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BotN: Portugal lull Germany into real sense of security

The Back of the Net comedy collective run the rule over Germany's 1-0 win over Portugal

Germany started their Euro 2012 campaign with a clinical 1-0 win over Portugal, whose slipshod passing and lack of a cutting edge successfully lulled the Germans into a very real sense of security.

Perhaps mindful of the Netherlandsâ slip-up against Denmark earlier in the evening, both sides started cautiously. Germany spent the early stages keeping possession and occasionally probing the Portuguese defence, while Portugal went out of their way to make the Germans feel confident that theyâÂÂd ultimately stroll to victory without overextending themselves.

For PortugalâÂÂs important âÂÂrubbish strikerâ role, coach Paulo Bento selected Helder Postiga, whose trademark scurrying uselessness soothed the 2008 finalists into a thoroughly understandable complacency.

âÂÂThey were so wasteful in attack that our players switched off for long periods,â admitted German coach Joachim Löw. âÂÂGomez didnâÂÂt do much until his goal, Lahm was invisible, and frankly I forgot Podolski was playing.âÂÂ

âÂÂNot that it mattered. In fact, itâÂÂs probably good we got some rest in the second half.âÂÂ

Portugal were not helped by a disappointing performance from Cristiano Ronaldo, who looked to be burdened down by the weight of expectations, or possibly by his metric tonne of hairgel.

âÂÂWeâÂÂd prepared to face a dangerous, incisive Ronaldo, a player who can change the course of a game with a single moment of genius,â Löw continued. âÂÂBut after he spent forty-five minutes with his hands on his hips looking flouncily narked, we relaxed and forgot about him.âÂÂ

âÂÂApparently thatâÂÂs exactly what they wanted us to do. God knows why, though. He was dreadful.âÂÂ

Ronaldo and company will have to do better in their next game, against Denmark on Tuesday. Reports suggest that Portugal will look to float like a butterfly, and sting like a carpet moth.

Editor's note: this isn't a serious accusation and all quotes are fictionalised. But you knew that, because you're not stupid.

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