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3 things we learned from Portugal 2–4 Germany

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Robin Gosens and Kai Havertz helped Germany rebound in a big way from a EURO 2020-opening loss to France, smashing Portugal 4-2 on Saturday.

Gosens had an audacious goal wiped off the board by offside and Cristiano Ronaldo put Portugal on top, but the goal was a red (and green) herring as Joachim Loew’s Germans dominated the proceedings.

Two own goals joined Havertz and Gosens in turning 1-0 into 4-1, while Ronaldo would later cue up Diogo Jota, who assisted CR7’s opener, to make it a two-goal affair with 32 minutes left on the clock.

France’s Saturday draw with Hungary means all four teams can still advance… or be eliminated.


3 things we learned from Portugal – Germany

1. Fine margins, man: Germany dominated the opening stages of the game and Robin Gosens saw his audacious goal taken off the board due to an offside on Serge Gnabry, so — as if on cue — Portugal’s first chance to do anything ended up in the back of the German goal. Cristiano Ronaldo got on his horse well before midfield to force two German backs to pay attention to him, opening up a ball to Diogo Jota on the other side. Liverpool man Jota hit a perfect outside of the boot pass and there was no way CR7 wasn’t going to be at the back end to side foot into the gaping goal mouth.

2. Havertz a new man: Kai Havertz is getting back to his very best after an adjustment period during his first season at Chelsea. The youngster who lit up Bundesliga defenses for Bayer Leverkusen finished strong for the Blues, an assist in the Champions League semifinal second leg versus Real Madrid and a goal in the final. He was flying again Saturday and left no doubt versus Portugal with his goal and a forced own goal.

3. German pressure forces two own goals, as defending optional. Gosens deserved to be on the score sheet as the left back flew up the pitch and smash a cross back into the mix for Havertz, who forced Ruben Dias into a tricky position. It looked like an own goal but Havertz was credited with the equalizer (at least at time of typing). Germany was all over the Portuguese and Gosens sent another ball into the box that forced Raphael Guerreiro to intervene, another own goal making it 2-1.

Both clubs, to be fair, were open at the back. It’s obvious given the six goals on the board, but also the consternation of Antonio Rudiger and Manuel Neuer for Germany and Gosens ability to give Nelson Semedo one of the worst days of his career.

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