Where's the creativity?
Our analyst tells GARY LIM that Loew must add flair to Germany's midfield or forget about glory
(Mats Hummels 13)
Who was the key man for Germany in this game?
PARKER: Manuel Neuer did very well.
He blocked everything that France threw at him and not only that, he also diverted the shots to the wide areas where there was no danger of the French players putting the ball back in.
He has a big reputation, so that's what people have come to expect him to do.
But to actually deliver the goods as consistently as he does is amazing.
Germany were up against an excellent French side, but Neuer kept his team in the tournament.
Did Germany deserve this win?
They played with a level of enthusiasm that you can't find fault with.
This was their best defensive showing in the tournament.
Although they defended well, they also had plenty of goal-scoring opportunities at the other end.
What they did right was to block the middle of the pitch, to force France to go wide.
Restoring Philipp Lahm in his favourite right-back position was a wise choice, too.
Sure, France would feel that they have enough chances to win the match, but Germany looked more likely to lose to Algeria (in their Round-of-16 match) than they did this morning.
Was there anything France could have done differently?
Before the tournament, if you had asked France coach Didier Deschamps if he would have taken a quarter-final place, he would have grabbed it with both hands.
Just compare this team with the side at Euro 2012 and the one at the 2010 World Cup, and you will see how much they have improved.
For sure, they looked a much-happier lot.
They nearly made it to the semi-finals in Brazil.
They have a good group of young players coming up, so they should be in a good position by the time they host the European Championship in 2016.
Why do you think Germany have looked unconvincing since they beat Portugal 4-0 in their opening match?
They lack creativity in midfield.
Sure, they have Thomas Mueller, but they can't rely only on him.
Loew must look for ways to add flair to that department.
In the middle, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Sami Khedira don't seem to offer enough options in the attacking sense.
He may want to look at introducing the likes of Julian Draxler and Mario Goetze, for instance.
They need to do something different to change the attacking dynamics, that's for sure.
Germany will meet hosts Brazil in the semi-finals. Can they go all the way and win their first World Cup since 1990?
They are a top side. If there's any team from Europe who can win the World Cup in South America, it's the Germans.
They can definitely beat Brazil, who play a more European brand of football.
The Selecao also do not play at a very high tempo, which Germany struggle to cope with, perhaps because of the climate.
- Paul Parker is a former England and Manchester United defender who won two EPL titles and earned 19 caps for his country.
Total shots: France 13, Germany 8
Shots on target: France 9, Germany 6
Corners: France 5, Germany 3
Offsides: France 3, Germany 0
Fouls committed: France 15, Germany 18
Yellow cards: France 0, Germany 2
Ball possession: France 49%, Germany 51%
The fall of France
BELOW PAR: Main striker Karim Benzema wears a look of disbelief after he and key French players under-performed in their 1-0 loss to Germany. PHOTO: AFP
Criticising the French feels a little like shooting Bambi.
Reaching the quarter-final was an achievement in itself, and Didier Deschamps will move on to Euro 2016 with renewed confidence.
But they were defeated by a single goal, and might reflect on what might have been.
Here are four problems that France failed to fix.
1 Mediocre main men
Of all the days to put in a mediocre performance, Paul Pogba and Blaise Matuidi picked their date with the Germans at the Maracana.
There were mitigating circumstances, though. Toni Kroos and Bastian Schweinsteiger ran them ragged in the heat on an unforgiving pitch, with Thomas Mueller and Miroslav Klose also making a nuisance of themselves.
Still, this was the moment for Pogba, in particular, to truly announce himself on the world stage.
He offered fleeting glimpses of his promise, gliding across the centre circle to set the French on the way.
But, with Matuidi tied down with extra defensive duties, Les Bleus' midfield double act didn't really learn their lines.
2 Benzema enigma endures
The Real Madrid striker has long been considered a two-headed beast in France. Sublime or sulky, devastating or destabilising, Benzema so often walks the line between the two.
Against Germany, he was a picture of frustration. He snatched at a couple of chances, and was denied by the alert Manuel Neuer, but his impact was marginal.
Les Bleus' attacking monster from the group stage has been neutered in the knockout stages.
Mats Hummels' return hardly helped, and Benzema drifted towards the left in search of space - where Philipp Lahm was waiting.
3 Set-piece set-back
Deschamps failed to hide his disappointment in the press conference. A born winner, he barely accepted defeat.
But to lose to such a routine goal, from a textbook free-kick, clearly bothered him.
Kroos' cross was curled in with characteristic precision, but the ball travelled a long way before it reached Hummels' head.
Raphael Varane, who has been a dependable presence during the World Cup, picked the worst moment to nail his feet to the floor.
A 1-0 win in the knockout stages of a scrappy game felt like the work of the Hellas than France and Germany. Such a rudimentary error is a cruel way to lose a quarter-final.
4 Deschamps dithered
By the second half, the pattern of play had been well-established.
Germany's interplay was superior, they were content to concede possession, and even tolerated the odd potshot, knowing that Neuer and their defence were up to the task.
The game staggered towards a second-half stalemate and Deschamps remained seated in the dugout.
Benzema was becoming increasingly disillusioned; Germany had a manacle on the midfield, and the French were struggling to break between the lines.
But Deschamps waited until the 71st minute before he introduced his first substitute, and that was defender Laurent Koscielny - almost five minutes after Loew made his first change.
When Deschamps threw on Olivier Giroud and Loic Remy, it all seemed too little too late. He was out of time.