Joachim Low’s much-derided wing-back system saved Germany from potential Euro 2020 elimination as they outplayed defending champions Portugal in a 4-2 win which kickstarted their tournament.
The veteran coach, who is leaving the national team after 15 years in charge next month, has faced plenty of criticism for his 3-4-3 formation but the tactics worked perfectly just when he needed it most.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s superb counter-attacking goal - his first against Germany - totally against the run of play had left the 2014 World Cup winners staring at a second successive early exit from a major tournament after only 15 minutes in Munich.
But Germany’s wide defenders, particularly the left-sided man-of-the-match Robin Gosens, came to their rescue as they forced two own goals from Manchester City’s Ruben Dias and Raphael Guerreiro.
Consequently, Portugal became the first European nation to concede two own goals in a single match at a major tournament and there have now already been more own goals in this tournament than at any other European Championship.
But Germany’s scoring was not over, with Kai Havertz and Gosens doubling their tally to leave Portugal looking ordinary, even with Diogo Jota’s consolation.
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