Euro 2012: Germany sweep aside Greece
- 22 June 2012 22:30
- Posted by Chris Eccles
A confident and dominant Germany underlined their status as one of the tournament favourites by beating Greece 4-2 to progress to a semi-final clash against England or Italy.
Philipp Lahm's first half goal was cancelled out by former City striker Georgios Samaras early in the second half before Sami Khedira, Miroslav Klose and Marco Reus scored for the Germans.
A late Dimitris Salpingidis penalty provided a little consolation for Greece who were swept aside by a formidable German performance.
After three straight victories in the competition, Joachim Löw surprised everyone before kick-off by replacing his forward line of Gomez, Mueller and Podolski with Reus, Schurrie and Klose. The controversial move seemed to pay off as Germany were rampant in a first half in which they could have had a hatful of goals to add to Lahm's 39 minutes wonder strike.
Former Blue Samaras struck back for Greece, against the run of play, 10 minutes into the second half but it proved to be a temporary reprieve as Germany scored three goals in 13 minutes.
Real Madrid's Sami Khedira scored with fine volley to put the Germans back in front just after the hour before Miroslav Klose scored his 64th goal for his country to make the score 3-1.
Marco Reus capped an energetic and intelligent display by smashing in a goal on 74 minutes to fire Germany further ahead. A late handball by Jerome Boateng allowed Salpingidis to pull one back from the penalty spot and add a touch of respectability to the scoreline.
After much of the pre-match discussion had focussed on politics and economics, a classy German performance ensured that the post-match dialogue would be all about football.
A semi-final against England or Italy on Thursday 28 June is next in line for Germany.