European powerhouses Germany and France played out to a goalless draw, while Wales thumped the Republic of Ireland 4-1 on the opening day of Uefa Nations League fixtures.
Germany 0-0 France
The previous two World Cup winners failed to live up to their billing as Germany and France played out a 0-0 draw in their League A Nations League Group 1 opener.
France boss Didier Deschamps stuck with 10 of the players who started their final triumph against Croatia at Russia 2018, with an injury to captain and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris enforcing his only change.
Lloris’s deputy Alphonse Areola impressed on his debut with a string of late saves to keep the scores level.
Germany had belatedly shifted into gear after a forgettable opening hour, but it will take more than this for Joachim Low’s men to shift the gloom that lingered after their group-stage exit and Mesut Ozil’s international retirement.
Wales 4-1 Republic of Ireland
Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey were on the scoresheet as Wales thrashed Republic of Ireland 4-1 in Ryan Giggs’ first competitive game in charge.
Tom Lawrence and Connor Roberts were also on target in Thursday’s League B Group 4 clash, with Wales totally controlling their opening match in the Nations League.
Martin O’Neill’s men were dreadful at Cardiff City Stadium and could have lost by more, Wales easing off after the break having established a 3-0 lead prior to the interval.
But the visitors scored a consolation through substitute Shaun Williams, who capitalised on a Ramsey error to chip Wales goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey.
In other Uefa Nations League results:
• Czech Republic 1-2 Ukraine
• Slovenia 1-2 Bulgaria
• Norway 2-0 Cyprus
• Khazakstan 0-2 Georgia
• Armenia 2-1 Lichtenstein
• Latvia 0-0 Andorra
• Gibraltar 0-2 Macedonia
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