German press revel in Wembley 'revenge'

A score has been settled with Germany's 4-1 win over England in the last 16 of the World Cup yesterday, according to the German press.

It is not the result which has provided the most satisfaction in Germany but the Frank Lampard goal which was not given, bringing an end to 44 years of frustration over the goal which broke Germany's hearts.

While uncertainty over the validity of Sir Geoff Hurst's strike in the 1966 World Cup final has riled the Germans ever since, disallowing Lampard's clear goal yesterday with the score at 2-1 was their revenge.

"Now we are quits," said the Westdeutsche Allgemeine and Welt newspapers. "Thank you, football God," added the popular Bild newspaper.

Such has been Germany's reluctance to forget about Hurst's goal, any strike which bounces down on or over the goalline is known as a "Wembley goal" - but, according to the Suddeutsche Zeitung: "Wembley is now called Bloemfontein."

"Everything would have been different had the referee allowed the goal which would have made it 2-2 in the 38th minute," recognised the Suddeutsche conversely.

"It is a game which made history, but will not be consigned to the history books yet: this story is going to be told differently in Germany and in England - there is going to be an eternal 'what would have happened if' scenario.

"This game recounted the entire history of all duels between these two teams, from the Wembley defeat to the 1-5 in Munich, with dramatic shots against the crossbar and wonderful goals on the counter - only all of that is not going to mean anything thanks to this refereeing error."

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung instead preferred to focus on Germany's merits in a "fairytale 4-1 win over England".

"This was the national team's first major international maturity test, and they passed it with distinction," wrote the FAZ.

"It is Low's merit and he should carry on his job."

Young Bayern Munich forward Thomas Muller was equally praiseworthy for his two goals and one assist, completing a remarkable story which, just one year ago, saw him kicking around in the Bavarian club's reserve team.

"He has forced world class players like Luca Toni and Miroslav Klose out of the FC Bayern starting XI," explained the Welt newspaper.

But Muller modestly said he had also been fortunate yesterday.

"I was a bit lucky with the (third goal)," said the 20-year-old. "The goalkeeper guessed I would shoot one way, but I got the corner right."

Nevertheless, it was he who "shot England down", according to Kicker magazine.

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