U21 Final: Germany outclass Spain

Spain failed in their quest to win a joint-record, fifth European Under-21 Championship on Friday as they lost 1-0 to a superior Germany side.

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Mitchell Weiser’s first-half header punished Spain, who looked lacklustre and lethargic compared to the spritely Germans, with the scoreline flattering La Rojita.

Albert Celades’ team were unchanged from their 3-1 victory over Italy in the semi-finals, meaning a start for hat-trick hero Saul Niguez.

Germany, meanwhile, boasted quality talent of their own, including former Bayern Munich full-back Weiser, Schalke attacker Max Meyer and ex-Arsenal winger Serge Gnabry.

Despite Spain looking dangerous in the opening few minutes, Kepa Arrizabalaga had to tip over Weiser’s left-wing drive just as quickly, before similarly denying Meyer.

Max Arnold then had an effort swerve just wide of the goalkeeper’s top-right corner, whereas Hector Bellerin headed a corner inches wide of Julian Pollersbeck’s far post.

Gnabry was by far the player seeming most capable of making something happen in the first half, and he smacked a piledriver into side-netting, before almost turning in a free kick at Kepa’s near post.

Die Mannschaft took the lead with five minutes until the break as Weiser’s header from a fair few yards out looped over Kepa and into the back of the net.

Spain came out for the second half with the wind in their sails, and superb chest control from Saul was followed by an explosive shot, which Pollerbeck parried away.

Yet Saul was also needed at the other end to prevent Meyer from scoring Germany’s second with a last-ditch block.

Staying in La Rojita’s penalty area, Gnabry was threaded clean through, but his flicked finish was denied by Kepa's leg.

Dani Ceballos could’ve taken the game to extra time, but his rocket flew a whisker wide of a beaten Pollersbeck.

Germany 1-0 Spain

Weiser 40

Germany: Pollersbeck; Toljan, Gerhardt, Stark, Meyer, Arnold, Gnabry (Amiri 81), Kempf, Weiser, Haberer (Kohr 83), Philipp (Oztunali 87)

Spain: Kepa; Bellerin, Vallejo, Mere, Jonny (Gaya 51); Llorente (Mayoral 83), Saul, Ceballos; Deulofeu, Sandro (Williams 71), Asensio

Referee: Bastien (FRA)

Tags 2017 UEFA European Under-21 Championship Germany La Rojita Spain