Euro 2012

Spain 0-0 Portugal: Portugal upset Spain’s rhythm but fail to record a shot on target

June 28, 2012
Spain 0-0 Portugal: Portugal upset Spain’s rhythm but fail to record a shot on target

Spain defeated Portugal on penalties after a 0-0 draw. Vicente del Bosque surprisingly named Alvaro Negredo as his lone striker, meaning Cesc Fabregas dropped to the bench. The rest of the side was as expected. Paulo Bento was forced to change his striker, with Helder Postiga injured. As already announced, Hugo Almeida replaced him. A difficult game...
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Portugal v Spain preview

June 27, 2012
Portugal v Spain preview

Will Portugal be able to break up Spain’s dominant passing game? More to the point, will they attempt to? Selection There will be few surprises in selection. Paulo Bento, having kept the same starting XI for his previous six competitive games, has been forced to bring in Hugo Almeida upfront in place of the injured Helder...
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Italy 0-0 England: Pirlo dictates the game

June 25, 2012
Italy 0-0 England: Pirlo dictates the game

Italy somehow failed to score despite dominating for 120 minutes, but won the resulting penalty shoot-out. Cesare Prandelli brought in Riccardo Montolivo to play at the top of the diamond, because of concerns over Thiago Motta’s fitness. Roy Hodgson made no changes from the XI that narrowly defeated Ukraine in the group stage. Italy were the better...
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England v Italy preview

June 24, 2012
England v Italy preview

After three one-sided quarter-finals, this should be a much tighter, tenser tactical battle. Roy Hodgson will name a standard 4-4-2 / 4-4-1-1 formation, and although there’s a chance that a more direct winger could start on the flanks, it’s probable that he’ll stick with the starting XI that overcame Ukraine in the final group game. Cesare...
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Spain 2-0 France: Blanc’s double right-back plan fails and Alonso deservedly scores both goals

June 24, 2012
Spain 2-0 France: Blanc’s double right-back plan fails and Alonso deservedly scores both goals

Laurent Blanc named an extremely reactive team – but France neither stifled Spain’s threat down the left, nor played their own game effectively. Vicente del Bosque had hinted he would make changes from the team that beat Croatia, though it was still a surprise to see Cesc Fabregas return to the side in a false...
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