Germany thrashed Argentina in a thrilling match to put the European side into the semi-finals. Goals from Thomas Muller, Miroslav Klose and Arne Friedrich sealed the impressive victory, with Argentina’s defence being made to look very poor.
After Sunday’s organised and potent thrashing of a poor England side, Germany were fired up for a game against a side that boasts, apparently, the best player in the world. Joachim Low’s side were clearly aware of this, with Bastien Schweinsteiger, Sami Khedira and even attacking midfielder Mesut Ozil marking Lionel Messi out of the game.
Diego Maradona’s side brushed aside Mexico in the previous round to set up this encounter, although they did need a little help from a shocking refereeing decision to give Carlos Tevez his first goal in the match. The decision was the second refereeing howler of the day, prompting many to call for technology in football.
The game had a fiery start with forward Miroslav Klose going in strongly on Javier Mascherano, leaving the Argentinean midfielder writhing around on the floor. After Argentina right-back Nicolas Otamendi had fouled Lukas Podolski, however, the game was given its first goal.
A brilliant in-swinging free-kick from Sweinsteiger landed on Muller’s head perfectly. The young Bayern Munich striker scored his fourth goal of the tournament, giving the game the best possible start.
Germany were as strong as ever at the back with the terrorising Carlos Tevez and Angel di Maria both being thwarted in decent positions. Their strength going forward was also for all to see with Podolski having a shot from 20 yards deflected wide. Klose was then very near to doubling the German’s lead after Khedira’s cross. The Bayern Munich striker, who was playing his 100th game for his country, then fired the ball over the bar after great work from Muller.
Argentina, though, began to get back into the game, with Messi gaining more control over the match. A poor free-kick from the Barcelona star eventually found Tevez inside the box, who then proceeded to pass to an unmarked Gonzalo Higuain, who put the ball into the back of the net. Tevez, though, was ruled, correctly, offside when the first ball was played, and so the goal was ruled out.
Diego Maradona’s side’s first half was summed up with thirty seconds left; Messi sending a shot soaring over the bar after good build-up play. Germany went into the break with a deserved lead. Argentina, though, were up for a fight. Di Maria pounded a shot from 30 yards just wide, with Germany failing to get a hold on the game.
The South American side continued to push the German ranks, without actual penetration. Germany’s strong resistance, however, paid off with just over twenty minutes to go. After a mistake from Martin Demichelis, Podolski stole in and played in an unmarked Klose, who tapped in to double Germany’s lead. Podolski then had the audacity to try and chip the ‘keeper from 15 yards, but Sergio Romero was more than alert in the Argentina goal.
The young German side looked confident and strong throughout against an Argentina side who were regarded by many as the favourites going into this World Cup. It was one of the more experienced players, though, who gave Germany their third goal. Central defender Friedrich bundled home the ball after fantastic work by Schweinsteiger on the left. The winger is surely a contender for player of the tournament. Germany rubbed salt into Argentina’s wounds with a minute to go, with Klose rounding off a fine counter-attack. The resounding victory means that Germany will face either Spain or Paraguay in the semi-finals, with a possible Holland-Germany final.
The progression of the German side since the last World Cup should be of keen interest to the English Football Association. While the English side has had very few major changes to the team, the German team has been completely revamped, with many youth players, including Muller, Ozil and Khedira, being pushed through to the first team. England certainly need to do this by the time the next World Cup comes around, with players such as Joe Hart, Adam Johnson and Jack Rodwell all playing big roles for their respective clubs at present.
So Germany go through to the semi-finals after impressive wins over England and Argentina. Their simple but effective football seems to make good sides look very poor. Schweinsteiger and Klose add some valuable experience to a side that boats great quality in youth in Ozil and Muller. Judging by this performance, the team of the tournament is sure to include many German names.
Argentina 0 – 4 Germany
Klose 67, 89