ireland and not committing many players to attack, as if convinced that they're front-men should make the breakthrough with much back-up from midfield.
31 min: Phew! O'Shea dawdles on the ball in his own box and Reus robs him ... then O'Shea hauls him down .... and the ref books him for diving! A terrible yet beautiful decision! And all that moments after Coleman nutmegged Schweinsteiger. This might just be another one of those brilliantly crazy nights in Dublin ...
GOAL! Ireland 0-1 Germany (Reus 32') Or maybe not. That was plain old bad craziness. Slack defending by Ireland, in particular McGeady, allowed Schmelzer to hurtled into the box and chest a pass down. As a couple of Irish players fell over, Reus arrived to exact retribution for the diving fiasco of a moment ago and tonk the ball into the net off the underside of the crossbar.
35 min: This is agonizing defending from Ireland. With Germany now playing with a fearsome swagger, Ireland are starting to look very dozy at the back and even the moment elementary clearances are becoming difficult and shape is falling apart. Germany look intent on adding to the damage before the break and Ireland's capacity to resist is in serious doubt ...
38 min: Ireland can't keep track of the German movement. Muller, again contriving to receive the ball in loads of space, swivels 25 yards from goal and then decides to have a ging. Over the bar it went.
GOAL! Ireland 0-2 Germany (Reus 39') That's a wonderful break and finish. Ireland were trying to cobble together an attack when Schmelzer broke it up and launched an attack from deep. Boateng and Ozil, performer of a superb turn, played key parts before Reus collected the ball wide on the left and fired an excellent shot into the bottom corner from 20 yards.
43 min: Nice play by Walters and McCarthy to relieve a modicum of pressure. But it'll be back on in a minute, you can be sure of that ...
44 min: "Call me crazy but I have a feeling Ireland is not going to win this match," reckons JR in Illinois. "I suppose it's time to start hoping that they don't lose by more than San Marino does to England." You think San Marino will lose to Enngland? Apparently that is in real doubt at the moment ....
Half-time: Well, Ireland started OK. But German superiority soon came to the fore and now a severe drubbing is on the cards. Trap could throw on Shane Long and go all guns blazing but the German armoury is manifestly better and they could blow the hosts away by even more. 5-0 was 50-1 before this match, I happen to know ...
46 min: Germany change: Khedira off; Kroos on. No changes by Ireland ....
47 min: Yellow card for O'Dea for tackle from behind on Muller. That's the closest an Irish player has been to him for quite a while. "Dortmund's youth coach thought Reus wouldn't make it so he had to leave the club," recalls Oscar Morris. "Expensive mistake. They bought him back this year for 17 million." Madness. They could have had about 57 Keith Faheys for that.
48 min: Ozil swings in a corner, which Klose meets but heads wide from nine yards. "The scary thing about this game is that the only panacea to how Ireland are playing begins when the players are five and six," pontificates David Fallon. "Quite literally, passing the ball, is a step to far for each of them. If they manage more than 5 uninterrupted passes in this half I'll eat my leprechaun lederhosen." But not your Dudelsack?
50 min: Ireland showing some gumption, and an attack conclude with Ward slipping a nice ball through to Cox, whose attempt from an acute angle almost catches out Neuer, who was anticipating a cross. The keeper grabs it at the second attempt. "On RTE Eamonn Dunphy has said 'I've played on bad teams, relegation teams, teams that were going nowhere, and Ireland have that look about them'," reveals Paul McNulty.
51 min: Ireland are going for it: Shane Long has been introduced for Fahey, which presumably means a switch to 4-4-2. The crowd roar their approval.
52 min: Ireland have begun this half as well as they started the first. McGeady curls a freekick in from the right, and Neuer is obliged to make a save, because of a miscued attempted clearance by a defender, I think.
54 min: Definite penalty. O'Dea takes down Klose, who beat him to the ball to collect a Muller pass.
GOAL! Ireland 0-3 Germany (Ozil 55') Ozil does a Balotelli, and Westwood buys it.
56 min: On the plus side, at least Ireland aren't softening Germany up ahead of Sweden's trip there on Tuesday .....
GOAL! Ireland 0-4 (Klose 58') Oh for crying out loud. Schweingsteiger opens up the Irish defence with one pass from deep, Klose beats Westwood to it and then sends a low shot towards goal from a tight angle .... and O'Dea escorts it into the net.
60 min: Another simple pass dissects the Irish defence, but Coleman gets back to make a heroic tackle to stop Reus helping himself to a hat-trick. At t his point I should remind you that Ireland's record home defeat is 5-0, as inflicted by Spain in 1931.
GOAL! Ireland 0-5 Germany (62') Ozil clips a ball into the box, O'Shea heads it weakly to the edge of the area, where Kroos arrives to hammer it into the net. Half an hour for Ireland to salvage some dignity. I'm not confident.
64 min: There's a touch of supermarket sweep to the German approach now, with all their forward players fancying their chances of helping themselves to whatever they fancy. Individual greed could well be Ireland's best chance of of avoiding a record annihilation.
66 min: German substitution: Lukas Podolski is actually Laughing as he bounces on to the pitch. Off lollops Reus.
68 min: Ozil slides a lovely ball through to the overlapping Boateng, who cracks a cross towards the six-yard box. O'Dea manages to divert it behind for a corner.
69 min: Ireland substitution: McGeady off, Keogh on. Is that why Podoloski was laughing?
70 min: Given that Trapattoni has based his whole approach on Ireland supposedly being difficult to break down, this is a monumental failure at a time when he desperately needed to give his few remaining believers extra food for faith. This could be the end of the line for the manager.
72 min: German change: Klose off, Schurrle on. Only 18 minutes for Ireland to cling on. Before Trap is let go. Surely. "Alone now in a darkened room upstairs," confides Justin Kavanagh. "The commentator shouts 'it's five' from the TV downstairs. Can't watch any more. Open the bottle of Scotch. Thankfully for Ireland's Italian coach famed worldwide for his catenaccio. Bring back John Giles. Jesus, bring back Eamon Dunphy at this stage. At least he wins the odd argument."
75 min: Andrews tries to give Neuer something to do. PLenty of power in his 25-yard shot, but no precision. Way wide it goes, as fans file out of the ground ...
77 min: Ireland are now offering nothing. Only creeping dilettantism in the German play is preventing the margin of destruction being greater.
78 min: Shane Long booked for a late tackle. Now no one can say he has made no impact since coming on.
79 min: Save! An actual save! Westwood gets down to block a Boateng shot from the edge of the area after prolonged German possession.
81 min: Germany have been excellent and are one of the best teams in the world, but it must be remembered that they are only doing what many teams have threatened to do against Ireland over the last year or two, and many have come close. The Trap era is surely over. This match, unfortunately, is not yet. Six, at least, remains a distinct probability.
GOAL! Ireland 0-6 Germany (Kroos 82') Can I swear now please? After lengthy German manoeuvring, Kroos receives the ball in splendid isolation at the edge of the area and whacks a low drive into the net. History is made: Ireland worst ever home defeat.
86 min: Badstuber booked, for an offence I didn't see because I was sprucing up my huge TRAP OUT placard. Meanwhile, this mail from Owen Mulligan arrived a little late: "I just hope we lose in moderation but in the words of Flann O'Brien: Moderation, we find, is an extremely difficult thing to get in this country"."
88 min: Just two more minutes till the Dudelsacked headlines, hopefully.
90 min: After much toying by Germany in the box, and a possible penalty for the visitors, Kroos is denied a hat-trick by a decent Westwood save.
GOAL! Ireland 1-6 Ireland (Keogh 90+2') After Neuer turns a Keogh shot behind for a corner, the Millwall man is left unmarked to receive the set-piece and send it a fine header into the net from six yards.
Full-time: Ireland's record home defeat was predictable and a fair reflection of the match. Germany were very good, Ireland were without some important players but this was still inexcusable and, to repeat, given the approach that Trappatoni prioritises, there is no justification for him continuing as Ireland manager. The Dudelsacks, the Dudelsacks are calling ...