Tabloid newspaper Bild blamed a supposed referee error made in the 25th minute of the game. In a piece entitled “Rage after Wembley Scandal”, they wrote: “The German football players lost a clear penalty against England in the final of the Euros and lost dramatically in extra time 1-2. In Wembley of all places!
“Referee Kateryna Monzul did not see a clear handball from England captain Leah Williamson on the line.” The moment was checked by VAR but no punishable handball was found.
Bild wrote: “56 years after the wrongly given Wembley goal in the 1966 Wembley final our women are again suffering a fraud in a final against England. This time despite video footage! The 1-2 after extra time has a nasty, rotten smell.”
That was a reference to England’s infamous third goal during extra time in the 1966 World Cup final which match officials claimed crossed the line. England eventually won 4-2.
The newspaper addressed the German team, saying: “You lost. But those who lose through fraud are in fact the winners.”
Other pieces on their website on Monday morning included one on Chloe Kelly’s iconic goal celebration which had the headline: “Shirt off! England’s naked madness.”
Another focused on the German team, with the headline: “The frustration of our European Championship heroines”
Bild also took aim at the British press for apparently covering up the “new Wembley scam”.
They wrote: “The DFB women were denied a crystal-clear penalty in the 25th minute. But the British media don’t want to know anything about that, don’t say a word about the scene in which captain Williamson clearly hits the ball with her hand.”
Newspaper Der Tagesspiegel said the level of skill in the final was “higher than ever”. They took a more conciliatory tone, praising both Germany and England. “The two best teams in the European Championships showed all their skills, both tactically and technically,” they wrote.
Süddeutsche Zeitung reflected on the impact the game would have on women’s football. “This European Championship was not just about who gets the trophy in the end,” Anna Dreher wrote.
“But also about the effect of this event. The DFB in particular must not miss another chance.”
Summing up the match, Ms Dreher said: “The German team has to cope with the short-term absence of captain Popp and is defeated by England in extra time. The final is characterised by duels – and at least one controversial penalty scene.”
An average of 17.9million viewers watched the final in Germany – around 5.7million more than for their semi-final against France. It was the highest viewership recorded for a women’s football game in Germany since the 2011 World Cup, which took place in the country.
Der Spiegel also hoped that there would be a lasting impact from the game. “Germany didn’t win the final of the European Championship, but we are already looking ahead – some of the hype must stick,” they wrote.