The Germany coach, Joachim Löw, hailed his young team's "magnificent" display in their 4-1 World Cup second-round demolition of England yesterday before explaining exactly how they targeted a suspect English rearguard.
"First of all, we've put on a magnificent display against a very experienced England side," a deadpan Löw told reporters. "Today we were dominant, we were successful in luring John Terry out of defence with [Thomas] Müller and [Lukas] Podolski penetrating the wide defence. It is a very young team and I am very proud that they coped with the pressure and kept the pressure on England," he added.
After an even start to the match, Germany's Miroslav Klose was gifted an opener after a sloppy England defence failed to deal with a long ball. It quickly got worse for England as the German front-three of Müller, Klose and Podolski went to work. England defenders John Terry and Matthew Upson failed to cope with Germany's pace and movement, with Podolski adding a second before Mueller's second-half brace.
Löw said that was all part of the plan. "We knew that the midfield is [Steven] Gerrard and [Frank] Lampard, who always support the forwards, and that their midfield would be open.
"So our objective was to set Terry up with Klose to force him to come out of the defence. We knew that the fullbacks would be very much to the sides and create spaces between the England defenders that would help us penetrate their defence. We wanted to do this and we were successful there," he explained.
With opposing manager Fabio Capello standing in the background, head bowed and waiting to meet the press, Löw went on to praise the thorn in England's side – man of the match Mueller.
"When it comes to the 18-yard box he is totally cool in hitting home when he has the opportunity. I really love the way he dives into that area and finishes chances off. This is quite impressive, he is only 20," Löw said.
England fans raised a cheer when Upson's first-half header brought the score to 2-1 and they went crazy seconds later when a Lampard lob beat Germany keeper Manuel Neuer, hit the crossbar and bounced over – only to deemed not to have crossed the line.
"I have to say this ball was across the line, so it should have been given as a goal," Löw said.
A business-like Löw quickly switched his attention to a pending quarter-final but played down talk of his side being tournament favourites. "This is a tournament like any other. We, of course, can enjoy this victory but as of tomorrow we have to work hard again," he said before shaking Capello's hand as he exited.
Franz Beckenbauer, who had not been shy of stirring up some emotions before the match with his derogatory comments about the England side, admitted Capello's side were unlucky not to be awarded their equaliser when Frank Lampard's goal was disallowed.
"The referee's assistant should have seen it – it was clearly a goal," Beckenbauer said in his role as a pundit on German television.
Thomas Müller, who scored his side's third and fourth goals yesterday, admitted it was a goal as well. "We heard the ball was behind the line," admitted Müller. "It was a bit of luck, which we had to seize with both hands."
And the website of the newspaper Der Spiegel wrote: "Wembley is back, only the reverse of 1966. Lampard smashed the ball under the bar and it landed clearly behind the goal-line. The referee didn't see it."Reuse content