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Day: June 9, 2012

Euro 2012: Germany 1-0 Portugal

It is a reflection of the curve ball that was thrown into Group B of this summers European Championships that, whilst Portugal may have left the pitch at the end of last nights match against Germany disappointed at having failed to collect a point from their endeavours, they’ll probably feel considerably more confident than they were at the start of the day of qualifying from their group. The big result for Portugal came earlier on, when Denmark beat the Netherlands. If we work to the assumption that Portugal were not widely expected to get a result from their opening match, then the consolation of knowing that both Denmark and the Netherlands still have to play Germany while they don’t. None of this is to say that there won’t be a sense of lingering disappointment in Portugal at a result that slipped through their fingers. After all, they had chances. With the clock ticking towards half-time and the score goalless, a shot from Pepe from twelve yards out cannoned down off the underside of the crossbar onto the goal-line but bounced – from a German perspective at least – away to safety. The television broadcasters, of course, showed the replay from every conceivable angle, but there was no controversy to be had here. A little bad luck, perhaps, but there was no questioning the fact that the ball didn’t cross...

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Euro 2012: Denmark 1-0 Netherlands

Luck, we could posit, is more complex than simply being a matter of black and white. Whilst the Netherlands have a right to feel a little aggrieved that a couple of refereeing decisions might not have gone their way in Kharkiv this evening, there is a truth in the point that a team featuring such names as Arjen Robben, Robin Van Persie, Wesley Sneijder and John Heitinga shouldn’t be depending upon the benevolence of the referees whistle in order to claim a point or more from a match against the group outsiders in the finals of a major tournament. For every time the referees whistle didn’t rise to his mouth, there was another when a Dutch player failed to take advantage of an opportunity that had presented itself to them. This luck came into play on more than one occasion. A missed handball from Denmarks Simon Poulsen shortly after they had taken the lead which would have allowed the Dutch team a penalty kick and an almost immediate route back into the game. A shot from Arjen Robben that thudded out off the post. A desperate last minute appeal for a penalty kick from Klaas Jan Huntelaar as the match ticked over into stoppage time which was again waved away. Sometimes, the rub of the green if not on your side, and such is the wealth of talent at...

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Match Of The Past: Manchester United

Now a global brand and institution, there was a time when Manchester United was not as successful as it is now. The story of this club is one that is told much more effectively elsewhere, but this afternoon we are continuing our summer series of video compilations with a collection of Manchester United related highlights from the years between between the end of the second world war and the close to the beginning of the Premier League era. Regular televised league football didn’t begin in England until the mid-1960s, so our first videos are compilations of matches from the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. These are followed up with a First Division match from 1971 against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. Next up comes the second leg of a quarter-final match against Barcelona in the 1984 European Cup Winners Cup, and lastly a match which has been described as one of the key moments in the clubs transition from “Big Club” to “Global Power” – a League Cup match against Arsenal at Highbury from the 1990/91 season. You can follow Twohundredpercent on Twitter by clicking...

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