Loew on a high after swift Germany revivalSports | REUTERS 21 Jun 2021
Germany coach Joachim Loew praised Robin Gosens for his dominant display in the 4-2 win over holders Portugal at the European Championship, saying he knew very early in the left-back's time with the national team that he had all the qualities to succeed.
Atalanta defender Gosens, 26, who has spent his entire his professional football career outside Germany, caused problems for the Portugal defense with his blistering pace and power as he set up two goals and scored another in the Group F clash in Munich.
"We rate him very highly because he's very open-minded, active in communicating. He has a good relationship with all the players," Loew said.
"He's really clear in his head. He's like how he plays on the pitch: very strict, direct, puts in a lot of commitment. That's the way he fights."
The plan to press from the opening whistle while taking every opportunity to attack worked well for the Germans as they shrugged off their opening-game loss to world champions France and announced their arrival as serious contenders at the Euros.
Loew praised forward Thomas Muller for making sacrifices for the team by defending all over the pitch and making runs that opened up space and chances for others.
The victory moves Germany, who face Hungary in their final group game, into second place in the so-called 'Group of Death' on three points. They are a point behind leaders France and level with Portugal.
France needed Antoine Griezmann's second-half strike to rescue a 1-1 draw with Hungary in Budapest.
In Seville, coach Luis Enrique admitted he expected more from Spain after a 1-1 draw with Poland left his team facing a fight to reach the last 16.
Gerard Moreno missed a penalty and Alvaro Morata squandered the rebound as Spain's scoring woes struck again, with Robert Lewandowski's header earning Poland a valuable point.
After starting with a stalemate against Sweden, Spain sit third in Group E and may well now have to beat Slovakia in their final game on Thursday (HK time) to avoid an embarrassing early exit.
"I was expecting six points and zero goals conceded. But this is the situation," Luis Enrique said. "We're coming into the crunch match now and if we want to progress we need to win. If not, we'll be out."