Chelsea’s Brazilians were not just beaten but humiliated by Andre Schurrle’s Germany after losing 7-1 in the most shocking result in World Cup history.
Several records had been smashed by the rampant Germans with this amazing display – the highest winning margin in a World Cup semi-final, handing out Brazil’s first competitive home loss since 1975 but perhaps most devastatingly of all for the Selecao, this was the worst defeat in the proud history of the Brazil national team.
With Neymar and Thiago Silva both missing, Brazil brought in Dante to accompany stand-in captain David Luiz at centre-back, and the diminutive Bernard came in on the left side for Neymar. In a bizarre pre-match moment, Julio Cesar and David Luiz held Neymar’s number 10 jersey as they belted out the national anthem, mourning the loss of their star striker – seemingly forgetting he was only injured, not dead.
An end-to-end opening 10 minutes pointed towards a thrilling encounter as both sides attacked with free will, but nothing would have prepared for what happened in the opening half hour.
Thomas Muller opened the scoring after Brazil failed to deal with a routine corner, as the Estadio Minierao was stunned into silence. It became clear that while Neymar was the man Brazil were mourning, Thiago Silva was an even bigger miss at the back.
But then an incredible 400-second spell saw Brazil fall into indescribable chaos as Germany ran wild. Miroslav Klose became the outright all time World Cup top goalscorer, fittingly breaking Brazilian legend Ronaldo’s 15 goals as he poked past Julio Cesar in trademark style. Toni Kroos made it three just seconds with a delightful strike as Philipp Lahm’s cross found him on the other side of the box and two minutes later he scored his second and Germany’s fourth – Awful defending from Brazil left Sami Khedira and Kroos with only Cesar to beat as they toyed with him before Kroos finally netted.
Khedira got in on the act with almost a carbon copy of the goal he helped set up to make it five, as it brought an end to a whirlwind opening half an hour. Brazil were visibly shaken, and Chelsea’s recent €50m deal with PSG for David Luiz was looking more and more like excellent business as the stand-in skipper chose tonight of all nights to highlight all that is wrong with his game – often caught on his heels in the wrong positions, and as Gary Neville once coined it, looked like he was controlled by a 10 year old with a PlayStation. Tonight, the 10-year-old had left his controller lying about and his 3-year-old brother decided to take over.
Ramires was brought on to stem the flow of German attacks but to no avail as Andre Schurrle – also a substitute – showed his class with two well taken goals. The first was the result of some sweeping play down the German right which Chelsea’s number 14 swept home comfortably, but it was his second that took the plaudits. He controlled a lovely reverse ball with his right foot before firing high into the near top corner past a helpless Julio Cesar with his left foot in what was by far the best goal of the night. So much so, Brazilian fans were applauding the goal, perhaps more in exasperation more than genuine appreciation. If their World Cup dream had already gone up in flames, the two Schurrle goals were merely grinding their foot in the ashes to just make sure they were extinguished.
Willian came on for the dire Fred to mean all 3 Chelsea players were on the pitch at once, something that had not happened during this World Cup. It was Oscar, one of Brazil’s rare shining lights this tournament, who scored Brazil’s goal which raised cheers, though more sarcastic than genuine. A simple tap-in saved the smallest amount of face for the host nation, and tellingly German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer looked more aggrieved at conceding one than Julio Cesar did conceding any one of his seven.
Germany will advance to play either Argentina or old rival The Netherlands on Sunday in the final on the back of the mother of all confidence boosts, while Brazil must pick themselves up and face the loser of that tie in the 3rd/4th place playoff on Saturday.