MUNICH: Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann cautioned that Scotland had made it easier than hosts Germany had expected in the opening match of the UEFA Euro finals.
The match was virtually all over after Germany seized a two-goal lead in the opening minutes on their way to a 5-1 win over a poor Scottish side who finished with 10 men after a red card just before halftime for Ryan Porteous.
Florian Wirtz, Jamal Musial, Kai Havertz (penalty) plus substitutes Niclas Fullkrug and Emre Can scored for Germany who also provided Scotland’s lone strike with a late own goal off Toni Rudiger.
Nagelsmann said: “We were brilliant in the first 20 minutes. We conceded but it’s a good sign that our players complained about conceding.
“I was kind of surprised that Scotland weren’t that aggressive in first 20 minutes. I think they were surprised by our ball possession, it was very concentrated. They then defended deeper and didn’t high press as they have in the qualifying games at times.”
Germany’s coach had qualified praise for Musial, the 21-year-old product of Chelsea’s academy who chose Germany over England and was official man of the match.
Nagelsmann said: “Jamal did very well. He did really well defensively, hard-working. I always say the best attacking players also have to work hard defensively.
“But I don’t really want to talk about singling out players. This group has learnt to protect every member of the group and make everyone around them look good. The group won the game today and I hope the country believes in us even more than before.”
Scotland head coach Steve Clarke had no excuses to offer.
He said: “Germany were outstanding, we couldn’t match them. Defensively, we weren’t very good and on the ball we weren’t very good. The first half ran way from us very quickly, we didn’t give ourselves a foothold. We’re disappointed, we feel as if we’ve let ourselves down.
“We’re better than that. We are a better team than we showed tonight and hopefully we can show that in the next two games. Obviously we didn’t play to our standard and I thought the German team were excellent.”
Clarke called on the Tartan Army to “keep the faith”, adding: “We need four points from the next two games and hopefully we can focus on that. I’ve had tougher nights. We’ll get over it. I’ve never doubted my players. Never ever.”