Scotland were no match for Germany as the rampant Euro 2024 hosts made a dream start to the tournament on Friday.

Florian Wirtz got the ball rolling in the 10th minute, becoming the youngest scorer of an opening goal at the European Championships in the tournament's history.

The excellent Jamal Musiala soon made it 2-0, rifling home after he was set up by Kai Havertz inside the area.

In Wirtz (21 years, 42 days) and Musiala (21 years, 109 days), Germany became the first team in European Championship history to have two players aged 21 or younger score in the same match.

Havertz turned scorer when he slotted in from the penalty spot before half-time, with Scotland defender Ryan Porteous seeing red for a lunge on Ilkay Gundogan, after a VAR review.

Porteous became the second Scottish player sent off at a major tournament, after Craig Burley in the 1998 World Cup against Morocco.

It is the first time a player has been sent off in the opening game of the Euros since 2012, when both Sokratis (Greece) and Wojciech Szczesny (Poland) were dismissed in a 1-1 draw.

Havertz's successfully converted spot-kick also ensured Germany went in at half-time 3-0 up – it is just the third time in European Championship history a team has scored three goals in the first half of a game, along with France vs Belgium in 1984 (3-0 at half-time) and France vs Iceland in 2016 (4-0 at half-time).

Germany made their numerical advantage count to go on and secure the biggest win by a host nation in their opening match at a European Championship tournament, and their biggest victory ever at the Euros, with an own goal from Antonio Rudiger the only negative.

Indeed, that own goal was kind to Scotland, who had only one shot, which they failed to get on target, and mustered an xG of only 0.01, in comparison to Germany's 2.17.

It marks the first time Scotland have failed to have a shot on target in a major tournament match since 1992, when they faced the Netherlands in the Euros.

Steve Clarke's team put in a sorry performance, and must now pick themselves up to face Switzerland. They will go into that match on Wednesday on the back of suffering their heaviest defeat at a major tournament since they lost 7-0 to Uruguay at the 1954 World Cup.

Germany, meanwhile, already have one foot in the knockouts, and could get the job done by beating Hungary.

Musiala really was sensational, completing five of his eight dribble attempts while also having six touches in the opponent's box – four more than Scotland managed altogether.

And finally, this match was the first match in European Championship history to see a red card, a penalty scored and an own goal scored.

Euro 2024 has started in style, even if Scotland fans will be in a hurry to forget this result.

Julian Nagelsmann hailed his Germany players for the way they handled the pressure of being Euro 2024 hosts in their 5-1 win over Scotland, adding he was surprised by the lack of aggression on show from Steve Clarke's men.

Germany recorded the biggest opening-game win at a European Championship, with Florian Wirtz, Jamal Musiala, Kai Havertz, Niclas Fullkrug and Emre Can scoring.

The result made Nagelsmann just the second coach to win his first Euros game by four or more goals, after Sweden's Lars Lagerback in 2004 (5-0 versus Bulgaria).

It was also Germany's biggest victory at the Euros, and the first time Scotland had conceded five or more goals in a competitive game since they were trounced 6-0 by the Netherlands in a Euro 2004 qualifier 21 years ago.

Germany endured a troubled build-up to their home tournament, with Nagelsmann only having eight games to prepare after Hansi Flick was sacked last year.

He believes they did an excellent job of handling the pressure that comes with a home opener, telling ITV Sport: "I'm happy, I'm satisfied. 

"In the first game as the home country… we looked back at the first games of the last tournaments and there can be a kind of pressure.

 

"Especially in the first 20 minutes, we were brilliant, we had great ball possession and great counter-pressing. 

"I was happy with the performance and we stayed focused for the whole game.

"We conceded one goal, but in the end it's okay. Our players were complaining about conceding that goal, which is a good sign when we were already four goals in the lead."

Scotland did not attempt a single shot on target and failed to register an effort of any kind until Scott McKenna forced an own goal off Antonio Rudiger in the 87th minute.

Nagelsmann admits he was expecting more from Clarke's team, who found themselves three goals and a man down by half-time as Ryan Porteous was sent off for a horror challenge on Ilkay Gundogan. 

 

"I was kind of surprised that Scotland weren't that aggressive in the first 20 minutes," Nagelsmann said.

"I think they were surprised by our possession, which was really concentrated. They started the game very well and made one mistake in the first 15 minutes.

"Then they were kind of surprised, kind of afraid. They felt we had players in the offensive row that could score goals so they defended low. 

"They didn't make the high pressure like they sometimes did in the qualifiers. I think the first 20 minutes were the key to the game."

Florian Wirtz needed only 10 minutes to spark Euro 2024 into life.

After a brilliant season for Bayer Leverkusen, in which he was named the Bundesliga's Player of the Season, Wirtz came into Euro 2024 as one of the standout youngsters.

His first-time finish to put Germany ahead in Munich on Friday, a cute side-footed effort that Scotland goalkeeper Angus Gunn could only help in off the post, proved why everyone is so excited to see how Julian Nagelsmann gets the best out of a player who scored 18 goals and set up 19 more in all competitions in 2023-24.

Wirtz's goal set Germany on their way to a 5-1 rout – the biggest win for a host in the opening match of a Euros in the tournament's history.

He was not the superstar of Germany's performance, though. His fellow youngster, Jamal Musiala, was spellbinding.

Having lashed in a wonderful second goal for the hosts, Musiala ran the show in the final third, and played a key role with a wonderful pass when super-sub Niclas Fullkrug made it 4-0 midway through the second half.

Musiala, who was the one bright spark from Germany's dismal performance under Hansi Flick at the 2022 World Cup, teased and toyed with Scotland. He attempted eight dribbles, completing five, had a game-high six touches in the opposition box and came out on top in nine of his 15 duels before he was replaced, fittingly perhaps, by the vastly experienced Thomas Muller.

The intriguing question ahead of kick-off was how Nagelsmann, the youngest-ever coach in the history of the Euros, would manage to get those two fantastic number 10s into the same team.

His answer was to dovetail the duo with an experienced midfield – Ilkay Gundogan (33) played ahead of Robert Andrich (29) and the imperious Toni Kroos (34) – and it worked a treat.

Wirtz is the youngest player to score the opening goal at a Euros, and the youngest player to net for Germany at the tournament. 

Once Musiala drilled home, Germany became the first team to have two players aged 21 or younger score for them in the same Euros match.

But it was not all about the flair of youth at the Allianz Arena, where the only blemish on Germany's copybook was an Antonio Rudiger own goal as Scotland mustered a meagre 0.01 xG and failed to have a shot on target.

Kroos, in the first game of his swansong, led the game for touches (108), and completed 101 (99 per cent) of his 102 passes. It was his crossfield pass that opened up the pitch for Joshua Kimmich to cut inside from the right and lay on Wirtz's opener.

Gundogan nipped around, linking the play; the Barcelona midfielder won the penalty from which Kai Havertz made it 3-0 – and which led to Scotland defender Ryan Porteous becoming the second Scottish player sent off at a major tournament, after Craig Burley in the 1998 World Cup against Morocco. 

At the back, goalkeeper Manuel Neuer made his 35th appearance at a major tournament. It saw the 38-year-old surpass Philipp Lahm as Germany's all-time appearance maker in the Euros and World Cup combined.

Indeed, for all the talk that Nagelsmann had gone with a relatively inexperienced squad for this home tournament, and that it could act as a way to build towards the 2026 World Cup, Germany's starting XI on Friday had an average age of 29 years and 22 days. 

 

That makes it Germany's oldest starting XI at a World Cup or Euros since 2000.

There was a healthy balance all around the pitch for Germany, as Nagelsmann became only the second manager to win by four goals in his first game at the European Championship, along with Lars Lagerback in 2004 (Sweden 5-0 Bulgaria).

And the men in the middle are worth a mention.

Havertz is no longer the bright new hope for German football, but the 25-year-old was hugely impressive as he led the line, providing the assist for Musiala and coolly converting his penalty.

Niclas Fullkrug, fresh from helping Borussia Dortmund reach the Champions League final, replaced Havertz around the hour mark. Soon after, he fired in a wonderful strike.

He will be playing a back-up role in this tournament, but he should not mind that. Three of Fullkrug's major tournament goals have been as a sub, a joint-record for a European nation, along with Hungary's Laszlo Kiss, Portugal's Rui Costa, and Germany's Andre Schurrle.

Fullkrug's club-mate Emre Can, a late call-up, rounded matters off late on. 

Germany have not always clicked under Nagelsmann, but they are clearly the best team in Group A and have the weight of a nation behind them.

Hungary and Switzerland will likely provide sterner tests than Scotland, though with a perfect blend of youth and experience, the hosts laid down a marker.

Andy Robertson admitted Scotland "didn't turn up" in the first half of their chastening 5-1 defeat to Euro 2024 hosts Germany on Friday.

Backed by a vocal travelling contingent in Munich, Scotland were chasing their first major tournament victory since the turn of the century but were torn apart by Julian Nagelsmann's side.

Florian Wirtz, Jamal Musiala and Kai Havertz netted as Scotland went into half-time three goals and a man down, having seen Ryan Porteous sent off for a wild challenge on Ilkay Gundogan.

Substitutes Niclas Fullkrug and Emre Can then scored in the second half either side of an Antonio Rudiger own goal, as Scotland conceded five goals in a game for the first time since a 5-1 friendly defeat to the United States in May 2012.

At the other end, Scotland failed to record a single shot on target in a major tournament match for the first time since a 1-0 loss to the Netherlands at Euro 1992.

Speaking to ITV Sport after the full-time whistle, Liverpool left-back Robertson said Scotland's players had let boss Steve Clarke down.

"In the first half we didn't really show up. We weren't aggressive enough, we let good players on the ball," Robertson said.

"They obviously had a gameplan, like we did. Their gameplan worked a million times better than ours but it wasn't because of the practice, it was because we didn't put it together on the pitch.

"When big occasions like this come, you have to do that. In the second half, down to 10 men, I thought the lads dug in really well, to be fair to them. 

"We could have drawn the second half but it's no consolation. We're well backed here with so many supporters, and today was hugely disappointing.

"Playing against the host nation in the first game, you don't get much tougher than that. But we have to bounce back quickly because there was a lot of things wrong today."

Scotland's defeat was their heaviest at any major tournament since the 1954 World Cup, when they were trounced 7-0 by then-world champions Uruguay.

They have five days to put the result out of their minds ahead of their second Group A match, against Switzerland at the RheinEnergieStadion in Koln.

"It's a reminder of how tough this tournament is. You're playing against world-class players and their players turned up all over the park," Robertson added.

"They had an answer for everything we had. Sometimes that happens but if we sit down, we can't think we played to our maximum, and you have to do that. 

"We have five days to sort ourselves out and go again, it will be another tough test against Switzerland. We'll take tomorrow to be angry at ourselves but then come Sunday, we have to be positive."

Euro 2024 hosts Germany got off to a flying start as they comprehensively dispatched Scotland 5-1 on Friday.

Goals from Florian Wirtz, Jamal Musiala, Kai Havertz and Niclas Fullkrug blew Scotland away at the Allianz Arena.

But while the football entertained, there was also plenty of action on social media.

Here's a pick of the best posts.

The special... two?

Jose Mourinho and Alex Ferguson enjoyed a great rivalry on the touchline down the years, but there was no sign of that as the two watched on from the stands in Munich.

Unfortunately for Ferguson, Scotland were on the receiving end of a hammering.

We can only wonder what these two greats had to say about Scotland's sorry performance, though surely they will have been full of praise for Germany.

Honouring a great

Franz Beckenbauer passed away in January, and ahead of the opening game, his wife Heidi led a touching tribute to der Kaiser.

Moral support

Nathan Patterson is not fit to feature for Scotland, but the Everton full-back has travelled out to Germany to support his team-mates.

Unfortunately for Scotland, it didn't quite work out, and Patterson will be needing to provide plenty of moral support after their heavy defeat in Munich.

Pickford gets quizzed

England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford was fulfilling his media duties on Friday, and he stopped by to answer some fan questions ahead of the Three Lions' opener against Serbia.

Pickford was quizzed on how he copes with the pressure as kick-off approaches - "Enjoy the moment", he said - while revealing former England shot-stopper Joe Hart, who retired last month, has served as an inspiration.

Young guns exciting Schweinsteiger 

Bastian Schweinsteiger helped Germany to World Cup glory in 2014, so it feels like he is pretty well placed to pass judgement on up and coming stars.

And when asked on X for the players he was most excited to see in action at Euro 2024, the former Bayern Munich midfielder picked out Florian Wirtz, Cole Palmer and Rafael Leao.

Wirtz certainly delivered, as he starred in Germany's big win over Scotland. Will Palmer and Leao be equally as impressive for England and Portugal respectively?

Picture perfect

Olivier Giroud is one handsome devil, so it's no surprise that he's a photographer's dream.

That being said, it's rare that the person behind the camera is one of his team-mates, but Giroud could only smile, and offer a cheeky pose, as Benjamin Pavard sneakily grabbed a camera and tried to get the perfect shot while the France number nine was holding a press conference.

Niclas Fullkrug is ready to embrace his role as Germany's second-choice striker behind Kai Havertz, and use it as motivation at Euro 2024.

Julian Nagelsmann confirmed Havertz will lead the line at the tournament for the hosts, who begin their campaign against Scotland in Group A on Friday.

Despite playing five fewer games (46), Fullkurg scored more goals (16 to 14), created more assists (11 to seven), recorded a higher xG (19.18 to 14.79) and a higher shot conversion rate (16.67 per cent to 15.22 per cent) than the Arsenal forward in 2023-24.

But the 31-year-old, who discussed the situation with Nagelsmann, fully respects his coach's decision, and welcomes the opportunity to fight for his place.

"The coach has the power and takes the decisions and that's the right way," said Fullkrug, who has scored 11 goals in 16 seniors caps. 

"Since we were young footballers, we were taught about competition. We are all ambitious to play as much as possible and carry responsibility.

"Kai has my full support and I wish him all the goals possible, because that will take us forward in this unique chance we have.

"We are going into the tournament with a good feeling. You have to identify with your role and still accept it, and see it as motivation to work in order to go beyond just this role and get more playing time.

"Basically, it is good to have two different types of strikers. Kai is a completely different striker, defined by a different game. We are both very confident. I don't think many teams will be happy to play against us."

Borussia Dortmund's hopes of sending Marco Reus off with a Champions League title ended in heartbreak as they lost 2-0 to Real Madrid on Saturday.

After 12 years with his boyhood club, Reus announced the Wembley showpiece would be his final match for Dortmund.

But despite a dominant first-half performance, they could not beat the serial winners, who scored two late goals through Dani Carvajal and Vinicius Junior to win their 15th European crown.

Edin Terzic’s side were given just a 21.4 per cent chance of victory by the Opta supercomputer before kick-off, but they came out of the blocks quickly with the aim of flipping the script.

Dortmund’s expected goals (xG) figure of 1.68 in the opening period was the largest by a team in the first half of a Champions League final on record (since 2013-14), and was also the highest by an opponent against Madrid in the first half this term.

Their two big chances fell to Niclas Fullkrug and Karim Adeyemi, the former striking the post and the latter forcing a good save out of Thibaut Courtois, having earlier wasted a one-on-one chance with the Belgian goalkeeper.

The German team were solid in defence too, forcing Madrid into half-time without having a single shot on target – the first time that has happened to any team in a Champions League final since Tottenham versus Liverpool in 2019.

Julian Brandt looked to be key for the Black and Yellow, creating four chances, the most in a Champions League final since Luka Modric against Atletico Madrid in 2015-16 (seven), though that tally would be equalled by Toni Kroos in the second half.

Reus was brought on for his 424th and final BVB appearance in the 72nd minute, hoping to sign off in the perfect way, but it was another departing German that soon caught the eye.

Kroos, playing for Madrid for the last time ahead of his retirement, set up Carvajal for Madrid’s opener just two minutes later.

Gregor Kobel saved 46 of the 56 shots on target he faced this season in the competition, and he made three big stops to keep Dortmund in the contest at 1-0.

However, an Ian Maatsen mistake led to Madrid’s second, with Dortmund conceding in the final 15 minutes of a Champions League game for the first time this campaign as Jude Bellingham slipped in Vinicius to convert.

Dortmund have now only won one of their last five finals in major European competitions (3-1 versus Juventus in the 1997 Champions League), losing each of their last three in a row (against Feyenoord in 2002, Bayern Munich in 2013 and Madrid in 2024).

Real Madrid were crowned kings of Europe for a record-extending 15th time with a 2-0 victory over Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League final at Wembley on Saturday.

Huge favourites going into the game, the Spanish side were outplayed for long periods but broke Dortmund's resistance with late goals from Dani Carvajal and Vinicius Junior.

Veteran right back Carvajal glanced in a header from a Toni Kroos corner in the 74th minute and from that moment Carlo Ancelotti's side sparked into life.

Vinicius slid home Madrid's second in the 83rd minute to silence the yellow-clad Dortmund fans who had created a wall of noise throughout the final.

It was hard on the German side who missed several good first-half chances, the best of which saw Niclas Fullkrug hit the post from close range.

Data Debrief: Madrid deliver unbeaten campaign

Victory in the final meant Madrid had gone through a whole European Cup or Champions League campaign without defeat for the first time.

Ancelotti's side won nine and drew four of their 13 matches this season, not losing any. They are the second LaLiga team to achieve the feat, as Barcelona also managed it in 2005-06 under Frank Rijkaard.

The match also saw Vinicius (aged 23 years and 325 days) become the youngest player to score in two Champions League finals, having also netted against Liverpool in their 2022 triumph.

Mats Hummels was hurt by Julian Nagelsmann's decision to leave him out of his preliminary Germany squad for Euro 2024, Borussia Dortmund boss Edin Terzic has revealed.

The 35-year-old centre-back has joined BVB teammates Julian Brandt, Emre Can and Karim Adeyemi in being omitted from Germany's party for their home tournament.

Terzic believes Hummels – who helped his country win the 2014 World Cup – will now put all his energy into Dortmund's Champions League final clash with Real Madrid on June 1.

"I felt that the decision affected Mats and after the discussion [with Nagelsmann], he was very disappointed," Terzic said ahead of Dortmund's clash with Darmstadt 98 on Saturday.

"He assured me we will now go for the one goal left, the Champions League.

"He absolutely deserved to be at the Euros. But it is not our decision."

Nico Schlotterbeck and Niclas Fullkrug were the only Dortmund players to make Nagelsmann's squad, with the tournament set to begin on June 14.

"We tried in the past months to help the players reach their personal goals as well as the team goals," Terzic added. 

"It worked for Nico and Niclas but unfortunately not for Mats.

"He will deal with this situation very professionally and tomorrow and in the Champions League final he will be one of our most important players."

Mats Hummels sees no reason why Borussia Dortmund cannot go on and win the Champions League following their hard-earned semi-final victory over Paris Saint-Germain.

The Black and Yellow are through to the final of Europe's premier club competition for only the third time after sealing a 2-0 aggregate over the reigning Ligue 1 champions, who struck the woodwork six times across both legs.

After Niclas Fullkrug settled last week's first leg at Signal Iduna Park, Hummels' second-half header was the difference in the return at Parc des Princes, where Edin Terzic's side produced another defensive masterclass as they claimed their sixth clean sheet in this season's competition. 

Dortmund, who lifted the trophy 27 years ago, will face either Real Madrid or Bayern Munich in the final at Wembley on June 1, and Hummels is confident he and his team-mates can go all the way.

"I've scored far too few Champions League goals in my career, just five," he told DAZN via Uefa.com. "Now is a good time to add to that number.

"Since the second match of the group stage, we've believed that we could prevail in every game - and I don't see why we shouldn't win at Wembley now.

"We remained active today and were able to take so much pace out of the game and atmosphere out of the stadium. That was our recipe for success today."

Hummels was part of the Dortmund side beaten 2-1 by Bayern in their most recent Champions League final appearance in 2013, along with Marco Reus.

The veteran midfielder announced last week that he would be leaving the club at the end of this season, and is thrilled to have one more crack at landing the biggest trophy in European club football. 

"[It is] indescribable," he told DAZN. "After more than 10 years, I am in the final with Borussia again. Ousmane [Dembele] and Achraf [Hakimi] brought a tremendous amount of pace, and we suffered a lot.

"How we won the game, no-one will ask tomorrow. Shots against the post won’t matter tomorrow. What counts is that Borussia Dortmund are in the final again. Nobody expected this. It's just incredible."

Meanwhile Terzic, who saw his side surrender the Bundesliga title on the final day of last season, saluted the strides his players have made as the competition has progressed.

"Before the first game against PSV [in the round of 16], we talked for the first time about how short the journey to London could be," he said. "Back then, many were still puzzled. Last season, we lost the championship at home on the last matchday.

"I'm happy that we can now give something back to the fans. We've grown with every game and eventually realised that we could be the team that surprises everyone in the end. Now, I'm very happy to be in the final with my team."

Manchester United loanee Jadon Sancho issued a reminder of his star quality as Borussia Dortmund beat Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final tie on Wednesday.

Niclas Fullkrug scored the winner after 36 minutes, taking in Nico Schlotterbeck's floated pass before driving a low shot beyond PSG goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Fullkrug has now been involved in six Champions League goals this season (three goals, three assists), the joint-most by a German player in their debut campaign in the competition, alongside BVB team-mate Marco Reus in 2012-13 (four goals, two assists).

The star of the show, however, was undoubtedly Sancho.

He tormented Nuno Mendes throughout a lively performance, creating three chances for his team-mates – a game-high tally alongside Julian Brandt, Kylian Mbappe and Achraf Hakimi.

Sancho had completed seven dribbles by the halfway point, more than he managed in any full game for the Red Devils.

By full-time, that number had crept up to 12, the most by any player in a Champions League semi-final since Lionel Messi completed 16 for Barcelona against United in April 2008, and the most on record by an Englishman at any stage of the competition (since 2003-04).

Sancho even outshone Mbappe, who struck the far post with a curling effort early in the second half but was limited to just three shots totalling 0.17 expected goals (xG). 

PSG did have their chances, though, with their total of 14 shots their most without scoring in any Champions League game since the second leg of their 2020-21 semi-final against Manchester City (also 14), when they were beaten 2-0 and eliminated from the competition. 

Dortmund are now unbeaten in 11 straight Champions League home games, winning seven and drawing four. 

It's their longest ever such streak at Signal Iduna Park, and they have also won four straight knockout games on their own turf for the first time in their Champions League history.

While Dortmund have a valuable lead to protect in Paris next Tuesday, Edin Terzic will be expecting a strong reaction from PSG.

The Ligue 1 champions have progressed from two of their last four Champions League knockout ties when losing the first leg, with the first of those successes coming against Dortmund in the last 16 in 2019-20 (1-2 away, 2-0 at home).  

Niclas Fullkrug fired home a first-half winner as Borussia Dortmund claimed a 1-0 victory over Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final tie in Germany.

Nico Schlotterbeck floated a pass into Fullkrug's path and the Germany international brought the ball under his spell with a wonderful touch before drilling a low shot past Gianluigi Donnarumma in the 36th minute.

PSG, on the back foot for much of the first half, improved after the break and struck the woodwork twice in a matter of moments just after the restart.

Kylian Mbappe curled an effort against the right-hand post before Achraf Hakimi scuffed a shot against the other upright on the rebound as Edin Terzic's side escaped with a first-leg lead.

The teams will meet again at the Parc des Princes next Tuesday, with the winners of the tie facing either Bayern Munich or Real Madrid – who drew 2-2 in their first leg on Tuesday – in the final at Wembley Stadium.

Niclas Fullkrug snatched a scrappy winner as Germany defeated the Netherlands 2-1 to complete a promising international break for Julian Nagelsmann’s side.

Having seen off France 2-0 on Saturday, the Euro 2024 hosts added another notch on their belt in Frankfurt.

They had to come from behind to take out Ronald Koeman’s men, who took a fourth-minute lead through Joey Veerman. Maximilian Mittelstadt responded with a sweetly-struck effort from a corner routine and both teams had chances to take the lead before Germany snatched the win five minutes from time.

It was far from a clean finish, substitute Fullkrug steering the ball towards the far post and marginally over the line as Bart Verbruggen scrambled to make a save rendered moot by VAR.

The visitors grabbed the lead with their first meaningful break into opposition territory, Memphis Depay spotting the chance to open the door.

He spotted Veerman’s run and picked his pass, with the PSV Eindhoven collecting the ball and slotting home carefully for his first international goal.

The early setback could have knocked the home side off course but instead they got themselves back on level terms in quick time. Mittelstadt, fresh from an encouraging debut against Les Bleus, showed no trace of reticence as he collected a short corner from Toni Kroos and bent an ambitious strike handsomely into the top corner.

Having restored parity, Germany soon looked the sharper side but when Ilkay Gundogan and Robert Andrich took the chance to pull the trigger their efforts failed to worry Verbruggen.

Netherlands’ Wout Weghorst, left, celebrates with his team-mate Joey (Peter Dejong/AP)

The Dutch absorbed plenty of pressure before going close at the other end, Mathias de Ligt glancing Daley Blind’s ball across goal as Donyell Malen failed to apply the finishing touch.

Germany had controlled most of the first half but looked vulnerable again five minutes into the second, Malen this time getting a solid connection but still unable to beat Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Koeman’s side continued to grow, winning a handy free-kick that Blind squandered and then working Tijani Reijinders into a good position which came to nothing as he cleared the crossbar.

The game was open enough for either side to make a decisive move but chances continued to come and go. With an hour gone Depay missed from close range after a smart recovery from Malen and Mittelstadt’s hopes of adding a second were ended by Verbruggen’s near-post stop.

As the substitutes began to flow, Chris Fuhrich stood out from the crowd with a dashing run through the visiting defence and a through-ball that just escaped Kai Havertz.

Jamal Musiala and Thomas Muller kept the Netherlands pinned back with efforts on goal and Verbruggen’s resistance was finally ended when they Germans won it in scrappy fashion.

With five minutes remaining Fullkrug rose to meet Kroos’ corner, bundling the cross goalwards from 10 yards and just squeezing the ball over the line despite the goalkeeper clawing it back on the dive.

Germany's preparations for Euro 2024 stepped up another gear with a 2-1 victory over the Netherlands in Frankfurt.

Niclas Fullkrug was the matchwinner for Julian Nagelsmann's team, who had to come from behind following Joey Veerman's early opener.

Maximilian Mittelstadt’s error proved costly for that goal, but he responded with a stunning equaliser just seven minutes later.

That set the stage for substitute Fullkrug to write the headlines as he bundled in off his shoulder from Toni Kroos' 85th-minute corner.

The Netherlands took just four minutes to break the deadlock in the 46th chapter of their intense rivalry with Germany.

Veerman steered the visitors ahead at Deutsche Bank Park as he latched on to a superb Memphis Depay ball from the right, following the easy dispossession of a rather hapless Mittelstadt.

Instead of wallowing, Mittelstadt reacted brilliantly and on just his second cap for Die Mannschaft, struck the game's emphatic second goal, hammering in off the underside of the crossbar with a long-range strike.

Ilkay Gundogan was denied smartly by Bart Verbruggen down at the bottom left corner in the 18th minute, before Kai Havertz repeated the move in the 36th, only to be halted by the offside flag.

Donyell Malen missed a great chance to restore the Dutch's lead – Mathijs de Ligt headed down a lofted free-kick, yet in a clustered area, the Borussia Dortmund man could only nod over from six yards out.

Making just his fifth international appearance, Verbruggen made fine stops from Mittelstadt, Jamal Musiala and Thomas Muller as Germany prodded and probed throughout the second half, but the Netherlands goalkeeper was finally beaten late on.

Kroos' left-sided corner dropped on the edge of the six-yard box, where Fullkrug managed to meet it with his shoulder. Verbruggen was unable to keep the ball from crossing the line, with the Netherlands' appeals for handball waved away.

Mittelstadt finds swift redemption

Mittelstadt's second Germany appearance could hardly have got off to a poorer start when he slipped up for the Netherlands' opener.

Yet the Stuttgart man responded with a brilliant, curling left-footed strike from a Jamal Musiala lay-off, with his effort yielding a lowly expected goals value of just 0.02. 

The left-back is hoping to make a good impression and force his way into the reckoning for Euro 2024, so atoning for an error with a wondergoal should go some distance to proving he is worthy of being cut some leeway.

Complimentary Kroos matches Klinsmann

Kroos started in Frankfurt to claim his 108th international cap, equalling Jurgen Klinsmann's record tally. Impressively, only seven players have played more games for the DFB team, and Kroos was crucial in setting the tempo for his side.

Having retired after Germany's Euro 2020 exit, Kroos returned to feature in this camp, and he added a composure to the line-up that has too often been missing since he bowed out of the international picture. In the first half, he dictated the flow, completing 67 passes, with a near-perfect 97.3 percent pass completion rate.

The 34-year-old topped off his record-matching appearance with an assist for the winner.

Eddie Howe has admitted Newcastle will probably need to beat both Paris St Germain and AC Milan to keep their Champions League dream alive.

The Magpies went down 2-0 at Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday evening as the Germans completed back-to-back Group F victories over the Premier League side.

They will head for Paris later this month having banked just four points from their first four fixtures and knowing anything less than three at the Parc des Princes could prove fatal with Milan due at St James’ Park in December.

Asked if they now needed to return from France with at least a point, Howe said: “Yes. It’s difficult to tell at this stage, but we are probably going to have to win our last two games.”

 

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Howe was left to reflect on what might have been after a difficult night at Signal Iduna Park as the team he had fashioned from the remnants of his injury-hit squad failed to live up to his expectations.

His decision to start 19-year-old full-back Lewis Hall suffered an early setback when he picked up a ninth-minute booking which ultimately prompted his half-time withdrawal in a bid to avoid a second caution, and the Magpies improved, but not enough to make a difference.

Asked for his reflections on the performance, Howe said: “Very similar to Dortmund (at home) last month, a frustration on our performance knowing there is more in the tank to give. We’re better than that and can show a better version of ourselves than we did.

“I don’t think Dortmund have seen the best Newcastle and that always leaves a feeling of frustration. But we accept it, we’ve delivered it and we have to look to the future now.”

Niclas Fullkrug’s 26th-minute strike had sent Dortmund in at the break a goal to the good, and they returned to find a different Newcastle after a reshuffle in which Miguel Almiron and Anthony Gordon belatedly entered the fray.

The Magpies should have been back in the game when Tino Livramento presented Joelinton with a seemingly regulation header from close range at 1-0, but the Brazil international contrived to miss the target and his side was made to pay with 11 minutes remaining when the excellent Julian Brandt rounded off a swift counter-attack.

Howe said: “The intensity and quality of our usual game was missing. In saying that, we still had our moments and Joelinton’s header is the key moment in the game from our perspective.

“It was a really good move and I think he would back himself to score that if the chance came again. But that’s football and that’s one of the things that happens.”

For Dortmund head coach Edin Terzic, the victory was the perfect response to Saturday’s bruising 4-0 Bundesliga defeat by Bayern Munich, although he insisted there is work still to be done.

Terzic said: “We’ve managed to win twice against Newcastle, their only two defeats in 13 matches, every time with a clean sheet.

“We are very happy, but we know the seven points we have in the group are not enough to go to the round of 16. We need another few steps.

“We know what happened on Saturday, we can’t repair that in the Champions League, but what it is about is to take the right lessons, how we dealt with the defeat on Saturday, so I think we can be content with the performance today and now a very important match is awaiting us against Stuttgart.”

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