France controversially beat Italy; England win; Holders Germany stunned | OneFootball

France controversially beat Italy; England win; Holders Germany stunned | OneFootball

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Emily Wilson·22 June 2023

France controversially beat Italy; England win; Holders Germany stunned

Article image:France controversially beat Italy; England win; Holders Germany stunned

More U21 Euro action continued on Thursday with some big results – including for the reigning champions.

Here is what went down.

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France controversially beat Italy

Scorers: Kalimuendo 22′, Barcola 62′; Pellegri 36′

France hit the ground running in this entertaining affair and had their squad depth to thank for taking control of the game.

Arnaud Kalimuendo’s quick flick broke the deadlock, and if you blinked, you would have missed it as the goal came seemingly out of nothing.

Italy, meanwhile, managed to rally back into the match through the dazzling talents of Sandro Tonali. The Newcastle-linked midfielder was inch-perfect with his long balls, corners and shots.

And it was his efforts which eventually led to the equaliser when Pietro Pellegri’s header thumped into the net.

In the second half, though, France’s quality again proved marginally better than Italy’s. Bradley Barcola stripped the ball off Destiny Udogie and stabbed home from close range for 2-1.

Then while the Italians pressed for another equaliser, every effort fell short. Matteo Cancellieri missed three chances to be the hero, while Wilfried Gnonto couldn’t offer assistance off the bench.

The Leeds United man did, however, force Loïc Badé into a late challenge which saw him earn a straight red for the French.

Yet in late, late, drama, the equaliser arrived and looked well over the line only to be called out as Italy fumed.

Looking at the group, France and Switzerland are tied on three points with Italy and Norway on zero.

England rally past the Czech Republic

Scorers: Ramsey 47′, Smith-Rowe 90+4′

The Young Lions dominated the pitch in possession but didn’t have their scoring boots on as chances routinely arrived for some Premier League stars.

Newcastle’s Anthony Gordon particularly impressed by pulling the strings, while Chelsea’s Noni Madueke and Aston Villa’s Jacob Ramsey had glorious efforts fall short.

The Czech Republic, meanwhile, successfully exposed England’s biggest weakness: their shaky defence.

However, the likes of Vasil Kušej and Václav Sejk missed every attempt for the breakthrough against slow defenders and sloppy giveaways at the back.

Coming out into the second half, whatever talk England had woke them up. It only took 90 seconds for two Premier League stars to combine for the opener.

Gordon’s backheel flick brilliantly found the run of Ramsey, who slotted home for 1-0.

And the Newcastle ace thought he later scored one of his own, but the goal was ruled out after Morgan Gibbs-White obstructed the play.

Arsenal’s Emile Smith-Rowe then ensured the victory at the death for the Young Lions to take control of Group C.

Penalties haunt holders Germany against 10-man Israel

Scorers: Bisseck 26′; Turgeman 20′

The reigning champions stumbled in their tournament opener against Israel across 90 minutes.

Borussia Dortmund starlet Youssoufa Moukoko had a brilliant chance for the opener after two minutes but saw his soft penalty saved.

And while Germany dominated the game, they fell behind when Dor David Turgeman found the back of the net against the run of play.

Yann Aurel Bisseck later turned things level as his header thumped home, and the Germans thought they turned it around only for the second goal to be ruled out.

They were later handed a huge advantage when Eden Kartsev was sent off, leaving Israel down to 10 men for the entire second half, but even still, the champions struggled.

Moukoko was again prevented from making an impact, while Kevin Schade also failed to influence the attack.

Goalkeeper Daniel Peretz then went on to be the man of the match as he denied Germany a second penalty, this time taken by Jessic Ngankam.

It’s a rocky start for the holders and both sides are level on one point while England lead Group C.

Switzerland dig for Norway comeback

Scorers: Ceide 19′; Ndoye 36′, Imeri 55′

Switzerland managed to stay composed and fought for a comeback win against Norway in Thursday’s opener.

It didn’t take long for the deadlock to break as Emil Konradsen Ceide’s impressive dribbling skills helped turn things 1-0.

However, despite Norway’s control of the game with more shots on target and more possession, they couldn’t extend their lead.

Dan Ndoye pulled Switzerland level thanks to his strong strike from the top of the box.

And the momentum eventually carried over into the second half, as Kastriot Imeri’s low curler beat the likes of Mads Hedenstad Christiansen for the eventual winner.

Looking at the group, France and Switzerland are tied on three points with Italy and Norway on zero.