World champions France started their Euro 2020 campaign with a 1-0 win over Germany thanks to a Mats Hummels’ own goal in a high-quality heavyweight Group F match today.
Hummels – recalled for this tournament after being told by coach Joachim Low in 2019 that his international career was over – diverted Lucas Hernandez’s cross into his own net in the first half of a fascinating contest in Munich.
Tournament favourites France were marginally the better of the two sides, but appeared to be in third gear for much of it.
Paul Pogba sent the ball over the bar from a corner with his shoulder, Kylian Mbappe had an angled shot saved, he and Karim Benzema had goals ruled out for offside and Adrian Rabiot hit the outside of the post.
Germany came into the finals with big questions over their best XI as well as their chances of success after an uncharacteristically turbulent few years, but proved typically competitive finals opponents.
Thomas Muller – another player recalled after being jettisoned by Low – headed wide, with Ilkay Gundogan slicing an effort past the post from a good position in the box and Serge Gnabry seeing a shot deflected on to the roof of the net.
It was not just the actual football that was of interest either.
There was a hint that Germany defender Antonio Rudiger may have bitten the shoulder of Pogba in the first half, although replays proved inconclusive.
This came after a Greenpeace protestor had parachuted into the stadium, shedding equipment as he crashed to the pitch before being hurried away by security.
France’s win means they and Portugal, who beat Hungary 3-0 in Budapest earlier on Tuesday, take the early initiative in a highly competitive Group F.
Cristiano Ronaldo became the top scorer in men’s European Championship history as Portugal beat Hungary 3-0 in front of more than 60,000 fans in Budapest.
Ronaldo converted an 87th-minute penalty for his 10th goal in the competition, overtaking France’s Michel Platini on nine goals.
His 11th came only a few minutes later when he took the ball around goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi for Portugal’s third.
Hungary had looked on course for an unlikely draw against the defending champions until they conceded three times late on.
The deadlock was broken in the 84th minute when Raphael Guerreiro’s shot with the outside of the foot took a massive deflection off defender Willi Orban to break Hungary’s brave resistance.
The result looked comprehensive, but Portugal had to work hard to defeat their opponents in front of the biggest attendance of the tournament so far.
The 67,000-capacity Puskas Arena in Budapest is the only venue at Euro 2020 that will have full crowds and the fans helped create a fantastic, much-missed passionate atmosphere.
But the home supporters were nearly silenced in the fourth minute when Liverpool forward Diogo Jota had a chance, but saw his shot pushed away by Gulacsi when a pass to a wide-open Ronaldo may have been the better option.
Portugal created the best chances in the first half but Jota was again denied, with Ronaldo glancing a header wide and firing over when he should have hit the target.
Hungary were mostly restricted to long-range shots straight at goalkeeper Rui Patricio. However, home substitute Szabolcs Schon thought he had scored when he squeezed a shot in at the near post, but the goal was correctly ruled out for offside.
Portugal got their fortunate opener soon afterwards before Ronaldo’s penalty after Willi Orban had fouled Rafa Silva.
Ronaldo then had the final say in injury time as he showed great skill to round Gulacasi for his second and Portugal’s third.