Serge Gnabry, Germany Beat Czech Republic at 2017 European U21 Championship

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistJune 18, 2017

TYCHY, POLAND - JUNE 18: Serge Gnabry of Germany in action during the UEFA European Under-21 Championship Group C match between Germany and Czech Republic at Tychy Stadium on June 18, 2017 in Tychy, Poland.  (Photo by Adam Nurkiewicz/Getty Images)
Adam Nurkiewicz/Getty Images

Serge Gnabry starred as Germany beat the Czech Republic 2-0 in their Group C opener at the 2017 UEFA Under-21 Championship at the Tychy Stadium in Tychy, Poland, on Sunday.

Gnabry scored Germany's second goal five minutes into the second half, after Max Meyer had given them the lead a minute before the break. It would have been worse for the Czech Republic had goalkeeper Lukas Zima not saved superbly to deny Davie Selke from the penalty spot with five minutes left.

Former Arsenal winger Gnabry featured in attack for Germany, while Borussia Monchengladbach schemer Mahmoud Dahoud anchored things in midfield, per the tournament's official Twitter account:

Meanwhile, Sampdoria striker Patrik Schick led a forward-thinking Czech Republic starting XI:

It was new Bayern Munich signing Gnabry who had the first chance, prodding narrowly wide on five minutes after a typically flowing move from Germany. But the 21-year-old's miss was the lone moment of attacking impetus from either side during a scrappy opening 25 minutes where quality in possession was lacking.

When Germany did threaten again, it was Gnabry who carried the menace. He sped clear on 27 minutes but saw his scuffed effort turned on to the post.

Germany had to wait until a minute before the break to take the lead. Their opener came courtesy of Schalke 04 playmaker Max Meyer, who checked inside and arrowed a fierce shot into the bottom corner.

Gnabry consistently carried a threat for Germany.
Gnabry consistently carried a threat for Germany.Adam Nurkiewicz/Getty Images

Gnabry finally got the goal his performance merited five minutes after the restart. He reacted quickest to a poor clearance and slotted home with aplomb.

The former Werder Bremen man has kept up his prolific form at various levels of international duty, per Squawka Football:

Going two down finally spurred the Czech Republic into life as an attacking threat. First, Schick went close, and then Udinese midfield gem Jakub Jankto saw one cleared inches in front of the line.

Germany responded to the sudden impetus from their opponents by replacing attack-minded Dahoud with the more defensive Gideon Jung.

Die Mannschaft wasted more than one promising situation on the break before Selke saw his penalty saved brilliantly by Zima late on.

At the other end, Schick fluffed his lines again ahead of stoppage time, summing up how disappointing the Czech Republic were on the day.

Schick disappointed in front of goal.
Schick disappointed in front of goal.Adam Nurkiewicz/Getty Images

While Schick and Co. failed to live up to expectations, Germany showed they have enough quality in midfield and forward areas to beat anybody at the tournament.

Related

    Ozil Quits Germany Citing Racism and Incompetence

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Ozil Quits Germany Citing Racism and Incompetence

    Gill Clark
    via Bleacher Report

    Pulisic Tears Apart Liverpool as Dortmund Win 3-1

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Pulisic Tears Apart Liverpool as Dortmund Win 3-1

    Christopher Simpson
    via Bleacher Report

    Multiple Sources Say Fekir-Liverpool Transfer Is Dead

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Multiple Sources Say Fekir-Liverpool Transfer Is Dead

    Christopher Simpson
    via Bleacher Report

    Man Utd Target Maguire Sets Sights High but 'Happy' at Leicester

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Man Utd Target Maguire Sets Sights High but 'Happy' at Leicester

    via leicestermercury