Day six at Euro 2024 brought more thrills and spills on the pitch, with Albania sealing a last-gasp draw against Croatia and Germany booking their place in the last 16 by beating Hungary.

Scotland, meanwhile, kept their hopes of progressing from Group A alive by earning a creditable 1-1 draw with Switzerland in the late kick-off.

There was also plenty going on outside the games, from the Tartan Army painting Cologne blue to Kylian Mbappe getting out on the turf two days after breaking his nose.

Here, we run through the best of Wednesday's social media posts from around Euro 2024.

Cologne turns blue for Scotland

One noticeable theme of this tournament has been the colour and noise brought by huge contingents of travelling fans, and an estimated 100,000 Scotland supporters brought the fun to Cologne on Wednesday.

"No Scotland, no party" was ringing around Munich last week, and on Wednesday, it was Cologne's near-800-year-old cathedral that played host to the Tartan Army.

#effzeh pic.twitter.com/R0fFFUnyEs

— 1. FC Cologne (@fckoeln_en) June 19, 2024

Those with tickets were then treated to a spirited performance as Steve Clarke's side went ahead through Scott McTominay, and they were arguably unfortunate not to win as they finished the game strongly after Xherdan Shaqiri's fine equaliser.

Cheesy humour from Swiss fan 

One Switzerland fan, meanwhile, took culinary inspiration for his outfit at the RheinEnergieStadion.

Fortunately for him, Murat Yakin's defence had fewer holes than the Swiss cheese he paid homage to, and they are now all-but guaranteed to make the knockout stages.

 

Hosts on the march

Germany strode into the last 16 of the tournament on Wednesday, a 2-0 victory over Hungary ensuring a top-two finish in Group A.

It's fair to say their performances have gripped the imagination of the German public, with Wednesday's fan march to the Stuttgart Arena a particularly impressive sight.

If Julian Nagelsmann's team can maintain their performance levels, they may just find themselves marching to the Olympiastadion on July 14...

Mbappe out on the grass 

It has only been two days since France captain Mbappe broke his nose in a nasty collision with Austria's Kevin Danso, but the forward is in no mood to rest.

He was out on the training pitch on Wednesday as Les Bleus prepare for Friday's clash with the Netherlands, wearing strapping across his nose.

His participation in that match remains in doubt, and a protective mask will be required for him to return to competitive action, but the sight of him going through his paces will have encouraged France's fans.

Cruyff turn celebrates big Five-O

France's next opponents also had something to celebrate on Wednesday, as it represented the 50th anniversary of Johan Cruyff first wheeling out his signature turn.

The Cruyff turn was born on this day in 1974, the Oranje legend having first performed the move on June 19, 1974, in a World Cup group-stage match against Sweden. 

Jan Olsson, the unfortunate defender on the receiving end of the move, probably remains bamboozled half a century on.

Gallagher in the hot seat

It was Conor Gallagher's turn to take part in England's diary room series on X, with the Chelsea midfielder discussing what he and his team-mates get up to on days off.

He then attempted to match a series of dogs with the Three Lions stars they belong to, posting a pretty good success rate.

The episode began, however, with Gallagher failing to prevent a Jenga set from crashing down around him. England will hope that is not a metaphor for their campaign...  

Memorable day for Gjasula

It initially looked like Wednesday would be a day to remember for all the wrong reasons for Klaus Gjasula. 

Having come off the bench with Albania 1-0 up against Croatia after 72 minutes, Gjasula saw Andrej Kramaric equalise before putting through his own net, all within just four minutes.

However, the midfielder – who plays his club football in Germany with Darmstadt – was in the right place at the right time to level five minutes into stoppage time.

His post-match Instagram post summed up how much it meant to him and his team-mates.

Matchday two in the Euro 2024 group stage began on Wednesday, with hosts Germany headlining another dramatic day of action.

Julian Nagelsmann's hosts became the first team to book their spot in the last 16, but they were pushed far closer by Hungary than they were by Scotland last Friday.

Scotland themselves stopped the rot with a 1-1 draw against Switzerland, though things could have been even better for the Tartan Army had Xherdan Shaqiri's stunning goal not cancelled out Scott McTominay's opener.

In Group B, meanwhile, Croatia and Albania served up another classic, with a 2-2 draw leaving the 2022 World Cup bronze medallists on the brink of an early exit.

But what were the standout stats to emerge from day six at the Euros? 

Croatia 2-2 Albania: Gjasula makes history at either end

The early kick-off slot at this tournament has quickly become a fan favourite, and Wednesday's edition will certainly have converted a few more viewers.

Croatia were set for a comeback win when Andrej Kramaric's strike and Klaus Gjasula's own goal flipped the match on its head, after Qazim Laci had put Albania ahead. 

There were just 147 seconds between the two Croatia goals deep into the second half, with Kramaric celebrating his 33rd birthday with a composed finish. He is the third player to score at the Euros on his birthday, after Jean-Francois Domergue in 1984 and Wesley Sneijder in 2008.

However, Gjasula went from villain to hero five minutes into stoppage time, snatching a famous draw for Albania by slotting a cool finish past Dominik Livakovic. Having come on in the 72nd minute, he is the first substitute to ever score a goal and an own goal in the same Euros match. 

He is only the second player to do so overall, after Anton Ondrus for Czechoslovakia against the Netherlands at the 1976 tournament. 

Being officially timed at 94 minutes and 23 seconds, his goal was also the latest equaliser ever recorded at the European Championships (excluding extra time).

The result leaves Croatia likely needing to defeat Italy in their final game to have any chance of progressing, meaning Luka Modric and company are facing up to the prospect of a humiliating exit just 18 months after getting on the podium in Qatar.

Modric started his 15th Euros game on Wednesday, with Andres Iniesta (16) the only midfielder to ever record more. 

At 38 years and 284 days, he became the oldest player on record (since 1980) to record 100 or more passes in a Euros match (108), while he already held the same record (since 1966) at the World Cup (105 versus Brazil in 2022, 37 years and 91 days).

Germany 2-0 Hungary: Musiala second only to Bene 

Wednesday's second game gave us our first qualifiers for the last 16, with Germany clinching a 2-0 victory over Hungary to make it two wins from two matches, courtesy of goals from Jamal Musiala and Ilkay Gundogan.

Musiala's opener – a powerful finish off the crossbar following tireless work from Gundogan – made him the youngest player to score in a nation's first two group games at a single European Championship. He is also the first player to net in Germany's first two matches at the tournament since Mario Gomez in 2012.

At the age of 21 years and 114 days, he became the second-youngest player to score on his first two European Championship starts, after Hungary legend Ferenc Bene in 1964 (19 years, 186 days).

Having assisted Musiala's goal, Gundogan later got one of his own to give Germany daylight. He both scored and assisted in the same match for his country for the first time since October 2019, when he scored two goals and registered one assist in a Euro 2020 qualifier versus Estonia. 

Things were not straightforward for Germany, though, as Hungary fired off 11 shots, with Roland Sallai and Barnabas Varga guilty of spurning particularly good opportunities.

It is the most shots Germany have faced at a Euros match since the Netherlands recorded 14 against them in 2012, but Manuel Neuer stood firm as Hungary failed to score for the first time in their last 13 matches.

Despite Hungary giving a decent account of themselves, Toni Kroos produced another metronomic performance in the middle of the park, completing 124 passes.

That is the second-most on record by a midfielder in a Euros match, after Xavi completed 127 for Spain against the Republic of Ireland in 2012. Kroos' 47 line-breaking passes were at least 30 more than any other player on the pitch. 

Scotland 1-1 Switzerland: Shaqiri out on his own

The final game of the day saw Scotland bounce back from their 5-1 defeat to Germany, and boost their hopes of reaching the last 16, with a hard-fought 1-1 draw against Switzerland. 

Steve Clarke's side had the upper hand after 13 minutes, as McTominay's shot was deflected past Yann Sommer by Fabian Schar. This is now the first edition of the Euros to feature more than one Scotland goal since the 1992 tournament (three).

They couldn't hold on, though, as Shaqiri came up with a magical long-range finish into the top-left corner just 13 minutes later, giving Angus Gunn no chance.

Including Euro 2024, the former Bayern Munich and Liverpool man is the only European player to have scored at each of the last six major tournaments, dating back to a hat-trick against Honduras at the 2014 World Cup – his first tournament goals.

He now has 10 goals at major tournaments, while this is the seventh edition of the World Cup/Euros he has appeared at, the most of any Swiss player. His 10 tournament goals are evenly split between the World Cup and the Euros, making him one of just seven players with five or more goals at each. 

He is in good company, with Michel Platini, Jurgen Klinsmann, Zinedine Zidane, Thierry Henry, Cristiano Ronaldo and Romelu Lukaku the others on that list.

Despite Shaqiri's big moment, Scotland claimed a valuable point, meaning a victory over Hungary in their final group game will almost certainly seal qualification for the last 16, even if they are unlikely to finish higher than third.

They might wish they could face the Swiss again, having avoided defeat in six of their last seven competitive games against them (two wins, four draws), also remaining unbeaten in two meetings at major tournaments (one win, one draw).

They have now taken 44 per cent of their all-time group-stage points at the Euros (four of nine) against Switzerland. 

Julian Nagelsmann believes Germany's victory over Hungary on Wednesday showed their increasing maturity, even if Toni Kroos is far from satisfied with the Euro 2024 hosts' progress so far.

Germany became the first team to reach the last 16 of the tournament as goals either side of half-time from Jamal Musiala and Ilkay Gundogan saw off tricky opponents.

Indeed, head coach Nagelsmann suggested this was the sort of match in which his team might previously have faltered.

"That was a very unpleasant opponent," he told MagentaTV. "You have to win a game like that first.

"It shows a good maturing process. In November, we would not have won this game."

It is only the second time Germany have advanced through the group stage in four major tournaments, but there is no time to relax ahead of their third match against Switzerland.

The hosts will name a strong side as they aim to maintain their momentum.

"It is important that we have as many players from the first XI back on the pitch as possible, because we have deliberately distributed the roles," Nagelsmann added. "We believe in the players' respective strengths in their roles.

"It may of course be that we change one or two players; we have to see how everyone gets through this game. But as of now, everyone is healthy."

That will be music to the ears of retiring midfielder Kroos, who is keen for Germany to go "full throttle" against Switzerland.

He and his team-mates are perhaps wary of a repeat of the last Euros, where Germany came through the group stage but drew their third match and then had to face England in the last 16, losing at Wembley.

"There is little reason for the pressure to drop now because we have a bigger goal than just the round of 16," Kroos said.

He added to RTL: "It is also a statement to come first in the group, and it is important to maintain this run."

Germany made it two wins from two games at Euro 2024 by beating Hungary 2-0, overcoming a stern test to book their place in the last 16.

Having had things their own way from the off in a 5-1 rout of Scotland, Germany were put under more pressure by a Hungary side chasing a response to their defeat at the hands of Switzerland.

Marco Rossi's side created several good chances in front of a nervous crowd in Stuttgart, but they failed to make them count as Jamal Musiala and Ilkay Gundogan scored either side of half-time.

Julian Nagelsmann's hosts are now assured of a place in the knockout rounds and can win Group A when they face Switzerland on Sunday.

Hungary's best chance of qualifying, meanwhile, is now as one of the best third-place finishers, with Scotland their opponents on matchday three.

Just 15 seconds had been played when Manuel Neuer was worked for the first time, smothering Roland Sallai's attempt following some hesitant Germany defending.

The hosts soon got on top, though, and they made their dominance of possession count after 22 minutes. Willi Orban appealed in vain for a foul after being nudged by Gundogan, who teed up Musiala to lash home with Peter Gulacsi grounded. 

Neuer then had to remain alert to keep out Dominik Szoboszlai's free-kick, and Germany survived another massive scare on the stroke of half-time.

Sallai reacted quickest to convert on the rebound after Neuer was forced into action by Orban's header, only for an offside flag against the RB Leipzig captain to deny Hungary. 

Another huge chance went begging for Hungary on the hour mark, Barnabas Varga failing to direct his header on target after being picked out by Sallai's left-wing cross.

Hungary were punished for their wastefulness seven minutes later, with Maximilian Mittelstadt's cutback finding Gundogan in space and allowing him to sweep into the bottom-right corner to give the hosts daylight. 

Hungary almost got one back late on as Neuer spilled a looping cross, but Joshua Kimmich got back on the line to clear Martin Adam's shot and preserve the shutout. 

Musiala justifies the hype 

Having doubled Germany's lead over Scotland with a powerful finish into the roof of the net last Friday, Musiala put Nagelsmann's side ahead with a similar strike on Wednesday.

Tipped to play a talismanic role ahead of the tournament, it's fair to say Musiala is living up to the billing.

At the age of 21 years and 114 days, he has become the second youngest player to ever score on his first two starts at the European Championships, after Ferenc Bene at Euro 1964 (19 years, 186 days).

He is also the youngest player in history to score in a team's first two group-stage matches at a single edition of the tournament. 

Hungary give hosts a scare

While Germany were deeply impressive in their demolition of Scotland, Steve Clarke's side failed to attempt a shot on target in a miserable performance, leading many to ask how many conclusions could really be drawn from that game.

Hungary certainly put up more of a fight, with their seven first-half shots the joint-most Germany have faced at the Euros since Turkiye attempted 16 against them in 2008.

Their best opportunity, according to the expected goals figures, came after just 15 seconds as Sallai spurned a chance worth 0.36 xG. That would have been the fastest goal in Euros history, surpassing Nedim Bajrami's 23-second strike against Italy last Saturday.

Poor finishing – as well as three saves from Neuer – cost them, and Germany upped the ante in the second half to pull away.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal claimed a late win over Czechia to get their Euro 2024 campaign up and running.

Before that, there was a sensational Group F opener between Turkiye and Georgia.

But the football was not the only thing to look out for.

Here, we round up the best of Tuesday's social posts from around Euro 2024.

 

Ronaldo's rallying cry

Ahead of becoming the first player to feature at six European Championships, Ronaldo posted a motivational message on social media.

"Portuguese, today begins another chapter in our history," Ronaldo wrote in a caption that came with a video of some of his best moments in a Portugal shirt.

"I fondly remember my first day with the national team, a journey full of challenges and victories. Now, I have the honor of being alongside a team of champions, full of talent and determination. With everyone’s strength and support, we turn dreams into reality. Let's, together, fight for another triumph. United, we are unstoppable. Go Portugal!"

The rallying cry just about worked - Ronaldo didn't score, but Portugal beat Czechia 2-1 thanks to Francisco Conceicao's last-gasp winner.

Portuguese party in Leipzig

There were plenty of travelling Portuguese fans who made themselves right at home in Leipzig.

It looked like a fair old party pre kick-off!

Nose job

Mbappe will require surgery, France coach Didier Deschamps confirmed, to fix his broken nose.

However, when the superstar forward will go under the knife remains to be seen.

Deschamps revealed this in a video interview posted to the official France team X account. Could Mbappe's Euro 2024 be over, or will he make it back in time to feature?

Kante's warm welcome

It was not all doom and gloom for France.

N'Golo Kante was spectacular in his first competitive game for Les Bleus in two years, and the 33-year-old midfielder received a rapturous reception when he returned to the dressing room after the match, with the moment captured on video.

Baller

Turkiye and Georgia served up a thrilling encounter, and Arda Guler was one of the stars of the show.

The Real Madrid midfielder became the youngest player to score on his Euros debut, breaking a record set by Ronaldo way back in 2004.

He did so in stunning fashion, curling home from outside the area, and it's worth watching again and again.

Quaresma watches on

Ex-Portugal star Quaresma was no stranger to scoring great goals on the big stage, and he watched on from the stands to support his nation.

Cool as you like

Looking dapper is part and parcel of a team's travelling routine to and from match locations, especially for major tournaments.

And the German team made sure to dress with the style befitting of hosts as they left their training base and headed for Stuttgart, where they take on Hungary on Wednesday.

Derek's Cologne tour

The Tartan Army have taken over Cologne ahead of Scotland's clash with Switzerland on Wednesday.

And with the help of commentator Derek Rae, Scotland's social media team put out a handy guide to the city.

Rice grabs the lens

France's Benjamin Pavard took over camera duties for an ad hoc Olivier Giroud photo shoot earlier in the competition, and now England's Declan Rice has got in on the act.

After training on Tuesday, Rice grabbed hold of the camera to get some snaps of his team-mates. And the results were pretty good!

Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann has claimed all the pressure is on Hungary, and not his team, ahead of Wednesday's Group A clash.

Euro 2024 hosts Germany got off to a flying start as they thrashed Scotland 5-1 in Munich last week.

Hungary, meanwhile, were beaten 3-1 by Switzerland.

While the four best third-placed teams will progress to the last 16, Nagelsmann believes the onus will firmly be on Hungary, rather than the host nation, in Stuttgart.

"I had put Scotland and Hungary on a very similar level," Nagelsmann told reporters. 

"It depends how we play tomorrow. Hungary are under a bit more pressure than we are after the first match.

"I think they have to be a bit more aggressive than against Switzerland as they could potentially be out of the tournament."

Nagelsmann is not taking anything for granted, though.

"We have analysed the Hungarians and have a clear idea how we will play," Nagelsmann added. "It is about winning the game tomorrow.

"We saw their first match against Swiss where it was a game of two halves. Hungary deserved more than they got in the end.

"In the qualifiers, Hungary were the second-best team when it came to creating or converting chances from set pieces.

"They play a good transition game. They have strikers who are powerful in the air. They play with precise crosses. They are very dangerous."

Hungary are without a win in their last seven games at the European Championships (D4 L3) since beating Austria 2-0 in the 2016 group stage. 

However, Germany have won only one of their last six matches played on home soil against Hungary (D2 L3), a 2-0 friendly victory in June 2016.

Indeed, Germany and Hungary's three previous meetings at a major tournament have produced 20 goals, an average of 6.7 per game. Hungary opened the scoring in each of those three matches.

They met in the group stage at Euro 2020 – the match ended 2-2, with Hungary ultimately heading out while Germany progressed to the last 16, only to lose to England.

And Hungary coach Marco Rossi stated his team must be perfect if they are to pull off a win.

"We've paid for these mistakes in the first game and tomorrow we are playing Germany which, in my opinion, is the toughest rival, toughest team to play now, but we will do our best," Rossi said.

"We know on paper the German team is better than us. This should further motivate us, allowing us to give our very best show.

"Hopefully we can grasp a point tomorrow and that will allow us, I hope, to qualify for the next round. But this will call for the perfect match, all those playing must give 100 per cent."

Angus Gunn acknowledged Scotland let everyone associated with them down after Germany's 5-1 rout at Euro 2024 – but insists Group A progression is not off the cards.

Steve Clarke's team were humiliated on Friday in the tournament opener as Scotland suffered their second-heaviest defeat ever at a major tournament, after their 7-0 loss to Uruguay at the 1954 World Cup.

Antonio Rudiger's late own goal was the only thing the thousands of travelling Scots could celebrate, leading Gunn to apologise to all involved with the Tartan Army.

"We let ourselves down, our families down and obviously the fans, which is probably the most difficult to take," Gunn said in an interview published on Scotland's X account on Monday.

"It's down to us to bounce back now, and the good thing is that we've two more games to put it right, and we can still reach our target."

Clarke declared four points was the target before the European Championship started as Scotland aimed for their first-ever progression to the knockout stages of a major tournament.

Scotland will need to get results against Switzerland on Wednesday, and Hungary in their final group game four days later, if they are to hit Clarke's ambitions.

It appears a tough ask, too, as Scotland have won just six of their 33 matches at major tournaments (World Cup/Euros), a win rate of 18 per cent.

Among European nations with 25+ matches played at such tournaments, only Bulgaria (13 per cent – 4 from 32) have a poorer win ratio.

Gunn remains confident of an unlikely escape from Group A, however.

"We know what we have to do in terms of trying to get out of the group," the Scotland goalkeeper added.

"Obviously they [Switzerland] got a very positive result in their first game as well, so it's going to be difficult, but from our point of view, it's pretty straightforward."

Scotland managed to make it through a qualifying group for this tournament that included Spain and Erling Haaland's Norway.

Gunn wanted to remind supporters of his team's progression as negativity swirls around their opening-game performance.

"You look back at how far we've come, how well we've done to qualify, and you have to take belief from that," Gunn continued. 

"We've got to target two wins that can get us through the group, and if we can do that, we've reached our target."

Manuel Neuer has called on Germany to stay grounded after their flying start to Euro 2024, warning Wednesday's clash with Hungary in Stuttgart will be a step up.

Germany recorded the biggest ever win in the opening game of a European Championship last Friday, thumping Scotland 5-1 with Florian Writz, Jamal Musiala, Kai Havertz, Niclas Fullkrug and Emre Can all on target.

It was also Germany's largest victory at the Euros, as they underlined their credentials after a turbulent build-up to their home tournament.

They will be heavily favoured against a Hungary side well beaten by Switzerland in their first game, but Neuer – who is playing at his eighth major tournament – says Julian Nagelsmann's squad will not get carried away.

"The trust is what's important and the trust among us as team-mates and the coaching staff is very high," Neuer said on Monday. 

"We have started preparations for the Hungary game and the focus and concentration is increasing.

"Against Scotland we dominated from the start. We scored after 10 minutes and that did us a lot of good, but we have our feet on the ground. 

"We have some self-confidence now but Hungary will be a different level. This is a warning for us and we will not underestimate them."

If Neuer appears at another game at these Euros, he will pass Hugo Lloris outright for the appearance record among goalkeepers at World Cups and European Championships combined. The duo are currently level with 35 apiece. 

Hungary were distinctly second best in their 3-1 defeat to Switzerland on matchday one and may need a result against the hosts to have a realistic chance of progressing. 

Coach Marco Rossi knows they face a mighty task, claiming Germany are favourites to win the tournament. 

"I dare anybody to bet one Hungarian Forint on us. As of today that looks impossible," Rossi said. 

"Germany are a different team than the last Euros, they proved it against Scotland. In my opinion, they are the biggest favourites for the European Championship."

Reflecting on the Switzerland defeat, he added: "We had some shortcomings in individual performances. 

"There aren't many strategies to stop individual mistakes. It's hard to say anyone did well apart from two or three performances."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Germany – Toni Kroos

Kroos began his final tournament with a metronomic performance against Scotland, completing 101 of his 102 passes for the highest pass completion rate (99 per cent) of any player to ever attempt 100 passes at a Euros match.

He also made 31 line-breaking passes in that match – more than any Scotland player completed passes in total, with Kieran Tierney leading the way with 30.

 

Hungary – Barnabas Varga 

Varga briefly got Hungary back into the game against Switzerland, and he now has seven goals in just nine starts for his country across all competitions.

Should he find the net on Wednesday, he would become just the second Hungarian to score on his first two European Championship appearances, after Ferenc Bene in 1964.

MATCH PREDICTION – GERMANY WIN

Given the rampant nature of Germany's victory over Scotland, it is difficult to look past them in their second match.

Hungary have only kept one clean sheet in their 12 total matches at the Euros, in a 2-0 win over Austria back in 2016. They have conceded the opening goal in seven of those 12 games, going on to lose on six of those seven occasions (one draw).

They are also without a win in seven European Championship games and could lose two matches at a single edition of the tournament for just the second time, after 1972.

Germany, meanwhile, had five different goalscorers last time out, more than they had in the entirety of Euro 2020 (three). Only in 1996, 2016 (both six) and 2012 (eight) have they had more at a single edition of the finals (excluding own goals).

Nagelsmann's team are strong favourites to win their first two matches at a fifth edition of the Euros, after doing so in 1972, 1980, 1996 and 2012. 

They won the trophy on three of those previous four occasions, only falling short when they exited in the semi-finals in 2012.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Germany – 71.2%

Hungary – 12.1%

Draw – 16.6%

Steve Clarke says he had to "kick a couple of backsides and give some cuddles" after Scotland were thrashed by Germany in their Euro 2024 opener, but he is certain his team's self-belief remains intact.

Scotland suffered the heaviest defeat in an opening game at any European Championship on Friday, being routed 5-1 by a rampant Germany team in Munich.

Florian Wirtz, Jamal Musiala, Kai Havertz, Niclas Fullkrug and Emre Can all scored for the hosts, while Ryan Porteous was sent off for a horror challenge on Ilkay Gundogan.

It was the first time Scotland had conceded five or more goals in a game since a 5-1 friendly defeat to the United States in 2012, and the first time in a competitive match since a 6-0 loss to the Netherlands in Euro 2004 qualifying 21 years ago.

At the other end, meanwhile, Scotland failed to record a shot on target in a major tournament game for the first time since Euro 1992 (0-1 versus Netherlands).

Asked what he had done in response to the defeat, Clarke said on Sunday: "Kick a couple of backsides, give some cuddles, make the players understand why the Germany result happened and make sure it doesn't happen again.

"I've spoken to one or two players around the squad whose opinion I value. I had a good chat with a few of them.

"I think their interpretation of what we asked them to do was wrong, so we've worked on that."

Scotland must now pick themselves up for Wednesday's meeting with Switzerland, who began their own Group A campaign with an impressive 3-1 win over Hungary.

The Tartan Army could lose their first two matches at a tournament (World Cup/Euros) for the fourth time, having done so at the 1954 and 1986 World Cups and Euro 1992.

However, Clarke insists confidence in the camp is still high, adding: "We believe in ourselves, there's no danger of that. We know it was a bad night.

"We have to accept all the criticism that comes our way and then we have to put it right. To be in football, you have to be very resilient."

Day two of Euro 2024 picked up the excitement where it left off, with a historic round of games on Saturday.

Switzerland joined Germany level on points at the top of Group A with an impressive 3-1 win over Hungary before Spain cruised to a 3-0 victory over Croatia in their Group B opener with three first-half goals.

Italy's European Championships title defence got off to a perfect start as they bounced back from conceding the earliest goal in the tournament's history (23 seconds) by beating Albania 2-1.

While the football continued to entertain, there was also plenty of action on social media. Here's a pick of some of the best posts.

What might have been for Wimbledon

AFC Wimbledon's official X account drew plenty of attention as the admin latched onto the hype over Jamal Musiala, following the Germany international's magical display against Scotland.

Musiala grew up in England, and represented AFC Wimbledon, via the Corpus Christi Primary School, in the EFL Utilita Kids Cup.

It's clear from the highlights of that match, in which Musiala scored a hat-trick and left defenders mesmerised - a bit like he did on Friday - that he was a special talent.

Embolo back on the scene

Breel Embolo endured an injury-hit campaign for Monaco, but he is back to fitness in time to feature for Switzerland, for whom he remains a crucial player.

And after coming on as a second-half substitute, Embolo sealed the three points as the Swiss beat Hungary 3-1 in the first game of the day. 

As the official Euro 2042 X account pointed out, Embolo has now netted in successive Euros tournaments for his nation.

Birthday boy

Pascal Gross is a newcomer to Germany's squad, and came on for his major tournament debut during Friday's 5-1 thrashing of Scotland.

The Brighton midfielder then celebrated his 33rd birthday on Saturday, with Germany's official X account sharing the celebrations.

That big win over Scotland, and his Euros bow, was surely a great way to welcome in his 34th year.

UEFA turns 70

Gross was not the only one celebrating a birthday on Saturday.

Indeed, UEFA marked the 70th anniversary of its founding, which came on June 15, 1954.

"It's a story of devotion, dedication and dreams..." shared the governing bodies' official X account.

Barcelona show pride of record-breaking youngster

Spain got off to the perfect start in the so-called 'group of death' with a rampant 3-0 win over Croatia on Saturday.

But, when the team sheets came out before the game, all the headlines quickly turned to Lamine Yamal, who became the youngest-ever player to appear at the Euros at 16 years and 338 days.

After an impressive performance by the youngster, Barcelona were quick to remind fans where he came from with a post on X: "He's very good... and he's ours."

Van Dijk, Simons and De Ligt put to the test

The Netherlands are yet to open their campaign in Euro 2024, but put aside their preparation to take some time to answer questions from young fans.

Xavi Simons was quizzed on which defender scares him the most - fellow Dutchman Virgil van Dijk - while the captain and Matthijs de Ligt rated their chances of winning the tournament.

Final preparations

England open their campaign when they take on Serbia in Gelsenkirchen on Sunday, and on Saturday, Gareth Southgate's team ran through their MD-1 training session.

All 26 players were involved in the session, with England allowing their fans to watch on live via a post on X.

Only part of the session was broadcast, however, so any Serbia spies could not garner too much information about Southgate's tactics ahead of the Group C clash.

Toni Kroos calmed Germany's nerves ahead of Friday's historic Euro 2024 thrashing of Scotland by giving an inspirational team talk, Julian Nagelsmann has revealed.

Germany recorded the largest ever win in the opening game of a European Championship at the Allianz Arena, putting 10-man Scotland to the sword as Florian Wirtz, Jamal Musiala, Kai Havertz, Niclas Fullkrug and Emre Can scored.

Kroos has come out of international retirement to represent Germany at their home tournament ahead of calling time on his glittering career, and he produced a metronomic midfield performance.

The 34-year-old completed 99 per cent of his passes against Scotland (101/102), the highest completion rate on record (since 1980) of any player to attempt 100 or more passes in a Euros match.

Joshua Kimmich was the only player to match his four chances created, while 36 of his passes entered the final third as Scotland were penned back from the off.

 

Before dominating the midfield battle, Kroos brought an air of calm to an excitable Germany dressing room, Nagelsmann has revealed.

"He is very important, just like everyone else," Nagelsmann said in his news conference when asked about Kroos. "He's very experienced and calm.

"The team were really loud and he said a few quiet words that were really powerful. He is part of the group, but that experience is what makes him different. 

"With his record, some would have problems being accepted, but he is not arrogant, he is very important for the team and a pole of calmness.

"But despite all of his successes and status, we see him as part of the group."

Germany take on Hungary in their second Group A game in Stuttgart on Wednesday, before facing Switzerland in Frankfurt on June 23.

Scotland were no match for Germany as the rampant Euro 2024 hosts made a dream start to the tournament on Friday.

Florian Wirtz got the ball rolling in the 10th minute, becoming the youngest scorer of an opening goal at the European Championships in the tournament's history.

The excellent Jamal Musiala soon made it 2-0, rifling home after he was set up by Kai Havertz inside the area.

In Wirtz (21 years, 42 days) and Musiala (21 years, 109 days), Germany became the first team in European Championship history to have two players aged 21 or younger score in the same match.

Havertz turned scorer when he slotted in from the penalty spot before half-time, with Scotland defender Ryan Porteous seeing red for a lunge on Ilkay Gundogan, after a VAR review.

Porteous became the second Scottish player sent off at a major tournament, after Craig Burley in the 1998 World Cup against Morocco.

It is the first time a player has been sent off in the opening game of the Euros since 2012, when both Sokratis (Greece) and Wojciech Szczesny (Poland) were dismissed in a 1-1 draw.

Havertz's successfully converted spot-kick also ensured Germany went in at half-time 3-0 up – it is just the third time in European Championship history a team has scored three goals in the first half of a game, along with France vs Belgium in 1984 (3-0 at half-time) and France vs Iceland in 2016 (4-0 at half-time).

Germany made their numerical advantage count to go on and secure the biggest win by a host nation in their opening match at a European Championship tournament, and their biggest victory ever at the Euros, with an own goal from Antonio Rudiger the only negative.

Indeed, that own goal was kind to Scotland, who had only one shot, which they failed to get on target, and mustered an xG of only 0.01, in comparison to Germany's 2.17.

It marks the first time Scotland have failed to have a shot on target in a major tournament match since 1992, when they faced the Netherlands in the Euros.

Steve Clarke's team put in a sorry performance, and must now pick themselves up to face Switzerland. They will go into that match on Wednesday on the back of suffering their heaviest defeat at a major tournament since they lost 7-0 to Uruguay at the 1954 World Cup.

Germany, meanwhile, already have one foot in the knockouts, and could get the job done by beating Hungary.

Musiala really was sensational, completing five of his eight dribble attempts while also having six touches in the opponent's box – four more than Scotland managed altogether.

And finally, this match was the first match in European Championship history to see a red card, a penalty scored and an own goal scored.

Euro 2024 has started in style, even if Scotland fans will be in a hurry to forget this result.

Julian Nagelsmann hailed his Germany players for the way they handled the pressure of being Euro 2024 hosts in their 5-1 win over Scotland, adding he was surprised by the lack of aggression on show from Steve Clarke's men.

Germany recorded the biggest opening-game win at a European Championship, with Florian Wirtz, Jamal Musiala, Kai Havertz, Niclas Fullkrug and Emre Can scoring.

The result made Nagelsmann just the second coach to win his first Euros game by four or more goals, after Sweden's Lars Lagerback in 2004 (5-0 versus Bulgaria).

It was also Germany's biggest victory at the Euros, and the first time Scotland had conceded five or more goals in a competitive game since they were trounced 6-0 by the Netherlands in a Euro 2004 qualifier 21 years ago.

Germany endured a troubled build-up to their home tournament, with Nagelsmann only having eight games to prepare after Hansi Flick was sacked last year.

He believes they did an excellent job of handling the pressure that comes with a home opener, telling ITV Sport: "I'm happy, I'm satisfied. 

"In the first game as the home country… we looked back at the first games of the last tournaments and there can be a kind of pressure.

 

"Especially in the first 20 minutes, we were brilliant, we had great ball possession and great counter-pressing. 

"I was happy with the performance and we stayed focused for the whole game.

"We conceded one goal, but in the end it's okay. Our players were complaining about conceding that goal, which is a good sign when we were already four goals in the lead."

Scotland did not attempt a single shot on target and failed to register an effort of any kind until Scott McKenna forced an own goal off Antonio Rudiger in the 87th minute.

Nagelsmann admits he was expecting more from Clarke's team, who found themselves three goals and a man down by half-time as Ryan Porteous was sent off for a horror challenge on Ilkay Gundogan. 

 

"I was kind of surprised that Scotland weren't that aggressive in the first 20 minutes," Nagelsmann said.

"I think they were surprised by our possession, which was really concentrated. They started the game very well and made one mistake in the first 15 minutes.

"Then they were kind of surprised, kind of afraid. They felt we had players in the offensive row that could score goals so they defended low. 

"They didn't make the high pressure like they sometimes did in the qualifiers. I think the first 20 minutes were the key to the game."

Florian Wirtz needed only 10 minutes to spark Euro 2024 into life.

After a brilliant season for Bayer Leverkusen, in which he was named the Bundesliga's Player of the Season, Wirtz came into Euro 2024 as one of the standout youngsters.

His first-time finish to put Germany ahead in Munich on Friday, a cute side-footed effort that Scotland goalkeeper Angus Gunn could only help in off the post, proved why everyone is so excited to see how Julian Nagelsmann gets the best out of a player who scored 18 goals and set up 19 more in all competitions in 2023-24.

Wirtz's goal set Germany on their way to a 5-1 rout – the biggest win for a host in the opening match of a Euros in the tournament's history.

He was not the superstar of Germany's performance, though. His fellow youngster, Jamal Musiala, was spellbinding.

Having lashed in a wonderful second goal for the hosts, Musiala ran the show in the final third, and played a key role with a wonderful pass when super-sub Niclas Fullkrug made it 4-0 midway through the second half.

Musiala, who was the one bright spark from Germany's dismal performance under Hansi Flick at the 2022 World Cup, teased and toyed with Scotland. He attempted eight dribbles, completing five, had a game-high six touches in the opposition box and came out on top in nine of his 15 duels before he was replaced, fittingly perhaps, by the vastly experienced Thomas Muller.

The intriguing question ahead of kick-off was how Nagelsmann, the youngest-ever coach in the history of the Euros, would manage to get those two fantastic number 10s into the same team.

His answer was to dovetail the duo with an experienced midfield – Ilkay Gundogan (33) played ahead of Robert Andrich (29) and the imperious Toni Kroos (34) – and it worked a treat.

Wirtz is the youngest player to score the opening goal at a Euros, and the youngest player to net for Germany at the tournament. 

Once Musiala drilled home, Germany became the first team to have two players aged 21 or younger score for them in the same Euros match.

But it was not all about the flair of youth at the Allianz Arena, where the only blemish on Germany's copybook was an Antonio Rudiger own goal as Scotland mustered a meagre 0.01 xG and failed to have a shot on target.

Kroos, in the first game of his swansong, led the game for touches (108), and completed 101 (99 per cent) of his 102 passes. It was his crossfield pass that opened up the pitch for Joshua Kimmich to cut inside from the right and lay on Wirtz's opener.

Gundogan nipped around, linking the play; the Barcelona midfielder won the penalty from which Kai Havertz made it 3-0 – and which led to Scotland defender Ryan Porteous becoming the second Scottish player sent off at a major tournament, after Craig Burley in the 1998 World Cup against Morocco. 

At the back, goalkeeper Manuel Neuer made his 35th appearance at a major tournament. It saw the 38-year-old surpass Philipp Lahm as Germany's all-time appearance maker in the Euros and World Cup combined.

Indeed, for all the talk that Nagelsmann had gone with a relatively inexperienced squad for this home tournament, and that it could act as a way to build towards the 2026 World Cup, Germany's starting XI on Friday had an average age of 29 years and 22 days. 

 

That makes it Germany's oldest starting XI at a World Cup or Euros since 2000.

There was a healthy balance all around the pitch for Germany, as Nagelsmann became only the second manager to win by four goals in his first game at the European Championship, along with Lars Lagerback in 2004 (Sweden 5-0 Bulgaria).

And the men in the middle are worth a mention.

Havertz is no longer the bright new hope for German football, but the 25-year-old was hugely impressive as he led the line, providing the assist for Musiala and coolly converting his penalty.

Niclas Fullkrug, fresh from helping Borussia Dortmund reach the Champions League final, replaced Havertz around the hour mark. Soon after, he fired in a wonderful strike.

He will be playing a back-up role in this tournament, but he should not mind that. Three of Fullkrug's major tournament goals have been as a sub, a joint-record for a European nation, along with Hungary's Laszlo Kiss, Portugal's Rui Costa, and Germany's Andre Schurrle.

Fullkrug's club-mate Emre Can, a late call-up, rounded matters off late on. 

Germany have not always clicked under Nagelsmann, but they are clearly the best team in Group A and have the weight of a nation behind them.

Hungary and Switzerland will likely provide sterner tests than Scotland, though with a perfect blend of youth and experience, the hosts laid down a marker.

Andy Robertson admitted Scotland "didn't turn up" in the first half of their chastening 5-1 defeat to Euro 2024 hosts Germany on Friday.

Backed by a vocal travelling contingent in Munich, Scotland were chasing their first major tournament victory since the turn of the century but were torn apart by Julian Nagelsmann's side.

Florian Wirtz, Jamal Musiala and Kai Havertz netted as Scotland went into half-time three goals and a man down, having seen Ryan Porteous sent off for a wild challenge on Ilkay Gundogan.

Substitutes Niclas Fullkrug and Emre Can then scored in the second half either side of an Antonio Rudiger own goal, as Scotland conceded five goals in a game for the first time since a 5-1 friendly defeat to the United States in May 2012.

At the other end, Scotland failed to record a single shot on target in a major tournament match for the first time since a 1-0 loss to the Netherlands at Euro 1992.

Speaking to ITV Sport after the full-time whistle, Liverpool left-back Robertson said Scotland's players had let boss Steve Clarke down.

"In the first half we didn't really show up. We weren't aggressive enough, we let good players on the ball," Robertson said.

"They obviously had a gameplan, like we did. Their gameplan worked a million times better than ours but it wasn't because of the practice, it was because we didn't put it together on the pitch.

"When big occasions like this come, you have to do that. In the second half, down to 10 men, I thought the lads dug in really well, to be fair to them. 

"We could have drawn the second half but it's no consolation. We're well backed here with so many supporters, and today was hugely disappointing.

"Playing against the host nation in the first game, you don't get much tougher than that. But we have to bounce back quickly because there was a lot of things wrong today."

Scotland's defeat was their heaviest at any major tournament since the 1954 World Cup, when they were trounced 7-0 by then-world champions Uruguay.

They have five days to put the result out of their minds ahead of their second Group A match, against Switzerland at the RheinEnergieStadion in Koln.

"It's a reminder of how tough this tournament is. You're playing against world-class players and their players turned up all over the park," Robertson added.

"They had an answer for everything we had. Sometimes that happens but if we sit down, we can't think we played to our maximum, and you have to do that. 

"We have five days to sort ourselves out and go again, it will be another tough test against Switzerland. We'll take tomorrow to be angry at ourselves but then come Sunday, we have to be positive."

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