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Germany 1-0 Spain: Mitchell Weiser heads first-half winner to seal European Under 21 glory in Krakow

  • Serge Gnabry rifled a spectacular effort just wide of Kepa Arrizabalaga's goal
  • Mitchell Weiser scored with a looping header from Jeremy Toljan's cross
  • Gerard Delofeu had a shot deflected wide after a mazy run into the Germany box
  • Gnabry ran through the Spanish defence but missed a one-on-one chance
  • Dani Ceballos fired a shot just past Julian Pollersbeck's post after a clever run
  • Germany held on for their first European Under 21 championship since 2009

Germany shocked Spain to win the Under-21s European Championship title as Mitchell Weiser's header clinched glory.

Hertha Berlin wide man Weiser's 40th-minute winner gave Germany a deserved 1-0 victory in Friday's final in Krakow.

Disappointing Spain were chasing a record-equalling fifth title but rarely looked like winning their third crown in four tournaments.

Germany lift the trophy after securing the first European Under 21 championships since 2009

Germany Under 21s celebrate after winning the European Under 21 Championship final

Germany Under 21s celebrate after winning the European Under 21 Championship final

Max Meyer runs off in delight at the final whistle as Germany defeated favourites Spain

Max Meyer runs off in delight at the final whistle as Germany defeated favourites Spain

Mitchell Weiser is embraced by Max Meyer after scoring the winner against Spain Under 21s

Mitchell Weiser is embraced by Max Meyer after scoring the winner against Spain Under 21s

MATCH STATISTICS

Germany (4-1-4-1): Pollersbeck; Toljan, Stark, Kempf, Gerhardt; Haberer (Kohr 82); Weiser, Meyer, Arnold, Gnabry (Amiri 81); Philipp (Oztunali 87)

Goalscorer: Weiser 40

Bookings: Arnold, Haberer, Stark, Meyer

Spain (4-3-3): Arrizabalaga; Bellerin, Vallejo, Mere, Jonny (Gaya 51); Llorente (Mayoral 83), Niguez, Asensio; Ceballos, Deulofeu, Sandro (Williams 71)

Bookings: Niguez, Llorente, Vallejo

Five-goal top scorer Saul Niguez and Real Madrid wonderkid Marco Asensio barely made an impact as Germany, who beat England in the semi finals, shut them out.

Max Meyer hit the post for Germany early on and the best Spain could muster was when Saul's drive was turned away by Julien Pollersbeck.

While Spain were the favourites the Germans, and charismatic coach Stefan Kuntz, had enjoyed a relaxed build-up with Kuntz singing and joking in his pre-match press conference.

Spain, in contrast, appeared uptight and Kuntz had fired an early warning that they should not take winning the title for granted despite their impressive form heading into the final.

Maximillian Arnold charges down the flank with Spain's Marco Asensio in close attendance

Maximillian Arnold charges down the flank with Spain's Marco Asensio in close attendance

Gerard Delofeu competes for possession with Yannick Gerhardt during the first half of the final

Gerard Delofeu competes for possession with Yannick Gerhardt during the first half of the final

Hertha midfielder Weiser has an effort on goal with Sporting Gijon's Jorge Mere watching on

Hertha midfielder Weiser has an effort on goal with Sporting Gijon's Jorge Mere watching on

His words resonated early on as Meyer's neat header rattled the post after eight minutes and Max Arnold drilled just wide during an impressive German start.

While Arsenal's Hector Bellerin glanced wide for Spain his former Gunners team-mate Serge Gnabry drilled into the sidenetting as Kuntz's men hunted their opponents down.

Gnabry missed another fine chance when Kepa Arrizabalaga gathered his close-range effort but the German pressure was growing with Spain unable to find a rhythm.

Kepa Arrizabalaga retrieves the ball from his net after Weiser scored with a looping header

Kepa Arrizabalaga retrieves the ball from his net after Weiser scored with a looping header

Weiser's goal put Germany Under 21s ahead against favourites Spain in the 40th minute

Weiser's goal put Germany Under 21s ahead against favourites Spain in the 40th minute

Weiser (centre) celebrates with his team-mates after scoring five minutes before half time

Weiser (centre) celebrates with his team-mates after scoring five minutes before half time

Germany winger Serge Gnabry reacts after dragging a shot wide of Arrizabalaga's goal

Germany winger Serge Gnabry reacts after dragging a shot wide of Arrizabalaga's goal

With Asensio and Saul nullified Spain had no outlet and Germany deservedly opened the scoring five minutes before half time.

They had been patient in their build-up and when one move broke down Germany went again down the right, eventually working the ball for Jeremy Toljan and he crossed for Weiser to guide a brilliant looping header over Kepa from 10 yards.

Spain needed a swift response and improved after the break but Germany almost had a degree of control.

Sandro Ramirez looks to the sky after missing a good opportunity to equalise for Spain

Sandro Ramirez looks to the sky after missing a good opportunity to equalise for Spain

Arnold chases Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin as Spain went in search of a leveller

Arnold chases Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin as Spain went in search of a leveller

Freiburg star Janik Haberer shoots on goal during Germany's 1-0 victory in the Euro U21 final

Freiburg star Janik Haberer shoots on goal during Germany's 1-0 victory in the Euro U21 final

Arrizabalaga comes out to smother Gnabry after the winger went through on goal in Krakow

Arrizabalaga comes out to smother Gnabry after the winger went through on goal in Krakow

Saul tested Pollersbeck from distance but despite Spain seeing more of the ball it was Germany who almost doubled their lead after 61 minutes.

Jorge Mere's loose pass allowed Meyer to slip in Gnabry but Kepa saved the winger's low effort and Marc-Oliver Kempf headed the resulting corner just wide.

Inaki Williams replaced the disappointing Sandro Ramirez, who is set to join Everton, for Spain and Dani Ceballos whistled a drive wide with 19 minutes left.

Williams' arrival gave Spain a lift but Germany battened down the hatches to claim their second European title and their first since 2009.

Felix Platte (left) and Thilo Kehrer (right) wheel off in delight after the final whistle in Krakow

Felix Platte (left) and Thilo Kehrer (right) wheel off in delight after the final whistle in Krakow

Gerhardt is ecstatic after Germany clinched the European title with a 1-0 victory over Spain

Gerhardt is ecstatic after Germany clinched the European title with a 1-0 victory over Spain

Germany's squad wore celebratory t-shirts as they celebrated with the trophy on Friday night

Germany's squad wore celebratory t-shirts as they celebrated with the trophy on Friday night

Spain were favourites for the final but Stefan Kuntz's side deservedly won 1-0 in Krakow

Spain were favourites for the final but Stefan Kuntz's side deservedly won 1-0 in Krakow

ABOUT THE AUTHOR celebrityrave

Journalist, writer and broadcaster, based in London and Paris, her latest book is Touché: A French Woman's Take on the English. Read more articles from Agnes.

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