Portugal 2-4 Germany: Slick Germans stun holders
Saturday, June 19, 2021
Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring but from then on it was pretty much one-way traffic as Germany, inspired by Robin Gosens, stunned the holders.
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Germany recovered from a goal down to lay down a real marker at UEFA EURO 2020, putting four past holders Portugal to leave Group F on a knife-edge going into Wednesday's section finale.
Match in brief
Germany went on the attack from the off in Munich, thriving on the vibrancy offered by their wing-backs. The man on the left, Robin Gosens, even found the net but his well-taken finish was ruled out for offside. Back they came, wave after wave, but Portugal repelled them before the sucker punch: Cristiano Ronaldo starting and finishing a thrilling counterattack.
Die Mannschaft picked themselves off the canvas, dusted themselves down and resumed the barrage. The pressure told with two own goals in the space of five minutes late in the first half, with Rúben Dias and Raphaël Guerreiro inadvertently beating Rui Patrício. Portugal were stunned, unable to muster a response; and it got a lot worse before it got better.
By the hour mark it was 4-1 and the holders were out on their feet. Kai Havertz tapped in before the brilliant Gosens headed in a cross from Joshua Kimmich. Joachim Löw rang the changes, with half an eye on Wednesday, and Portugal improved, pulling one back through Diogo Jota. Renato Sanches rattled the post too with a stunning strike but the damage was done.
Star of the Match: Robin Gosens (Germany)
"An outstanding performance from the Germany left wing-back. He was involved in almost all the goals and managed to find the net himself. He was always impressive off the ball and closed the space next to [Antonio] Rüdiger: Portugal could hardly get in behind down his side. Gosens stayed high when going forward and always posed a threat in one-on-ones and with his crossing. World class."
Steffen Freund, UEFA Technical Observer
Check out every Heineken Star of the Match at UEFA EURO 2020.
Carlos Machado, Portugal reporter
It was a hard afternoon for Portugal who suffered a heavy – and deserved – defeat in Germany. Too many collective mistakes from a side who simply could not stem the tide. So, as happened in 2016, it will go to the last game for the defending champions, with calculator in hand. And this time they face France.
Phil Röber, Germany reporter
For long spells in this match, Germany managed to flip the switch they couldn't find against France – and then some! It was a very energetic performance in this heat and further proof that team spirit is sky high. There were a few nervy moments in the closing stages, but this victory should create euphoria among fans. Oh, and hats off to Gosens!
Joachim Löw, Germany coach: "We have spoken about a few things over the past few days. We were still looking for balance after the France match and knew that we had to add a gear to create more chances. We fought brilliantly and showed great spirit. We had a lot of good attacks against really strong opponents."
Fernando Santos, Portugal coach: "We started well, with good organisation, looking to attack, getting some connections. We made good use of a counterattack move, which was one of an aspect we knew they would struggle with. Germany were better but we had a foothold in the game. We had a second chance on the break that could have resulted in a goal. It could have turned out differently."
Thomas Müller, Germany forward: "We desperately needed these three points and we have our fate in our own hands again. But we shouldn't lose focus, Hungary are very awkward to play against."
João Moutinho, Portugal midfielder: "It's not the result we were after. At times we couldn't fight the supremacy of Germany but we have to take the positives. Germany are a great team, with good players who play between the lines. We couldn't release the pressure but we improved. We made it 4-2 and hit the post. But we have to keep working."
- Die Mannschaft scored four in a EURO group match for the first time.
- Germany have won their last five meetings with Portugal, dating back to EURO 2000.
- The Germans have also scored three or more in four of their last five encounters with Portugal.
- Ronaldo has scored 46 goals in his last 44 matches for Portugal.
- Defeat ended Portugal's seven-game unbeaten run (W5 D2) and was only their third loss in 31 (W19 D9).
- Portugal had kept nine clean sheets in 13 outings before this fixture.
- Portugal had also gone six EURO group games unbeaten (W3 D3), since losing 1-0 to Germany in their EURO 2012 opener.
- Germany had gone two EURO finals matches without a goal, equalling their longest barren spell in 2000, before hitting four against Portugal.
Portugal: Rui Patrício; Nélson Semedo, Rúben Dias, Pepe, Guerreiro; Danilo, William Carvalho (Rafa Silva 58); Diogo Jota (André Silva 83), Bruno Fernandes (Moutinho 64), Bernardo Silva (Renato Sanches 46); Ronaldo
Germany: Neuer; Ginter, Hummels (Can 63), Rüdiger; Kimmich, Gündoğan (Süle 73), Kroos, Gosens (Halstenberg 62); Havertz (Goretzka 73), Müller; Gnabry (Sané 87)
Germany vs Hungary – Wednesday 23 June
Portugal vs France – Wednesday 23 June