Matchday one of Euro 2020 has just wrapped up. Almost all favourites manage to begin their campaign well, except Spain and Germany. The three-time regional champions were scoreless in the opener. La Furia Roja, which has been on the news lately from the exclusion of Real Madrid men in the squad, the fact that their skipper Sergio Busquets tested positive COVID-19 to the 11 new names called up in their stand-by list, was unable to seal a win over Sweden despite having a number of decent chances. Luis Enrique was criticised for opting Alvaro Morata in the starting XI than Villareal’s Gerrard Moreno despite the Juventus forward scored less than the latter last season. He wasted at least two opportunities in the six-yard box. As a result, Jordi Alba and Co could only muster a goalless draw.
Meanwhile, Die Mannschaft even had a more disappointing start. They suffered a stunning 0-1 loss from Les Blues in Football Arena, Munchen. In spite of playing at their home turf, Joachim Low’s side seems to be unable to break the deadlock. France’s was rather fortunate as Germany’s attack was proven ineffective while they failed to capitalise their chances, including Adrien Rabiot’s strike hitting the post. The goal, in fact, came from Matts Hummels’s own goal. The Dortmund man who is one of the two senior names beside Thomas Muller called up for this summer tournament. Both figures’s presence in the team, unfortunately, failed to make a positive impact to Der Panzer. Consequently, their negative trend seems to linger. It will be a challenging task for Low to inspire his players to bounce back from such horrible result. Otherwise, the ghost of failure at the group stage might end their campaign too early, just like in Russia 2018.
Germany vs France 0-1
Goals: Matts Hummels (20 o.g)
Germany: Manuel Neuer –Matts Hummells, Antonio Rudiger, Mathias Ginter (Emre Can 87) – Toni Kroos, Ilkay Gundogan, Joshua Kimmich, Robin Gosens (Kevin Volland 87) – Thomas Muller, Kai Havertz (Leroy Sane 74), Serge Gnarby (Timo Werner 74).
France : Hugo Lloris – Raphael Varane, Benjamin Pavard, Presnel Kimpembe, Lucas Hernandez – Paul Pogba, Adrien Rabiot (Ousmane Dembele 94), NGolo Kante – Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann, Karim Benzema (Corentin Tolisso 89)
The other favourites tend to pick up a fairly satisfactory result in their first match. Gli Azurri hammered Turkey 3-0. Ciro Immobile made an assist for Lorenzo Insigne after scoring a goal of his own and a ‘gift’ from Merih Demiral to open the scoresheet. Belgium triumphed in St.Petersburg after smashing Russia 3-0 by Romelu Lukaku’s brace and Thomas Munier’s goal, whereas their neighbour Netherlands had to go through a thrilling encounter against Ukraine before eventually thumping Andrey Shevchenko’s side by 3-2 win. The reigning champions, Portugal trashed Hungary 3-0 through Cristiano Ronaldo's brace plus Raphael Guerrero's goal. Last but not least, England finally ended their misery at the EURO first game by snatching a win at the opening match against Croatia. Raheem Sterling’s goal was the only goal of the game. Such is their first win at the opener in EURO history.