Thomas Muller scored twice as world champions Germany continued their fine start to World Cup qualifying with a 3-0 triumph over Czech Republic in Hamburg.
Joachim Low’s men had quickly moved on from their Euro 2016 semi-final disappointment with a win by the same scoreline at Norway in their Group C opener and, as in Oslo, Muller netted a brace.
The Czechs had won on their previous trip to Germany in 2007, but they never looked like repeating the trick after the Bayern Munich forward had the hosts up and running.
A number of chances came and went in the first half, with Muller denied while Julian Draxler and Mario Gotze narrowly missed the target.
However, the visitors’ resistance was ended shortly after the interval when Toni Kroos struck a second, before Muller added his fourth of the campaign.
Germany now host Northern Ireland, who had previously held Pavel Vrba’s outfit, and will hope for a similarly comfortable success on Tuesday.
With the hosts making a typically dominant start, they took the lead from their first real opening after 13 minutes.
Gotze made progress down the left, and, although Mesut Ozil swiped and missed a low centre, Muller was lurking on the far side of the box to shoot into the corner via a deflection.
Borussia Dortmund’s Gotze was again involved when the next chance arrived, taking down Jerome Boateng’s stunning lofted pass to tee up Draxler, who curled just wide.
Germany were really hitting their stride, with Tomas Vaclik saving low from Muller when his defence failed to deal with another long ball.
As Gotze danced between his central posting and a wide left position, he continued to hunt a goal for himself and dinked just past the post after beating the goalkeeper to a neat one-two with Muller.
Joshua Kimmich has been an attacking threat for club and country this season and his smart header prompted a move that passed through Gotze and Draxler before Muller fired over the crossbar.
Vaclik then clawed away Kimmich’s cross-cum-shot to somehow keep Czech Republic in the game at half-time.
Just four minutes after the restart, though, Germany were two up and cruising to victory.
Kimmich cut inside from the right and laid on a pass for Kroos to step into and steer a low strike inside the near corner, calming his previously frustrated coach.
Unsurprisingly, the hosts were soon chasing a third, with Ozil lifting over via a deflection when he should have given Vaclik no chance from Draxler’s throughball.
Muller was smartly closed out as Gotze dummied Jonas Hector’s grounded delivery, but an effort at the other end followed and Manuel Neuer was on his toes to beat away Borek Dockal’s ferocious drive.
But Germany quickly reprised their attacking intent and Hector crossed again for Muller to finish across Vaclik into the net with 25 minutes remaining.
Dockal tried again for the Czechs, blasting wide, and Tomas Sivok had a goal correctly ruled out in the dying seconds, but there had been little doubt where the points were headed ever since Muller’s first as Low’s side eased to victory.
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