Defending champion Spain started the U21 European Championship with a clear victory. The five-time title holder won 3-0 (0-0) against co-hosts Slovenia in Maribor in front of UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin. In the second game of Group B, favorite Italy against the Czech Republic in Celje did not get beyond a 1-1 (1-0), and Germany’s closest opponent, the Netherlands, had to be content with a 1-1 (1: 1) against Romania in Group A.
The Spaniards, who have been unbeaten in 16 games since 2019 and who won the final against Germany 2-1 two years ago, had a hard time against Slovenia before the break. Javi Puado (53rd), Villar Gonzalo (54th) and ex-Schalke Juan Miranda (89th) made things clear. Goalkeeper Josep Martinez from RB Leipzig was not used.
In Celje, Italy had to be content with a draw against the Czech Republic. Scamacca Gianluca from Genoa FC (31st) initially gave the “Azzurrini” the lead and could even have increased it after the break (60th). However, an own goal by Giulio Maggiore (75th) deprived Italy of its wages.
To make matters worse, top star Sandro Tonali from AC Milan (84th / red) and Riccardo Marchizza (90th + 4 / yellow-red) were thrown off the pitch in the final stages. On Saturday, Spain and Italy will meet in the top game. At the home European Championship in 2019 in their own country, the Italians had already failed in the group stage.
In Budapest, the Netherlands had to be content with the three German legionnaires Deyovaiso Zeefuik (Hertha BSC), Justin Kluivert (RB Leipzig) and Ludovit Reis (VfL Osnabrück) with a draw against Romania. The lead by Perr Schuurs (16th) equalized Andrei Ciobanu (20th) with a free kick from 25 meters.