Day Six of The UEFA European Under-21 Championship took place on Wednesday. The Czech Republic took on Italy in Tychy, whilst group leaders Germany faced Denmark in the day’s late kick-off.
UEFA European Under-21 Championship Day Six Review
Czech Republic 3 – 1 Italy
Germany 3 – 0 Denmark
The Czech Republic keep tournament hopes alive
Creating a chance after just 15 seconds, it was clear Italy meant business from the get-go. Luigi Di Biagio’s team were applying constant pressure, but with no reward, as the Czech Republic remained patient. In the 24th minute, careless play gifted Michal Trávník the ball and a goal, with the Czech midfielder leaving Gianluigi Donnarumma flat-footed. Vítězslav Lavička’s side had remained resolute and reaped the benefits of doing so. Half-time saw the Czechs hold a surprising lead and Italy looking for answers.
The second half was competitive, with Italy the aggressors. Pushing forward, they found a way back into the game. Star forward Domenico Berardi took advantage of some lacklustre defending to equalise, but his side’s joy was short-lived; the Czech Republic went on to kill off the game. Goals from Marek Havlík and a screamer from Michael Lüftner secured all three points for the Czechs.
Germany beat Denmark convincingly
Italy’s loss earlier in the day meant Germany had a great opportunity to take control of Group C. In a first half full of chances, Stefan Kuntz’ side were left frustrated. Germany’s midfield was working like clockwork, creating chances at will. Without a dominant striker on the field, however, they struggled to make a breakthrough. Denmark stood tall and stuck to their gameplan in a game both teams needed to win.
Hertha Berlin striker Davie Selke put his country ahead with a sublime first-time effort. The 22-year-old struggled to get involved in the first half, but his impact in the second was invaluable. The continuous pressure led to a Marc-Oliver Kempf goal, the Freiburg defender finding himself in space before volleying the ball into the roof of the net. Denmark were made to pay for their cautious approach going forward. Substitute Nadiem Amiri added the third and final goal, with the game finishing 3-0.
Germany take advantage of Italy’s slip up
Now in complete control of Group C, Germany have the depth, talent and gameplan to succeed at this year’s tournament. Effectively already in the semi-final, matchday three will see the group leaders face an Italy team desperate for a win. To finish as group winners, the Italians will need to win by five clear goals. The Czech Republic also have a chance, but only as “best runner-up”. Denmark’s defeat on Wednesday night sealed their fate. Niels Frederiksen’s team is heading out after just two games.
Player of the day—Serge Gnabry
Causing problems all game long, Bayern Munich winger Serge Gnabry played a key role in Wednesday’s win. Always an outlet, the 21-year-old had Danish defenders on the back foot all game. Unlucky not to have scored himself, the pacey wide man put together his second strong game in a row. In a talent-packed midfield, Gnabry was always an option. Players like Max Arnold and Max Meyer used the former Arsenal man to add pace to the attack when needed. Easily the fastest German on the field, expect the electrifying winger to play a key role going forward.