Three things we learned as Germany embarrassed Scotland to kickstart their EURO 2024 campaign with a victory

Germany overcame Scotland 5-1 at the Allianz Arena to ensure their EURO 2024 campaign kicked off with the perfect start. 

However, with anticipation building prior to kick-off, there were question marks surrounding whether Julian Nagelsmann’s side would cope with the pressure of hosting the tournament. After 19 minutes, these fears were quickly dispelled. Goals from Florian Wirtz and Jamal Musiala threatened to put the game beyond Scotland’s reach, but when Ryan Porteous fouled İlkay Gündoğan, any hope Scotland had remaining was over. A horrifying tackle saw the defender shown a straight red after a consultation with VAR, allowing Arsenal’s Kai Havertz to place Germany in a commanding 3-0 lead from the spot.

After the interval, it was only ever going to be damage limitation for Steve Clarke’s side. Despite keeping Germany at bay for just over 20 minutes, Niclas Füllkrug’s thunderous strike ensured that he would see his impressive international scoring tally rise to 12 goals in 17 appearances. With the game coming to its conclusion, Antonio Rüdiger’s own goal late on looked to give Scotland something to hold on to, but Emre Can would respond with a fabulous fifth to give Germany a memorable opening victory. As for Scotland, they will need to bounce back with a positive performance if they want to restore pride, with their confidence undeniably knocked.

Germany are playing with the confidence of champions

From the first whistle, it quite quickly became clear who would kickstart EURO 2024 with all three points. Oozing with quality and class in every area of the pitch, Germany played with a real swagger and confidence that has been missing from their game for almost a decade.

In midfield, the partnership between Toni Kroos and Robert Andrich threatens to be unmatched by any side in the competition. Dictating the play until the latter was substituted at halftime, the pair offered Nagelsmann’s side unrivalled control and composure on and off the ball.

Then, in the attack, the consistent and unrelenting movement of the front four puzzled the Scottish backline throughout the course of the game. This allowed Kroos, Andrich, and Pascal Groß to perfectly pick their passes, and when in the final third, Germany appeared likely to score with every foray forward.

Thankfully, for every other side in this tournament, playing at this level in every game would be practically impossible. However, if Germany can continue to show the same levels of class and composure at key times in the competition, then becoming four-time champions of Europe could be a real possibility.

Scotland face an embarrassing EURO 2024 elimination

Having failed to impress at EURO 2020, despite earning a draw against eventual runners-up England, many Scotland fans would have been heading into this tournament hoping to earn their first victory at a major competition since EURO 1996. However, facing the hosts, Germany, in the opening match of the competition was always bound to be a daunting challenge for Steve Clarke’s side, and a daunting challenge it was.

Failing to come out of the traps from the first whistle, Florian Wirtz deservingly placed the hosts in the lead after ten minutes, just before another talented technician in Jamal Musiala doubled Germany’s advantage. then, a horror tackle by Ryan Porteous perfectly summed up Scotland’s distasteful first outing at EURO 2024.

Against Germany, Scotland’s performance may have aligned with the inconsistent form that has been plaguing them in the build-up to this tournament, but their hopes of qualifying out of their group are not over. There is undeniable quality in the side, and recent victories against Spain and France have proven this. Nonetheless, they will need to adapt to their surroundings quickly, and if they do, then they could be a handful for any side in the competition.

Florian Wirtz and Jamal Musiala are cheat codes 

Over the past few years, the Bundesliga has been blessed by being able to witness the magic of Florian Wirtz and Jamal Musiala. Despite their pair having picked up a number of injuries in their relatively young careers, they have always been able to bounce back and continue to torment backlines up and down the country.

However, for Germany, the pair have rarely been able to play together. Nonetheless, under Nagelsmann’s watch, Wirtz and Musiala are threatening to become the most feared duo in international football.

As previously reported by GGFN, Wirtz established that the pair love to play alongside each other, and against Scotland, it showed. With a combined two goals, six successful dribbles, and a 97% pass accuracy, as per FotMob, all Scotland could do was gaze in awe as the two ran circles around them. 

If the pair can continue to work together at such a phenomenal rate, then Germany’s chances of winning EURO 2024 will undoubtedly rise. However, should the pair find themselves at Bayern Munich together in the future, then Der Rekordmeister may become unbeatable once again.

GGFN | Will Shopland

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