It’s coming Rome!!!
Italy 1 (3) vs. (2) 1 England
Italy took on England at Wembley for the final of Euro 2020 on Sunday. It was an amazing atmosphere inside the stadium although there had been some chaos. Fans had broken in and occupied seats in the stadium while unruliness ruled in certain areas of London, but the football carried on. England got the first goal in the 2nd minute after Shaw volleyed in a Trippier cross. It was the perfect start for England and a wake up call for Italy. From then on only one team looked likely winning and it was Italy. The Italians grew back into the game and ended the half with more control. The 2nd half was all Italy as England barely had a sniff of the ball. The equaliser came in the 67th minute via Bonucci after he fumbled the ball past the net. The game then went into extra time where England had some chances but Italy stayed strong and once again took control of the game. No winner could be found as the game headed to penalties. Berardi stepped up and finished past Pickford. Kane did the same to make it 1-1. Belotti then saw his shot saved by Pickford as Maguire put his past Donnarumma to give England a 1-2 lead. Bonucci converted his penalty and then Rashford who had been brought on to take a penalty along with Sancho missed his. Bernardeschi then made it 3-2 and Sancho also missed his penalty. Jorginho then had the chance to finish the deal but he surprisingly missed his penalty as well. Saka then stepped up and had to finish to keep England in the game but he missed which crowned Italy the European Champions. Italy were deserved winner over 90 minutes and the whole tournament. It was entertaining football from game one and they should fight throughout. England from game one were boring. They scraped by in games with a solid defence but other than that there was no control. Southgate’s substitutions in this game were a joke as well. Rashford and Sancho both missed their penalties and why is 19 year old Saka taking a penalty ahead of the likes of Shaw, Grealish, and Sterling. Southgate will be given a new contract though because what people see are the results and losing in penalties will be the result. What a journey Italy have been on since 2018 and Mancini has done a great job with them. Mancini will now have his eyes set on the World Cup next year. Jorginho and Emerson became the 10th and 11th players to win both the Champions League and Euro in the same season which is incredible. An exciting Euro’s comes to an end as we head back into pre-season and get ready for the new 21/22 season.
It’s the big one!
Italy vs. England
Italy take on England for the Euro 2020 final at Wembley on Sunday night. Italy finished top of their group then went on to beat Austria, Belgium, and Spain. England finished top of their group going on to beat Germany, Ukraine, and Denmark. Neither team has lost a game yet although England have drawn one. Italy have scored 12 goals conceding 3 while England have scored 10 and conceded 1. This should be a firecracker of a game because England have found a scoring touch recently while both teams have solid defences. For me the game will be won in the midfield and it will be interesting to see whether Barella, Verrati, and Jorginho win out or Phillips, Rice, and Mount. England have the home advantage and Wembley will be roaring but there will be a fair few Italians who would have made it to London for the game. Neither team were favourites to reach the final but these are the two best teams in the tournament. I expect a game of counter attacks and both teams are great at it. I believe Italy have the experience and fight though and should edge England for the win.
England reach their first final in 55 years!
England 2 vs. 1 Denmark
This was an open and intense game over 90 minutes. Denmark gained the lead in the 30th minute at Wembley with Damsgaard scoring an amazing free kick. Kjaer then scored an own goal to bring England back into the game in the 39th minute. The game kept going as both Pickford and Schmeichel made some massive saves but Schmeichel was for sure the busiest. The game then entered extra time where Sterling dived in the 104th minute and got England a penalty. Kane scored the penalty and gave England the lead. Denmark tried to get back into the game but England held on for the win and their first appearance in a final. Denmark played really well throughout the tournament and the journey they have been through has won many hearts. They can be proud of themselves and have a talented squad to build on. England aren’t the most appealing or entertaining and their fans and media are slightly annoying but they are through. They set up a big final with Italy on Sunday.
The neutrals against England!
England vs. Denmark
England are still the only team to have not conceded a goal at these Euros and are a step away from the final that will be played at Wembley. Its been a home tournament for England and the chants of “its coming home” are back in full swing. Denmark have been on a rollercoaster ride of a journey and at the moment the rollercoaster is climbing. On paper England would be the favourites and even otherwise the way England have won games even when not playing well they are the favourites. Denmark have been the more entertaining team though and have plenty of quality at their disposal as well. England will feel they are already through at least most fans will and Denmark can really break those hopes if they perform well. I don’t expect much goals but I expect it to be one hell of a fight. What a story it would be for Denmark if they reach the final.
Penalties are a lottery.
Italy 1 (4) vs. (2) 1 Spain
For large parts of the first half and the game in general Spain were the better team. Their play was good and fluid while Pedri and Busquets ran the midfield. Italy defended well and sprang some counters but neither team could score in the 1st half. The 2nd half so Italy take the lead in the 60th minute thanks to a brilliant curling effort from Chiesa. As the clock ticked on Italy grew tighter at the back. Morata finally equalised for Spain coming off the bench and a one two led to a strikers finish in the 80th minute to make it 1-1. The two teams could not be separated in the 2nd half and the game went to extra time. In extra time the two teams looked tired and neither really risked it all for the win and so the game went to penalties. Locatelli stepped up and missed while Olmo also missed for Spain. Belotti and Moreno both scored followed by Bonucci and Thiago. Bernardeschi scored but Morata missed his penalty. Up stepped Jorginho who in trade mark finish hop skipped and passed the ball into the net. Italy won and go to the finals. Spain were underdogs and they did really well to reach the quarter’s but just fell short. Italy were not great and will know that with one game left they will have to be better.
The tougher semi-final!
Italy vs. Spain
The final 3 games of the tournament are being played at Wembley and the first semi-final is Italy vs. Spain. Two teams that no one would have selected as the favourites to go all the way. Italy were dark horses, but no one had an eye on Spain. Italy have been consistent throughout and many believe that they deserve to win the Euros. Spain started slowly but really got going in the final group game and have since kept going. We all know Italy have a strong defence and Spain have problems finishing their chances. Both the teams like playing football and keeping possession, pressing high etc so it’s going to be an interesting tactical game. Two top goalkeepers as well means that the finishing will have to be on point. A place in the final on Sunday awaits for the winner. I think it’s going to be a close game but Italy should edge it.
Could be coming home?
Czech Republic 1 vs. 2 Denmark
Denmark were at their blistering best in the 1st half as Delaney scored within 5 minutes while Dolberg scored in the 42nd minute. Denmark could have got a few more if it wasn’t for some last ditch defending and some brilliant saves by the Czech Republic. The Czech Republic did grow back in between the two goals but could not finish past Schmiechel. Schick scored in the 49th minute to bring hope to the Czech Republic but Denmark stayed strong and resisted the Czech onslaught. Denmark go through now to the semi-finals of the Euros and considering how they started for them it’s a great journey that hopefully continues. Czech Republic fought well and Schick showed he should be taken seriously as a striker. A young team with plenty of talent the Czech Republic should continue to improve.
Ukraine 0 vs. 4 England
Kane scored in the 4th minute to send Ukraine’s game plan into the bin. Ukraine had planned to hit England on the break but conceding so early meant that they had to go and search for an equaliser. As soon as the goal went in though England retreated into their own half which allowed Ukraine to grow back into the game and draw some good saves from Pickford. The 1st half ended with Ukraine as the better team. England once again scored early in the 2nd half with Maguire making it 2 in the 46th minute. Ukraine now had to attack which left space that England could exploit. Kane added another goal in the 50th minute while Henderson scored his first for England in the 63rd minute. It was good to see England actually use their talent and the likes of Sancho, Mount, and Shaw had a great game. The goals though were largely due to Ukraine having to chase the game. Ukraine go out but Shevchenko can be proud of the progress his team continues to make.
Is it coming home?
Czech Republic vs. Denmark
Two underdogs go head to head in this game with one destined to go out. Czech Republic comfortably beat Netherlands in their Round of 16 game while Denmark thrashed Wales 0-4. Czech Republic have been consistent while Denmark have won hearts after how they recovered from their first game and what has followed. These two teams deserve to be where they are in the competition and this should be a game with goals. Two talented squads and sets of players. Denmark’s quality edges the win for me in this game though.
Ukraine vs. England
Ukraine beat Sweden in the Round of 16 while England beat Germany at Wembley. Going into this game there is no doubt over who the favourites are. England are getting results and are yet to concede a goal. It’s a separate fact that mostly all their games are boring to watch because their attacking talent has been shackled. Ukraine are no pushover’s though and have they shown plenty of fight and quality under Shevchenko. I personally believe Shevchenko is the better manager as well. England should do what they always do and play on the counter and Ukraine will have to be quick and clinical with their passing and chances to win this game. It would be great to see Ukraine go through but I think England will get another boring win to take them to the semi’s.
Switzerland 1 (1) vs. (3) 1 Spain
This game didn’t start of well for Switzerland as Spain scored in the 8th minute thanks to a deflected own goal from Zakaria. Switzerland were much the better team in the 2nd half and but during the 1st half and large parts of the game Sommer and the defence were under pressure. The equaliser came in the 68th minute via Shaqiri. Following the goal it felt like Switzerland could go and get a 2nd but Freuler was sent off in the 77th minute for what was a yellow card offence and never a red. Spain then grew back into the game and Switzerland had to defend well as they Sommer helped them get to penalties. Switzerland started the penalties well but Spain were more clinical as several Swiss players missed theirs. Switzerland are knocked out but can be proud of the tournament they have had. Slightly robbed by English referees but who isn’t at this point. Spain go through after what was a quiet start to the tournament but they will have to be more clinical.
Belgium 1 vs. 2 Italy
Barella scored in the 31st minute to give Italy the lead while Insigne scored in the 44th minute to double the lead. Lukaku got a goal back via a penalty right before the half ended but Belgium could not complete the comeback in the 2nd half. Spinazzola also suffered an Achilles injury which will sadly rule him out of football for around an year. Belgium are knocked out once again and their golden generation is beginning to run out of time to win something. My opinion is that the managers have never been of quality and Belgium still have a chance to win something with the likes of Hazard, De Bruyne, Lukaku etc but they need a better manager. Italy go through and are more and more looking like the favourites to win the competition. They dominated this game and by far have been the best team in the tourney.
Switzerland vs. Spain
Switzerland beat France on penalties after coming back form 3-1 down while Spain beat Croatia 3-5 on the same day. It was a great day in the Euro’s with both games going into extra time so it will be interesting to see whether this one does as well. Switzerland have been surprise performers in this years tournament but they have a decent squad and are organised on the pitch. Spain started the tournament with a whimper but have scored 10 goals in their last two games. Spain’s problem will be if they can take their chances early in the game while not conceding at the back. The substitutions in the Croatia game took them to extra time. This should be an interesting watch and I expect an open game with goals. I am going to with Spain in this game.
Belgium vs. Italy
Belgium got a standard 1-0 win over Portugal in a game where they were the 2nd best team. Portugal huffed and puffed but the goal from Thorgan Hazard was enough to send Beglium through. Italy had a similar story against Austria as they struggled to win the game in normal time. In extra time Italy got the job done though. I expect this to be a cagey affair and don’t expect their to be many goals. Belgium might be without De Bruyne and Eden Hazard which would be a blow up front. I would like to see Belgium go through because of the Chelsea connection but Italy are a very strong team. It’s tough to call, if De Bruyne and Hazard do not feature I feel Italy could edge into the semi’s.