Showing posts with label Euro 2012. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Euro 2012. Show all posts

Monday, July 2, 2012

Spain smash all the records at Euro 2012

Spain secured their third major international tournament victory on the trot by emphatically beating Italy 4-0 in the final of Euro 2012.
First-half goals from David Silva and Jordi Alba gave La Roja a half-time lead before late strikes from Fernando Torres and Juan Mata added a gloss to the scoreline.

Their run of trophies on the international stage is unprecedented but that was not the only record that Spain smashed in Poland and Ukraine. Their 4-0 victory over the Azzurri was the biggest ever in a European Championship final, while Iker Casillas became the first player to win 100 international matches.

13 Spain players are the first to appear in and win two European Championship finals and Fernando Torres and Xavi are the first to score and assist respectively in two of those games.

El Toro

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Spain look to tiki-taka the Euro trophy home again

Spain go into the final of Euro 2012 against Italy with a chance of making history as they seek to become the first international side ever to win three successive major international tournaments.
The team's tiki-taka style of play - based on keeping possession through short passing and continuous movement of players - was once celebrated as the pinnacle of footballing perfection, but it has been derided in various quarters throughout the tournament for being boring and lacking entertainment value.

The defending champions won't mind one bit, though, as they bid to secure their place in the annals of history alongside the great international sides of the past. But first they have to find a way past an Andrea Pirlo-inspired Italy side, who they drew with 1-1 in their opening Group C clash.

Friday, June 29, 2012

It's-a-me, Mario

Mario Balotelli put in a dazzling match-winning performance for Italy in the second Euro 2012 semi-final, scoring twice to seal a 2-1 win over Germany.
The Manchester City striker, who has so often hit the headlines for the wrong reasons, produced two wonderful finishes to ensure his side's smooth passage into the final, where they will meet Spain on Sunday.

In fact, if he can repeat the form he showed against Joachim Low's side then the world champions will have plenty to fear from Italy's newest hero.


Ronaldo STILL waiting to hit fifth penalty

Cesc Fabregas narrowly put away the decisive penalty on Wednesday night to squeeze Spain into the Euro 2012 final at Portugal's expense - which left Cristiano Ronaldo unable to take what he had hoped would be a crucial fifth for his side.
After both Joao Moutinho and Bruno Alves failed to register, the Seleccao surrendered their place at the tournament despite matching the world and European champions for much of the game.

With some wondering if the three-goal star had been too selfish in hanging back to take the fifth spot-kick, Ronaldo was unable to claim his moment of heroism, and is still waiting for international glory as his side fly home...

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Spain take measures to stop Ronaldo

The first of the Euro 2012 semi-finals is upon us with Spain taking on Portugal, and one man the reigning European champions will know all about is Real Madrid ace Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Portuguese superstar won the Spanish title last season with Jose Mourinho's men and is hitting top form in Poland and Ukraine with three goals to his name already.

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has said his side must "deactivate" the Real Madrid man to progress to the final, but just how will his team go about doing it?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Why Ashley Cole's extra shooting practice didn't pay off

England practised penalties every day this summer, but it did not help Ashley Cole, who saw his limp effort saved by Gianluigi Buffon as Italy recorded a shoot-out victory to dump England out of Euro 2012.
The left-back is no stranger to firing his way into controversy after police investigated an air rifle incident at Chelsea's training ground in 2011, but this time it was his failure to find the back of the net that had his manager tearing his hair out...

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Foul-mouthed Nasri disciplined by Blanc

Following France's 2-0 defeat to Spain in the quarter-finals of Euro 2012, Samir Nasri launched a foul-mouthed tirade against some of the journalists covering the game.
The Manchester City star certainly wasn't holding back, but could he be in trouble with manager Laurent Blanc?

England next on Low's hitlist

After a comfortable 4-2 win over Greece in the Euro 2012 quarter-finals on Friday night, Germany are on course to make the final of the tournament and have now won a record-setting 15 consecutive competitive games.
Joachim Low's men will face either England or Italy in the last four, and the Mannschaft coach is ready to add another major European nation to his list of defeated opponents ahead of the tournament decider in Kiev....

Friday, June 22, 2012

Ronaldo winds down with team-mates after Portugal winner

After last night's stellar performance against Czech Republic in the first quarter final, there's no denying that Cristiano Ronaldo is beginning to take Euro 2012 by storm.
Having shaken off the shackles he seemed encumbered with in the opening two group games, the Portuguese maestro has been in fantastic form, bagging a pair in the Group B decider against Netherlands before netting the winner for the Seleccao in Warsaw last night.

On the back of two scintillating displays, the Real Madrid star would be forgiven for wanting to put his feet up before his side's semi-final next week - and his teammates are certainly indebted to him after his moment in the sun ...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Hapless fifth official gives England a slice of luck

England progressed to the last eight of Euro 2012 as winners of Group D on Tuesday night, but the 1-0 victory over Ukraine did not come without controversy.
Leading through Wayne Rooney's header early in the second half, John Terry looked to have saved the day with a fantastic goal-line clearance for the Three Lions, only for replays to show Marko Devic's effort should have counted.

The incident not only sparked memories of a similar decision that went against England in the World Cup two years, but it is also set to strengthen calls for the introduction of technology within the game ...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Spain & Italy scramble into the Euro 2012 quarter-finals

Spain and Italy both secured their place in the Euro 2012 quarter-finals on Monday night, but neither side qualified from Group C with the ease that had been expected.
After draws in their opening two games, the Azzurri secured a 2-0 victory over the already eliminated Republic of Ireland, while Vicente del Bosque's men left it late to see off Croatia and in turn knock Slaven Bilic's side out of the tournament.

With Spain and Italy having reached the quarter-final base point, both sides will now be focused on reaching the peak of the Euro 2012 mountain...

Monday, June 18, 2012

Ronaldo passes Euro 2012 exam with flying colours to send Dutch & Danes packing

Cristiano Ronaldo answered his critics in stunning style on Sunday night with his virtuoso performance in Portugal's 2-1 victory over Netherlands at Euro 2012.

After enduring a difficult start to the competition, the Real Madrid star scored both goals to book his side's place in the quarter-finals against Czech Republic - sending the Dutch and Denmark home.
That took Ronaldo's tally for the season to an astonishing 65 for club and country, although the 27-year-old will know that his work has only just begun if he is to deny arch-rival Lionel Messi yet another Ballon D'Or.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Euro Hero! Karagounis keeps Greece currency high as Germans await

Greece booked their quarter-final place at Euro 2012 courtesy of Giorgos Karagounis' strike which dumped Russia out of the competition.

Germany are likely to be Greece's opponents in the next round, while the nation who were triumphant at Euro 2004 are today voting whether to stay in the eurozone.

Angela Merkel has warned that Greece's bailout is not negotiable and the German chancellor is lying in wait - along with Joachim Low...

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Zlat's amazing Carroll (are you Ibrahimovic in disguise?)

Much has been made of England's tactical approach to Euro 2012, but their conservative approach went out of the window against Sweden as the Three Lions roared to a 3-2 victory.

Striker Andy Carroll came into the team and made an instant impact, heading home the opener with a towering header from a Steven Gerrard cross.
However, the Swedes took the lead, thanks to a double from Olof Mellberg before goals from Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck sealed victory for England and a good night for Hodgson and his men.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Fans fly the Irish flag while players wave white ones

After a 3-1 defeat to Croatia in their opening game of Euro 2012, Republic of Ireland took on reigning world and European champions Spain, hoping to pull of a shock and keep their Euros dreams alive.
Unfortunately for the Irish, those dreams quickly turned into a nightmare as an early goal from Fernando Torres set the tone for a difficult evening for the Boys in Green.

Goals by David Silva, Cesc Fabregas and a second for Torres followed as Spain ran out 4-0 winners to put an end to Giovanni Trapattoni's hopes of a quarter-final berth, despite the magnificent backing from the Irish fans.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Bendtner takes Ronaldo back to school

Portugal may have left it late, but they still did just enough to beat Denmark 3-2 in their Group C clash on Wednesday night.
Both Pepe and Helder Postiga combined to give the Seleccao a commanding two-goal lead, but Nicklas Bendtner gave the Danes a lifeline by maintaining his 100 per cent record against their opponents.

However, talisman Cristiano Ronaldo did not help his country's cause by fluffing a pair of gilt-edged chances to extend his side's lead in the second half, inevitably allowing Bendtner to equalise with a clinical finish.

Nonetheless, Silvestre Varela's dramatic winner secured a vital win, but were it not for the Porto super-sub, the Arsenal striker could have made Ronaldo pay for his inexplicable profligacy in front of goal.

Poland and Russia help football triumph over hooligans

Hours after some of their supporters clashed on the streets of Warsaw, Poland and Russia went to battle on the pitch on Monday night and produced a thrilling exhibition of free-flowing football.
More than 120 fans were arrested as riot police fired rubber bullets to disperse supporters following violent scenes in the Polish capital in the build up to kick-off.

But with Euro 2012 quarter-final spots up for grabs in Group A, the co-hosts and their neighbours ensured that the beautiful game was the real winner as goals from Alan Dzagoyev and Jakub Blaszczykowski saw the game end in a 1-1 draw.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Shevchenko's Ukrainian dream comes true

Andriy Shevchenko is undoubtedly one of the finest finishers of all time. However, during his goal-shy time with Chelsea, the Ukraine forward could only imagine moments like the two he experienced last night.
The national icon received a huge cheer when named among Oleg Blokhin's starting lineup, with the striker facing a fight against time and fitness throughout the entire 2011-12 campaign in order to be ready for the tournament.

But after falling behind, thanks to Sweden's own hero Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the 35-year-old sent the crowd into raptures when he found the net with two superb headers in quick succession, securing an emotional victory in the co-hosts' European Championship debut.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Buffon blocks goal-shy Torres' scoring thoughts

He had the chances to break down Italy's resolute defence and hand Spain a victory in their opening Group C clash but Fernando Torres' poor club form appears to have followed him into Euro 2012.

After Cesc Fabregas, the player who was selected to lead the Spanish attack in favour of Torres, cancelled out Antonio Di Natale's opening goal for Italy, the Chelsea man was brought on to grab the winner for the reigning European champions.
But after Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon pulled off a superbly timed last-ditch tackle to stop Torres from scoring, the Chelsea man followed with a wayward lob over an open goal after being put clean through.