14 June 2024

Euro 2024 day one: Scotland hammered in Munich but Tartan Army deliver

14 June 2024

Germany made the perfect start to Euro 2024 with a first-half blitz to down Scotland 5-1 and send a warning sign to their rivals.

The host nation were rank outsiders to triumph in their home tournament back in November when they suffered defeats to Turkey and Austria, but recent results suggested Julian Nagelsmann’s team had turned a corner and they were outstanding at Allianz Arena.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look back on an action-packed day one of Euro 2024.

The Germans always win

Gary Lineker memorably stated “football is a simple game; 22 men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans win” but that had not been the case at the last three major tournaments. Germany lost their 2022 World Cup opener to Japan, suffered a similar fate at the 2018 edition to Mexico and in between had lost 1-0 to France in their first match at Euro 2020.

Scrutiny is always intense on Germany, but it was ramped up given they were hosts’ and yet they provided the best answer in Munich with a dazzling display. Nagelsmann was off down the touchline with only 10 minutes played when Florian Wirtz drilled in from the edge of the area after Angus Gunn could only push the effort onto the post.

The flicks and tricks were all on display after with Jamal Musiala able to delight his home crowd when he blasted in nine minutes later before Kai Havertz netted from the spot. It was substitute Niclas Fullkrug though who arguably grabbed the goal of the night when he lashed into the top corner from 16 yards before Emre Can curled home the fifth deep into stoppage-time.

While Manuel Neuer would be denied a clean sheet, Germany could not have dreamed for a better start after they turned up to their own party in style.

Tartan Army deliver

The Tartan Army had made their presence felt in Munch long before kick-off with fantastic scenes outside Allianz Arena and in nearby fan parks. And even though the football on the pitch left plenty to be desired, Scotland’s loyal support delivered off it.

Support remained strong for Steve Clarke’s side even after trailing 3-0 at half-time and having seen Ryan Porteous sent off. With three minutes left, the travelling fans finally got their moment, albeit thanks to a scruffy own goal by ex-Chelsea centre-back Antonio Rudiger.

Rudiger diverted the ball into his own net after Scott McKenna had met Andrew Robertson’s deep free-kick and it sparked big celebrations from the Tartan Army, who were quick to belt out, ‘you’re not signing any more’ to the previously jubilant home faithful.

A late fifth would follow for the hosts’ to ensure they had the last laugh and leave Scotland with an almighty uphill battle to extend the Tartan Army’s stay in Germany beyond June 23.

All smiles for Pickford

Jordan Pickford cut a relaxed figure two days out from another milestone as England goalkeeper, but was less chilled about the prospect of two team-mates sitting through his pre-match media duties on Friday.

Kieran Trippier and John Stones attempted to disguise themselves as journalists at the back of a packed press conference room. However, the Everton stopper walked over to the duo once they had been spotted before he ushered them out.

Pickford was then able to reflect on his own journey as England’s number one for a fourth straight World Cup or Euros and about being on the verge of drawling level with Peter Shilton in making 20 appearances for his country at a major tournament.

“I know I will keep getting better and hopefully I’m appreciated and hopefully this tournament is a success,” Pickford said ahead of England’s Group C opener with Serbia on Sunday.

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Who’s up next?

Hungary v Switzerland, 2pm, ITV

Spain v Croatia, 5pm, ITV

Italy v Albania, 8pm, BBC One

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