The Germans had coasted into the lead courtesy of a 12th minute Mueller penalty, after Joao Pereira tugged back Mario Gotze, and Mats Hummels doubled their tally with a towering header from Toni Kroos’ corner.
But Portugal’s chances in the match and perhaps the tournament were dealt a massive blow when Pepe was sent off for a butt on Mueller.
It was a moment of madness from the Real Madrid man, who first appeared to hand off Mueller rugby style. But with the striker on the ground, perhaps embellishing the foul, Pepe planted his head into the Bayern Munich man’s face.
The red card was inevitable and Mueller then rubbed salt into the wound by scoring a second on the stroke of half time.
It all mounted up to a disastrous start for Portugal and talisman Cristiano Ronaldo, who was a very picture of frustration as the Ballon d'Or winner failed to make any sort of impact on the biggest stage of all.
7’ – BIG LET OFF FOR LAHM: he loses the ball in possession and it’s three on two. Veloso feeds Ronaldo but his low shot is stopped by Neuer.
8’ – LET OFF FOR PORTUGAL: Patricio’s awful clearance is straight at Khedira. It’s an unguarded net but his first-time shot is just wide.
10’ - PENALTY TO GERMANY! Pereira tugs back Gotze and he is lucky to stay on the field.
11’ – GOAL GERMANY! Mueller makes no mistake from the spot on his 50th appearance.
31’ – GOAL GERMANY! Hummels scores from the corner, thumping Kroos’ deliver home with his head.
37’ - RED CARD PEPE! It’s a moment of madness. It’s a bit of an over-reaction from Mueller to a hand to the face but Pepe then plants his head into him when he’s on the floor.
45’ – GOAL GERMANY! Surely all over for Portugal now as Mueller latches onto Alves’ poor clearance from Kroos’ ball in. He nets a brace for only the second time for Germany.
63’ – COENTRAO STRETCHERED OFF: he pulls up with a groin strain and could be out of the tournament.
90+1’ – RONALDO GOES CLOSE: Neuer punches away his fierce free-kick.
Did Mueller get Pepe sent off? The was no excusing the butt while the German was on the floor but his blatant over-reaction to Pepe’s initial ‘hand-off’ tipped him over the edge. There was contact but it was minimal and Mueller certainly made the most of it.
Including shoot-outs, Germany have scored 19 of their last 20 penalties at World Cups.
Germany scored a goal in the first 15 minutes of an opening World Cup game for the fourth time in the last five tournaments (1998, 2006, 2010 and 2014).
This was the fourth World Cup in a row that Germany opened their campaign by scoring four goals or more.
Mueller has scored eight goals in seven World Cup appearances. He now has as many World Cup goals as Diego Maradona and Rudi Voller. Mueller claimed the 49th World Cup hat-trick in the competition’s history.
Germany have scored in 18 of their last 19 World Cup first round games. Portugal conceded three first half goals for the third time (also in 1966 against North Korea and 2002 against USA).
Portugal conceded four goals in a World Cup for the first time in their history.
Germany have scored 36 headed goals since 1966, 17 more than anyone else in that period.
Germany scored four goals in a game for the third time in their last five World Cup fixtures.
Portugal lost their fourth World Cup match in a row against European opposition. They last avoided defeat against one vs England in the World Cup 2006 quarter-final.
Portugal failed to score for the sixth time in their last eight World Cup games.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Thomas Mueller (Germany): Could only go to one man. Was instrumental in getting Pepe red carded before scoring a hat-trick on his 50th appearance for his country.
Germany: Neuer 6, Howedes 6, Hummels 7, Khedira 7, Ozil 6, Muller 9, Lahm 7, Mertesacker 6, Kroos 6, Gotze 7, Boateng 6. Subs: Schuerrle 7, Podolski 6, Mustafi 6.
THE MATCH IN A TWEET
#GER 4-0 #POR - MUELLERED. Hat-trick means Mueller has eight World Cup goals - SIX more than @Cristiano
- Sports & Recreation
- Thomas Mueller
- Cristiano Ronaldo
- Mario Gotze
- Joao Pereira
- Toni Kroos