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Brushed Aside

We had very high hopes for this match, didn’t we? When pressed, this was going to be the classic of the two matches. The match that would repeated in slow motion with a light opera and indie rock soundtrack. As it turned out, though, Russia vs Spain was a comparatively one-sided match, won convincingly by…

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June 27, 2008

Not Enough Dutch Courage

For the second major tournament in a row, the team that came out of the starting blocks the quickest have fallen at the quarter-final stage. It is a measure of the quality of last night’s Russian performance that the Netherlands were dependent on an exceptional performance from their goalkeeper Edwin Van Der Saar to even…

June 22, 2008

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

Spain 4-1 Russia

Slowly but surely, Euro 2008 is coming to life. After last night’s contender for Match Of The Tournament between the Netherlands and Italy, tonight’s match between Russia and Sweden ran it fairly close. Against the wishes of anyone that wishes to steer clear of optimism surrounding the Spanish cause, it was a pretty outstanding start…

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June 10, 2008

Euro 2004 – Group D

Finally, Group D. One of the curiosities of media coverage of this group so far has been the enthusiasm with which writers have reached into their big bag of cliches. Spain are the perennial under-achievers (true, but no more than England are), Russia are the footballing equivalent of a massive bear wearing (without a hint…

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June 3, 2008

Keeping The “Dream” Alive

I’m not a God-fearing man, but this weekend we have at least seen confirmation of the existence of Lucifer, because the only way that the events that unfolded in Tel Aviv last night could have come about in the way that they did must have been as the result of a very late pact between…

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November 18, 2007
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