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About Germany against Portugal... well, I really had a feeling that it should have been a draw, but I had a feeling that if one of the teams scores a goal - that will end the game. And so the luckiest one was Germany. Mario Gomez isn't the most skilled forward, but this year he is just a profesional killer of his oponents. Maybe even last two years. Still I liked the game even though there was only one goal.
About Argentina vs Brasil... well, I was rooting for Brasil, but if you give Messi that much space to perform, then you get hat-trick from him. Still the game was interesting from both teams.
P.S. About Lavezzi - Marcelo's brawl... well it was totally anticlimatic and out of place. I absolutely didn't understand why Lavezzi started it. He's just entered the game and then got out of it with red card... Still, it wasn't surprising as it's rather normal for brasilian league or argentinian championship to have such raw style of playing. Not even talkin'g about Italy, where Lavezzi played. Still, I've never seen him being actually rude like this one.
Playing without a striker has dulled whatever attacking presence Spain might've had. Italy's only barely been caught in the offside trap or they would've had a goal.
I also disagree with the selection. I would've wanted Mata in there and either Torres or Llorente as a striker. Get Busquets out of there, even if he is a Barca player and he's supposed to have more rhythm with the other Barca players. There's no crossing, no nothing. A lot of the Spanish players are shorter to begin with, so having a striker is what you needed. Xavi and Iniesta look like the target men and while it's okay, they're just not strikers, so...
---------- Post added at 01:37 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:30 PM ----------
Italy got the deserved lead, but then took their foot off the gas there allowing Fabregas to slip inside. Torres blew a beautiful chance.
---------- Post added at 01:56 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:37 PM ----------
1-1's a fair result for what we saw. I don't think we'll see any more of Super Mario, and we'll see Spain and Italy go 1-2 in the group as could be more or less expected. A lot of people seemed to expect Spain and Croatia to go through, however.
I personally picked Spain and Croatia, but I'm doubting my choice now to be honest.
That's fair. I picked Czech Republic and Russia, but it's looking like it'll be Russia and Poland/Greece. Then again, we all picked Germany and Holland, in some order, and now it looks like it can easily be Germany and Denmark.
Shay Given should be taken to task for that...
I'm still hopeful of Holland, their chances are still alive as long as they win against Portugal and Denmark loses to Germany. If Torres keeps playing like that, Spain will have lots of trouble though.
I think Spain vs Italy was a fair result though I think Spain had to work harder to get their goal out of the 2 teams. Spain's offensive problems were greatly exposed in this match as they had noone to make runs beyond the central defenders and stretch them when Fabregas was out wide. Italy's back 3 were brilliant today in dealing with Spain's midfield.
I agree with Frosty that Spain should've had a striker on, even if that striker would be Torres. The result of his substitution made the game more open and it helped Spain having a target man, though shame that target man is Torres
Suprisingly, when I watched Spain against Italy I wasn't moved as I expected to be. I didn't understand del Bosque's tactics. How can you play without strikers in a game against Italy? Or maybe he didn't intend to win? I would say that before its first goal Italy was better, but then Spain managed to score thanks to Silva and his briliant pass. When Jesus Navas entered the pitch he changed the game as he was more mobile than other spanish players and when Torres entered the game changed and Spain had several great chances to win the game, but Torres... I just had double facepalm after his efforts on goal... And when Buffon managed to control the ball better than he... well I didn't know what to say.
I believe in the next game del Bosque should use Negredo or Llorente. As Torres wasn't a real striker yesterday...
And Ireland against Croatia... well it was a briliant game. I really like how Croatia played on the previous Euro. And now they are also pretty good. So they might have a chance against Spain and Italy. At least to tie, but I consider them winning as a good posibility.
Torres just looked stripped of all confidence in that match. The poise he showed for the finish against Barca and the hat trick against QPR just seemed gone. Those were two completely terrible plays. In the first one, he should've immediately smashed it, not tried to round Buffon, and in the second one, there was an easy layoff to the side for the goal, which he didn't take.
Anyways, how are we seeing today's match between France and England?
I still don't understand where Mata was; he was an influential member of the side in the WC, but he was just on the bench. It really seemed like Del Bosque completely disrespected non-Barca and Madrid players. Why was Busquets even on the field? If he didn't play for Barca, he'd never have touched the field. Seeing how much pace was lacking in Spain and what the introduction of Jesus Navas did for the team, why wasn't Mata on the field? If you don't trust Llorente, as Del Bosque doesn't seem to, just put Torres out there from the start. It just doesn't seem like Del Bosque trusts any of his three strikers, so he was hoping that midfielders could win him the match, but we saw that that's just not going to happen. Well, more than that, playing people out of their natural positions and hoping it works out was crazy. If you take away that amazing pass by David Silva, Spain loses 1-0 and Del Bosque is getting ripped right now.
I thought Jesus Navas played well for the little bit of time he was on the pitch, and if Torres lays the ball off to him, we would still be talking about Del Bosque's poor tactical approach, but we would also be talking about the changes he made to the side really made a difference. Instead, we're focus on Del Bosque not trusting his strikers and Fernando looking like an idiot. I hope that Jesus Navas can finally get over his chronic homesickness, or whatever it is, and move on to a bigger stage in the club world.
Well, I've been a France supporter since 1996, which is when I first started watching football. Here's how I see the match shaping up.
France has a superior striking force and a superior midfield, but possibly an inferior defense. Lloris and Hart are probably about on par, so that's not a huge factor. Neither of them is going to allow a bad goal like Shay Given yesterday or Robert Green's fumble between the legs against the US in 2010.
Benzema and Giroud are quality strikers and I expect a 2-0 or 3-1 victory for France. If Rooney were playing, I would give England more of a chance, but he's suspended. Admittedly, Rooney's never done anything for England, but this could've been his chance. Having Gerrard as your captain means that you have to keep him out there, regardless of how much he's struggling. Not only is he over the hill, but he's not a central midfielder, as we saw so easily proved against Belgium.
I expect France to win to be fair, anyone who says otherwise is high on some illegals. If Rooney was playing, it would've have been different but not in the bigger picture of the game. Our team is stricken by injuries and I'm sure that even the ones in the starting 11 will be carrying a knock of some sort. With that said, I'll be patriotic and hope for a draw
If Gerrard and Parker are both up for it, it will be a good game to see how France plays around them. Though Gerrard isn't the captain Marvel he used to be...
With Spain's match yesterday, I felt as if Del Bosque and the team were stubborn and didn't want to change tactics after falling behind, and even when they were level in the closing stages of the match, I didn't feel any GREAT urgency about their play. Yes, the game was more open and faster paced but it seemed like Italy were going to keep that scoreline. I think next match Del Bosque will HAVE to start with a striker, even if it is Torres; as they NEED a target man upfront that can hold up the ball for a bit and allow the midfield to move forward.
Less than an hour til today's match, gonna watch it here in the office.
Currently watching England against France.
My expectations for the game are quite high. Mostly because of France as they showed good quality in friendlies and during qualification for Euro 2012. Ribery and Benzema had great season this year.
Still England has a good chance if they will be careful and if they will cherish their moments unlike Torres. Though as I see it they will play in a Chelsea style.
I believe there is a good chance of a draw.