Euro 2016: Germany 2-0 Ukraine - 5 talking points
Match seven of Euro 2016 saw Germany and Ukraine go head-to-head and it was the favourites who emerged victorious on a final score-line of 2-0 following what was an enthralling encounter full of incident, excitement and action.
The opening half saw Joachim Loew’s charges steal the lead through Shkodran Mustafi before the half-hour mark, but the Ukrainians mounted a spirited fightback that saw them threaten to equalise before the interval.
Following the restart, there were chances for both outfits to steal a goal, but it was Bastian Schweinsteiger who killed the tie off as a contest with a late, late decider after being teed up by Mesut Ozil.
So, let us guide you through five talking points of the big game.
1) Germany should have scored more
Controlling possession does not always mean victory is guaranteed, nor does it mean that it is warranted – but it does hint at a technical superiority, and that shone through in large parts of the match as Germany knocked the ball about with confidence and purpose, often exhibiting admirable patience when they were stifled by some staunch defending from their opponents.
It was clear from the get-go that the favourites for this one was the Germans as they started the match much brighter (although they didn’t have the first shot on target) and enjoyed the lion’s share of the ball, as highlighted by this Squawka tweet:
When Mustafi’s 19th-minute header went in it looked like they would go on to dominate the scoreboard in a far more convincing manner, but they wound up fading in the final 15 minutes of the first half. Nevertheless, this was Germany’s match to lose and they created plenty to give the fans moments to cheer, but they weren’t clinical enough with the opportunities they crafted in possession.
It was surprising to see so many wasted chances from them, especially when one considers just how highly praised they are.
Their inability to stick chances away that they normally would have might just be a case of early tournament jitters, but it is cause for concern nonetheless. That said, the positives on display of their superior midfield craftsmanship promises that if they don’t win the tournament outright it won’t be for lack of incisive play from their playmaking midfielders.