Euro 2012–Quarter Final Review

A couple of quick thoughts on the Euro 2012 Quarter Finals:

Czech Republic v Portugal

I missed the second half of the game due to a meeting at work.  Blurgh!!  With everything going on in my life, I didn’t have time to schedule watching the replay.  Viewing the first half, I felt that Portugal were on top and not really surprised that they won.  They are now a factor as they seem to be getting better as the tournament has progressed while the Czechs just ran out of gas.  They missed Rosicky and really needed a better option up top than Baros.

Germany v Greece

Again work prevented me from watching this match, although I did get to see snippets of the second half.  When Samaras equalized, a sick feeling crept across me but that was soon eradicated by goals from, Khedira, Klose andReus. Greece were lucky to be in the quarters and the Germans punished them with dynamic movement and firm finishes.

Spain v France

In a word: dire.  Spain weren’t sharp enough to break down a poor French side.  You have to wonder if del Bosque will play Torres and Pedro against Portugal, because their movement and energy seem to bring a better balance to the side.  (Chalk on the Boots argues that Spain starts Cesc, then brings on Torres and Pedro to offer a more vertical threat against a tiring squad. Excellent post on the match.)  The semi troubles me because a moment of brilliance from CR7 or Nani could be enough as the Portuguese rearguard is watertight at the moment.

England v Italy

At the pub everyone wanted to know who I was going for.  To be honest, I didn’t know because I was conflicted, tugged between United and Juventus players.  It was a better game that I had imagined, with Italy playing attacking outside backs, which stretched England’s two banks of four.  (TACTICS!! from Zonal Marking)  I told anyone that would listen that Balotelli was awful int his match.  Ten chances fell to one person, a supposed world class player, a genius, a superstar, and he couldn’t finish one?  Enough of Super Mario.  The PK’s were the usual failure from an English perspective.  Young went for power and I can’t believe Ashley Cole was among the five.  Pirlo’s effort was sick and wrong.

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