Spain Fulfill Octopus Prophecy
Normally, prior to a game of this magnitude, the focus might be on say the form of Spanish star striker David Villa, or the fitness of German midfield general Bastian Schwiensteigger; but before the epic Spain vs Germany clash in the World Cup semi-finals all talk was about an octopus. Not any ordinary octopus however, but Paul, the prophetic cephalopod.
The sooth-saying mollusc, who resides in a German zoo, has gained fame around the world after correctly predicting the results of all the Germany games in the World Cup so far... including victories over England and Argentina. Paul indicates the future of German football by dipping a tentacle into one of two tanks, the first marked with the German flag the second with that of the opposition, to retrieve a morsel of food. With his 100% accuracy rate in World Cup 2010, naturally every Saxon was concerned when Paul selected Spain as the victors prior to the big semi-final...
Word of their losing destiny must have gotten to the German team, who certainly seemed unsure of themselves as the match got underway, allowing Spain to dominate possession with their trademark quick-passing game. A Villa chance was blocked by Neuer, the German gloveman, before Puyol sent an Iniesta cross skywards with his head. Alonso added to the pressure with three long range chances in a short spell, none quite finding the target.
The Germans however have slain their opposition this year through the speed of their counter attacks, and if it wasn't for Iker Casillas they might well have added Spain to their list of scalps for 2010... the Real Madrid man had to be alert to stop golden opportunities by Trochowski and Kroos to open the scoring.
Minutes after the Kroos save, Spain's superior pressure and possession finally told from a corner kick. It was the shaggy-permed Puyol who made up for his earlier miss with a rocket of a header that left Neuer with no chance.
It always looked like a one goal game, and despite a couple more chances by both sides - including a stunning failure of Pedro to feed Torres a tap in - the 90 minutes ran their course with Spain on top. Cue much swigging of cervezas, dancing on the calles, and the explosion of firecrackers!
Back in Germany however more than one fan isn't happy with Paul the prophet. Some have gone as far to suggest that, since he clearly likes Spain so much, a fitting end to his predictions would be to prepare a rather tasty seafood paella...