Hosts Germany are two from two at UEFA Euro 2024. - © IMAGO/Moritz Mueller
Hosts Germany are two from two at UEFA Euro 2024. - © IMAGO/Moritz Mueller
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Euro 2024 hosts Germany make dream start


UEFA Euro 2024 hosts Germany have made a dream start to their tournament with Julian Nagelsmann's men making it two wins from two and qualifying for the Round of 16 with a game to spare.

Julian Nagelsmann's side could have had a very different story to tell in Stuttgart though had Hungary's Freiburg forward Roland Sallai been able to take advantage of a first-minute mix-up between Joshua Kimmich and Antonio Rüdiger. Fortunately for the hosts, Manuel Neuer - as so often - was there. The Bayern Munich goalkeeper then watched his teammates shake off that early scare as they imposed themselves on the game.

As it happened: Germany vs. Hungary

Hungary did put up a fight though, making life difficult for Germany, who could not steamroller their Matchday 2 opponents as they had done Scotland in the opening game. But with Rüdiger and Jonathan Tah, solid, and Neuer backing them up, there was no way through for Marco Rossi's team. "Hungary had chances as did we, but we had the better goalkeeper," said 2014 World Cup winner Bastian Schweinsteiger on German TV channel ARD in his first-half analysis.

A goal from Jamal Musiala had Germany 1-0 up at that stage, and having set up the opener captain İlkay Gündoğan then added a second 23 minutes from time to secure a well deserved win and progress to the Last 16 with a 'derby' with Switzerland still to come.

With two wins from two, a 7-1 goal difference in their favour, Musiala leading the tournament scoring charts on two and Gündoğan on a EURO 2024-high three goal involvements, it could hardly be better for Nagelsmann's side, and they are still improving. "I feel like things are getting better and better for us," said Player of the Match Gündoğan.

Watch: Jamal Musiala under the microscope

"We had to overcome some difficulties, Hungary had one or two dangerous counter-attacks. But we took our chances clinically. The more often we train together, the better the understanding will be between us on and off the pitch."

"That was the second step. It was important that we back up our first one. Second games have been a problem for us of late," added teammate Toni Kroos. That may be true of recent tournaments, but historically Germany have often made a 100% start after two games: add 2024 to a list that already includes the EUROs in 1972, 1980, 1996 and 2012. 

All the reaction from Germany's second EURO encounter

In three of their last four six-point starts, Germany have gone on to be crowned European champions (1972, 1980 and 1996). They only missed out in 2012 when they were beaten by a Mario Balotelli-inspired Italy in the semi-finals. 

Jamal Musiala opened the scoring against Hungary - Matthias Hangst

And Germany did not have home advantage in 2012. "The atmosphere was amazing," said Neuer, who saw Stuttgart players Chris Führich and Deniz Undav come off the bench to add extra fervour to the evening.

"Germany are always among the favourites," Neuer added. "But we have to get the job done." The next task in hand is against the Swiss on Sunday, who Neuer warned "will be the toughest opponent in the group."

Your full guide to all the EURO 24 stadiums

Following their 1-1 draw with Scotland in their second game, the Swiss still have work to do to join Germany in the next round.

If they were to win in Frankfurt, they would top the group ahead of Germany, but Murat Yakin's team will know the hosts will pose quite a challenge. "It was a mature performance. We probably wouldn't have won that game in November," admitted Nagelsmann. "We passed it well in the second half with enough pace on the ball." The former Hoffenheim, Leipzig and Bayern coach wants his players to maintain their momentum, regardless of their comfortable situation: "We now want to win the group."

Manuel Neuer showed he remains one of the world's top goalkeepers with some big saves - Clive Mason