Euro 2020: Thomas Mueller on the mark as Germany thrash Latvia

Thomas Mueller celebrates against Latvia
Thomas Mueller celebrates against Latvia Image Credit: Reuters

Thomas Mueller scored his first international goal in two years as Germany crushed minnows Latvia 7-1 in their final warm-up friendly before the Euro 2020 finals.

Latvia, ranked 138th in the world, rarely got out of their half as Germany tuned up for their opening game of the European Championship against world champions France in eight days time in Munich.

After a two-year exile from international football, 2014 World Cup winner Mueller got on the scoresheet while Premier League stars Ilkay Gundogan and Timo Werner also found the net in the rout.

Germany captain Manuel Neuer was applauded on to the pitch by his teammates before kick-off as he became the first goalkeeper to make 100 appearances for the national team.

The 35-year-old veteran had one of the quietest nights of his career in Duesseldorf.

He was largely untested until Latvia midfielder Aleksejs Saveljevs caught the German defence napping with a consolation goal 15 minutes from time. Kai Havertz ghosted through the Latvia defence to set up the opener as left-back Robin Gosens claimed his first international goal, then 86 seconds later Gundogan crashed in the second. Germany were 3-0 up inside 27 minutes when Mueller hit the net, his 39th goal in 102 caps for Germany.

It was 5-0 at the break as Latvia goalkeeper Robert Ozols fumbled the ball into his own net, then Serge Gnabry volleyed into the top corner.

Werner replaced Havertz for the second half and fired home between Ozols legs with 50 minutes gone.

Saveljevs’s superb shot flew past the diving Neuer, before Leroy Sane made amends for an earlier miss by tapping home’s Mueller’s pass.

The win was a timely confidence booster on the eve of the Euro 2020 finals, but Germany can expect much harder games against France and reigning European champions Portugal in Group F.