On this day: Thomas Muller-inspired Germany thrash England

On this day in 2010, England were outclassed by a young Germany side in South Africa.

England have enjoyed success over their great rivals Germany in the past, most of all the 4-2 win in the 1966 World Cup final at Wembley to take the Jules Rimet trophy. Then there was the 5-1 thumping in the qualifying for the 2002 World Cup that many in the country still cling to. Of course, over the years, it has been Germany who have been on top of the rivalry.

The three-time world champions just always seem to get the job done against the Three Lions when it really matters on the big stage. There was the semi-final win at Euro 1996 on penalties - we all remember that - and then there was this day four years ago at the last World Cup. A day that everyone involved with the England team has tried to forget.

Miroslav Klose of Germany celebrates scoring the opening goal with team mate Thomas Muller during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Round of Sixteen match between Germany and England at Free State Stadium on June 27, 2010© Getty Images

The warning signs were already there with the disappointing opening draw against the USA and a very narrow victory over Algeria to get through what, on paper, should not have been a tricky group. Their punishment for coming second behind America in the group was a clash with Germany, who were an exciting young team on the way up in the world game.

They certainly showed that, as well, in the opening half-hour as they fair blew England away with quick attacks and unstoppable movement. The first goal was simple and completely avoidable, with Manuel Neuer's ball forward not defended by either Matthew Upson or John Terry, which allowed the prolific Miroslav Klose to poke in the opener 20 minutes in.

It could have been 2-0 shortly after as David James saved well at the feet of Klose, but they could do nothing about Lukas Podolski's effort on 32 minutes. England's shape was all wrong as Klose and Thomas Muller combined on the edge of the box to set the now Arsenal man away down the left, and as he so often does Podolski struck a fine effort from a tight angle. Germany led 2-0 and the game already looked over with England having produced nothing so far. Then came the big moment of controversy.

Manuel Neuer of Germany watches the ball bounce over the line from a shot that hit the crossbar from Frank Lampard of England, but referee Jorge Larrionda judges the ball did not cross the line during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Round of Sixteen © Getty Images

The Three Lions were back in the contest as Upson beat Neuer to the ball from a Steven Gerrard corner and they thought that they were celebrating the equaliser not long before the break from Frank Lampard's ambitious chip. With Neuer badly off his line, the shot hit the bar, bounced over the line and spun back out, but neither referee nor linesman saw the ball a good foot over the line and play was waved on. Fabio Capello and the whole England team were stunned. It would hardly have been deserved, but they should have been level.

That injustice seemed to spur on the Three Lions in the second half as they came out strongly to press for an equaliser, and Lampard saw another shot, this time from a free kick, hit the bar again. His luck was not in and on 67 minutes Germany scored again on the break to seal the result. Muller added his first of the game, but it was Gareth Barry who got completely outpaced by Mesut Ozil who was at fault.

The midfielder then was guilty of not clearing his lines, to allow Ozil a simple pass for Muller three minutes later, who well and truly wrapped up the win. The result was no more than Germany deserved, but had the officials been sharper there is no saying what the equaliser would have done to the result. England had gone home early yet again.

Thomas Mueller of Germany shoots and scores his team's first goal during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil group G match between the United States and Germany at Arena Pernambuco on June 26, 2014
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