Sunday, 24 June 2012

England vs Italy Review

Today was the final quarter final of Euro 2012.

Roy Hodgson's England had surprised a few by reaching the knockout stages, particularly finishing top of their group. Italy managed to qualify through a tough group and were probably pleased to be facing England as opposed to the French. The winners of this match would have the tough task of facing the Germans in the semi finals.

England started positively with Glen Johnson forcing an early save from Italy captain Gianluigi Buffon, there were some decent build up play from both sides but with little end product in the opening twenty minutes. Italy began to take control of the match towards the end of the half as the likes of Andrea Pirlo had time on the ball, the teams went in level at the break.

The second half saw almost total domination from Italy, England brought on Andy Carroll to give them a bit of presence up front but the ball was given away far too often as Italy squandered a number of chances to score. Aside from a couple of last ditch tackles, the Italians couldn't find a way through as inevitably, the game went to extra time.

Extra time basically saw England holding on for penalties which was strange. Italy thought they had snatched it as Antonio Nocerino headed in, however the goal was rightfully disallowed for offside and the English held on for penalties. Of course we all knew deep down what was going to happen next, despite Riccardo Montolivo missing his spot kick, Ashley Young and Ashley Cole fluffed their lines as England succumbed to penalties once again.

Italy deserved the win as they bossed the game, I still think Germany will be too much for them in the semi final though. England showed spirit and heart in their performance, however they must improve immensely if they're going to do anything in the future, they looked ordinary at times.

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