Greece’s austerity measures overwhelmed by Merkel’s men

June 26, 2012 in Euro 2012, International by Matty Deller

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In the ‘financial derby’ of this year’s Euro 2012 competition, there was only going to be one outcome. But little did we know that it would turn out to be a six-goal thriller, and ironically, worth more money than Greece is currently worth.

Germany beat Greece 4-2 in the second of the Euro 2012 quarter-finals, and whilst the Germans showed their attacking power even with their second string attacking line-up, Greece put up a fight. Shame that they put up a fight when it was completely too late.

Germany dominated the early goings, and they could have gone 3-0 up inside the opening five minutes. Here we go, another solid, dominant German performance - striding through the Greek defence like a protester’s rock through a Greek bank window. After a host of spurned chances, Philipp Lahm emphatically put the Germans in front, cutting in from the left hand side before slamming it home from outside the penalty area.

Greece then forgot their lines, with Georgios Samaras sliding in to polish off a classy Greek counter attack to equalize. What? 1-1? Madness! Mass hysteria! Dogs and cats living with each other! Could Greece pull off the biggest upset in European history?

The short answer is no. The long answer is helllll no. Germany got back on the horse and proceeded to score three times in thirteen minutes to secure their place in the semi-finals. The first of the trio came from Sami Khedira, who has been playing a far more expansive role than he does at Real Madrid. This showed as he hit a picture perfect volley to put Germany back in front. Then, the veteran goal-machine Miroslav Klose nodded home a third from a free kick, helped from some absolutely woeful keeping from Greek stopper Sifakis.

Germany then went 4-1 up when impressive Borussia Dortmund new-boy Marco Reus justified Joachim Low’s decision to start him outright by smashing home his effort after Sifakis has pushed away another chance from Klose. Home and hosed.

There was some late drama as Jerome Boateng decided to high-five the ball in the Greek penalty area and give Greece the last word on proceedings as Dimitris Salpingidis slotted in his spot-kick in the last minute of normal time. So Germany go through comfortably to the semi-finals, where they will face Italy, safe in the knowledge that their first choice front three have scored 79 international goals between them, and their reserve lot aren’t too bad either. Schurrle flattered to impress, but they look like a very dangerous outfit and with their opponents Italy playing a back three and not looking too strong defensively, we could get a goalfest on our hands.

Greece, on the other hand, didn’t deserve to be in the quarter final and were rightly beaten. They can go back to Athens safe in the knowledge that one day this team could win the European Championships again.

When Germany eventually buys Greece.