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It proved a miserable night for Ireland's Euro 2016 Group E opponents

Italy also suffered an injury blow as defender Leonardo Bonucci was carried off against Germany.

Image: Kerstin Joensson

THERE WAS A renewed sense of optimism for the Republic of Ireland’s chances at this summer’s European Championship as their Group E opponents all badly struggled in their respective Tuesday night friendlies.

In Munich, Italy were pulled apart by a free-flowing German side who had Toni Kroos, Mario Goetze, Jonas Hector and Mesut Ozil all on the score-sheet.

Stephan El Shaarawy grabbed a consolation for the visitors.

Incredibly, it was Germany’s first win over the Italians since June 1995 and they’re still to beat them competitively.

To compound matters, the Azzurri also lost Leonardo Bonucci to injury and the defender could now be a doubt for this summer’s tournament.

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Elsewhere, goals from Crsitiano Ronaldo and Nani ensured Belgium suffered a 2-1 defeat though Romelu Lukaku continued his impressive run with yet another goal.

Meanwhile, Sweden were held to a 1-1 draw at home to the Czech Republic.

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Long and McClean strike from the spot as Ireland put in positive performance against Slovakia

As it happened: Ireland v Slovakia, international friendly

About the author:

Eoin O'Callaghan

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