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Euro 2024 – Quick Matchday One Round Up

We’ve got a glimpse of all 24 teams, and what an entertaining tournament it has been so far. International tournament football is well-known for it’s edgy, cautious opening-round matches; this, however, has been anything but. 34 goals in 12 matches played so far indicate the front-foot attacking football we have been treated to. We are also still yet to have to endure a goaless draw, and long may that continue.

The State of Play – EURO 2024

Tournament hosts Germany kicked off in style with an emphatic 5-1 victory over Scotland on the opening night. We have yet to be treated to another 6-goal match, but it was an excellent start to an already promising-looking tournament, and really set the tone for what’s to come.

The majority of the nations that are expected to go deep this summer began with victories. France, England, Portugal, the Netherlands, and Italy have all gotten off the mark without producing their best / most convincing displays, with England especially producing an underwhelming show against Serbia.

Spain produced an exciting display in defeating Croatia. A 3-0 victory against the 3rd-place finishers at the Qatar World Cup in 2022 was an indication of the dominance of Luis Enrique’s team as they now look ahead to their clash with Italy in Gelsenkirchen on Thursday.

Year of the Underdog?

So far, the performances of the so-called weaker nations have really stood out. Romania had one of their best ever displays in a commanding 3-0 victory over Ukraine, Slovenia’s second-half in their draw with Denmark was promising and Austria were very unlucky not to pick up at least a draw in their 1-0 defeat to France.

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The emergence of some of Europe’s best young talent has also been a really impressive factor in the opening round. Jamal Musiala, Jude Bellingham, and Arda Guler, to name a few, have all scored in what can be a standout tournament for some of Europe’s brightest talents. The race for young player of the tournament is on, with Bellingham and Musiala currently the favourites to win the award, although Arda Guler staked a heavy claim last night with a faultless performance against Georgia.

French fans would’ve breathed a sigh of relief after news confirmed talisman Kylian Mbappe will be fit to take part in the rest of the tournament after being subbed in the 90th minute due to a broken nose. They struggled against a gegenpressing Ralf Rangnick Austrian side, who can be proud of themselves for their application throughout the game.

Cristiano Ronaldo, the first player to play at 6 European Championships, was unable to get on the scoresheet on the final night of matchday 1 but played 90 minutes as his Portuguese side scored a late winner in their 2-1 win over Czechia, in a result that may have spared a lot of people who have them as favourites a few blushes.

If the first 5 days are anything to go by, we are in for one of the best international tournaments in recent memory, and we get to do it all again this week in matchday two.

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