Germany embracing fans' expectations, Nagelsmann says


Germany's first knockout victory at a major tournament in eight years will raise fans' expectations that a former powerhouse of the sport are returning to their best at Euro 2024, but the players will not feel pressure, coach Julian Nagelsmann said.

The hosts were scintillating at the start of their 2-0 win over Denmark on Saturday, with Nagelsmann describing their first 20 minutes as "the best of the whole tournament", before the elements and the Danes dragged Germany into a tricky contest.

"I think we have no more pressure than usual," Nagelsmann told reporters. "I think the fans and also the expectation of our fans is a big push for us.

"We can deal with the pressure. For me, it's still a privilege and we also tell the players it's a privilege to play soccer games under pressure. All the players are used to dealing with it, so it's no problem."

Germany's victory was ultimately a comfortable one and they could have won by more than two goals but for good saves by Kasper Schmeichel and wastefulness in front of goal.

The hosts also got the better of a second-half sliding doors moment, with Denmark defender Joachim Andersen at the centre of it.

Andersen thought he had given Denmark the lead but his goal was disallowed for a narrow offside against Thomas Delaney, before the defender's arm was struck by a David Raum cross to concede the penalty which put Germany ahead in the 53rd minute.

Nagelsmann said the offside call was close.

"I understand that Denmark are annoyed (by the penalty decision), it's quite harsh but that's how the rule is.

"Yes, (Andersen) did just run, he didn't do it intentionally, but that is the rule.

"So I would also be annoyed if it were the other way around, but I would have to accept the rule."

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