Mikel Merino scored a dramatic winner for Spain to send them into the semi-finals of Euro 2024 at the expense of hosts Germany. We look back at the match with our Spain vs Germany stats report.

Mikel Merino was the unlikely hero for Spain, as his last-gasp header deep into extra-time sent his nation into the Euro 2024 semi-final.

Merino’s 119th-minute header was just his second international goal for Spain, and it was enough to knock out hosts Germany in one of the best matches of the tournament so far.

All three of the goals in the match came via substitutes, with Dani Olmo opening the scoring early in the second half before a late goal from Florian Wirtz took the game to extra-time. Merino was the match-winner, though, which prevented Spain from facing a German side who had won their last six shootouts in the dreaded penalties to decide the semi-finalist from the tie.

In the eyes of many, these two teams have been the best at Euro 2024 coming into the quarter-finals. A repeat of the 2008 European Championship final, most would have been happy to see these two sides compete in Berlin on 14 July in the final of this edition.

Germany’s starting XI had an average age of 29 years, 272 days old, which was their third oldest in European Championship history. Spain’s side was over three years younger (26y 193d) on average, but they suffered a setback when one of their young stars, 21-year-old Pedri, was forced off through injury after just eight minutes. It was a cruel blow, with Pedri suffering numerous injuries across the last two years of his young career, and one that saw the earliest substitution in the history of the competition (7:54).

Spain arguably edged the first half, having eight shots to the hosts’ three, but none of their attempts came inside the box. It took only 107 seconds for them to attempt one in the second half, and captain Álvaro Morata should really have done better. After receiving the ball in a central position from Lamine Yamal, he spun Jonathan Tah before firing over the bar from less than 10 yards out.

Their second shot inside the box had a bigger impact. Olmo, who was the player to replace Pedri early in the game, made much more of a pass from Yamal than Morata did just four minutes earlier. The RB Leipzig star side-footed the ball past Manuel Neuer to open the scoring and net his second goal of the tournament. For 16-year-old Yamal, it was his third assist of Euro 2024, becoming the first teenager in the history of the Euros to create as many in a single tournament.

Yamal has had much more success in creating chances than he has putting them into the back of the net himself. On the quest to become the youngest scorer in Euros history, Yamal has failed to score with any of his 13 shots at this tournament – only the man who is looking to become the oldest scorer in European Championship history, Cristiano Ronaldo, has had more without scoring (20) this summer.

Lamine Yamal Shots Euro 2024

Germany needed to find a way back into the game, and the introduction of Niclas Füllkrug felt like their best avenue to do that. The strong striker came close to equalising in the 77th minute – just 20 minutes after coming on – when he hit the post. Five minutes later, it was Kai Havertz who went close, chipping the ball over Unai Simón from range, but seeing the ball sail agonisingly close but over the bar.

Just when Germany looked like going out, the exciting Wirtz saved the day. A lofted cross came into the box, which Joshua Kimmich did excellently to head back down to the Bayer Leverkusen wonderkid. Wirtz made no mistake, smashing the ball on the bounce without hesitation and finding the net off the inside of the post. With his goal, he became Germany’s youngest ever scorer in a knockout stage game at the European Championship (21 years, 63 days).

With seconds of regulation time left, Thomas Müller nearly snuck in behind the Spanish defence to score but could only divert the ball wide of the post. A veteran who is likely to be playing in his last tournament game for Germany, it would have seen him end a run of never scoring at the European Championship across 17 appearances and from 32 shots. This by a player who had no such problems at the World Cup, where he scored 10 goals in 19 games.

Wirtz nearly added a second in the first half of extra-time, when he sent a shot inches past the post from just inside the box, while Mikel Oyarzabal came closest for Spain just two minutes earlier, missing the goal by a similar fine margin. But it would be Merino that would become the hero.

After scoring earlier in the game, Olmo became the creator as he provided a wicked cross into the box that was expertly met by Merino, who placed a cushioned headed into the back of the German net to silence the majority of the crowd in Stuttgart. That goal was the first shot on target that Spain had in the game since Olmo’s opener 68 minutes earlier.

There was still time for a final Germany chance, with Füllkrug centimeters away from taking the game to a penalty shootout with a fine header, but Spain survived.

Spain 2-1 Germany Euro 2024

This defeat for Germany means that the run of host-nation disappointment at the European Championship continues. No Euros host has won the tournament since France in 1984, while the Germans became the first host nation to be eliminated at the quarter-final stage of the Euros.

Of course, with Germany’s elimination, the great career of Toni Kroos sadly comes to an end. One of the best midfielders of his generation, it would have been a dream ending to come away with a European Championship winners’ medal to go alongside his World Cup one from 2014. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be, but he still showed his class across his five appearances at Euro 2024, misplacing only 27 of his 514 passes (5.2%). A master of his art, and one that will be remembered fondly.

Toni Kroos Passes Euro 2024

Spain now have the chance to become the outright leading nation in European Championship history, with only two games separating them from a fourth Euros title, overtaking Germany’s three. Despite a host of suspensions following tonight’s win, the Opta supercomputer is backing them as the most likely winners of the tournament (35.4%) and based on their performances at Euro 2024 so far, few will disagree.

Our Opta match centre delivers you all the Spain vs Germany stats from their Euro 2024 quarter-final clash at the Stuttgart Arena.

The match centre below includes team and player stats, expected goals data, passing networks, an Opta chalkboard and more. It gives you everything you need to do your own match analysis.

Underneath the match centre you can find the official Opta stats on the game as well. 

Spain vs Germany: Post-Match Facts

  • Spain’s Mikel Merino scored the third-latest winning goal in a UEFA European Championship match (118:52), after Michel Platini for France v Portugal at Euro 1984 (118:53) and Artem Dovbyk for Ukraine v Sweden at Euro 2020 (120:36).
  • Spain have won all five of their matches at Euro 2024 – they are only the third nation to win five in a row within a single edition of the finals (excl. shootouts), after France at EURO 1984 and Italy at Euro 2020, both of whom won those respective tournaments.
  • Germany have lost three of their last four knockout stage games at the Euros (W1), as many as in their previous 12 at the finals beforehand (W7 D2 L3 – won both penalty shootouts after the two draws).
  • Spain have reached their sixth ever semi-final at the UEFA European Championship, with only Germany (8) now participating in more in the tournament’s history.
  • There were 39 fouls in this match, the most in a single Euros fixture since Croatia vs Portugal in 2016’s round of 16 (40). There were also 15 cards (14 yellows, 1 red), the second-most ever in a Euros match, after Czech Republic v Turkey in this year’s group stage (18 – 16 yellows, 2 reds).
  • Dani Olmo became the first Spaniard to score two goals as a substitute at a single edition of the Euros, and third at any major tournament (World Cup/Euros), after Fernando Morientes at the 2002 World Cup and Álvaro Morata at the 2022 World Cup.
  • Spain’s Lamine Yamal, aged just 16, became the first ever teenager to record three assists at a single edition of the Euros (all-time) or World Cup (on record, since 1966).
  • Aged 21 years and 63 days, Florian Wirtz was Germany’s youngest ever goalscorer in the knockout stages of the UEFA European Championship, and youngest in any major tournament (World Cup/Euros) knockout match for the nation since Thomas Müller at the 2010 World Cup third-place play-off vs Uruguay (20y 300d).
  • This was only the fourth match in Euros history to see three different players score as a substitute (excl. own goals), after Russia v Czechia in Euro 1996, Italy v Austria at Euro 2020, and Croatia v Spain at Euro 2020.
  • Manuel Neuer made his 39th appearance at a major tournament (World Cup/Euros), now the outright second-most of any European player, behind only Cristiano Ronaldo (51, before today). Neuer today overtook fellow German Bastian Schweinsteiger (38).

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