Euro 2020: Portugal vs Germany – Reigning champions lose six-goal thriller

Germany's Robin Gosens and Serge Gnabry (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)
Germany's Robin Gosens and Serge Gnabry (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images) /

Germany recorded a statement win over reigning Euro champions Portugal in the group of death. Die Mannschaft trailed early in the game but scored two goals on either side of the break to take the lead, and eventually, the three points.

Match Information

Portugal 2-4 Germany


Cristiano Ronaldo 15′ – Portugal

Ruben Dias (OG) 35′ – Germany

Raphael Guerreiro (OG) 39′ – Germany

Kai Havertz 51′ – Germany

Robin Gosens 60′ – Germany

Diogo Jota 67′ – Portugal

Man of the Match

Robin Gosens – Germany

Match Stats: 

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Portugal vs Germany match recap

When Cristiano Ronaldo gave Portugal the lead in the 15th minute, a feeling of Deja Vu swept across the Allianz Arena. Germany had played well in their previous match against France only to lose by a goal to nil, and they were momentarily trailing Portugal in their second group game in the 2020 Euro.

However, Germany’s response this time around was more telling. While Joachim Low’s men struggled with the final pass against France, that wasn’t the case against Portugal. Instead, clever build-up allowed the Germans to constantly take advantage of the space left in the wide areas, all four of their subsequent goals coming directly via the wingbacks.

Portugal’s defense played a key role in Germany’s two goals before half-time. First, Ruben Dias turned the ball past his own goalkeeper following a cross from the left by Robin Gosens.

Four minutes later, a Joshua Kimmich pass from the right was inadvertently diverted into the net by Raphael Guerreiro.

Despite identifying clearly the danger areas, Portugal struggled to close them down. That allowed Germany to take advantage, and they continued to push their wing-backs high up the pitch even after the break.

Kai Havertz scored Die Mannschaft’s third goal of the night, converting a cross from Gosens. The wing-back then put the finishing touch on yet another Kimmich cross; Germany 4-1 up by that point.

Fernando Santos did eventually correct the situation by sending Rafa Silva on as a substitute. The winger stayed close to Nelson Semedo to nullify the left wing-back.

Their defense strengthened, Portugal did manage to score a second through Diogo Jota, but it proved to be a mere consolation in the end.

Portugal’s Player Ratings

Rui Patricio – 5.5; Nelson Semedo – 5, Ruben Dias – 4.5, Pepe – 5, Raphael Guerreiro – 4.5; Danilo Pereira – 5.5, William Carvalho – 5.5; Bernardo Silva – 5, Bruno Fernandes – 5, Diogo Jota – 7; Cristiano Ronaldo – 7.5

Renato Sanches – 7, Rafa Silva – 6.5, Joao Moutinho – 6, Andre Silva – N/A

Germany’s Player Ratings

Manuel Neuer – 6.5; Mathias Ginter – 7, Mats Hummels – 6.5, Antonio Rudiger – 6.5; Joshua Kimmich – 8.5, Ilkay Gundogan – 7, Toni Kroos – 7, Robin Gosens – 9.5; Thomas Muller – 8, Kai Havertz – 8.5, Serge Gnabry – 8

Marcel Halstenberg – 6, Emre Can – 6.5, Niklas Sule – 6.5, Leon Goretzka – 6.5, Leroy Sane – N/A

What did we learn from the game?

The reports of Germany’s demise are greatly exaggerated. Neither Joachim Low nor Germany are what they used to be. However, it is perilous to count them out at this stage of the tournament.

The 2014 FIFA World Cup winners lost against France despite showing signs of promise but ensured the result doesn’t repeat against Portugal.

While there are still some flaws in the current team, the win against Portugal will give them the boost they need to qualify for the knockout stages.

Furthermore, Low’s usage of Kimmich and Gosens as wing-backs was finally validated, with both players playing a role in all four goals.

Gosens, especially, was a constant threat down the left side and could’ve scored a hat-trick himself. Kimmich, meanwhile, was excellent as always and the front three of Havertz, Gnabry, and Muller finally seemed to have clicked.

A thumping loss against Germany spells danger for Portugal: Cristiano Ronaldo and Co are in genuine danger of missing out on the knockout stage.

The 2016 Euro winners are currently ranked first among the best four third-placed teams. However, a potential loss in their final group game against France will weaken their position and put them at risk of elimination.

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That isn’t to say Portugal’s elimination from the competition is a foregone conclusion. The Selecao have plenty of talent among their ranks and will be spirited by Hungary’s draw against France earlier in the day.

There is plenty left to play for in Group F as we head into the final matchweek. Germany will take on Hungary to close the group, while France will face Portugal.