KEIR RADNEDGE in MUNICH: The first time Germany hosted a major tournament, they won the 1974 World Cup; the second time, they reached the semi-finals at Euro 1988; third time, the 2006 World Cup, they finished third.

This is a high standard but Julian Nagelsmann’s latest German line-up proved anything but intimidated as they kicked off UEFA Euro 2024 with a 5-1 defeat of Scotland. The overrun visitors could not even claim a shot to call their own; their lone strike was a Toni Rudiger own goal.

In 2006 Germany kicked off ‘their’ World Cup here in Munich with a 4-2 defeat of Costa Rica This time around they offered the opposition nothing to cheer.

The outstanding pairing of Florian Wirtz and Jamal Musial struck in the first 18 minutes then Kai Havertz converted a penalty just before the interval. Scotland had also just been were reduced to 10 men by a red card for centre-back Ryan Porteous. Substitutes Niclas Fullkrug and Erme Can added two more after the break either side of the Rudiger own goal.

This was how every host team would wish to kick off ‘their’ tournament.

Germany line up before their winning start

Earlier in the day more than 100,000 Scottish fans were reported as travelling to Germany for the finals and their exuberant, colourful and celebratory presence – complete with kilts and pipes – had jammed Munich’s fan zones.

Nothing to celebrate, however, once the action transferred to what, in UEFA’s clean-stadium terminology, is known as Football Arena Munich.

Pop dancers and flag-wavers – and a tribute to the memory of Franz Beckenbauer – provided the warm-up before the hosts flooded forward to decisive effect. The speed of Germany’s interpassing turned the Scottish defence inside out even before the hosts took the lead inside the 10th minute.

Opening goal

Wirtz struck the opening goal of the tournament with a low shot which ricocheted off keeper Angus Gunn’s right hand, against the post and into the net.

Nine more minutes and Germany had the match wrapped up. An embarrassed Scotland’s 5-4-1 set-up proved mere random numbers as captain Ilkay Gundogan and Havertz set up Musial to sidestep a defender and thump home.

All Germany.

Scotland enjoyed a fortunate escape in the 25h minute when French referee Clement Turpin awarded a penalty for a trip on Musial by Ryan Christie. Turpin then changed his mind after a word from VAR and substituted a free kick just outside the box. This time Gunn was the equal of Wirtz.

More goals

No matter. Germany deserved a third goal and claimed it in the first minute of first-half stoppage time.

A beautifully crafted move, set up by a change of direction from the masterful Toni Kroos, was carried on by Musial before Porteous took a shin-hacking swipe at Gundogan. Porteous was duly sent off and Havertz, with Gundogan still shaky, put away the penalty.

Same story after the break. Man of the match Musial continued to torment the Scottish defence, Rudiger drew a diving save from Gunn and Wirtz fired over the bar before substitute Fullkrug scored a fourth after only six minutes on the pitch.

More substitutes came and went on both sides before Rudiger deflected a Scott McKenna header into his own goal and Can responded with Germany’s fifth.

Germany should find Hungary more resilient opposition next Wednesday while Scotland must rebuild morale let alone tactics and personnel before confronting Switzerland. One game only but Euro 2024 is well and truly up and running.