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Holland thrash France 4 – 1

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If any team deserves to win the Euro 2008, it should be Holland. In another scintillating performance, they outclassed France 4 – 1. So in two group matches, they have beaten the Word cup finalists in comprehensive fashion. There one touch passing, counter attack are the best. Here are my thoughts from the match

  • If you want to see the power of counter-attack, just watch the Dutch play. They move the ball from one side to another so quickly
  • Robben was just top class. Created the second goal and his superb effort might well be the best goal of the tournament
  • What was Malouda doing when Kuyt scored the goal. Instead of heading the incoming cross, he was holding Kuyt
  • Van Der Sar is an inspiring captain. He made some good saves
  • Van Nistelrooy is shocked by the Dutch display. Apparently he is not the only one. Almost everyone is shocked by there amazing performances. Before the tournament, I thought they will not go to round two and they are the first team to reach the QF. Amazing
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Dutch Thrash Italy

Holland 3 – 0 Italy

(Nistelrooy 26, Sneijder 31, Van Bronckhorst 79)

 

_44731933_rvn_getty The World Cup Runner’s up suffered a draw, but the World Cup Winners suffered a more humiliating fate. Before the match, i didn’t think the Dutch had enough quality to win the Euro 2008 but the win and there style of play has definitely changed my mind. So good was there attacking and counter attacking play, that the Italians were brushed aside. And with a reliable goal keeper such as Van Der Sar, I am pretty sure that they have won there so called “Group of Death”. And this match might have been the best match so far of the Euro 2008 with Italy, despite there defeat, producing an attacking display. It was Italy who created the first chances with Di Natale’s cross failing to find Luca Toni and a few minutes later, Toni headed wide from a good position. For the Dutch, Van Nistelrooy had a good chance in 17th minute when he collected Kuyt’s pass and tried to round off Buffon. There was a contact but Nistelrooy choose to stand on his feet and missed the chance.

_44731939_wesley_getty Van Nistelrooy had much better luck in the 26th minute when he gave the Dutch a lead in controversial circumstances from an offside position. But according to the chairman of Austria’s refereeing commission, Gerhard Kapl, that Van Nistelrooy had been played onside by Italy defender Christian Panucci, who had been injured seconds earlier and was lying off the pitch. And the Dutch scored after 5 minutes, what could be “one of the best goal “ of Euro 2008. Italy won the corner and from the corner, Van Bronckhorst made a great clearance on the line, then he raced to attack , got the pass, and crossed it for Kuyt who headed it into the path of Sneijder who produced a neat finish past Buffon to score on his 24th birthday. It was a classic Counter Attacking goal from the Dutch. Nistelrooy had a great opportunity to kill the game three minutes before the interval when he was raced through by Sneijder but Buffon made a wonderful save.

Italy upped the Tempo after the break to try to get back into the game. Del Piero who was brought in place of Di Natale forced Van Der Sar into a smart save. He had another good chance few minutes later but he was off target. Luca Toni wasted one of the best chances for Italy when he lofted the ball over van Der Sar as well as over the bar. Van Der Sar was the hero again as he saved well from a Pirlo free kick and from the resulting play, Dutch got there third goal. The rebound on the save landed to Van Bronckhorst, who raced forward and set up Kuyt. Kuyt’s original effort was blocked by Buffon, but Kuyt got the ball again and crossed for Bronckhorst to head the third goal. It might have been worse for Italy had substitutes Affelay and Van Persie spectacular shots would have found the net. And the Dutch side help don to record a famous victory against Italy since 30 years. A wonderful performance by the Dutch which clearly sends the message that they are a force to be reckoned with.

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France held to a 0 – 0 draw by Romania

Domenech World Cup runners up France produced a boring display against Romania which makes qualifying tough for them in the group of death. They created very few clear cut chances and lacked there attacking rhythm. In the absence of Viera and Henry, the job was left on the youngsters but they failed to shine. With Henry absent, Anelka and Benzema started the forward line but they failed to provide any decent chance and Anelka could have done better with the few scoring opportunities that he got.

Romania also didn’t threaten much but they would be very happy considering that they prevented France from scoring and took a point of them. The only positive that France can take from the game is the link up play between Ribery and Benzema. Anelka was again out of form and i will be surprised if he is included when Henry is fit. But it is going to put doubts over whether France have enough quality to win the Euro 2008 or not. With there remaining matches against Italy and Netherlands, it is going to be a tough ride if they wish to qualify. Although for the underdogs Romania, it is a great result.

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Premiership Roundup 05-06 April

Another week of Premiership games has passed and it looks like the Premiership battle is going to be very exciting. The weekend started with the exciting match between Arsenal and Liverpool. Both teams had an eye on there champions league matches and hence rested some quality players. Arsenal started well but it was Liverpool who took the lead through Peter Crouch. Arsenal equalized through a Bendtner headed goal. Liverpool’s Vornonin was guilty of missing several chances later in the match but a draw in the end further dented Arsenal’s title hopes. For a second time in a row, Arsenal had a penalty appeal turned down, a thing that is becoming synonymous with the Liverpool – Arsenal game.

Chelsea mean while defeated Manchester City impressively 2-0 to continue there march towards the title. Manchester United drew with Boro 2-2 to drop some points and keep the title hopes alive of Arsenal as well as Chelsea. United’s draw means that they are three points ahead of Chelsea who they are supposed to play at Stamford Bridge on 26th April and 6 points ahead of Arsenal who they play at the weekend. Ronaldo’s 37th goal of the campaign gave United the lead but Boro, who have a good record against United leveled when Afonso Alves scored his first goal for the club. Boro played some good football and created plenty of chances. It was not surprising that Boro took the lead again through Alves to make the score 2-1. United defense was clearly vulnerable because of lack of Vidic and things became much worse when Ferdinand was also substituted because of injury. But united got the equalizer when Ji Sung Park’s cross was converted by Rooney through a deflection and the score became 2-2. If Ferdinand’s injury turns out to be serious, United can miss there center half pair of Vidic and Ferdinand for the crucial matches against Arsenal, Blackburn and Chelsea.

The next 2-3 matches will be crucial for the three teams and will be the decider in who wins the Premiership. In the other matches Aston Villa defeated Bolton 4-0 to send them towards relegation. Roy Keane’s Sunderland beat Fulham 3-1 to ease the pressure and Fulham looks set to drop of the Premiership. Steve Bruce came back to haunt his former club as Wigan recorded a 2-0 win against Birmingham. The King Kev revolution seems to have started at Newcastle as they recorded there third straight win with a 3-0 win over reading. Blackburn and Totenham drew 1-1 while Everton defeated Derby 1-0 to pile the pressure on Liverpool for the fourth place.

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