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Euro 2012 - Quarter Final 2 Recap

Germany show true quality to ease through to Euro 2012 semi-finals

Germany VS. Greece

Euro 1996 winner Jurgen Klinsmann commented that his native Germany were only playing at ’70 or 75%’ throughout the group stages and it seems as if he was right after a consummate quarter-final display in Gdansk.

Joachim Loew’s side bagged maximum points in the ‘Group of Death’ yet is clearly appeared as though they were going about their business at a canter.

And although they didn’t quite break out into a full throttle gallop against Greece, it was evident that they had turned the heat up a notch or two.

The most striking aspect about the current German crop is their sheer professionalism both in terms of attitude and getting the job done efficiently on the pitch.

Loew was never going to underestimate Greece, after all, they won the 2004 championship as rank outsiders and they qualified for the knockout stages this time around against all odds.

And the Greeks battling qualities and tenacity were always going to make them a fairly stiff proposition for Germany who would have to bide their time in order to break through.

Indeed, it took the best part of 40 minutes for a goal to arrive in Gdansk and it did so through a superb banana shot from Phillip Lahm – who has so far done his reputation as one of the best full backs in the world no harm at the tournament.

Things didn’t quite go to script after the break however, as Giorgos Samaras, who had been so disappointing and ineffective during the group phase, netted on 55 minutes to put the underdogs on level terms.

But that only served to kick start the Germans who ensued to dominate the contest and display some truly wonderful football.

Ozil and Khedira began to shine in the midfield and it was the latter who belted home a tremendous volley on the hour mark.

Miroslav Klose and Marco Reus then put the game to bed with two further goals and the 4-1 score line was a firm reflection of Germany’s superiority from one through to eleven.

Dimitris Salpigidis salvaged a consolation for Greece from the penalty spot two minutes from time but that would ultimately prove immaterial to the result and the way Germany had sent out a warning to the rest of Europe.

England or Italy will face the Germans in the semi-finals and many supporters and punters will be hoping that it is the Three Lions who progress in order to set up another grudge match and a repeat of when the two teams met at the same stage of the competition twelve years ago, when German won on penalties en route to success in the Wembley showpiece.

Loew’s charges are now clear favourites for the tournament outright and it will definitely take something rather special to stop them from lifting the Euro 2012 trophy.