Created on 2014-07-08 at 23:50 PM
In an extraordinary match sure to be talked about for decades and which goes down in history in many ways, a Germany team with six Bayern stars in the starting line-up utterly destroyed hosts Brazil in Tuesday's World Cup semi-final, scorching to a 7-1 victory and booking a place in Sunday evening’s Final in Rio de Janeiro. After the scintillating last four victory, the Germans are now odds-on favourites to claim a fourth world crown regardless of whether they face Argentina or the Netherlands, who meet in the second semi-final on Wednesday.
Coach Joachim Löw kept faith with the starting line-up from last Friday's quarter-final triumph against France. Captain Philipp Lahm began at right back, with Bayern stars Bastian Schweinsteiger, Manuel Neuer, Jérôme Boateng, Thomas Müller and Toni Kroos also on the field for kick-off. Mario Götze took a place on the bench.
The Brazilians opened brightly, but the 58,000 crowd in Belo Horizonte saw the Europeans seize the initiative and turn in an exceptional 20 minutes of football against a woeful home defence. Müller paved the way with his fifth goal of the tournament following an 11th-minute corner, after which Löw’s men conjured up a truly exceptional six-minute passage of play with goals from former FCB man Miroslav Klose (23), a Kroos brace on 24 and 26 minutes and a fifth from Sami Khedira (29) to settle the match before the half-hour mark.
Müller: We'll fight for our lives
Bayern defender Dante took over from suspended Brazil captain Thiago Silva for the match, and the men in yellow started the second half determined to avert an even more embarrassing defeat. However, there was no way past the outstanding Neuer as the World's Best Keeper showed all his class with a string of fine saves. The Germans had shifted down a gear with Sunday's final already in mind, but there were still goals to come in the momentous encounter.
Substitute Andre Schürrle made the score 7-0 with a brace on 69 and 80 minutes, before Oscar pulled one back for the devastated hosts in the last minute, although it was scant consolation for the proud footballing nation. The historic nature of the win was driven home by Klose’s strike as it took the former Munich striker onto 16 goals at the finals, overtaking Brazil legend Ronaldo (15) as the all-time top scorer at the tournament.
“You wouldn't necessarily have expected a match like that," a still-bewildered Müller said afterwards, “we recovered possession immediately and we used the space brilliantly.“ Germany are now determined to seal the biggest prize in world football, as Müller made clear: “We have to see it through to the end one more time, go for it with everything we've got, fight for our lives and bring it home!“