Brazil 1 Germany 7: Three talking points
Brazil 1 Germany 7: Three talking points as the four-time winners reach the World Cup final
There’s never an easy game in international football
Alan Shearer once said that before his England team rolled over some minnows. Germany were given the easiest game a world football power could have ever seen. On that showing by Brazil, Spain are at home now thinking their smashing by Wednesday’s semi-finalists Holland was a damn-close run thing. Why has this happened? Simple – Germany were bloody ruthless. Every single chance was taken in a pulsating first 30 minutes. It shows the ease at which Joachim Low’s men were able to put this game beyond Brazil that Miroslav Klose’s world record-setting goal was an easy follow-up tap-in. From Thomas Muller to the peerless and possibly Real Madrid-bound Toni Kroos, Low’s men dominated from start to finish and took attacking football to new standards. Yes, Brazil were beaten the moment Neymar’s back was broken, but nothing could have stopped the ruthlessness of the Teutonic machine.
Manuel Neuer, Mats Hummels, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Kroos and Muller. Is there a better spine to any team, domestic or international in world football currently? Muller is deadly in front of goal, while Kroos is showing a number of doubters why he is coveted by Manchester United and will eventually leave Bayern Munich for Real Madrid with his calm superiority on the ball, dictating play and joining in to grab his own richly-deserved goals. Schweinsteiger – ‘Mr Bayern’ – missed much of 2013/14 through injury, but has benefitted from having to prove himself all over again to Pep Guardiola. But it is the duo of Neuer and Hummels who are the bedrock of German success. Until Oscar’s late finish, Neuer hadn’t conceded in the knockout stages and was imperious in making his personal mission to stop the hosts scoring. Hummels, around whom the many transfer ‘rumours’ of the summer surround, again proved his worth, before Low felt the Borussia Dortmund man needed a rest ahead of the biggest game of all their careers.
It’s cliched because it’s true
The team who does brilliantly at the beginning never wins the World Cup – it is the team which peaks at the right time. Two wins – one convincing, one not – and a draw meant Germany were only assured of progression until the last game. The worst performance came in the last 16 against the willing Algeria, and even then it was extra-time. In effect, Algeria proved to be the kick up the backside the Germans needed, with Low immediately calling for improvement. In the searing heat against France, they were excellent and now they have destroyed the hosts. Destroyed them. With just one crucial game to go, it is a worry for Germany they haven’t peaked already. They haven’t – there is just too much strength in depth for them to not have something different to offer. The starting XI of the quarter and semi-final was the best XI, with Schweinsteiger and Sami Khedeira a revelation in one going and one staying. The assured nature of Schweinsteiger was so much that when he swept up a tackle, the German commentator claimed ‘alle ist klar’ loosely translating as ‘all is fine’. With the record-breaker Klose up top, it allows Chelsea’s Andre Schurrle to come on and score freely. Germany have it all – only they can stop themselves winning it.