Home » Four things we learnt from Switzerland’s statement Euro 2024 win over Hungary

Four things we learnt from Switzerland’s statement Euro 2024 win over Hungary

Four things we learnt from Switzerland’s statement Euro 2024 win over Hungary

The burning question of who would be the rest of the rest in Group A may have an answer. Switzerland looked an impressive side in their 3-1 win over Hungary in Cologne as they sent a statement of intent to their competitors. 

Hungary came into the fixture as a potential dark horse for Euro 2024 but it was their opponent who looked more likely to progress far in the tournament. Switzerland were in complete control during a dominant first-half performance that warranted a two-goal deficit. 

 Marco Rossi’s side did show character as they pulled a goal back and threatened a remarkable second-half comeback. Yet Breel Embolo put the seal on a crucial win for his nation as they kicked off their Euro 2024 campaign with a bang. 

Hungary will be disappointed about how they started the game and did not get their star players involved until they were chasing the scoreline. There were enough positives in the second half but does not hide a damaging result that could hinder Hungary’s hope of qualifying for the last 16.  

  • Switzerland show their class 

Many predicted Switzerland’s ‘golden age’ missed their opportunities at previous tournaments and would struggle in Germany. Hungary’s squad seemed on an upward trajectory as they were expected to shine at Euro 2024. 

These predictions reflect what an opening performance Switzerland produced as they, controlled proceedings from the opening minutes. Switzerland’s centre-backs were rock solid and showed their Premier League experience. Manuel Akanji was a real leader at the back whilst Ricardo Rodriguez contributed to the build-up play by drifting into midfield.

Embolo and Xherdan Shaqiri not starting was a surprise due to their tournament experience but starting Kwadwo Duah proved the right decision. The 27-year-old was a constant menace with his runs in behind which worked to perfection in Switzerland’s opening goal. 

The Swiss forward line linked up effectively and caused Hungary’s backline problems. Embolo coming on gave Switzerland a presence up top and managed to seal an important win with a composed lob over Peter Gulacsi.   

  • Hungary freeze on the big stage 

Marco Rossi has revolutionised Hungary by implementing a progressive style of play. His side was one of the teams to watch as they claimed big-name scalps, such as against England and Germany.

Yet Hungary didn’t play with any conviction until deep into the second half. Their captain and star player, Dominik Szoboszlai, didn’t influence proceedings until he produced a pin-point cross for Barnabas Varga’s consolation goal.   

Even when chasing the game Hungary never played with a swagger that represented a side only losing once in their previous 18 before Euro 2024. Hungary now goes into a vital game against Germany they cannot afford to lose.  

Rossi must find a way to get Szoboszlai in more central areas rather than drifting out wide as he did against Switzerland. Hungary’s captain performed best for his club side Liverpool FC in a central midfielder role and might have to play in a similar position for the rest of Euro 2024. 

  • Is Granit Xhaka an outside shout for player of the tournament? 

Granit Xhaka may not be the most attractive name on a team sheet but the Swiss captain is effective. It has been some rise for the former Arsenal midfielder as he has taken his monumental Bayern Leverkusen form into Euro 2024. 

The 31-year-old was the calming presence Switzerland needed when Hungary were on top. Xhaka taking the sting out of the game established a sense of control that will benefit his team, the further they progress. 

There isn’t the type of midfielder who can control the tempo of a match in every nation. Therefore the Swiss have a valuable weapon in Xhaka’s influence over a game. 

Considering Luka Modric won a Ballon d’Or, as a result of an incredible 2018 World Cup performance, there is no reason Xhaka can’t be in the running for player of the tournament if Switzerland reach the latter stages of the Euro.  What a couple of years it has been for a player who looks destined to be shoved out Arsenal could be leading the surprise package of Euro 2024. 

  • Are Switzerland destined to finish second in Group A?

With Germany looking ominous on opening night, second place looks like a dogfight between Scotland, Switzerland and Hungary. The Swiss can close this matter on Tuesday by securing victory against the Scots. 

Switzerland looked too experienced for Hungary due to their know-how at this level and will be looking to impose the same on Scotland. It could be a final-day decider for who finishes top of group A between the hosts and Switzerland. Both teams will fancy their chances of finishing first in the group with how they started Euro 2024.

Beforehand there was a belief an underdog story could be forming with Scotland and Hungary defying the odds to compete for qualification to the last 16. Germany and Switzerland have shown their maturity and class after just one game.