World Cup: Muller magic puts Portugal to the sword

GERMANY 4 PORTUGAL 0

GERMANY forward Thomas Muller believes the experience of playing in two major international tournaments set him up perfectly to shake off first day nerves and bag a hat-trick against 10-man Portugal.

Having finished the 2010 World Cup as joint-top scorer with five goals, the Bayern Munich star struck three more at Euro 2012 and hit the ground running in Brazil.

Mats Hummels header helped to blow away Portugal, who had Pepe sent off. And Muller said: “I’m used to the pressure. But to score three goals in one game, that’s pretty amazing.”

Cristiano Ronaldo was fit to start for Portugal following a recent knee injury.

But experienced defender Joao Pereira soon forced Portugal onto the back foot, conceding a penalty for tugging back Mario Gotze and Muller made no mistake from 12 yards.

After Portugal striker Hugo Almeida limped off clutching his hamstring, Hummels powered in Toni Kroos’s corner. And matters got worse after Pepe was sent off for an angry reaction following a clash with Muller, who lashed in the third after blocking Bruno Alves’ clearance.

Portugal defender Fabio Coentrao was replaced after appearing to strain his groin in the second half and a disastrous night was complete when Muller swept in his third and Germany’s fourth from close range.

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