Category: Latest

Euro 2016: One Night in Lille

It was a perfect way to end a horrible, dysfunctional week. It has felt for all the world as though the sky is falling in this week, as though the dystopian outlooks of so many films and television programmes set in the near future is finally starting to crank into gear, and those of us who have had a strip of their identity taken from us and been told that we’re “traitors” for feeling the way that we do about it all needed something positive, a cathartic moment to deliver us from the first tentative steps of a new...

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Euro 2016: Italy vs Germany… Live!

A couple of weeks ago, there were many who were convinced that Germany were a shoo-in to win Euro 2016 and that Italy had no chance whatsoever. Germany have been strong so far, easing through their group matches and their second match with a minimum of fuss. But it’s been Italy who have, in their own peculiar way, been one of the sensations of the tournament so far. Written off before a ball was kicked, they eased past Belgium and Sweden before fielding something of a B team against Ireland and losing. And then they beat Spain, winners of...

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Euro 2016: Wales vs Belgium… Live!

Good evening everybody, and welcome to the second of the quarter-finals at this summer’s Euro 2016 tournament, between Wales and Belgium from Lille, in the north of France. For Wales, this match in a once in several generations opportunity. They haven’t reached this stage of a major international tournament since losing to Pele’s Brazil at the 1958 World Cup finals – indeed, this is the first time they’ve qualified for the finals of a major tournament since then – and they’ve never made the semi-finals of one before. This is a chance to make history. For Belgium, meanwhile, a...

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Euro 2016: Portugal vs Poland… Live!

Good evening everyone, and welcome back to the football after another couple of days of madness. Anything we can do to block out the background noise, eh? And this evening’s match is the first of the quarter-finals, between Poland and Portugal. This is the best Poland team since that which reached the semi-finals of the 1982 World Cup, and its star man, Robert Lewandowski, still hasn’t caught fire yet. On the other hand, we’ve seen flashes of brilliance from Cristiano Ronaldo, but can this be enough to propel Portugal to the one area of football in which Ronaldo hasn’t...

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Euro 2016: The Story So Far

Mark Murphy has enjoyed Euro 2016. But he ALWAYS enjoys international football tournaments, regardless of quality. It’s true. I have enjoyed Euro 2016 thus far, despite the tournament having a goals-per-game ratio which would have shamed the Italia ’90 bore-fest. Wales and Iceland being in the quarter-finals is evidence that the increase in finalists from 16 to 24 has had benefits. The Guardian newspaper’s Paul Wilson criticised the expanded field in his pre-tournament article Will it be a mouth-watering banquet or an overstuffed buffet? But he admitted that it was “good for the likes of Wales and Iceland,” as...

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