Lukas Podolski gave the perfect answer to last week's accusation of whining by scoring twice in Germany's 6-0 win over Liechtenstein in their 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ qualifier. The 23-year-old Bayern Munich forward struck either side of half-time to make it 30 goals in 56 international appearances, silencing his critics in the process.
Podolski has endured a testing fortnight at Bayern, where he has been kept on the bench and told to stop whining about his lack of playing time by the club's general manager Uli Hoeness. Jurgen Klinsmann, meanwhile, said he needed to "step on the gas".
In front of just under 8,000 fans, which ensured a capacity crowd at the Rheinpark Stadium, Germany were only 1-0 up at the break. However, they ran riot in the second half.
Podolski combined with Hamburg winger Piotr Trochowski on 21 minutes, and rifled his shot past goalkeeper Peter Jehle. Heavy rain in the first half in Liechtenstein's capital meant the game was never going to match Germany's 13-0 defeat of San Marino in 2006.
Podolski struck again almost straight after the restart in a carbon-copy of his first goal. The dam finally burst in the 65th minute, when midfielder Simon Rolfes stabbed the ball home through a packed defence for Germany's third.
And just minutes after taking the captain's armband from Miroslav Klose, his Bayern team-mate Bastian Schweinsteiger scored the game's fourth goal on 66 minutes. Germany had a great deal of luck for their fifth goal when Stuttgart captain Thomas Hitzlsperger launched a 76th minute free-kick, which took a deflection off Liechtenstein forward Mario Frick's foot on its way into the net.
The sixth goal came in the closing stages when Schalke defender Heiko Westermann drove his header into the back of the net on 86 minutes from a cross by teenager Marko Marin. Germany coach Joachim Low will now take his team to Helsinki for Wednesday night's qualifier against Finland.