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Germany Demolish Scotland in Euro 2024 Opener

Germany Demolish Scotland in Euro 2024 Opener

Euro 2024 got off to a thrilling start on Friday, with hosts Germany hammering Scotland 5-1 in front of a sold-out Allianz Arena. Julian Nagelsmann's men took an early lead thanks to a goal from Bayer Leverkusen star Florian Wirtz. The 21-year-old Bundesliga Player of the Season received a pass from Joshua Kimmich at the top of the 18-yard box, hitting the ball into the far left corner for the opening goal of the tournament.

Goals soon followed from Bayern Munich's Jamal Musiala and a Kai Havertz penalty, giving Die Mannschaft a commanding three-goal lead before halftime. Last season's Champions League finalist Niclas Füllkrug scored in the 68th minute to put the game beyond reach. Manuel Neuer couldn't keep a clean sheet as Scotland pulled one back from an unlucky deflection off Antonio Rudiger, but a late goal from substitute Emre Can restored Germany's four-goal lead, concluding a dominant display from the hosts.

Ruthless Germany, Shabby Scotland

Germany hit the ground running in the first minute. Florian Wirtz met a sublime long pass from Antonio Rudiger, with Scotland goalkeeper Angus Gunn making a big save, although the ball was ruled out for offside. The breakthrough came shortly after, with Wirtz again at center stage. Starting right wingback Joshua Kimmich cut left before releasing a pass to an open Wirtz, who blasted a one-time low shot. Although Gunn got his hands on the ball, he was unable to prevent Wirtz from finding the back of the net as he scored the first goal of Euro 2024.

Germany continued to push for a second, and their persistence paid off with Jamal Musiala adding his name to the scoresheet. The 21-year-old sensation received a pass from Kai Havertz in the penalty area, cut past Callum McGregor, and hit a sublime shot from 12 yards out.

Things went from bad to worse for Steve Clarke's men when Ryan Porteous brought down Ilkay Gundogan in the penalty box. After a VAR review, the Scottish center-back was shown a straight red card, and Germany was awarded a penalty. Kai Havertz stepped up to the spot kick and sent the goalkeeper the wrong way to give the hosts a comfortable advantage in the tie.

Pascal Groß came in for Robert Andrich to start the second half, and Scotland also made a substitution, bringing in Norwich City defender Grant Hanley for Che Adams. But Julian Nagelsmann continued to give the home fans a show.

After a brief stint of unproductive attacks, Germany subbed in Niclas Füllkrug to replace Kai Havertz, and Leroy Sane came on for Florian Wirtz. Steve Clarke responded with two substitutions, with Billy Gilmour replacing Callum McGregor and Kenny McLean stepping in for John McGinn. But it was all Germany again as Füllkrug scored a fourth goal, a stunning strike from inside the box. Grant Hanley intercepted a pass, but the ball ricocheted to the path of the Dortmund striker, who buried the ball in the top right corner of Scotland's goal.

Nagelsmann decided to give Jamal Musiala some rest in the 74th minute, bringing in World Cup winner Thomas Muller for the youngster. Füllkrug found the back of the net again three minutes later, but the goal was ruled out for offside. Toni Kroos, who announced Euro 2024 as his final major tournament, came off in the 80th minute for Emre Can. Scotland also made their final substitution as Kieran Tierney made way for Scott McKenna.

Scotland got a consolation goal in the 87th minute thanks to an own goal from Antonio Rudiger. The Tartan Army was awarded a free kick from deep, and left-back Andy Robertson sent a sublime delivery into the Germans' penalty area. After a series of aerial touches, Scott McKenna headed the ball towards goal, but it took a deflection from Rudiger to beat Manuel Neuer.

The hosts would have the final say, however, as substitutes Muller and Can combined to put the icing on the cake for Germany. Muller laid the perfect pass for Can to hit a low shot into the bottom right corner of the net.

Key Stats

Germany lived up to pregame expectations, maintaining 75% of the ball possession. It was a one-sided affair almost throughout the game, with the hosts registering 20 total shots to Scotland's one. Steve Clarke's men didn't manage a single shot on target, compared to Germany's ten. Angus Gunn was busy throughout the game, making five saves while Manuel Neuer never had to make a single save.

Germany Starting XI (Formation: 4-2-3-1)

Goalkeeper: Manuel Neuer
Defenders: Antonio Rudiger (CB), Jonathan Tah (CB), Joshua Kimmich (RB), Maximilian Mittelstaedt (LB)
Midfielders: Robert Andrich (DM), Toni Kroos (CM), Ilkay Gundogan (AM)
Forwards: Jamal Musiala (RWF), Florian Wirtz (LWF), Kai Havertz (CF)

Substitutions: Pascal Groß, Niclas Füllkrug, Thomas Muller, Emre Can

Scotland Starting XI (Formation: 5-4-1)

Goalkeeper: Angus Gunn
Defenders: Kieran Tierney (CB), Ryan Porteous (CB), Jack Hendry (CB), Anthony Ralston (RB), Andy Robertson (LB)
Midfielders: Scott McTominay (AMF), John McGinn (RWF), Callum McGregor (DM), Ryan Christie (LWF)
Forward: Che Adams (CF)

Substitutions: Grant Hanley, Kenny McLean, Billy Gilmour, Scott McKenna, Lawrence Shankland

Next Matches

Julian Nagelsmann's men will hope to continue their fine start to the tournament when they take on Hungary on June 19. The tie is set to be held at the MHPArena in Stuttgart. With a 54,812 seating capacity, fans will be eager to get their hands on Germany tickets as the hosts face a tricky test against a formidable defensive team. A win will see Die Mannschaft qualify for the knockout rounds and will be crucial to winning Group A, with Switzerland also vying for the top spot.

Scotland, on the other hand, need to secure all three points against Switzerland on June 19 to keep their hopes alive. The Tartan Army is yet to make it past the group stage in any major tournament, but a win could move them to the second spot should Germany also win on Wednesday.

On June 23, the final group stage showdown will see the hosts take on Switzerland in a potential first-place battle should both teams win their second game, while Scotland could face another must-win test against Hungary.

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