Germany’s chances of progressing to the Euro 2020 knockout stages increased with their impressive 4-2 win over Portugal at the Allianz Arena. They were aided by own goals from Ruben Dias and Raphael Guerreiro, but they put forth a performance worthy of the three points in Munich, showing drastic improvements from their 1-0 loss to France despite Joachim Low making no changes to the starting lineup. Goals from Kai Havertz and an electric Robin Gosens were the ultimate difference makers for Die Mannschaft, keeping them alive in a now wide open group F, given France’s 1-1 draw with Hungary at the Puskas Arena.
Speaking after the match, Low reflected on what was a much better performance from his side, despite going 1-0 down through Cristiano Ronaldo in the 15th minute after dominating the opening stages (tz). “Overall, it was a great performance by the team, we rightly won by this amount and showed great morale. There was pace in the actions right from the start. Our plan worked well. He things we didn’t do well against France, we did better today. But it was clear to me that the team would step it up a gear. ” Low explained.
With the amount of chances Germany created in the opening stages, and the amount of possession they had, it always looked as if they were the better side. Ronaldo’s opener came completely against the run of play after Portugal had cleared their lines from a German corner kick. To Germany’s credit, they kept piling on the chances after conceding, and eventually found their way through in the 35th minute with what initially looked like a Havertz goal, but upon closer inspection, the last touch came of of Dias.
Serge Gnabry, Thomas Muller, and Havertz continued to be menacing presence for the Portuguese back line and they created a handful of chances in either half between them. Joshua Kimmich and Robin Gosens had a lot of freedom down either flank and it was clearly an area Low wanted his side to emphasize. Gosens, in particular, was exceptional with his commanding presence down the left channel, capping off his performance with a finely taken header for Germany’s fourth and final goal of the match.
Speaking on the Atalanta man’s performance, Low said, “he played an incredible game with a lot of forward traction. His game of a lifetime? That may still come, who knows.” He was rightfully crowned man of the match for his efforts during his 62 minute shift. He was replaced by Marcel Halstenberg moments after scoring.
Despite winning in such dominant fashion, Low knows there’s still plenty of work to be done, and getting past Hungary will be no easy task, as they’ve shown against France. While the win over Portugal greatly increased their likelihood of progressing out of the group, they still need to take care of business, and the points in group F are too close for comfort. Low knows that there were still weaknesses that Portugal exposed. “The danger was that Portugal would counterattack, and that’s where we ran right into it when we conceded goals. It doesn’t blow me away now, I’ve had a few games. The goal was to have things in our own hands. We won a game, but now there are more tasks to come. They won’t be any less difficult,” he explained.