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Posts tagged ‘england’


AET Italy* 0 – 0 England

AET Italy* 0 – 0 England

England are unchanged from the win over Ukraine. Roy Hodgson must have been slightly tempted to unleash Andy Carroll, who must be feral by now, to test out Italy in the air. Instead it’s Danny Welbeck up front and his pace could trouble the pace-averse Barzagli and Bonucci. Italy make one change: in comes Mario Balotelli for Antonio Di Natale and Prandelli does stick to the 4-3-1-2 diamond formation instead of switching to a 3-5-2.

England have had one shot on target, Glen Johnson’s effort in the fifth minute. Italy have had a goal disallowed, two shots off the post, countless chances and all the play. Somehow England have dragged the match, kicking and screaming, to penalties. Absurd. That was such an inept performance in so many ways.

PENALTIES: England 0-1 Italy* (Balotelli). A short run-up, a stutter and a finish into the bottom-left corner. Nerveless.

PENALTIES: England* 1-1 Italy (Gerrard). England’s captain steps up and goes the same way as Balotelli, even though Buffon went the right way.

PENALTIES: England 1-1* Italy An atrocious penalty from Montolivo! He tries to emulate Balotelli and Gerrard but puts it so far wide!

PENALTIES: England 2-1 Italy* (Rooney) Rooney thumps it into the bottom-left corner, Buffon sent the wrong way. Advantage England!

PENALTIES: England 2-2 Italy* (Pirlo) How are your nerves? With Italy desperately needing Pirlo to score, he Panenkas it down the middle! Outrageous.

PENALTIES: England* 2-2 Italy There goes the advantage, Ashley Young smashing it against the bar! I was telling anyone who’d listen that he’d miss.

PENALTIES: England 2-3 Italy* (Nocerino) Nocerino scores and the pressure is all on England now.

PENALTIES: England* 2-3 Italy A dreadful penalty from Ashley Cole! He hits it tamely towards the bottom-right corner and Buffon easily saves! If Diamanti scores, England are out.

ITALY WIN 4-2 ON PENALTIES! ENGLAND ARE OUT! Alessandro Diamanti coolly sends Hart the wrong way and strokes the ball into the bottom-left corner, Hart going the wrong way. England have lost on penalties again. Same old.

England deserved nothing more after a performance that could, if we were being generous, be described as battling and, if we were being harsh, be described as inept. Apart from a first-half flurry, they failed to keep the ball, were devoid of ideas and were indebted to the woodwork, the linesman’s offside flag, luck and some awful Italian finishing. Italy thoroughly dominated and while the focus will be on the two Ashleys for their penalty misses, that would mask the sad truth: England simply weren’t very good. Still, at least they don’t have to play Germany.



FT England 1 – 0 Ukraine

FT England 1 – 0 Ukraine

England play their usual 4-4-2 with Rooney in a withdrawn role behind Welbeck, infront of a midfield in which Steven Gerrard and Scott Parker will provide the heartbeat, bookended by Ashley Young and James Milner on the left and right.

Expect the Ukraine to line up in a 4-3-1-2, with Anatoliy Tymoschuk in a defensive midfield role, with Yevhen Konoplyanka and Andriy Yarmolenko further up the field to his left and right. Denys Garmash will play in the hole behind a front two of Artem Milevskiy and Marko Devic.

At 47′, Rooney heads home at the far post from about two inches out after great work by Steven Gerrard and a howler from Ukraine keeper Andriy Pyatov. 1-0 for England.

England have seen off Ukraine, with Wayne Rooney nodding home the only goal of the game. England will play Italy in the Euro 2012 quarter-finals. Curiously, my pre-tournament Guardian prediction was that England would be eliminated in the quarter-finals, by Italy … on penalties.



FT England 3 – 2 Sweden

FT England 3 – 2 Sweden

On the right flank at 23′, Steven Gerrard bends a sumptuous ball into the area that was just begging to be headed in. With Sweden’s central defenders all over the place, Carroll gets in between them and bullets a towering header into the bottom-left corner from 12 yards out, Isaksson given no chance. What a header! What a managerial masterstroke! 1-0 fro England.

At 49′, Carroll brings the Swedish midfielder down as he lined up a shot 25 yards out, giving away a free-kick. Ibrahimovic smacked his first effort into the wall, but it came back to him, so he tried an optimistic scissor-kick back into the area. It was going well wide, but it squirmed through to Mellberg, who was played onside by Glen Johnson, having a wee snooze around three yards behind the rest of the England defence. On the right side of the area, Mellberg scuffed a finish that spooned up off Hart and then clanged off Johnson’s chest, the ball eventually spinning over the line despite his best efforts. What a slapstick farce that was. 1-1.

From the resulting free-kick at 59′,¬† Larsson hangs a high, deep free-kick to the far post where Mellberg, totally unmarked six yards from goal, barely has to jump to nod past Hart and into the left corner. Where on earth was the marking? No one was near Mellberg, apart from more Sweden players. England have completely collapsed. 2-1 for Sweden!

At 64′, Theo Walcott equalises with his first touch! What a substitution from Roy Hodgson! It all came from an England corner, won when John Terry’s close-range header from Johnson’s cross was somehow turned over the bar by Isaksson, who may not have known too much about it. From the resulting corner, a clearance falls to Walcott 25 yards out. He takes a touch and rams a shot goalwards. It takes a tiny but decisive touch off Larsson and flies past the wrong-footed Isaksson into the middle of the goal. A fine response from England after a disastrous opening to the second half. 2-2.

At 78′, Theo Walcott, who has made a real difference since coming on, drove into the area on the right. It looked like he was going nowhere, but he managed to clip a cross into the six-yard box, where Welbeck was lurking. Even then, there appeared to be little danger for Sweden, because Welbeck had a defender up his back, was facing away from goal and was on the verge of losing his balance. But somehow he contorted his body into an absurd position, letting the ball run across his body before sticking out his right leg and deftly flicking it beyond Isaksson and into the bottom-left corner with his right heel! A moment of pure genius from Welbeck, rather reminiscent of Ibrahimovic’s ridiculous backflick against Italy in 2004. 3-2 for England.

England have beaten Sweden in a competitive game of football. No, really. Who said Roy Hodgson’s England don’t do excitement? That was one of the most entertaining matches of the tournament so far, full of moments of genius and ineptitude in equal measure. It looked like England had blown it when they found themselves 2-1 behind in the second half, but an inspired comeback, led by Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck, means they are second in the group, behind France only on goal difference.


Euro 2012: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain gives England an idea for the future

Euro 2012: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain gives England an idea for the future

Having a quick shuffle of his ft and instant instant acceleration between Yohan Cabay√© and Alou Diarra that left both Frenchmen searching as if they’d been fleeced with a particularly adroit pickpocket, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain demonstrated us what he consists of on Monday evening. Roy Hodgson, however, was most likely interested in the way the teen arrived on the scene from the evening when it comes to maintaining his role within the team’s shape while restricting France’s attacking possibilities lower the left flank of England’s defence. When the response to the initial question was “very wellInch, the 2nd wasn’t so acceptable.

Neither Oxlade-Chamberlain nor Ashley Cole could do greatly to retain the irrepressible Mathieu Debuchy, the Lille wing-back who arrived to along side it like a alternative for that hurt Bacary Sagna and seems to possess made themself indispensable. Debuchy tore England apart within the first half, racing liberated to put over 4 or 5 harmful crosses, although as the overall game continued he found team-mates prepared to dominate the job of testing other possible weak points in Hodgson’s defensive plan.

A few several weeks over the age of Wayne Rooney was as he grew to become the youngest player to represent England within the European Championship finals in 2004, Oxlade-Chamberlain never looked overawed, but his lack of skill is necessary once the ball reaches his ft and there’s the chance to create unexpected things happen. Right now he rushes his pass, or lacks the coolness to determine a proceed.

It had been nonetheless best to see Hodgson prepared to have a gamble by picking an 18 years old for only one appearance as an alternative against Norwegian and something start against Belgium, in the run-as much as the tournament. The manager should have seen things in training that impressed him sufficiently to warrant the chance of subjecting the youthful Toolbox player against competitors of these guaranteed quality.

Temperament and technique are most likely the 2 important aspects that introduced him in to the side in front of Theo Walcott, themself an old teenage prodigy who’s now 23 and it has won 25 England caps. Oxlade-Chamberlain includes a solidity to him, as well as an air of concentration, that Walcott won’t ever have the ability to summon, even though the more youthful guy continues to be a lengthy way from showing that capability to shred the very best defences as his Toolbox friend does on his best days.

The bit of opportunism that embarrassed France’s two defensive midfielders within the 18th minute gave a peek at his future. As soon as the 3rd minute, Oxlade-Chamberlain conned Adel Rami and cut along with effective intent, but tend to not have the ability to slide his go through in france they cover to locate Danny Welbeck.

In defensive mode he shown those things of James Milner around the right flank, always tucking in once the ball was on the other hand from the pitch, keeping near to Steven Gerrard and Scott Parker. There is just one indiscretion when, ten minutes prior to the interval, he created a clumsy foul to prevent Debuchy, offering the free kick that Diarra forced Joe Hart to parry a fierce header.

There is never an issue of him or other person in England’s midfield quartet trying to find possibilities to obtain in front of their forwards, Welbeck and Ashley Youthful. Around the sole occasion within the other half when Oxlade-Chamberlain appeared as if he may be going to try, Diarra was quick to snuff the danger. The process am limited the England forwards sometimes looked reluctant even going to succeed of themselves.

As half-expected, the contrast between your two approaches carefully was similar to the matches between Chelsea and Barcelona in April. Where France were evolving in amounts, the guy in possession always in a position to rely on close support from the 3 blue t shirts round the opposition’s penalty area, England left their attackers to look after themselves. Welbeck foraged with intelligence and apparent hunger, while Youthful never got the kind of break that permitted him to create one goal and score another in Hodgson’s warm-up matches.

If England would obtain a goal, the likeliest source always appeared to become a set-piece.

Therefore the focus on Monday evening was very certainly around the solidity of Hodgson’s defence within the central areas, which is rather hard to view it being moved prior to the team go back home. The manager’s techniques have introduced two wins along with a attract three matches, with just one goal conceded, and that he could be justified in feeling some satisfaction, because of the brief time he’s been allowed to obtain them doing things his way.

Hodgson knows what he wants, which is refreshing to determine that the guy of generally conservative instincts is capable of doing searching beyond known amounts. At this time Oxlade-Chamberlain is potential also it could have been simpler to own shirt to some player with increased miles under his belt. However the manager is clearly prepared to back the commitment of something extra.

“Wayne Rooney demonstrated all individuals years back when you’re adequate you’re of sufficient age,Inch Steven Gerrard stated later on. “Oxlade-Chamberlain demonstrated tonight that he’s adequate with this level. He’s still got lots of understanding how to do. But having fun with experienced gamers, he’ll make it happen.Inch Against Sweden on Friday, there might be scope for a bit more self-expression to choose the already impressive discipline.


HT England 1 – 1 France

Stunning header from City’s defender made England lead by 1-0. The Le Mercenerie (Na$ri) made it tie 1-1. Come on France!