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The odds of the hosts winning the first match of Euro 2024

Germany kicked off their Euro 2024 campaign on home soil by beating Scotland 5-1 in Munich.

Friday’s curtain-raiser proved to be a particularly controversial one at the end despite the Tartan Army marching in large numbers and filling most of the Munich Football Arena.

Julian Nagelsmann’s team looked like a well-oiled machine and resembled the German teams of old, while the Scots’ ten men broke down and made the athletes’ work very easy.

How did the game happen?

In the first ten minutes, Germany took the lead. The hosts used the ball through a strong Scottish defense with two direct passes – a game-changing pass to Toni Kroos to find Joshua Kimmich, and a cut-back to pick out Florian Wirtz. The striker’s first-time drive from the edge of the box was pushed onto the post by goalkeeper Angus Gunn before the ball cleared over the line.

Germany added a second before midway through the first half. Ilkay Gundogan’s delightful through ball found Kai Havertz, who cut inside and found Jamal Musiala, with the Bayern Munich assistant swinging and firing into the roof of the net.

It appeared to go from bad to worse for Scotland shortly after Musiala went under a double challenge from Kieran Tierney and Ryan Christie, leading referee Clement Turpin to point to the penalty area. However, a VAR review revealed that Christie’s first contact with Musiala’s right leg went outside the box and a free-kick was awarded instead. Havertz’s effort from 20 yards was well held by Gunn.

Just before the break, Germany this time was awarded a penalty after a VAR review. Gundogan saw his header pushed aside by Gunn, but as he tried to hit the rebound, his ankle was caught in a studs-up challenge by Ryan Porteous, who was again red-carded on review. Havertz got up and headed home to add his third of the evening.

Germany went in search of a fourth goal shortly after and perhaps should have got it when the deep Kroos fell to Wirtz.

The fourth finally arrived after 68 minutes through Niclas Fullkrug who entered his place. Musiala fired a poor ball towards Gundogan just outside the box, and his lack of control allowed Fullkrug to run onto the ball and hit it into the top corner.

Fullkrug thought he had grabbed his pin with a brace shortly afterwards, with Gunn pushing his shot over him and over the line, but this was ruled out for offside.

Scotland’s traveling giants had something to cheer about with three minutes of regulation time remaining when Germany failed to clear a free-kick, and Scott McKenna’s header was turned into his own net by Antonio Rudiger.

Emre Can restored Germany’s four-goal cushion with the last kick of the game, curling past Gunn to finish off the lead.

Jamal Musiala, Florian Wirtz

Stars of the show / Alexander Hassenstein/GettyImages

GK: Manuel Neuer – 6/10 – A passenger for most of the evening. Germany’s dominance was so impressive that it was a surprise that Neuer didn’t join in with his trademark goal-to-midfield move.

RB: Joshua Kimmich – 8/10 – He has moved forward down the right and in the areas he used to hold when he started in midfield. He used this free room in which he was allowed to operate.

CB: Antonio Rudiger – 6/10 – It completely eliminated even the sense of threat from Adams from the beginning. Unlucky to score his goal late in the game.

CB: Jonathan Tah – 6/10 – He didn’t have much on his plate considering Scotland offered very little and Rudiger was taking care of the main responsibilities.

LB: Maximilian Mittelstadt – 7/10 – He was heavily involved in Germany’s demolition of the Scots in the first half, receiving many instructions from Nagelsmann on the phone.

CM: Robert Andrich – 6/10 – Booked a tough challenge on McTominay early on but was calmly used again until he was substituted at half-time.

CM: Toni Kroos – 9/10 – Wonderful, wonderful. Punish Scotland for not locking him up. It’s a performance that makes you think he should definitely reverse his decision to retire at the end of the tournament.

RW: Jamal Musiala – 10/10 – Wow. If you haven’t seen Musiala’s performance around, get yourself a collection quickly and enjoy. He came from all over to crawl up to the space. It gave a noticeable difference and with a good goal. A standing ovation was given at the dismissal.

AM: Ilkay Gundogan – 8/10 – Fit to play in the hole in this system, he often brings the finishing touches to team moves and pulls Scotland forward with his clever moves.

LW: Florian Wirtz – 9/10 – He scored the first goal of what could be Germany’s most memorable Euro campaign. Like Musiala it was fun to watch the defenders dance.

CF: Kai Havertz – 8/10 – He continued his recent scoring prowess with a goal and assist while leading the line.

What you are holding

SUB: Pascal Gross (46′ for Andrich) – 6/10 – It was brought into the game without any risk or pressure. It didn’t set the world on fire but you really didn’t need to.

SUB: Niclas Fullkrug (63′ for Havertz) – 8/10 – Phwoar, what a rocket. Germany will need a number nine like him as the tournament progresses.

SUB: Leroy Sane (63′ for Wirtz) – 6/10 – Played a bit of a role thanks to Scotland’s depth to try and prevent their humiliation from getting out of hand.

SUB: Thomas Muller (74′ for Musiala) – 6/10

SUB: Emre Can (81′ for Kroos) – 8/10

Sponsors used: Oliver Baumann (GK), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (GK), David Raum, Chris Fuhrich, Thomas Muller, Maximilian Beier, Nico Schlotterbeck, Waldemar Anton, Benjamin Henrichs, Robin Koch, Emre Can, Deniz Undav

The manager

Julian Nagelsmann – 9/10 – Another thing that can make Germany its rivals is its hiring of a high-quality coach. He is now the youngest manager in Euro history at 36 years and 327 days.

Clement Turpin, Ryan Porteous

Porteous saw red / Alexander Hassenstein/GettyImages

GK: Angus Gunn – 3/10 – I should have done better to push Wirtz’s opening goal. He made a good save after that but the damage was already done.

RB: Anthony Ralston – 3/10 – It gave Wirtz a lot of freedom, especially leading to the opening goal.

CB: Ryan Porteous – 1/10 – It takes some kind of challenge to try and hamper Gundogan’s vision and shot, but he was out of control and killed any hope of a comeback with a bad foul that led to a red card and a converted penalty.

CB: Jack Hendry – 4/10 – He had a very difficult task given the madness that followed around him. Not too bad himself, at least.

CB: Kieran Tierney – 4/10 – Fortunately he did not give away a penalty for a late challenge on Musiala.

LB: Andy Robertson – 4/10 – Scotland needed their Champions League-winning captain to step up and provide defensive reassurance, but he was guilty of letting Kimmich and Musiala do whatever they asked on the right.

RM: John McGinn – 4/10 – He fought hard to try to prove his authority but rarely laid a glove in Germany. He started on the right but came on when Scotland were reduced to ten men.

CM: Scott McTominay – 4/10 – Likewise, it looked like a shell of the player who led Scotland in the qualifiers. His performance was dampened by their inability to penetrate the final third.

CM: Callum McGregor – 4/10 – It ended quickly in the game. He had a resemblance to referee Turpin, which was probably the most interesting thing to say about the midfielder’s night.

LM: Ryan Christie – 5/10 – A very hard worker at night. He tried his best to carry the ball up and bring others to play. As you can see from the score line, that didn’t go to plan.

CF: Che Adams – 4/10 – Gave it on the break to another defender. He was given a rough ride by Rudiger’s boredom in his 45 minutes or so on the pitch.

What you are holding

SUB: Grant Hanley (46′ for Adams) – 4/10 – It brought more stability to the rear when it arrived, but withered after a while.

SUB: Billy Gilmour (67′ for McGregor) – 4/10

SUB: Kenny McLean (67′ for McGinn) – 4/10

SUB: Scott McKenna (77′ for Tierney) – 6/10

SUB: Lawrence Shankland (82′ for Christie) – 4/10

Subs used: Liam Kelly (GK), Zander Clark (GK), Liam Cooper, Stuart Armstrong, Lewis Morgan, Tommy Conway, Ryan Jack, Ross McCrorie, Greg Taylor, James Forrest

The manager

Steve Clarke – 4/10 – No one really expected Scotland to do so much damage, but they made life easy for a German team that accepted such an invitation.

Best player – Jamal Musiala (Germany)

Jamal Musiala

Musiala you little dancer / Alexander Hassenstein/GettyImages


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