Men's Team

Gundogan’s Germany beaten by France in Euro 2020 opener

Gundogan’s Germany beaten by France in Euro 2020 opener
Ilkay Gundogan was unable to prevent Germany from a Euro 2020 Matchday One defeat after a Mats Hummels own goal handed France a 1-0 win.

Our 2020/21 top scorer played the full 90 minutes in his 47th appearance for Die Mannschaft, operating in the middle of the park alongside Real Madrid’s Toni Kroos.

But his counterpart Paul Pogba’s ball over the top on 20 minutes provided the catalyst for the game’s breakthrough, finding Lucas Hernandez in behind the German defence.

The left-back hammered a low cross into a dangerous area and Hummels, getting in ahead of Kylian Mbappe, inadvertently deflected the ball into his own net.

With license to get forward, Gundogan went closest to equalising for Joachim Lowe’s side before the break when he stole in ahead of Pogba with a typically late run into the box.

The midfielder met Serge Gnabry’s acrobatic cutback on the half-volley, but couldn’t wrap his foot around the ball enough to divert his effort on target.

France were quicker out of the traps after the break and always looked more likely to double their lead than be pegged back, with Adrian Rabiot the first to go close in the 52nd minute.

The Juventus midfielder hit Manuel Neuer’s near post after a clever ball in behind from Mbappe, but that chance seemingly sprung the hosts into life for a ten-minute spell.

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Gnabry in particular went close moments after Rabiot’s chance, smashing a volley into the ground which was a matter of inches from nestling into the top corner of Hugo Lloris’ net.

Nonetheless, France were next to have the ball in the net despite that German pressure when Mbappe curled a delightful effort into the far corner of the net, but the effort was ruled out for an offside in the build-up after the hour.

And Les Bleus once again thought they had doubled their advantage five minutes from time when Karim Benzema capped off a swift counter with what looked to be his first international goal since 2015.

However, after a VAR check, the goal was once again chalked off by the offside flag, meaning the 2018 World Champions had to settle for a single goal.

The result means Germany sit third in Group F, three points behind France and leaders Portugal after one match but ahead of Hungary by virtue of goal difference.

Saturday’s clash with Portugal, where Gundogan will lock horns with City teammates Ruben Dias and Bernardo Silva, now takes on extra significance as both teams vie for a spot in the Last 16.

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