Germany sends a massive warning shot across the bow of Euro 2020
— Germany (@DFB_Team_EN) June 19, 2021
Germany looks like a nation rejuvenated in Munich tonight as Joachim Löw’s Die Mannschaft hit Portugal for four goals in a 4-2 win in front of a majority home support at the Allianz Arena. Under pressure, and at home, Germany delivered, as they have so many times before on the biggest footballing stages.
The noise around the German camp coming into Euro 2020 was one of muted expectations, if not downright concern, as the final tournament of the Löw reign pitted the global juggernaut in the group of death against reigning world champions France, reigning European champions Portugal, and a determined Hungary.
A run of results dating back to September 2020 – including a shock defeat against North Macedonia, and a 6-0 annihilation at the hands of Spain – saw many predict that Germany would not finish in the top two in Group F. With Hansi Flick confirmed as Löw’s successor after completion of Euro 2020, the usual labels were not applied this tournament cycle, and their frustrating 1-0 defeat against France in the opening of group play seemed to confirm suspicions that this could be another disappointing summer for the Germans.
Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring on 15-minutes, and many began to prepare for a worst-case scenario that would see Germany struggle to qualify for the knockout stages. But a four-minute quickfire own-goal double put Löw’s outfit ahead, and the lead would not be surrendered. Added goals from wunderkind Kai Havertz and Atalanta wing-back Robin Gosens sealed the deal, but Portugal still had their chances throughout and arguably could have found a third goal before full-time. It was a big result regarding Germany’s tournament chances as they now face Hungary, with France and Portugal pitted in a must-win fixture for Fernando Santos’ troops, but there are still warning signs that must be addressed by Löw if the script is to be flipped this summer.
Robin Gosens provides valuable dynamic in MOTM performance
When you think of Germany, names like Manuel Neuer, Toni Kroos, Thomas Müller, Serge Gnabry, and Leon Goretzka come to mind, but it was Atalanta wing-back Robin Gosens that rose highest on the day, putting in a man of the match performance in what is his first major international tournament for his country.
Robin Gosens game by numbers vs #POR
100% shot accuracy
6 touches in opp. box
3 shots on target
2 chances created
He was superb today.
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) June 19, 2021
It was that much more meaningful for Gosens, who was once refused by Ronaldo when he offered to exchange jerseys after a match for Atalanta against Juventus back in 2019. But his influence in Munich today was unquestionable, as the former Heracles Almelo and Vitesse Arnhem defender created two big chances – including one exquisite first-time volley aimed at Kai Havertz that directly led to a goal – while adding a goal to his Germany account as well.
With Joshua Kimmich being deployed on the opposite flank, Jogi Löw can now rest assured that his flanks should be quite capable of providing outlets for both creativity and goal threats as Germany move into their clash with Hungary and a chance to top the group should the right result between France and Portugal occur.