Germany Müller Portugal as Pepe sees red

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Hat-trick hero: Müller scored three goals to lead Germany's rout of Portugal.

Thomas Mueller spectacularly stole the limelight from World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo on Monday with a hat-trick in a stunning 4-0 demolition of 10-man Portugal at the World Cup.

Bayern Munich star Mueller marked his 50th international appearance in style with a 12th-minute penalty and a first-half injury time strike. He then grabbed his third in the 78th minute with defender Mats Hummels having also got on the scoresheet in the first period.

Ronaldo, who was playing despite having suffered a knee injury, hardly figured as his career World Cup goals tally remained on a paltry two.

Mueller was also involved in the first half dismissal of Portugal defender Pepe after he appeared to be headbutted by the Real Madrid man.

Watched by German leader Angela Merkel and buoyed by news earlier in the day that national sporting hero Michael Schumacher had emerged from his lengthy coma, the three-time champions tore into Portugal.

After Ronaldo had missed his only chance of the first half and Sami Khedira went narrowly wide from 30 yards after goalkeeper's Rui Patricio botched clearance, Germany struck in the 11th minute. Joao Pereira hauled down Mario Goetze and Mueller tucked the penalty kick into Patricio's bottom right corner.

On the half-hour mark, it was 2-0 with Borussia Dortmund defender Hummels muscling in to head powerfully into the net off a corner from Toni Kroos. Two minutes later uncompromising defender Pepe was sent-off for the 13th time in his career for throwing his hands into the face of Mueller who fell theatrically to the ground.

Pepe's fate was sealed when he followed up with a headbutt on the Bayern Munich player.

Portugal were haunted by Mueller in injury-time again as the German star drove the ball past Patricio. Mueller completed his hat-trick in the 78th minute before Ronaldo had a last-minute sighting of goal with a free-kick parried away by Manuel Neuer.

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Robben looking forward to going up against familiar faces

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After producing one of the finest displays in the World Cup's opening round of fixtures, Arjen Robben and his Netherlands side have got off to a superb start in Brazil.

Their 5-1 demolision of reigning champions Spain was inspired by Robben and Robin van Persie with both players netting twice as Louis van Gaal's men destroyed their opponents and sent a huge message of their intent to the rest of the nations.

Having plied his trade in four different nations competing in this year's World Cup, Robben will come across a vast array of team-mates both past and present.

In a Q&A with his main sponsor adidas, Robben cast his eye over those familiar faces that he may meet in Brazil.

Robben on his Bayern colleagues…

There are no secrets in international football and I wouldn’t call myself a spy, but I do think it’s useful that I know so many of the Germany squad. I play with them in training every day with Bayern, so hopefully know what their strengths and weaknesses are. Of course that goes both ways. Manuel Neuer is a fantastic goalkeeper, you don’t get past him easily.  And I feel the benefit of Toni Kroos and Bastian Schweinsteiger too, their midfield dominance allows me to attack so regularly.

I know Philip can play on either flank at full-back so there is a chance I could be up against him if our nations meet. It’s hard to say how the meeting would go. If I feel good and fit I think I can cause any player problems, but Philip is one of the best defenders in the world and has been for years.

The Duthman's familiarity with Spain…

I have got to know Javi Martinez very well and am glad he is on my team when we play club football. His is energetic and tenacious and such a presence in the centre of the pitch or at centre-back. I also met Xavi, Jordi Alba and Cristian Tello in the Champions League when Bayern met Barcelona in 2013, on our way to winning it. They are all excellent players who hurt you in different way. Xavi in particular is an example and reference point to all midfielders. His distribution, protection of the ball and temperament are as good as it gets.

His appreciation for Lampard…

I really enjoyed playing with Frank Lampard when we were together at Chelsea. He was tough and cunning in central midfield, but also made his presence felt going forward. Now he has matured into a very shrewd operator, and times his forward runs carefully. Of course I was devastated to lose the 2012 Champions League final, but at least the team that beat us, Chelsea, contained a great champion like Frank. Much as I was distraught, I was happy for him.

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