June 2008

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Bosphorous 1-0 Balkans

It’s almost as if Michel Platini was sitting in the stand with a remote control. “Honestly”, he thought to himself as he recalled the one hundred and eighteen minutes of dirge that he had found himself sitting through, “if you leave them to do it for themselves, you’ll always end up with one really duff…

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June 21, 2008
Ian

Panic On The Streets Of Chelsea?

I have been trying not to mention the Premier League in conjunction with Euro 2008 but, my word, Portugal made it difficult for me last night. While ITV was, predictably enough, focussing on every single move made by Cristiano Ronaldo, a far more interesting situation was developing at the other end of the pitch, where…

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June 20, 2008
Ian

Russia Hour

After a certain, indefinable point, failure becomes a default option. Like the South Korean team who, for so long seemed capable of doing everything but winning a match in the World Cup finals, so it was with Russia. Would they ever get past the group stages of a major tournament again? The answer to that,…

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June 18, 2008
Ian

Au Revoir

Farewell then, France. Last night had been an evening that promised to hit a crescendo of tension, excitement and drama, but in the event the evening in Zurich all went off like a firework display in a monsoon, with a French selection and performance that gave Italy a relatively comfortable ride through to the quarter-finals,…

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June 17, 2008
Ian

Auf Wiedershen, Mein Host

Last night, Austria followed Switzerland out of Euro 2008 with a performance which, whilst not lacking in heart and courage, ultimately showed up the gap in quality between themselves and the tournament favourites. Germany eventually eased their way into the quarter-finals with a win from a match in which they didn’t play particularly well and…

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June 17, 2008
Ian

Czechs Bounced Etc

Slowly but surely, the records are being broken. It feels as if, one by one, new legends are being created on an almost daily basis at Euro 2008, and last night we had a new one to add to the list: the greatest comeback by an international team in the finals of a competition. To…

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June 16, 2008
Ian

Saved By The Bell

Out go the holders, then, and one suspects that few people are going to miss them that much. Greece’s defeat by Russia yesterday evening was one of the more mediocre matches of the tournament so far, enlivened only by a horrific mistake by the Greek goalkeeper Antonis Nikopolidis allowed Konstantin Zyryanov to prod the ball…

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June 15, 2008
Ian
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