Per-plexed by Germany’s critics after victory over Algeria

German defender Mertesacker frustrated by media’s line of questioning despite win

 Jerome Boateng and Per Mertesacker  celebrate their team’s second goal in extra time during the  World Cup. Photograph:   Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Jerome Boateng and Per Mertesacker celebrate their team’s second goal in extra time during the World Cup. Photograph: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

 

Per Mertesacker has hit out at critics bemoaning Germany’s performance in their win over Algeria and believes qualifying for the World Cup quarter-finals was all that mattered.

Joachim Low’s men were expected to see off the threat of the African side with ease, but laboured to a 2-1 extra-time victory in Porto Alegre to set up an enticing last eight clash with France.

After seeing how much the unfancied Algeria had Germany on the ropes, Les Bleus will fancy their chances at the Maracana on Friday, but setting up that tie is all that mattered to Mertesacker.

“Would you rather we played beautiful football but got knocked out?” he said to Germany’s ZDF television, visibly frustrated by the critical line of questioning.

“I don’t know what you want from me — do you think that just Mickey Mouse teams are involved in the last 16? All that matters is we’re in the quarter-finals.”

Had it not been for an excellent performance from Manuel Neuer, however, Germany may have been leaving Brazil earlier than they expected.

“Algeria did a really good job,” said Chelsea’s Andre Schurrle, who scored the opening goal early in extra-time, with Mesut Ozil’s strike just before the end ensuring Abdelmoumene Djabou’s last gasp strike was in vain.

“But it doesn’t matter how we’ve done it, the main thing is we’re in the quarter-finals. There was a bit of luck involved in my goal and now we’ve got to play better than this against France.”

It was not all negative, though, according to captain Philipp Lahm, who felt Germany should have sealed victory without the need for an additional 30 minutes.

“If you don’t take your chances, then you’ve got to go into extra-time, and we had some huge chances in the second half,” said the Bayern Munich full-back, who again played in midfield on Monday.

“But we knew beforehand that it was going to be hard, and that’s precisely how it was.”

Coach Low had tried his best to overstate the importance of not underestimating Algeria, although he said his team had also flattered their opponents at times.

“We lost too many balls,” he said. “We made lots of passing mistakes and that invited them to hit us on the counter-attack.

“We were susceptible on long balls and it was good that Manuel (Neuer) kept coming off his line.

“But this was a victory of our will and strength of character. I just need to take a deep breath now.”

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.