Euro opener ends in disaster for Scotland

Germany v Scotland – UEFA European Championship 2024 Group A – Allianz Arena, Munich – Report

Germany 5-1 Scotland

Scotland’s Euro 2024 campaign began in a nightmare fashion with a humiliating 5-1 defeat by Germany at the Allianz Arena, Munich.  

Germany ran riot from the start to overcome the hapless Scots – who had Watford’s Ryan Porteous sent off – with Florian Wirtz and Jamal Musiala putting them 2-0 up early on before Kai Havertz netted from the spot to make it three just before the break. Niclas Fullkrug fired home a stunning fourth before Emre Can made it five with the very last kick of the game.

The result was the biggest-ever win by a host nation in their opening match of a European Championship tournament and the German’s record victory at the Euros.

Germany took the lead in the tenth minute when Joshua Kimmich’s crossfield pass found Bundesliga player of the year Wirtz, whose first-time effort found the bottom corner of the net after Angus Gunn’s attempted save had only succeeded in pushing the ball in off the inside of the post.

With the Scots barely able to get out of their half in the opening stages, patient and clever build-up play saw Germany go two up in nineteen minutes when Arsenal’s Havertz picked out Musiala, inside the box to rifle the ball high into the roof of the net.

Things went from bad to worse for the Tartan Army when following a VAR check, Porteous was shown a red card for a foul on İlkay Gündoğan inside the area in the forty-fourth minute – with Havertz firing the resulting spot kick straight down the middle to make it 3-0.

Julian Nagelsmann’s charges continued to press forward following the break with Leroy Sané and Maximilian Mittelstädt both going close for Germany’s before substitute Füllkrug’s thumping effort into the top corner from the edge of the box made it 4-0 in the sixty-eighth minute.

Antonio Rüdiger diverted Scott McKenna’s header into his own net past Manuel Neuer to give Scotland a consolation three minutes before the end, but the celebrations were short-lived as the Germans – who last won the European Championship in England in 1996 –  netted their fifth of the night when sub Can, who only came into the squad two days ago, picked his spot from twenty yards out to curl the ball into the corner of the net past Gunn with the final action of the game.

Steve Clarke spoke to the Daily Record following the game: “I think they showed everybody that, when it comes to competitive games, they’re ready. I thought Germany were outstanding and unfortunately, we couldn’t match them.

“The first half ran away from us very quickly; we didn’t give ourselves a foothold in the game. Defensively we weren’t very good, and with the ball we weren’t very good and the end result is a disappointing night.

“Yeah, I thought the ten men second half were manful, worked hard, tried to limit the chances, managed to nick a goal, disappointing to lose the fifth goal in injury time. But listen, you can talk all day about goals, what we need to do is still in front of us so that’s what we must focus on.

“Now it’s all about reaction, so we’ll see how they react. Four points is the target, I’ve said that from the start. We didn’t get any tonight, so four points from the next two games.”

Scotland captain Andy Robertson spoke to ITV Sport after the match: “Yeah [it was tough]. First half, we got it all wrong really. Didn’t really show up, weren’t aggressive enough, let good players on the ball and yeah, they obviously had a gameplan and we did and their gameplan worked a million times better than ours, but it wasn’t because of the practice, it was because we didn’t put it together on the pitch. When big occasions come like this, you have to do that and unfortunately, we didn’t do that first half.

“Second half, look we’re down to ten men and I thought the lads dug in really well to be fair to them, and we lose a sloppy goal at the end, but you know we could have drawn the second half. It’s no consolation, we’re well backed over here, we know that, we’ve got so many good supporters, and yeah today was hugely disappointing, but you’re playing against the host nation and it’s the first game and you don’t get much tougher than that, but we have to bounce back quickly, because there was a lot of things wrong about today and we have to sort it.

“It’s a reminder of how tough this tournament is. Last time it was a lot different, but this time you’re playing against world class teams and they showed that today, their big players showed up and they were excellent all over the park and made it really difficult for us and had an answer for pretty much everything we had. Sometimes that happens, but I think…we’ve not played to our maximum and you have to do that against the Pot One teams.

“We have to dust ourselves down, we’ve got now five days to sort ourselves out and go again and it’ll be another tough test against Switzerland. We’ll take tomorrow to be angry at ourselves, to be disappointed and then come Sunday we have to be positive and try and go again.”

German coach Julian Nagelsmann spoke to following the match: “I’d have accepted that [result] if someone had offered it to me before the game. The first 20 minutes were very good.

“Scotland showed us respect and probably showed us even more after we scored our first two goals. The first goal in particular was very well played. It wasn’t easy to score because there were a lot of Scottish bodies in the way. The important thing is that we scored a lot of goals.”

Both sides are in action again on Wednesday with Scotland meeting Switzerland in Cologne (8pm) whilst Germany play Hungary in Stuttgart (5pm).

Germany: Neuer, Mittelstädt, Tah, Rüdiger, Kimmich, Kroos (Can 80’) Andrich (Groß 46’) Wirtz (Sane 63’) Gündoğan (Capt) Musiala (Müller 74’) Havertz (Füllkrug 63’) Subs not used: Baumann, Beier, Führich, Henrichs, Koch, Raum, Anton, Schlotterbeck, Undav, ter Stegen

Scotland: Gunn, Tierney (McKenna 77’) Hendry, Porteous, Robertson (Capt) McGregor (Gilmour 67’) McTominay, Ralston, McGinn (McLean 67’) Christie (Shankland 82’) Adams (Ganley 46’) Subs not used: Armstrong, Clark, Conway, Cooper, Forrest, Jack, Kelly, McCrorie, Morgan, Taylor

Referee: Clément Turpin

Assistants: Nicolas Danos and Benjamin Pages

Fourth Official: François Letexier

VAR: Jérôme Brisard

Assistant VAR 1: Willy Delajod

Assistant VAR 2: Massimiliano Irrati