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Germany overwhelm Slovakia to reach Euro last eight

Germany enhanced their status as favourites for Euro 2016 as they overwhelmed Slovakia in Lille to set up a quarter-final against Italy or Spain. Centre-back…

Germany enhanced their status as favourites for Euro 2016 as they overwhelmed Slovakia in Lille to set up a quarter-final against Italy or Spain.
Centre-back Jerome Boateng gave the world champions an eighth-minute lead with a superb 25-yard volley before Mario Gomez poked in the second.
Julian Draxler, who provided a superb assist for the second, made it 3-0 with a near-post volley after the break.
Mesut Ozil also missed a penalty for Germany in the 14th minute.
Slovakia’s best chance fell to Juraj Kucka, whose header was brilliantly tipped over by Manuel Neuer.
The last-eight tie between Joachim Low’s side and one of the other fancied teams takes place in Bordeaux next Saturday.
The three-time European champions have set a standard. Their performance in Lille was arguably the most dominant by a team at this championship.
After three average group displays, this was more trademark Low. The 56-year-old is a coach who does not believe in rigid roles, and against Slovakia the movement of his attack stretched the opposition defence.
Germany started in a 4-2-3-1 formation with Draxler on the left, Ozil in middle and Thomas Muller on the right of the attack, just behind striker Gomez.
But Draxler often interchanged with Ozil, and Muller covered much of the Slovak half.
Jan Kozak’s side spent the match chasing the Germans, and the game, after Bayern Munich’s Boateng rifled in the first with a brilliant piece of opportunism.

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