Germany 4-1 England: Germany Blooms In The City Of Roses, Eliminates England

Clinical counter attack from the young German team proved to be too good for the defensive English line-up . A brace from Muller ensured a quarter-final berth for National Mannschaft, after a goal each from Klose and Podolski had got the Germans off to a perfect start, in a match that would also be remembered for the wrong reasons.

The rivalry between England and Germany has always been highly competitive. The mood of the games has been fed by non-footballing events that had taken place between the two countries in previous decades, particularly by memories of the Second World War. This has given the rivalry a highly intense and sometimes unpleasant edge, although players on both sides have usually attempted to downplay such negative associations.
Germany prevailed the last time when these two teams met in a world cup match in 1990 – Germany went on to win in a penalty shoot-out. The most recent meeting between the two sides was in an international friendly, which saw England defeat Germany in Berlin,  where the Germans had not lost for 35 years.
This was perhaps the biggest match of this tournament so far. Germany, even though had a brilliant start to their campaign, lost their touch and Klose against Serbia, and only managed to scrape past Ghana. England, on the other hand, had an indifferent and ordinary start to their campaign, with uninspiring stalemates against USA and Algeria. The Slovenia match saw the team’s performance get a slight boost. The result would surely have given them the much needed confidence before facing the young Germans.
Germany made one change to their team – Klose replaced Cacau after serving a suspension – while England fielded the same team. It was 4-2-3-1 vs 4-4-2(defensive). Both teams started the match cautiously, though Germany soon found their feet. Müller served Özil with a through pass, but Özil low shot from a tight angle was easily blocked by David James.
Soon the midfield of both sides were at loggerheads with a scrappy display. Germany, though, did not have to wait too long for their first moment of glory. On the 20th minute, Neuer’s goal kick found Klose because of Terry’s positional error. Klose hustled with Upson and won the ball inside the penalty box and before James intervenes his faint touch helped the ball roll over the goal line. What a tournament this old German warhorse is having.

June 27, 2010 - Bloemfontein, South Africa - epa02226305 German Miroslav Klose (L) scores the opening goal against England goalkeeper David James (R) during the FIFA World Cup 2010 Round of 16 soccer match between Germany and England at the Free State stadium in Bloemfontein, South Africa, 27 June 2010. ‘Klose Up’ moment

On the half-hour mark, Germany produced another scintillating display of counter-attacking football. Müller played a one-two with Özil and then played in to an unmarked Klose inside the penalty box, but this time James was alert and parried the ball away.  James, however, could not do anything about the the next German onslaught. Klose put in a chip for Müller from the right flank, on the break. Müller ran with the ball and found an unmarked Podolski in the far left corner of the penalty box. Prince Poldy did not waste much time with sweet passes, instead crunched a left footed strike underneath James’ legs to help Germany go 2-0 up.
The second goal seemed to have finally awakened the hibernating English team. Milner put in a low cross from the right flank and Lampard’s deft touch was naggingly saved by Neuer’s left arm. The attacks kept on coming for England. Finally England found light within the tunnel, when Gerrard’s inch-perfect cross was eagerly met with Upson’s header and The Three Lions scored their first goal in the match. Neuer’s positioning could come under scrutiny because of the goal.
That action was certainly not the last, even in the first half. England attacked in numbers and in the 37th minute Lampard found some space in front of the penalty box and his shot beat Neuer, hit the crossbar, crossed the goal-line and Neuer got it back, just before the next rebound.  Lampard and Capello had started celebrating, but were left stunned as the goal was not given. Deja Vu for England, but unfortunately this time they were on the receiving end. The players went for the break with the scoreline 2-1.
England showed grit and mettle from the word go in the second half. Gerrard’s shot missed the target by a whisker, three minutes after the restart. Soon after, a Frank Lampard thunderous strike, 34 meters away from goal, rattled the bar. Germany were living dangerously by choosing to sit back. Another chance came knocking England’s door when a poor backpass from Lahm was almost intercepted by Defoe, but Neuer proactively thwarted the danger.
Two minute later, Rooney set up Milner inside the right corner of the penalty box and a gallant block from Boateng kept the scoreboard immobile. Moments later, a Rooney through-ball was brilliantly tip-toed away by Friedrich between the legs of onrushing Defoe and Gerrard. That was perhaps the end of England’s glory for the match. On the hour mark, Germany struck hard on a counter. Müller switched the ball smartly to an unmarked Schweinsteiger, who ran the distance till the penalty box and
then returned the favour to Müller  inside the penalty box, absolutely unmarked. Müller took a step, measured the target and buried home Germany’s third.

Germany's Thomas Mueller (L) scores Germany's fourth goal, past England's goalkeeper David James, during a 2010 World Cup second round soccer match at Free State stadium in Bloemfontein June 27, 2010. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh (SOUTH AFRICA - Tags: SPORT SOCCER WORLD CUP)

A mulling moment

As if a third goal was not enough, Germany rounded it off with another one. Friedrich cleared a ball from the penalty box. Özil outran Barry to get hold of the long clearance, ran till the penalty box of England from the left flank, waited for ammunition(Müller) to come near the box and squeezed a delightful ball through the legs of Ashley Cole. Müller obliged with a clinical finish. That was the last contribution of Müller as he was replaced by Trochowski and Mario Gomez came in in place of Klose.
There was not much left in the match then. Ten minutes from time, Rooney linked well with Gerrard, but the latter’s effort was brilliantly saved by Neuer. Thereafter, slowly but surely Germany sipped the remaining minutes, to seal a perfect victory.
TheHardTackle’s Player of the Match:
Thomas Müller(Germany)
The Bayern München rookie inflicted constant pain to the English defense. He scored his two goals with great aplomb, set up Özil and Klose on number of occasions during the first half, set up the Podolski for the team’s second goal, tracked back to produce some good tackles and at times annoyed England by snatching away the ball. He just could not put a foot wrong in this game.
TheHardTackle’s Referee Report Card:
Jorge Larrionda(Uruguay) – Grade: B –
A lot of questions would arise, as the official disallowed a sure-shot Lampard goal. Replays clearly showed the ball was way beyond the goalline, but that decision, in all honesty, should go to the judgment of the linesman who did not budge. Apart from that moment, the Uruguayan did not make any more mistakes and kept his record of showering red cards in check.
Venue: Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
Attendance: 40,911
Germany Line-Up: Manuel Neuer,Philipp Lahm, Arne Friedrich, Per Mertesacker, Jerome Boateng, Sami Khedira, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Thomas Müller(Piotr Trochowski 72′), Mesut Özil(Stefan Kießling 83′), Lucas Podolski, Miroslav Klose(Mario Gomez 72′)
Manager: Joachim Löw
Caution: Arne Friedrich
Sent-Off: None
Scorers: Miroslav Klose(20′), Podolski(32′), Thomas Müller(67′, 70′)
England Line-Up: David James, Glen Johnson(Shaun Wright Pillips 87′), Matthew Upson, John Terry, Ashley Cole, Gareth Barry, Frank Lampard, James Milner(Joe Cole 64′), Steven Gerrard, Jermaine Defoe(Emile Heskey 71′), Wayne Rooney
Manager: Fabio Capello
Caution: Glen Johnson
Sent-Off: None
Scorer: Matthew Upson