Germany 7 Brazil 1

When I went to the gym at lunchtime, a guy there said “Are you watching the wrestling tonight?” He meant the football. World Cup semi-final, Germany v. Brazil. in their previous game Brazil sbnuffed out the more creative, exciting Colombia by crowding them out, sharing out the fouls so nobody got a red card but James Rodriguez picked up a lot of nasty bruises. It seemed like a fair prediction; by the time you get to the semi-final stage. world cups tend to be fairly cagey affairs, nobody want to make a mistake, so we all play safe. Not this time. It ws an exhilarating demolition which was almost embarrassing before half time, as Germany surged to a 5-0 lead, almost blushing at the ease with which they could score. as it turned out, it wasn’t wonder boy Neymar that Brasil missed, so much as Thiago Silva, the guy who holds their defence together. without him they were woeful, but Germah were terrific. Crap commentators love to talk about clinical finishing; here was a demonstration. You work out who’s in the best position to shoot, and you give him the ball. always. Every time. The whole team knows this, and they get mad if anyone breaks the rules – even if you’re 6-0 up. and to see Manuel Neuer scream at his defenders for letting him down (this should have been another clean sheet!) was a wonderful demonstration of perfectionism. My daughter, who hardly ever watches football, happened to see this game, and was quite impressed. She should have been. We’re not going to see something as good as this for quite a while.