Home Sports Euro 2024 Opener: Germany Trash Hapless Scotland 5:1

Euro 2024 Opener: Germany Trash Hapless Scotland 5:1


…As Havertz, Wirtz, Musiala on target

The Much awaited Euro 2024 championship kicked off today at the Alliance Arena Stadium with the host Germany putting five goals pass a 10 man scotland team.
Three first half goals from Florian Wirtz (10′), Jamal Musiala (19′) and a Havertz (45’+1′ PEN) set the host on course for 3 points. The Scotland team was reduced to 10 men after one of their players was giving his matching order for dangerous play.
It is difficult to imagine them garnering the four points they are likely to need against Hungary and Switzerland in their remaining Group A fixtures in order to progress this time.
Germany, eliminated at the group stage at the last two World Cups, had been largely overlooked by those tipping winners of this competition.

But they must surely be part of the argument after this ruthless demolition job.
Musiala, the Bayern Munich playmaker who has so much in common with Jude Bellingham, was majestic here.

The Germans are expecting him to emerge into genuine world-class status and that is precisely where he looked here.

Before kick-off, there had been a carnival atmosphere on the U-bahn – men in skirts and men in leather shorts joining forces against a common foe with chants of ‘We hate England more than you!’

The Tartan Army had spent most of the previous 48 hours getting piddled in the Marienplatz, with its vast beer halls.

Few of them were optimistic about this match but the ‘No Scotland, No Party’ vibe ensured that they were going to savour this occasion – a first overseas tournament appearance in 26 years – no matter what.

Sir Alex Ferguson appeared on the big screen, urging his countrymen to enjoy themselves whatever the result – never a sentiment he’d have expressed in his heyday.

After a low-rent opening ceremony and a couple of stirring national anthems, we had us a first authentic summer footballing shebang in six years.

The Germans went straight for the jugular and were ahead inside ten minutes.

Toni Kroos played a trademark crossfield pass out to Josh Kimmich, who squared for Wirtz to drill a low first-time shot which Angus Gunn could only turn onto the inside of the post on its way in.

The former England Under-21 keeper has clearly picked up the ancient traditions of Scottish glovemanship.

Germany were so dominant, it was like watching Real Madrid against QPR.

Soon Ilkay Gundogan sliced open the Scottish defence with a surgical pass, Kai Havertz cut inside and cut back for Musiala to swivel and ram a shot into the roof of the net.

And it might have been three inside 25 minutes, but for VAR.

Musiala was shoved in the back by Ryan Christie and Kieran Tierney lunged in on him. Ref Clement Turpin pointed to the spot but his VAR said Christie’s offence had come fractionally outside the area.

It was a massive let-off but there was still no sign of Scotland actually joining in.

This was so one-sided that the German supporters started a Mexican Wave after less than half an hour.

Before the break, it got far, far worse for the Scots.

Gunn pulled off an excellent save from a Gundogan header but from the rebound, Ryan Porteous lunged and caught the former Manchester City man on the shin.

Turpin had given nothing but after he was sent to his screen by his VAR, the French ref awarded a penalty and dismissed the Scottish defender.

Havertz casually sent Gunn the wrong way and a first half from hell was complete for Clarke’s men.

At half-time, there was no Brave heartery as Clarke opted for damage limitation, taking off his lone striker Che Adams and bringing on Grant Hanley in defence.

Gundogan was unable to continue after his maiming by Porteous.

As a lone piper played a blood-curdling lament in the away end, Wirtz skied a close-range volley after some bewitching work from Musiala.

Nagelsmann began resting some key men, including Wirtz and Havertz, before the hour mark – although the sight of Leroy Sane emerging from the bench must have felt like a cruel joke to the Scots.

Niclas Fullkrug, who had just replaced Havertz, then stole the ball off the toes of Hanley and walloped it into the far corner for the fourth before he had another effort ruled out for offside.

Musiala was withdrawn to make way for veteran Thomas Muller. We are going to see plenty more of this young fella over the next month – quite possibly all the way until the final in Berlin on July 14.

The Scottish support erupted in joy three minutes from time when Toni Rudiger diverted a Scott McKenna header into his own net.

But just when the ten men thought they had the satisfaction of drawing the second half, Emre Can thumped home Germany’s fifth with the last kick of the game.

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