Germany opened their World Cup campaign in style today, dismantling Australia 4-0.
On the scoresheet was Miroslav Klose, Germany's top scorer in World Cup play, and his goal today moves him closer to the scoring record of 15 held by Ronaldo of Brazil.
The game was essentially a 2-0 win because Australia were down to 10 men after Tim Cahill was sent off after 56 minutes. That essentially ended the contest and Germany popped in two more meaningless goals to ice the victory.
I'm a little peeved at the rate which players have been sent off so far. Algeria had a man sent off and lost to Slovenia. Serbia lost one player and were beaten by Ghana. I realize that two yellow cards add up to one red card and an automatic dismissal.
But I'd like to see referees give verbal warnings more often before flashing out the yellows. There's really no competitive element when a team is down to ten men. It really kills the game off at that point.
Germany today looked primed and settled and stroked the ball around the field with their customary smoothness and neatness. There was virtually no tournament jitters.
As much as I've called them "workmanlike", as a football purist, I do appreciate everything that Germany stands for. They are neat, efficient and assured on the ball.
A lot of errors in the game are down to a lack of concentration and/or poor technique. Those problems rarely apply to German players.
They are always well coached and work hard to perfect all aspects of footballing technique: whether it be passing, trapping, crossing, shooting, or handling for keepers.
There is a lot to be said about beauty in simplicity. And the German team are a prime example. Admittedly, the game was played virtually at a walking pace.
But its an example of Germany's mastery of their own game that they can slow it down to whatever pace they want and still be able to control the game completely.
It really was a joy to watch them stroke the ball around assuredly, in contrast to England, who struggled to hang on to possession and didn't have a clear sense of the pace that they wanted for the game. It was all very scattery for England.
From what I've seen of Germany, I think they are good bets for the semi-finals. They took their chances very efficiently.
Lucas Podolski had two shots on goal all game and he scored one. That's excellent. This is a very good Germany team and definitely one to watch.
Meanwhile, Miroslav Klose moves closer to Ronaldo's scoring record and is an intriguing subplot to Germany's World Cup quest.