1. Tierney a big miss
With the news that Kieran Tierney would be unavailable for the match, Steve Clarke’s masterplan took a major hit.
Leeds United’s Liam Cooper was tasked with slotting into the left-centre back position which Tierney has made his own under Clarke.
Simply, Cooper is far less attack minded than Tierney and even though the Arsenal man is technically playing in a centre-back role, he still has licence to advance and support the talismanic Andrew Robertson.
The defensive solidity which Cooper brings may be better than that of Tierney, but few are highlighting the bright side of the former Celtic man’s absence.
2. Hampden Park Scotland’s 12th man
Whilst the absence of Kieran Tierney is a big blow for Scotland, arguably without the noise of their 12th man, Hampden Park, they could have been even worse off.
Scotland will travel to play England at Wembley on Friday and whilst there is likely to still be a sizeable supporting crowd in the ground, the atmosphere backing Steve Clarke’s side will be multiple times less.
The atmosphere in the ground was palpable to see Scotland’s return to a major international tournament. Any opposition, like the Czech Republic did, need to score the first goal to quieten down the crowd.
3. The Czech aerial threat
With the presence of a number of aerial threats in the team it was unsurprising to see Patrick Schick open the scoring for the Czech Republic.
Crosses and set pieces were always going to be the main weapon Tomas Soucek’s side would try to utilise.
Arguably more unsurprising was the fact that West Ham United’s Vladimir Coufal was the man to deliver the cross for Schick’s opener.
Throughout the season Coufal has been looking to overlap with his associated winger, link up and cross and that is exactly what he did.
England and Croatia will be taking note of the Czech’s plan A, which so many sides resort to later in the game, being implemented from minute 1.
Here’s the goal that sees Scotland trailing at half-time.
— Match of the Day (@BBCMOTD) June 14, 2021
4. Making early pressure pay
Scotland started the match clearly the better of the two sides. Andrew Robertson was exceptional on the left-hand side.
Crosses from the Liverpool man were coming thick and fast but it wasn’t Roberto Firmino and co who he was aiming for.
Lyndon Dykes had an opportunity created for him but couldn’t turn the ball on target. Robertson had a shot himself which Vaclik was able to comfortably turn over the bar.
Whilst England saw pressure tell in their game against Croatia, Scotland were unable to sustain their early dominance and the Czech side grew gradually into the game.
Winning the second ball consistently less and less. Ultimately big chances later in the game were very costly, but not getting the early, and more importantly the first, goal to lift Hampden further ultimately cost the Scots.
5. Stay on your line!
Patrik Schick not only opened the scoring but provided without a doubt the goal of the tournament so far.
After Scotland had a shot blocked on the edge of the Czech box, Schick was released down the left and spotted David Marshall of his line.
The Leverkusen striker swept a strike with perfect aim, angle and power to loop it past the Scottish keeper and into the back of the net from more than 40 yards.
It will take some effort top that this summer.
Yes, the Czech side have a threat in the air, however, when there is the possibility of a strike from near the half way line, maybe Jordan Pickford and Dominik Livaković will want to stay on their line.
WHAT. A. GOAL.
— Match of the Day (@BBCMOTD) June 14, 2021
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|1||Manchester City FC||38||51||86|
|2||Manchester United FC||38||29||74|
|5||Leicester City FC||38||18||66|
|6||West Ham United FC||38||15||65|
|7||Tottenham Hotspur FC||38||23||62|
|11||Aston Villa FC||38||9||55|
|12||Newcastle United FC||38||-16||45|
|13||Wolverhampton Wanderers FC||38||-16||45|
|14||Crystal Palace FC||38||-25||44|
|16||Brighton & Hove Albion FC||38||-6||41|
|19||West Bromwich Albion||38||-41||26|
|20||Sheffield United FC||38||-43||23|
|Kane, Harry||Tottenham Hotspur FC||23|
|Salah, Mohamed||Liverpool FC||22|
|Fernandes, Bruno||Manchester United FC||17|
|Son, Heung Min||Tottenham Hotspur FC||17|
|Bamford, Patrick||Leeds United||17|
|Calvert-Lewin, Dominic||Everton FC||16|
|Vardy, Jamie||Leicester City FC||15|
|Watkins, Ollie||Aston Villa FC||14|
|Gundogan, Ilkay||Manchester City FC||13|
|Lacazette, Alexandre||Arsenal FC||13|
|Wilson, Callum||Newcastle United FC||12|
|Ings, Danny||Southampton FC||12|
|Wood, Chris||Burnley FC||12|
|Iheanacho, Kelechi||Leicester City FC||12|
|Rashford, Marcus||Manchester United FC||11|
|Mane, Sadio||Liverpool FC||11|
|Pereira, Matheus||West Bromwich Albion||11|
|Bale, Gareth||Tottenham Hotspur FC||11|
|Zaha, Wilfried||Crystal Palace FC||11|
|Sterling, Raheem||Manchester City FC||10|
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|McGinn, John||Aston Villa FC||12|
|Gallagher, Conor||West Bromwich Albion||11|
|Maguire, Harry||Manchester United FC||11|
|Phillips, Kalvin||Leeds United||10|
|Hojbjerg, Pierre||Tottenham Hotspur FC||9|
|Milivojevic, Luka||Crystal Palace FC||1||8|
|Lundstram, John||Sheffield United FC||1||8|
|Luiz, Douglas||Aston Villa FC||8|
|Holgate, Mason||Everton FC||9|
|Bissouma, Yves||Brighton & Hove Albion FC||1||8|
|Soucek, Tomas||West Ham United FC||1||7|
|Shaw, Luke||Manchester United FC||8|
|Xhaka, Granit||Arsenal FC||1||7|
|Bellerin, Hector||Arsenal FC||8|
|Andersen, Joachim||Fulham FC||1||7|
|Egan, John||Sheffield United FC||1||7|
|Hayden, Isaac||Newcastle United FC||8|
|Dallas, Stuart||Leeds United||7|
|McGoldrick, David||Sheffield United FC||7|
|Reid, Bobby||Fulham FC||7|
|Kane, Harry||Tottenham Hotspur FC||14|
|Fernandes, Bruno||Manchester United FC||12|
|De Bruyne, Kevin||Manchester City FC||11|
|Son, Heung Min||Tottenham Hotspur FC||10|
|Grealish, Jack||Aston Villa FC||10|
|Rashford, Marcus||Manchester United FC||9|
|Vardy, Jamie||Leicester City FC||8|
|Mane, Sadio||Liverpool FC||8|
|Harrison, Jack||Leeds United||8|
|Werner, Timo||Chelsea FC||8|
|Gross, Pascal||Brighton & Hove Albion FC||8|
|Cresswell, Aaron||West Ham United FC||8|
|Pereira, Matheus||West Bromwich Albion||7|
|Sterling, Raheem||Manchester City FC||7|
|Firmino, Roberto||Liverpool FC||7|
|Ward-Prowse, James||Southampton FC||7|
|Eze, Eberechi||Crystal Palace FC||7|
|Alexander-Arnold, Trent||Liverpool FC||7|
|Robertson, Andrew||Liverpool FC||7|