‘Nothing much’ between Germany and Portugal – except the goals

No doubting Thomas after Müller’s three-goal display

Thomas Müller celebrates after scoring the second of his three goals in Germany’s 4-0 victory over Portugal in Salvador. Photograph: Dylan Martinez/Reuters.

Thomas Müller celebrates after scoring the second of his three goals in Germany’s 4-0 victory over Portugal in Salvador. Photograph: Dylan Martinez/Reuters.

 
Paulo Bento

When he kicked off with the admission that: “I believe it was a game that ended in the first 45,” it seemed he was going to provide a more detached assessment and it was disappointing then to have him claim initially that there had been nothing much but the referee’s mistakes between the two sides before the break.

Well, that and three goals: a fact that eventually obliged him to acknowledge that his own side had made mistakes, managed to pose little by way of an attacking threat and found themselves facing a team very capable of posing a big one. Now we were getting to the heart of things.

All-time record

Miroslav Klose

At this rate, though, Müller could be creeping up on both of them by the middle of July. He came here with five under his belt from South Africa and has, as he put it himself yesterday, “picked up where he left off.”

“Thomas is a very unorthodox player in his way of playing,” said Joachim Löw when asked about the young Bayern Munich star whose abilities around the box make more specialist strikers seem rather superfluous.

“As a coach sometimes you can’t predict his pathways on the pitch and that can be difficult for an opponent. He has only one aim and that is ‘how can I score a goal’ and he scores from situations where you don’t expect it.”

Müller himself still cautioned against getting carried away but along the way he damned Portugal with faint praise, observing that they had shown themselves to be “absolutely capable opponents”. Stick that in your pipe Mr Ronaldo!

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