What on paper promised to be a tightly fought contest ended up being a walk in the park for Germany and Joachim Löw.
Portugal will be bitterly disappointed with their performance as they fell apart. And if they continue to play this way against the USA and Ghana, they’ll be on the first plane back home.
Germany on the other hand put on a show that will no doubt force their rivals to sit up and take notice.
Here are my 5 observations from Germany 4-0 Portugal:
1. Germany stroll
As a contest, it was effectively over by half time. Such was the domination by the Germans that the game became a veritable training ground exercise. Thomas Müller celebrated his 50th cap with a hat trick and Mats Hummels helped himself to a goal with a majestic header from a Toni Kroos corner.
The movement of the Germans was absolutely sublime with the front players interchanging positions at will and intelligently ghosting between the lines. Portugal’s defenders did not know how to deal with a slick German unit and were continually exposed time and time again.
Joachim Löw’s side will rue is their lack of a clinical edge in the second half. It’s no exaggeration to suggest that the Germans could have won by six or seven goals.
The performance by Germany is an ominous sign to their rivals. The Germans didn’t just beat one of the so-called better sides they swatted them aside with complete and utter contempt.
The only black mark on an otherwise good day was the injury to goal scorer Mats Hummels.
2. Thomas Müller loves the World Cup
Müller is one of the most intelligent players in his position managing to find pockets of space and knowing exactly when and where to move when an attack is developing.
He has played in seven World Cup games and has scored a total of eight goals. Not a bad return at all. He’s certainly worth taking a punt on to finish as the World Cup’s top scorer.
The only blot in his copybook in this match was his rather theatrical reaction when tussling for the ball with Pepe. He’d be best advised to dispense of that part of his game lest he develops a reputation for simulation.
3. Portugal are the architects of their own downfall
The Portuguese did not know how to live with the verve and movement of the dynamic Germans. Goalkeeper Rui Patricio nearly gifted the opening goal to Germany when he inadvertently passed to Sami Khedira. Thomas Müller did capitalize on a Rui Patricio error though as the Portuguese self-destructed.
They were lucky not to have been reduced to 10-men when João Pereira pulled back Mario Götze in the penalty area. A stricter official could have interpreted Pereira’s infringement as denying a goal scoring opportunity and given the Portuguese defender a red card.
Bruno Alves’ weak clearance only succeeded in presenting Thomas Müller with an opportunity to score Germany’s third which the Bayern Munich man gleefully accepted. It truly was a day to forget for those wearing the red of Portugal.