Germany beat Spain to win U21 Euro final

Germany won their second European Under-21 Championship with victory over four-time champions Spain in Poland.

Mitchell Weiser’s superb, looping first-half header was enough to give the Germans a first title since 2009.

Spain, looking to win the competition for the third time in its past four stagings, went closest to an equaliser when Saul Niguez’s effort was saved.

But Germany, who beat England on penalties in the semi-final, easily withstood late Spanish pressure.

Germany’s 2009 winning side, who beat England in that final, included current senior regulars Manuel Neuer, Mesut Ozil, Jerome Boateng, Sami Khedira and Mats Hummels, and there will certainly be future stars from this crop of youngsters.

Former Arsenal winger Serge Gnabry, who has moved from Werder Bremen to Bayern Munich this summer, already has two senior caps and he put in a standout performance characterised by pace and creativity.

And the match-winning header from Hertha Berlin wideman Weiser was of international quality, as he met Jeremy Toljan’s cross to flick the ball into the far corner of the net from a tight angle.

Spain, captained by Barcelona-bound Gerard Deulofeu, came into the final as strong favourites and had momentum, having beaten Italy 3-1 in the semi-finals.

But their hat-trick hero from that game – Saul – was presented with few chances as Germany, managed by former international Stefan Kuntz, were able to make the Spaniards’ superior possession count for little.

Several of Germany’s usual under-21 internationals are in Russia for the Confederations Cup after Joachim Low named a youthful squad for the tournament. They face Chile in Sunday’s final.

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