World Cup 2010: Germany 4-1 England

There have been times over the previous four or five days or so that this afternoon’s match between Germany and England has threatened to collapse under the weight of its own hubris. England, seemingly unable to wait for this afternoon to come around, has become a nation of tea leaf readers, swirling a cup which contains the history of the matches between the two nations in a desperate attempt to try and pre-determine what is going to happen. The coverage in the press has taken a turn for the weird. A Steven Gerrard press conference was the lead story for much of the press this morning, with the England captain being described in various organs as having “roared” at it, which will have come as news to anyone that has seen Gerrard being interviewed in the press before. This afternoon, however, any talk of “roaring” couldn’t be any more misplaced. This particular match between Germany and England does carry an air of curiosity about it. Germany were a mixed bag in the group stages – neat and tidy against a poor Australian performance in their opening match, they came unstuck with the harsh sending off of Miroslav Klose against Serbia in their second match before doing little more but no less than enough against Ghana in their final match. England, meanwhile, started slowly and seemed likely to tear themselves...

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