EURO 2024 Talking Points: Gjasula goes from zero to hero as Scotland quieten the noise

EURO 2024 Talking Points: Gjasula goes from zero to hero as Scotland quieten the noise
EURO 2024 Talking Points: Gjasula goes from zero to hero as Scotland quieten the noiseProfimedia
Another day of frantic Euro 2024 action has come to a close in a tournament that is quickly turning into a classic. Here are our talking points from a day where Albania came from behind to draw with Croatia, Germany eased into the last 16 and Scotland came away with a point against Switzerland.

Zero to hero

It was quite the 20-minute cameo from Albania's Klaus Gjasula as his side drew 2-2 against Croatia to keep their EURO 2024 hopes alive.

The defender came on in the 72nd minute and just four minutes later had unfortunately put the ball into his own net from a ricochet.

That passage of the play was a microcosm for a chaotic clash with both sides going full tilt for the three points.

Klaus Gjasula's interesting afternoon
Klaus Gjasula's interesting afternoonFlashscore

Croatia, with two goals in three minutes, looked like they had won it, only for Gjasula to pop up at the other end of the field and coolly slot home in the fifth minute of injury time to salvage a point for Albania.

After many crazy games at this tournament, this was another that took the imagination and left you breathless. At this rate, every spectator's life expectancy will drop just from stress. It might be the same for Gjasula.

Genius Gundogan leads the way

There are countless positive things to say about Germany's influential skipper Ilkay Gundogan, but his intelligence and reading of the game are second to none.

The Barcelona man bagged a goal and an assist in his side's victory, and his strike was classic Gundogan. He found a lovely pocket of space inside the penalty area completely unmarked, and swept home in typically delightful fashion.

He was awarded the man of the match for his display, helping Germany become the first team to qualify.

Gundogan stats
Gundogan statsProfimedia, Statsperform

Former Manchester City teammate Jack Grealish was watching on in awe, saying on Instagram that he is one of the best players he has ever played with.

His ability to run a football match effortlessly often goes unnoticed, but there is no doubt about it, Gundogan is a true joy to watch and a genius of a footballer. He is going to be utterly pivotal to his side's chances of winning the European Championship on home turf.

Scotland quieten the noise

From minute one against Switzerland this evening, Scotland seemed to be a team ready to right some wrongs and produce a spirited display against Switzerland if nothing more. And it turned out to be a lot more.

With their high intensity throughout and willingness to put crosses in, they caused the Swiss problems. An early lead courtesy of a Scott McTominay deflected strike was well deserved.

Scotland's goal sequence
Scotland's goal sequenceFlashscore, AFP

Switzerland grew into the game and a sensational equaliser from Xherdan Shaqiri put the game in the balance. However, unlike last week, Scotland didn't crumble at their first sign of adversity and in the end, they could have won the game late on. 

It wasn't a perfect performance but it was so much better than their opening day defeat. And that is something for Steve Clarke to work with.

Scotland are not just here on their holidays - they intend on making the knockout stages and today's performance will give them belief that they can.


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