Germany 1-0 Spain match report: Final U21 European Championships 2017
A solitary goal by Mitchell Weiser was enough to separate the sides as Spain, who were favourites to win it all, fall at the final hurdleEspanyol-Barcelona live stream online: LaLiga 2017-18
Germany 1-0 Spain: match report
Spain were stunned in Krakow on Friday night as they were beaten 1-0 by Germany thanks to a Mitchel Weiser header in the first half.
Germany started with a fire underneath them and Spain seemed to be struggling to live with their opponents in the earliest exchanges - it would be a snapshot for how the game was set to proceed. Serge Gnabry was particularly lively but it was Max Meyer who came closest in that period. He headed a cross towards goal and caught Kepa off guard as it struck the base of the post.
Gnabry came close just afterwards with a left footed volley and on another occasion from a Max Arnold cross to the back post. They failed to take full advantage of their dominance though, as Spain continued to manouvre their way into the game.
That was until the 40th minute when Germany started to build again and had a number of half chances. Mitchell Weiser headed over Kepa from a Toljan cross and put Germany ahead after a mistake from Johny gifted them the ball high up the field.
Spain were stunned and Germany took the lead at a vital time as they did not allow their opponents much time to respond before the break.
Spain were much improved in the second half but failed to figure out a way through Germany's defense. The closest they came in those opening exchanges when they were on top was a shot from outside the box by Saul that tested Julian Pollersbeck.
That was as close as they would come for the rest of the game too. After dominating for such long spells in the tournament, the one time they went behind, they showed no ability to work their way back into the game.
The game ended with Spain unable to get the ball into their opponents' penalty area let alone test the keeper. Germany were excellent throughout the game and despite giving up possession for large spells, they still held a level of control of the game that meant they were never too far away from scoring a second while keeping things in control at the back.
As Spain continued to pile on the pressure, the referee blew full-time on the Germans first Euro under-21 win since 2009. That team eight years ago make up a large bulk of Spain's national team today. You can bet your last dollar that the same will be said of this group in a decade.
Germany U21 v Spain U21 live online stream : European Championships final
Germany U21 - Spain U21 live online stream: European Championship final preview
Krakow will host a mouth-watering Under 21 European Championship final on Friday evening as Germany and Spain meet.
La Rojita ostentatiously sauntered past ten-man Italy in the semi-final stage, with a Saúl hat-trick enough to see off Donnarumma and co. Germany, meanwhile, upheld tradition by beating England on penalties to reach this stage.
Germany: team news
Stefan Kuntz should be able to welcome centre-half Niklas Stark back in to the starting line-up, after the Hertha Berlin man missed the semi-final through injury. Gideon Jung filled in unconvincingly in the heart of defence against England. Mahmoud Dahoud may also return in the centre of midfield, alongside Arnold.
Speaking on the eve of the final, Kuntz is looking forward to the challenge: "We said from the start we wanted to measure ourselves against the best. We've faced Italy, England and now Spain. It's a great challenge. We'll play as we did in the other games, stick to our philosophy, but also adapt to our opponents."
22-year-old Jeremy Toljan impressed for Germany in the semi-final, marauding forward from right-back at every opportunity. He will be a useful option for the Germans on the counter-attack.
Spain: team news
Albert Celades has a full squad to choose from, and is unlikely to stray far from the team that beat Italy. It is a squad sprinkled with more talent than most senior teams. After disappointing performances at the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016, this cohort will hope to use the tournament as a spring-board to rejuvanising Julen Lopetegui's seniors.
"I think they're great opponents. We have respect for Portugal and Italy who are great teams but Germany are in the final," Celades said.
Miracles don't exist, there is a lot of talent there and we have to do something more than we did against Portugal and Italy. We are prepared to face Germany with the best mentality."
Dani Ceballos complemented Saúl superbly in the midfield. The Real Betis man has been linked to Real Madrid over the last few days, but he has his sights firmly set on the match in Krakow.
Germany U21 v Spain U21 live online: match facts
A juicy titbit courtesy of UEFA... If Spain win, Paco and Marcos Llorente will become the first father-and-son duo win the Under 21 European Championship. Paco won back in 1986, beating Italy on penalties in the final.
Spain are bidding to lift the title for the fifth time, which would draw La Rojita level with Italy in terms of most victories.
Germany U21 v Spain U21 live online: predicted line-ups
Germany XI: Pollersbeck; Toljan, Stark, Kempf, Gerhardt; Arnold, Haberer; Philipp, Meyer, Gnabry; Selke.
Spain XI: Kepa; Bellerín, Meré, Vallejo, Jonny; Saúl, Llorente, Ceballos; Asensio, Sandro, Deulofeu.
Germany U21 v Spain U21 live online: odds and betting
Could Germany remain prolific from the spot? They're available at 11/1 to win on penalties.
Follow the live coverage match of World Cup Qualifying between: Spain-Italy