Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Euro 2024 round-up: Nine Arsenal players feature

Arsenal have 11 players at the European Championships in Germany and nine started for their respective countries during the first round of matches.

Here’s how they got on…

Kai Havertz
GERMANY 5-1 Scotland

The tournament’s opening game saw Kai grab a goal and an assist as Germany made light work of Scotland. The Arsenal striker teed up Jamal Musiala for his country’s second of the night and then added a third himself from the penalty spot just before half time. Florian Wirtz, Niclas Fullkrug, who replaced Kai, and Emre Can were also on the scoresheet for the hosts.

“I hope there is more to come,” Havertz said. “Obviously when you win 5-1 it is a statement but it is just the start and you can see how much quality there is in the team, how many good players that we have.”

Kieran Tierney

Germany 5-1 SCOTLAND

Underdogs coming into the match, Scotland were no match for the rampaging Germans despite huge support on the terraces. Ryan Porteous’s red card just before the break, which led to Havertz’s converted penalty, didn’t help their cause but, in truth, the game was well gone by then. At least the Scots gave their fans something to cheer when Antonio Rudiger headed past his own keeper in the closing stages.

Recognising his teammates face an uphill battle making the knockout stages, Tierney issued a rallying call: “We’ve given the fans great memories in the past but it’s now time to make new ones. It’s still all to play for in these next two games and we need the belief that we can go on and do it.”

David Raya

SPAIN 3-0 Croatia

David was an unused substitute as the three-time winners ruthlessly killed off Croatia before half time at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin. Alvaro Morata and Fabian Ruiz scored twice in three minutes before Dani Carvajal, assisted by 16-year-old Lamine Yamal, added a third in first half stoppage time. The margin of victory could have been reduced on a number of occasions but it wasn’t Croatia’s day, as evidenced by a VAR decision to rule out a late goal for encroachment after a saved penalty was bundled home.

ITALY 2-1 Albania

Jorgi pulled the strings for the Azzurri as the reigning champions recovered from the shock of Albania’s opener – scored after just 23 seconds, the quickest goal in Euros history – to seal a 2-1 win. Alessandro Bastoni headed home a corner on 11 minutes before Nicolo Barella scored with a first-time effort from the edge of the box to ease Italian tension four minutes later. They should have added to the scoreline but couldn’t find another way past Thomas Strakosha. Jorginho ended the game with a 92% pass completion rate having found his teammates with 120 of his 131 passes.

Jakub Kiwior
POLAND 1-2 Holland

Poland took the lead through Adam Buksa’s glancing header but their joy was short-lived as Cody Gakpo’s deflected effort levelled things up. The Poles had a couple of half chances to steal the points but without the injured Robert Lewandowski they lacked a real threat in the final third. They were made to pay when substitute Wout Weghorst swept home the winner with seven minutes remaining.

Prior to the game in Hamburg, police shot and injured a man who threatened them with an axe and a Molotov cocktail close to where the Dutch fans were assembling.

Bukayo Saka, Declan Rice, Aaron Ramsdale
Serbia 0-1 ENGLAND

Saka was arguably England’s best player in a dominant first half showing by Gareth Southgate’s hotly-tipped side. His deflected cross on 13 minutes fell perfectly for Jude Bellingham to break the deadlock and he might easily have had a second assist had Kyle Walker kept his head after collecting a neat through ball.

England seemed determined to send the whole continent to sleep with their second half display, soaking up pressure rather than going for the jugular. While Declan Rice was imperious in the centre of the park, the Three Lions were thankful their ‘sufferball’ didn’t result in a draw with Jordan Pickford forced into a smart save to deny Dusan Vlahovic.

Oleksandr Zinchenko
Romania 3-0 UKRAINE

Ukraine suffered a nightmare start at the hands of Romania who took the lead thanks to captain Nicolae Stanciu’s fine first half strike and followed up with two goals in four minutes not long after the break. Zinchenko usually plays in midfield for his country but due to an injury to Everton’s Vitalii Mykolenko, he filled in at left-back.

Leandro Trossard

BELGIUM 0-1 Slovakia

Slovakia took advantage of a terrible defensive lapse by Jeremy Doku to snatch an early goal that was enough to secure a shock win over Belgium. The underdogs rode their luck on their way to a clean sheet with VAR ruling out two second half strikes by Romelu Lukaku. Leandro Trossard started on the left, moved to the right and ended up playing close to Kevin de Bruyne but was largely ineffective. To be fair, so was the City player who looked largely naffed off by the wastefulness of his compatriots.

William Saliba

Austria 0-1 FRANCE

As predicted, William Saliba made his first start in a major tournament for France as the favourites kicked off with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Ralph Rangnick’s Austria. The Arsenal centre-back was selected to partner Dayot Upamecano ahead of Ibrahima Konate and didn’t look at all out of place. Despite fielding an embarrassment of riches in the final third, Les Bleus relied on a Max Wober own goal to seal the points on a night when Kylian Mbappe broke his nose not long after missing a glaring chance. The new Real Madrid player is expected to wear a mask for the rest of the tournament.

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What a surprise, William Saliba played well in defence!

In other news, how do these crazy talents keep sprouting up at Barca? Have they got some sort of magic fairy dust that they sprinkle on the churros they give their kids to eat?


It’s interesting his stats are so good- I actually thought that he looked a little shakey last night, particularly the first 45. A couple of mistakes that a better team would’ve likely taken advantage of.

It’s no surprise of course in his first tournament start for his country, but definitely not quite as imperious just yet as he is for us.

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

Konaté doesn’t take any risk, a champion of short sideway passes. Hope Deschamps understand Saliba can make a couple of errors but bring a lot more to the team.

Henri Like-a-new-signingsbury

They have PEDs

9ja pikin

We have better players, but because of the intensity of the premier league can’t use them.

Ödegårds Magnifika Fot

I wouldn’t mind if Havertz carried Kimmich all the way to the Arsenal 👀

Ödegårds Magnifika Fot

On another note. Would love it if Mbappe wore a blue/red/orange/purple coloured mask!


Probably more likely to carry some kimchi with his bibimbap…

I’m sorry am I really the only person who can’t hear Kimmich’s name without thinking about Korean fermented cabbage


Nothing on our soon-to-be new left winger, Kvaratskhelia!?! (Just dreaming!)

Dr. Gooner

Arsenal really do boast an embarrassment of riches as you go down this list. All of our important players are massively important for their countries too (except Raya). The roster we’ve assembled is amazing.

Interesting observation: David Raya actually has the #1 jersey for Spain but didn’t start in the opener, where Athletic Bilbao’s Unai Simon was perferred. Who? Yes, that was my reaction too. Looking back it seems like Simon has been the preferred GK since 2020.


Deschamps is mad. First he saying that it is about automatisms, basically playing time and familiarity with each other.

Then he both give Saliba minimal playing time to combine with his teammates and then plays him in a position he has no individual automatisms at LCB.


According to the commentary, when Saka was subbed off, Southgate put on Bowen as “a like for like replacement”.
How alike are they? Well, let’s see:
1) They both play on the right.
2)… Er…
3)…..that’s it..

Crash Fistfight

Doesn’t ‘like for like’ just mean two players who play the same position?

Kennington Gunner

Sort of off topic, but I enjoyed reading Chris Sutton’s Europe’s commentary surfacing a vivid memory of his broken nose when playing against Arsenal in 1998. “Patrick Vieira broke my nose once – he elbowed me off the ball at a corner when I was playing for Blackburn in 1998. I went down and when I looked up he was laughing at me while my eyes were pouring with water. Then I tried to take retribution by going in two-footed on him, missed… and got a straight red card. As I got up, I saw the ref waving the red… Read more »

Never Happen

Yeah, I laughed out loud at that too, even then PV4 knew Sutton richly deserved a broken nose

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