Germany send statement of intent by beating Portugal in six-goal thriller

Joshua Kimmich, Robin Gosens, Serge Gnabry. Germany Euro 2020 TEAMtalk

Germany got their first win of Euro 2020 by coming from behind to beat Portugal 4-2 in a reminder of their capabilities.

After a cagey start to their group campaign with defeat to France, Germany made a statement of intent this time. Never ones to be ruled out of the running for international honours, the 2014 world champions found their rhythm. In getting the win, they put themselves in a good position to qualify going into their final group match.

Germany made their intentions clear right from the off. Robin Gosens arrived on the end of a cross with a flying finish just five minutes in. However, after a VAR check, the goal was ruled out. Thomas Muller handled the ball and Serge Gnabry was offside in the buildup.

Undeterred, Germany kept up the pressure and Chelsea midfielder Kai Havertz had a go from outside the box.

But it was Portugal who took the lead after stemming the tide, through none other than Cristiano Ronaldo.

Portugal broke away on the counter after a Germany corner, with Bernardo Silva picking out Diogo Jota with an aerial, cross-field pass. The Liverpool forward, in behind the defence, squared it to Ronaldo for a simple finish. It was the first of his 107 international goals to come against Germany.

A decent chance to double the lead came when Ruben Dias met a long ball in the box, but he headed it wide.

At the other end, a centre-back of Germany’s own also went close. Mats Hummels was whiskers away from getting his head on a cross from Gnabry.

It was the last action before a drinks break half an hour in, as the players kept battling in intense heat.

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After play resumed, Germany found an equaliser in the 34th minute. They switched play from one wing-back to another, as Joshua Kimmich picked out Gosens on the left. The Atalanta man fired it across goal and Havertz beat Dias to it to provide the finish.

The goal was eventually awarded as an own goal by Dias.

Five minutes later, Germany had the ball in the back of the net again. This time, there was no doubt whatsoever that it was an own goal. Raphael Guerreiro fired the ball into his own net after the Germans made use of their width once again.

There was another VAR check, but unlike the Gosens goal early on, this time the original decision stood.

Hungry to build on their momentum, Germany went charging forwards with Gnabry in stoppage time of the first half. However, Rui Patricio was able to beat away his effort after a mazy run.

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Germany start second half in dominant fashion

Germany went in at the break with the advantage and they extended it after the interval.

First, Havertz made it 3-1 after being gifted a tap-in via another cross from Gosens, who continued to be a major threat. With no marker as close to him this time, Havertz was able to get a clean touch on it and there was no taking this goal away from him.

Then, Gosens got a goal of his own after arriving on the end of a Kimmich cross. Once again, nobody picked him up, and his opposite wing-back found him with ease. Gosens headed it home to give his side a three-goal lead.

From there, they should have been comfortable, but Portugal gave them something to think about when pulling one back in the 67th minute.

This time, Ronaldo returned the favour to Jota, sending the ball across the face of goal after stretching to keep it in. His teammate supplied a finish into an empty net to reduce the deficit.

The goal was checked by VAR, because Ronaldo would have been offside when Jota rose to head the original free kick. However, Jota did not touch the ball in the process, meaning Ronaldo was onside from his original position.

All of a sudden, Portugal were sparked back into life. They still had plenty of time to keep chipping away at their deficit.

They almost got another back in stunning circumstances when Renato Sanches let fly from outside the box. His effort was extremely powerful, shaking the woodwork as it struck the outside of the post.

Germany needed to reassert their dominance and tried to do so on a counter attack a few minutes later. It ended with Leon Goretzka shooting just off-target, though.

There were no further goals, meaning both teams go into their final group games on three points, one behind France and two above Hungary. Billed as the group of death, this clash of the titans did not disappoint.