Southampton duo Stuart Armstrong and Che Adams both played a part as Scotland fell to a disappointing 2-0 loss in their opening Euro 2020 game against Czech Republic.
Armstrong started and was withdrawn after 67 minutes, whilst Adams came off the bench to provide a second-half spark in attack for Steve Clarke’s side.
Bayer Leverkusen striker Patrick Schick ultimately proved the difference with two expertly-taken goals – including one from just over the halfway line – and he looks to have handed the Czech’s a good advantage in Group D.
Armstrong and Adams will be hoping to be involved in further group-stage clashes for Scotland against England and Croatia in the next eight days.
Differing roles but Southampton’s players make an impact
For Saints, Stuart Armstrong normally takes up a number 10 role in Ralph Hasenhuttl’s 4-2-2-2 system but also filled in as a central-midfielder in the final stages of the 2020/21 season.
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Scotland played with 3-5-2 system on Monday and Armstrong was fielded in the heart of midfield with Aston Villa’s John McGinn in a forward-thinking pairing ahead of Manchester United’s Scott McTominay, and almost found a goal in the second period.
As the hosts at Hampden Park looked to get back into the contest whilst facing a 2-0 deficit, Armstrong had one opportunity where the play opened up ahead of him. He took the ball close to the halfway line and drove towards the Czech Republic box and space for a shot appeared thanks to runs outside him.
He struck low and maybe did not connect with the ball as he wanted, but a deflection off a Czech Republic body saw the ball loop high up into the air and agonisingly land on top of the goal net.
Adams was perhaps unlucky to be dropped to the bench for this game but he made a strong impact when he came on at half-time.
He did not have a shot on goal but dropped deep to get involved in play and added some neat and tidy passing to Scotland’s play around the box that was not there for much of the first-half. He could be set for starts in the games against England and Croatia after his positive influence here.