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Motty's semi-final preview - Germany v Spain

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John Motson | 16:08 UK time, Tuesday, 6 July 2010

The second World Cup semi-final takes place on Wednesday, with Germany taking on European champions Spain in Durban.

If Germany can contain David Villa. who has scored five goals in the tournament so far, I think they can avenge their 1-0 defeat in the Euro 2008 final.

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Comments

  • 1. At 5:48pm on 06 Jul 2010, ZephyrSong wrote:

    Nice informative report ! A great match-up between Germany and Spain. Hard to say who will win this, as little is actually known about Germany's young players. Do they have what it takes? Or are the current European champions still the favourites?

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  • 2. At 7:48pm on 06 Jul 2010, Kubali wrote:

    Spain are going to win. The German octopus has predicted it and he has not been wrong all tournament.

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  • 3. At 8:32pm on 06 Jul 2010, greg theoharis wrote:

    The Germans will be relishing to the chance to exorcise the memory of two years ago and with Spain flattering to deceive, I wouldn't bet against them just yet. Still, that Octopus does know a thing or two!!! http://gregtheoharis.wordpress.com/2010/07/04/school-reports/

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  • 4. At 9:26pm on 06 Jul 2010, 23_Carra_Gauld wrote:

    cmon spaaaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiin!!!!

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  • 5. At 10:10pm on 06 Jul 2010, rjaggar wrote:

    May the best team win.

    But if it's a boring game, I'd like the Germans to go through, as they showed the most in this World Cup to date.

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  • 6. At 11:19pm on 06 Jul 2010, Reid wrote:

    Having literally stumbled into this semi-final (their quarter final game was a gift in terms of quality of opposition, yet they just scraped it) it would be a tragedy to see Spain there ahead of a German side that has set the WC alight, and thoroughly earned their right to be there.
    if Germany and Holland go head to head in the final, we'll be treated to a feast. If it's Spain, it will be scraps.

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  • 7. At 11:51pm on 06 Jul 2010, Caerphillybigcheese wrote:

    World cups are usually won by the stand out team in the competition. Perhaps not Italy in 2006 or Germany in 78, but certainly Brazil in 02, France in 98, Brazil in 94, Germany in 90, Argentina in 78 and 86 and Italy in 82. Germany have been the best team in this competition. Spain have looked apprehensive in all of their matches and if Germany contain David Villa and Iniesta I can see them beating Spain quite convincingly. I believe they have the pace to overrun Puyol and the rest of the Spanish defense. Moller is a loss and I strongly fancied Spain going into the tournament. The Dutch have done well to get into the final but I believe the winner of tomorrow's nights game will be the favourites on Sunday. Prediction 3-2 Germany tomorrow night after extra time and 2=1 to the Germans in the final.

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  • 8. At 00:39am on 07 Jul 2010, Real de Madrid wrote:

    Will be a tough one that. Spain have not shown anything in this World Cup although, to be fair, after their shock defeat against Switzerland, they got the results they needed. Pretty it wasn't but who cares now they are in the semis? Well, the Spanish care. One comment on a Spanish website read:
    "Before del Bosque took over, we played like Brazil in 1970. After del Bosque took over, we play like the Italy 'de toda la vida'".

    For Spain to win, they need to step up a gear or two and Germany need to have an off-day. Otherwise, I can't see Spain going through. Their tiki taka passing-their-opponents-to-death game at this World Cup is just plain boring as, so far, it hasn't really produced the goods, i.e. a few goals. I also thought they were quite lucky at times and against fairly average opposition.

    Yes, Müller (what a World Cup he's having and the lad played third division football only 12 months ago!) will be sorely missed but given that six or seven players were on a booking before the Argentina game, I think a suspension for the likes of Schweinsteiger, Friedrich, Lahm, Özil or Klose would have hit Germany a lot harder. I think Trochowski will come in although I would prefer to see Toni Kroos. He is also only 20 but hugely talented and extremely dangerous from dead ball situations.

    During the euros 2008, Spain were above everyone else and it just felt that it was their moment. At this World Cup, it certainly feels it's Germany's moment or Holland's moment. On the evidence of the performances at this tournament, a GER - HOL final would be fitting.

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  • 9. At 02:38am on 07 Jul 2010, Herts_Philby wrote:

    I very much agree with comments #6, #7 and #8, all are good posts.

    I think Spain have failed to live up to increased expectations after winning the European Championship in 2008, and though they still have a lot of quality in their first team squad in this tournament they haven't produced a single convincing and/or strong performance yet in any previous matches. They have clearly struggled to adapt their play to account for Torres's lack of match form and fitness, like England with Rooney they seem to just persist with him in faint hopes that he'll just pop up with a goal or two on the off-chance. He will not likely have gained enough fitness or form for tomorrow's Semi-Final to be much of a threat to the German defence, which is talented and very well organised, so I think Villa will face a solo mission up front if Spain go out to attack the game.

    I feel that if Germany can contain Iniesta and Villa, and just keep an eye on Torres to avoid underestimation, then Spain will crumble under the intense pressure of Germany's direct and quick tempo attacking play. Spain's 'keep the ball and pass it around for 90 minutes' attitude just hasn't worked at this tournament, teams have closed them down and attacked them at quicker tempo which the Spanish defenders haven't coped well with. I believe Germany's main success factor has been the way they have utilised their hugely successful 4-2-3-1 formation, the 5-man midfield has proved almost impossible to keep out and combat effectively with England and Argentina showing how otherwise high quality teams have failed to match the German system.

    I think Germany will continue their approach of overwhelming the midfield areas, on the ball they will probably bulldoze the Spanish defence as Spain don't seem to cope with a direct or physical style of play against them. If Germany dominate in midfield I don't see Spain getting enough support to Villa, if Torres plays he'll probably drift in and out of the game too much, the Spanish defence will lack enough pace to combat German attackers and ultimately I see only Germany going through tomorrow.

    My prediction is a convincing Germany win, I think 3-1 is likely, with Germany scoring at will in this tournament and Spain struggling up front due to Torres's lack of form and fitness. A Holland-Germany final will be a real treat to watch, of course I will be supporting the Dutch as I have throughout this tournament alongside England, and I think that game will be very well contested.

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  • 10. At 03:23am on 07 Jul 2010, Bluenose wrote:

    If any of the two teams deserve it it has to be Germany.

    Come on the Germans.

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  • 11. At 08:08am on 07 Jul 2010, R Nair wrote:

    Me v Paul The Octopus:
    http://nonleaguematters.co.uk/forum/gforum.cgi?post=257423;session=57686aab061002d43d826bc6eb3cfd61#257423
    http://giffas.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=qsc&action=display&thread=312

    I'm not usually into predicting outcomes of matches, but despair at the quality of punditry everywhere led me to give it a go on another forum before the World Cup quarterfinals - http://nonleaguematters.co.uk/forum/gforum.cgi?post=256177#256177

    I've 5 for 5 so far for the quarterfinals and the first semifinal, and I have Germany to beat Spain in today's semifinal, but Paul The Octopus, who is 5 for 5 in predicting the outcome of Germany's games so far this World Cup, has gone for Spain - http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/europe/10521867.stm

    Paul got the the result of Germany v Spain at Euro 2008 wrong - maybe it's his bogey fixture.

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  • 12. At 09:55am on 07 Jul 2010, pokeraddict wrote:

    Looking forward to what could well be the best game of the tournament (so far) - I only hope that it doesn't go to penalties and that it's not decided by a poor decision by one of the officials.

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  • 13. At 10:02am on 07 Jul 2010, ITFC1981 wrote:

    EalingWelsh

    World cups are usuallywon by the stand out team? I wish.
    France 98? that was Brazil's best world cup in modern times.
    Italy were the best team in 94
    and I dont think many will agree with Germany in 1990

    Germany look the best this time, but I bet they get knocked out tonight though!

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  • 14. At 10:22am on 07 Jul 2010, GenesisRed wrote:

    Spain haven't looked dominant in any game. Without Torres making things happen from nothing, they look content to pass it around and around getting no-where.

    This German side look organised and resiliant and I can see either Pique or Puyol finally getting their deserved red cards as the Germans break at speed.

    Should be a cracking game, but i'd say form favours Germany. Which is scary, because they'll destroy the average Dutch, who have lucked their way to the final.

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  • 15. At 10:25am on 07 Jul 2010, JoC wrote:

    I agree with many of the posts so far, especially that Germany will miss the impressive Thomas Mueller who surely will make the 'team of the tournament'? My feeling is it will go down to the wire, penalty kicks..and we know what happens then!

    Team of the tournament (so far): Paston (New Zealand), Alcaraz (Paraguay), Lahm (Germany), Lucio (Brazil), Van Bommel (Holland), Prince Boateng (Ghana), Thomas Mueller (Germany), Sneijder (Holland), Honda (Japan), Forlan (Uruguay), Villa (Spain)
    subs: Eduardo (Portugal), Ramos (Spain), Donovan (U.S.A), Ozil (Germany), Klose (Germany)

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  • 16. At 11:38am on 07 Jul 2010, FCKim wrote:

    15. Where is Schweini? lol

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  • 17. At 12:29pm on 07 Jul 2010, guy evans wrote:

    Current consesnsus: Spain average all tournament with misfiring stars. Germany dominant dazzling and dynamic. Germany favourites and wanting revenge. Therefore, applying the first law of punditry, Spain will thrash Germany 3-1. lol. Hope Germany win well tho as they've been by far most exciting and effective team.

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  • 18. At 1:05pm on 07 Jul 2010, BigBucks09 wrote:

    Not surprised to see a lot of people taken in by the style over the substance of what Germany have done. They have played against poor, disorganised teams - England and Argentina were in effect awful - with wide open midfields..the exact opposite of what they will face against Spain. If Spain score first this game is over, but even so Germany have a big task replacing the goals and assists of Mueller, he has been crucial for them..and Spain always look like they can score, whether Torres plays or not, it's only a matter of time for him.

    Spain to go in front and stay there.

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  • 19. At 1:13pm on 07 Jul 2010, JoC wrote:

    #16 FC Kim wrote: Where is Schweini?

    Sneijder did for him I'm afraid..but it is a **so far** list so there's time ;)

    Most disapointing team of tournament (so far): Green (England), Evra (France), Gallas (France), Terry (England), Poulsen (Denmark), Ribery (France), Melo (Brazil), Gourcuff (France), Kaita (Nigeria), Rooney (England), Gilardino (Italy)
    subs: Chaouchi (Algeria), Cannavaro (Italy), Kaka (Brazil), Ronaldo (Portugal), Torres (Spain)

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  • 20. At 1:20pm on 07 Jul 2010, Palisa wrote:

    Thank you for the nice comments about the german team. Well, as a German I certainly hope them to win tonight but even more I hope it will be a clear victory by the better team, either side. And - no goal that isn't, please.
    As for England, c'mon, this fantastic football from the premier league must be somehow transferrable into the national team. I am sure Englands time will come, sooner rather than later.

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  • 21. At 1:42pm on 07 Jul 2010, Kop4life wrote:

    15. At 10:25am on 07 Jul 2010, JoC wrote:

    No Maicon, Schwinestieger? Can't agree with that "team of the tournament".

    WC2010 best XI - Neuer, Lahm, Lucio, Puyol, Maicon, Robinho, Sneijder, Schwinesteiger, Ozil, Higuain, Klose

    Incredible to think no one mentions Messi, C.Ronaldo, Kaka, Ribery (dont make me laugh), and so on.

    Spain vs Germany,

    When the pressure is on, experience counts for a lot, I genuinely think Spain have too much quality for this young German side.
    Germany have been very impressive against Argentina and England, but remember like Spain, they did lose a group game, so they are beatable.

    Muellar is a massive loss to Germany, it's hard to believe they have another youngster of similar quality to replace him. I also think both Argentina and England were shambolic defensively and have made Germany look better than they are.

    A good young German team - yes. World cup winners this time - no.

    Current European Champions Spain have the ability to retain posession when under pressure, like no other team. Even with a below par Torres, Spain will have too much quality from the intricate passing of Xavi, Iniesta, Alonso, not to mention the lethal finishing of David Villa.

    Spain are similar to Arsenal in that they will overplay football, always trying to score the perfect goal. Let us remember though that such is the strength of this Spain squad that Mikel Arteta couldn't get on the plane, Fabregas can't get in the team.

    As for the final, I dont think Holland are strong enough defensively to cope with Spain.

    Spain to become the next world and european champions since France back in '98 '00.

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  • 22. At 1:42pm on 07 Jul 2010, ILORI TUNDE wrote:

    The Germans are very good side with lots of techniques and accuracy. The have a high attacking force and closed defence. Spaniards on the other hand, possess ball more, more composed and move ball arround very fast. Above all, they have a 'simple game plan'......I give the superiority and victory to spain.

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  • 23. At 2:24pm on 07 Jul 2010, U13879777 wrote:

    John, I've enjouyed your comments and views on the world cup tremendously! That said, I've heard you field many questions about the quality of the football on show, the ball, the officials and the place for technology in football - some of your answers have been negative, some positive, but all insightful!

    My question is this: what is you perception of the way in which South Africa has organised and hosted this event? Good and succesfull or just plain bad and downright ugly? What have the shortfalls been? Has the well reported (by the british media anyway) lawlessness in South Africa been an issue? Lastly, what legacy do you see this tournament leaving?

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  • 24. At 2:30pm on 07 Jul 2010, franklyspeaking wrote:

    I dont think the Germans will have as much luck against a canny Spanish defense .
    Spain 1-0

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  • 25. At 2:31pm on 07 Jul 2010, Fed_Borg wrote:

    This game is pretty straight forward. I have said all along that Spain are really a very poor team & could not understand why they were considered favorites. They scrapped through their group, losing to Switzerland. Just beating Portugal & Paraguay, but now face a team that does the business at both ends. G'bye Spain nice seeing that tika-taka passing game, but leave it to Barcelona, at least they have end product. Oh yes I forgot, 6 goals in 5 games, two scorers & a missed penalty....that is what you can show. See you. Up Deutchlund!!

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  • 26. At 3:34pm on 07 Jul 2010, gerard wrote:

    It is going to be a tough one to predict. Spain has the class and Germany the momentum. After watching Spain in the group stages and against Chile and Paraguay and taking into account Spain’s traditional reputation as “bottlers” you have to go with Germany who are big on mental strength. I am going to go against Paul the octopus on this one.

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  • 27. At 3:38pm on 07 Jul 2010, GenesisRed wrote:

    The "canny" Spanish defence have looked vulnerable all tournament. Pique can easily get drawn out, while Puyol's teflon coating (as with Van Bommel) must eventually run out.

    Is a potentially fascinating matchup. But i'd rate Loew as a better tactician (as far as identifying and playing on opposition weaknesses) than Del Bosque, although their only obvious weakness is a lack of speed on the break.

    We'll see!

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  • 28. At 4:20pm on 07 Jul 2010, STIG wrote:

    I want Germany to win as this is my second team being fluent in German. I admire the approach they have taken and the tactical awareness of Loew. The Germans epitomise all that has been lacking in England. I thought too that Uruguay worked really hard last night and with a full strength team could have beaten Netherlands. They worked very hard for eachother as do Germany. Capello ought to be watching as he might learn something. I think it disgraceful that he is still managing England let alone any football team given his deficiency in basic management skills. He will let England down until he can be released from his ludicrous contract unless of course he has to retire.

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  • 29. At 4:43pm on 07 Jul 2010, jack halford wrote:

    Germany play similar to our Premier League except perhaps more individual skill all over the pitch.
    Nevertheless they are playing as a team and reminds me of England 1970.
    Because they have restored my faith in modern football I support Germany.

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  • 30. At 5:29pm on 07 Jul 2010, Notasquick wrote:

    Germany v Spain 4-2 (Klose double, Podolski, Ozil; Villa, Pique) - Late Spain comeback fired by more controversial officiating;

    Viktor Kassai loses out to Ravshan Irmatov for the World Cup final, but still gets the play off final. Howard Webb fails to referee another game at the world cup.

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  • 31. At 5:37pm on 07 Jul 2010, dancinggnome wrote:

    Judging by displays so far, I feel that Germany simply deserves the place in this final more than Spain. They have broken free from their clinical ways, and the attitude seems to be everybody-can-have-a-go, i.e. teamwork. The octopus? One word. PAELLA. Muahaha. Bring on 1930 hours!

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  • 32. At 9:46pm on 07 Jul 2010, BigBucks09 wrote:

    18. At 1:05pm on 07 Jul 2010, you wrote:

    Not surprised to see a lot of people taken in by the style over the substance of what Germany have done. They have played against poor, disorganised teams - England and Argentina were in effect awful - with wide open midfields..the exact opposite of what they will face against Spain. If Spain score first this game is over, but even so Germany have a big task replacing the goals and assists of Mueller, he has been crucial for them..and Spain always look like they can score, whether Torres plays or not, it's only a matter of time for him.

    Spain to go in front and stay there.

    ---------

    As predicted. Easy. Amusing how many fell for the hype, over the substance ;-)

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  • 33. At 9:52pm on 07 Jul 2010, franklyspeaking wrote:

    Genesisred
    One way traffic,fancy a guess on the final?

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  • 34. At 10:19pm on 07 Jul 2010, MCassidy2 wrote:

    I keep reading (and hearing) that Spain are the first reigning European champions to have gotten to a World Cup semi final (read it on the BBC's football site). But, in 1972 Germany (as West Germany) won the European Championships (beating Russia 3-0 in the final) and two years later in 1974 won the World Cup when it was staged in West Germany. Or doesn't that count because West Germany became Germany when the wall came down!!

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  • 35. At 10:48pm on 07 Jul 2010, BigBucks09 wrote:

    25. At 2:31pm on 07 Jul 2010, Fed_Borg wrote:

    This game is pretty straight forward. I have said all along that Spain are really a very poor team & could not understand why they were considered favorites. They scrapped through their group, losing to Switzerland. Just beating Portugal & Paraguay, but now face a team that does the business at both ends. G'bye Spain nice seeing that tika-taka passing game, but leave it to Barcelona, at least they have end product. Oh yes I forgot, 6 goals in 5 games, two scorers & a missed penalty....that is what you can show. See you. Up Deutchlund!!

    --------

    Comedy Gold!!!

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  • 36. At 02:48am on 08 Jul 2010, monam91 wrote:

    Unlucky Germany. (they'l be deadly in Euro though)

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  • 37. At 2:34pm on 08 Jul 2010, GenesisRed wrote:

    "As predicted. Easy. Amusing how many fell for the hype, over the substance ;-)"

    "33. At 9:52pm on 07 Jul 2010, franklyspeaking wrote:

    Genesisred
    One way traffic,fancy a guess on the final? "

    Obviously you didn't see the German penalty that wasn't given? Though i guess things even themselves out in an odd way - we'll call that one Lampard's missed goal.

    Still, it wasn't exactly the dominance you're making it to be. And Teflon Puyol gets away with assault to claim the winning goal! Spain were as sharp as a spoon, and it could have gone either way.

    just like the final really, though i'd back Spain to beat the average Dutch.

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  • 38. At 2:57pm on 08 Jul 2010, xsandra81 wrote:

    Dear all,

    There was a beautiful song played at the end of last night's Germany - Spain match, is there anyone who could tell me what it was or where I can find it? It was a female singer broadcasted live I think accompanied by a small choir and guitarists.

    many thanks,

    Alex

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  • 39. At 1:29pm on 13 Aug 2010, b0408 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

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