5 things we learnt from the Euro 2024 opening match between Germany and Scotland
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5 things we learnt from the Euro 2024 opening match between Germany and Scotland

16/06/24 05:47

Germany thrashed Scotland 5-1 for their opening Euro 2024 match on Friday. Arguably, having the best possible start to the tournament.

Scotland on the other hand delivered a disappointing performance where a lot of improvement necessary in order to go through to the round of 16.

With the Germans being favoured to win their group, proving their good form in Friday's opener, and Scotland’s chances of fighting their way through the group stage getting slimmer, here are five things we learned from the clash.

1. Wirtz and Musiala are Germany’s future

Florian Wirtz and Jamal Musiala, the two German youngsters who are both just 21 years old, will be the future for the German national team after they proved their amazing form in the opening match against Scotland on Friday.

Wirtz, who has just won the Bundesliga and DFB Pokal with Leverkusen, scored the first goal for Germany in the 10th minute which made him the youngest ever German goalscorer at the Euro’s and therefore took over Kai Havertz’s old record.

Musiala, the Bayern star who is just two months older than his Germany teammate, went on to score the second goal for Germany in the 19th minute. Although he got subbed off before the final whistle to make way for Thomas Muller, the youngster won Player of the Match.

Throughout the match, you were able to see how amazingly the two work together to reach the maximum outcome in a game, despite the two fighting against each other for the Meisterschale in the Bundesliga.

Muller, who debuted for the German national team when Wirtz and Musiala were just seven years old, acknowledged the youngsters after the win.

He said after the match: “Our Wusiala-Connection needed the relief where they know for themselves: They are not just good but they can do things that change the final score.”

2. Scotland need to hope for a miracle

Scotland started into the tournament with an extremely weak performance and conceded five goals at the Munich stadium. The only goal they scored to make it a 5-1 loss against the Germans was an own goal by Antonio Rudiger, who headed the ball into his own team’s net in the 87th minute.

Just before the half-time the Scots also got punished with a red card for Ryan Porteous after he committed a harsh foul against Ilkay Gundogan.

In general, Steve Clarke’s team seemed to be all over the place despite having a good and stable defence in the starting minutes. With every goal, Scotland lost themselves more and more to a point where it was impossible for them to recover.

They especially need to work on creating chances and playing at a constant level for the full 90 minutes if they want to have a chance to get points against Switzerland on Wednesday.

After seeing Switzerland’s performance against Hungary, the hope for the Tartan Army to go through to the round of 16 is extremely limited. They need to pray for a miracle.

3. Can’s late nomination was a blessing

Emre Can was not supposed to be a part of the German national team for the Euro 2024 but got called up late for Aleksandar Pavlović who had to step back due to tonsillitis.

He was on holiday when he got the call that Nagelsmann wanted him in the squad and flew home the same day to join training on Thursday, just one day before the match against Scotland. Within three days he went from holiday to becoming a Euros goalscorer.

Can only got subbed on for the last ten minutes of the game which showed that manager Julian Nagelsmann was not planning on making him one of the key players of Germany’s campaign.

He might change his opinion on this now, as Can scored the 5th goal for Germany in the 90th+3 minute with a good finish into the bottom right corner.

The Dortmund midfielder might therefore take over the role of the joker for the German squad and definitely proved that he belongs to be part of the national team, which are likely to get far in this tournament.

4. The Scottish fans are here to stay

Despite the thrashing of the Scottish team, the fans keep celebrating - since Thursday the streets all over Germany are packed with the Tartan Army who are hoping for a miracle to get through the round of 16.

After the Scots got knocked out from the Qatar World Cup two years ago in the group stage and not even qualifying for the 2020 Euro, the Scottish fans are celebrating their group stage as if they have won the tournament.

There are already thousands of fans in Cologne although their next game against Switzerland, which takes place at the Cologne stadium, is still four days away.

Even after the match, the Tartan Army was back on their feet again today to watch the second Group A game between Hungary and Switzerland. An estimated 200,000 fans have made their way to Germany to continue supporting Clarke's squad which equals 4% of Scotland’s entire population.

5. Nagelsmann succeeds as youngest manager in Euros history

Germany’s head coach Julian Nagelsmann is the youngest manager in Euros history and looking back at the final score against the Scots, he has got good chances of becoming a successful one.

Nagelsmann got criticized heavily before the Euros when he announced that Bayern star Leon Goretzka and Dortmund defender Mats Hummel have not been called up to the national team. He was also doubted after only drawing in the friendly against Ukraine and winning 2-1 against Greece with a late goal by Pascal Gross.

Nonetheless, Nagelsmann has shown his skill as manager when his squad beat France 2-0 in a friendly a couple of months ago.

The former Bayern coach did not have an easy job taking over from Hansi Flick, when Germany got knocked out in the group stage for consecutive times in the two major international tournaments. Germany as a team seemed self-conscious and it was obvious that the team needed to improve mentally and on the pitch.

Nagelsmann seemed to have done so as the players worked amazingly as a team and showed skill and eagerness to win against the Scots.

Germany was talked about before the Euro and described as a team which could get far in the tournament, considering individual skill and the fact that they are on home grounds but they have not yet been seen as the favourites to win it all.

After their opening match, people are starting to change their views about Germany and depending on how they perform in their upcoming two group stage matches, they will be able to compete for the trophy.

Benji Kosartiyer
Journalist
Kelly Stock

Football Writer

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