Mixed results and performances: How Milan’s players have begun Euro 2024

By Oliver Fisher -

The 2024 European Championship is underway in Germany and there has been a mixed start for AC Milan’s players so far.

The first round of group stage games is in the books and it is already a tournament that has produced some surprises such as Slovakia beating Belgium and Romania hammering Ukraine, results that could impact Odds for Euro 2024.

France get underway

There was no slip-up on France’s part. Maybe a more outstanding performance could have been expected but the debut game at Euro 2024 for Deschamps Les Bleus ended in an important win.

At the Merkur Spiel-Arena in Düsseldorf, France beat Austria 1-0. It wasn’t an easy game and a header from Wöber deflected into his own goal that was enough for the three points which sets them on their way to the knockout stages.

Mike Maignan and Theo Hernández played a full 90 minutes and the former was fundamental in keeping a clean sheet as he kept Baumgartner out just before the goal, while Theo bombed up and down the left. Olivier Giroud also picked up some minutes late on.

Portugal survive a scare

Many have Portugal down as potential winners like France, and they managed to come from behind to overcome Czechia. Roberto Martínez’s side ran out 2-1 winners in Leipzig after going 1-0 down following Provod’s finish for the Czechs in the 62nd minute.

A 69th-minute own goal by Hranáč brought the game level, after which Diogo Jota had a goal ruled out on the 87-minute mark. However, Francisco Conceição was able to bag the winner in stoppage time to hand the Portuguese three points.

Martinez decided to use Leao in a front two with Cristiano Ronaldo but with the license to drift out to the left. However, what ended up following was a performance in which he did little of note barring a couple of surges and a cross that was headed wide. He also got a yellow card for diving.

Netherlands also come back

It was not the build-up to the tournament that Ronald Koeman hoped for given he lost both Frenkie de Jong and Teun Koopmeiners in quick succession due to injury, but there was confidence that Tijjani Reijnders could step up.

The Netherlands started with three points against Poland on Sunday, with Gakpo and Weghorst scoring after they fell behind to Buksa’s opener. Wearing number 14, Reijnders operated in the attacking midfield position and remained on the field for the full 90 minutes.

The others struggle

Serbia, with Luka Jović, suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat against the stronger England. Jović came on in the final 30 minutes but struggled to make a significant impact despite the pressure that his side put on. It was Jude Bellingham’s goal that proved decisive for the Three Lions.

Simon Kjær, on the other hand, was not involved in Denmark’s 1-1 draw against Slovenia. There are lingering fitness issues for him after a difficult end to the season from a physical point of view, but his experience and leadership will still be important.

Finally, Noah Okafor was an unused substitute in Switzerland’s opener against Hungary. However, his side got the job done with a 3-1 victory.

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