Euro 2012

Italy 1-1 Croatia: Pirlo dictates first half, Croatia dominate the second after half-time switch

June 15, 2012
Italy 1-1 Croatia: Pirlo dictates first half, Croatia dominate the second after half-time switch

Croatia initially had problems with Italy’s 3-5-2, but a clever half-time switch by Slaven Bilic got them back into the game. Cesare Prandelli kept the same formation and starting XI, so Mario Balotelli remained upfront despite Antonio Di Natale’s impact as a substitute in the 1-1 draw against Spain. Bilic rewarded the eleven players that played...
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Spain 4-0 Ireland: whitewash

June 14, 2012
Spain 4-0 Ireland: whitewash

The biggest win of Euro 2012 so far. Vicente del Bosque made one change, leaving out Cesc Fabregas and playing with a proper striker – Fernando Torres started upfront. Giovanni Trapattoni also made a single change upfront – Kevin Doyle dropped out, and Simon Cox started behind Robbie Keane. Spain were clearly the better side here –...
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Germany 2-1 Holland: German flexibility outwits the static Dutch midfield

June 14, 2012
Germany 2-1 Holland: German flexibility outwits the static Dutch midfield

The second excellent Group B game of the night, and another encounter decided by superiority in one particular zone. Jogi Löw continued with the same starting XI that defeated Portugal on Saturday. Despite widespread predictions that Holland would change at least one of their front four, Bert van Marwijk’s selection featured only one change, with Ron...
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Portugal 3-2 Denmark: No tracking from Ronaldo and Rommedahl means goals come from that flank

June 13, 2012
Portugal 3-2 Denmark: No tracking from Ronaldo and Rommedahl means goals come from that flank

Silvestre Varela grabbed a late winner as Portugal registered their first win of Euro 2012. Paulo Bento named an unchanged side from the team that lost to Germany – Helder Postiga continued upfront, despite Nelson Oliveira’s positive impact from the bench in the opening game. Morten Olsen also made no changes from Denmark’s surprise 1-0 win...
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Poland 1-1 Russia: Poland beef up their midfield and prevent Russia counter-attacking

June 13, 2012
Poland 1-1 Russia: Poland beef up their midfield and prevent Russia counter-attacking

Neither side played particularly open football – but strangely, this turned out to be a very good contest. Wojciech Szczesny was suspended, so Franciszek Smuda continued with Przemyslaw Tyton, the hero of the first game, in goal. More interestingly, he changed the structure of his side, moving to more of a 4-1-4-1 formation, dropping left-winger Maciej...
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