EURO 2024 Talking Points: Germany make statement start as Scotland suffer nightmare

Florian Wirtz celebrates scoring the opening goal at Euro 2024
Florian Wirtz celebrates scoring the opening goal at Euro 2024AFP
After all the talk about hosts Germany and how they might fare this summer, they began Euro 2024 with a convincing 5-1 thrashing of Scotland on Friday. It was a statement win which puts to bed any concerns from recent underwhelming tournaments and a mixed build-up to this one. Don't get it twisted - Germany are contenders and they mean business.

But what else did we learn from the Munich mauling? As we digest a brilliant opening night from Germany and the worst possible start for Scotland, here are three talking points to take you into the weekend:

Germany are the real deal

Everyone in Germany knew how important it was to get off to a quick start at their home tournament after losing their opening game at the 2022 World Cup - a shock defeat to Japan.

Another shock defeat tonight would have raised serious warning signs but Germany were on a different level to Scotland from minute one.

Germany got off to the perfect start when emerging star (who we will touch on more later) Florian Wirtz's strike found the bottom corner just 10 minutes in and that set the tone for the rest of the night. 

Two more goals from Jamal Musiala and Kai Havertz added further misery to Scotland before the break and second-half substitute Niclas Fullkrug scored a fourth. Emre Can added further icing to the cake late on.

The 5-1 thrashing was richly deserved as Germany's stars ran the show with Musiala, Wirtz and Havertz all looking sharp and dovetailing nicely. The hosts produced a display which will worry the rest of Europe and confirm their place as contenders for the title.

Scotland could struggle in Group A

Before the tournament, Scotland fans were optimistic that in a group containing Germany, Switzerland and Hungary, they would have a good shot at reaching the round of 16 for the first time, given three teams can progress.

They may have seemed the worst team of the four on paper but few would have denied that they had a chance against Hungary and Switzerland and they still might yet.

However, their brutal loss to the hosts exposed the Tartan boys badly. They lacked urgency in the first half as they slumped to a 3-0 deficit quickly and they lacked ideas to get out of that deep hole, albeit largely affected by losing a man before the break. Even their late consolation goal was an own goal.

Scotland sat very deep
Scotland sat very deepAFP, Opta by StatsPerform

The takeaway is: With plenty of players missing, Scotland look like they will struggle to muster a win in Germany this summer unless their troops can harness some of the passion that their fans possess in droves.

It’s not over yet but it’s not looking like Scotland will break their duck of progressing out of the group stage.

Wirtz announces himself

While Musiala was Man of the Match in Munich Wirtz made a statement, too. He is not the household name that Musiala is or at least he wasn't until tonight. However, after Friday's showing, he will be on the lips of just about everyone who watched the opener.

Wirtz not only scored the opening goal of the tournament but he was a class act until he went off shortly after the hour mark for Leroy Sane.

Wirtz's goal sequence
Wirtz's goal sequenceProfimedia, Opta by StatsPerform

After a scintillating season with undefeated Bundesliga champions Bayer Leverkusen, Wirtz is ready to show the world that he is an elite performer.

Alongside Havertz and Musiala in Germany's front three, he looks like he is about to have the sort of statement tournament that puts players amongst the best in the world. 

Catch up on the match here.


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