Euro 2016: Group B Final Matches… Live!
by Ian | Jun 20, 2016
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Good evening everybody, and welcome to our coverage of this evening’s matches in Group B of Euro 2016. It’s tight at the top of this group. England lead by a single point from Wales and Slovakia and they play Slovakia in Saint Etienne with it already being reported that manager Roy Hodgson has made widespread changes from the team that squeaked a stoppage-time win against Wales last week. Well, there’s no way that can go wrong now, is there?
Wales, meanwhile, play a Russian team that can still qualify for the next round in spite of being absolutely chaotic in every respect apart from the hooliganism of their supporters. Wales may have been partly deflated by a bout of hubris prior to the England match and all has been quiet in from their squad ahead of this match. Russia, meanwhile, put on a decent show for the last ten or fifteen minutes of their defeat to Slovakia, but will this be anywhere near enough to stop their involvement in the tournament continuing to collapse in on itself?
We’ll be back shortly before kick-off with at the very least the absolute latest from the England match as well as updates concerning what’s going on elsewhere.
England: Hart: Clyne, Cahill, Smalling, Bertrand; Wilshere, Dier, Henderson; Lallana, Sturridge, Vardy.
Slovakia: Kozacik, Pekarik, Skrtel, Durica, Hubocan, Kucka, Pecovsky, Hamsik, Mak, Duda, Weiss.
So, there’s your teams for the Slovakia vs England match, then.
And here they are for Wales vs Russia:
Russia: Akinfeev; Smolnikov, V Berezutski, Ignashevich, Kombarov; Smolov, Mamaev, Glushakov, Kokorin; Shirokov; Dzyuba.
Wales: Hennessy; Gunter, Chester, A Williams, Davies, N Taylor; Allen, Ledley, Ramsey; Bale, Vokes.
OPEN WIDE FOR SOME SOCCER
We are currently playing the matches through on Rocket League to figure out what tonight’s scores will be. First up, Wales versus Russia.
So, on the subject of all the changes to the England team, then, there are probably two schools of thought on this. On the one hand, this could be the most monumental act of hubris that an England manager has ever committed. England aren’t home and dry yet, and winning the group is vital for a comfortable sequence of events in the knockout stages, should that come to pass.
On the other, after a long season it’s just possible that a rest will do some players good, and it makes a change to see a tournament as an event in itself through holistic eyes rather than just a sequence of events that just kind of happen. If players need to be rested, then they need to be rested.
I wonder if there’s ANYONE outside Russia who wants Russia to win tonight. Everything about Russian sport in recent weeks/months has stunk to Fifa levels. AND the team are “ponderous, slow and beatable” according to SKY’S Paul Kelso. As a Russian fan told him “they (Russia) play like you (England) fight.”
dewch ymlaen Cymru! Apparently. Profuse and genuine apologies if that is NOT Welsh for Come on Wales
Our first Rocket League score is in. Tonight’s match will be Russia 2-0 Wales. Get thee to the bookmakers. Now, England.
I don’t know where I sit on those points of view, but I’ll say this much – Roy Hodgson will see his reputation either completely destroyed or slightly enhanced by what happens in Saint Etienne tonight. Hindsight haa twenty twenty vision, though.
(Note to readers – whilst Rocket League is an excellent, excellent game, it should not be used for the purposes of predicting anything whatsoever.)
Jesus. Just watch these results come in and Edward be absolutely unbearable for the rest of the evening.
Agreed on Russia, by the way, Mark. Regardless of opinion on the merits or otherwise of England and Wales, I think we can safely agree that this Russia team at this time progressing to the next round would be travesty on more levels than I have the time or energy to count.
Rocket League match result the second, Slovakia 4-0 England. Brutal.
You absolute blithering idiot.
Slovakia, yes that’s where we are, Slovakia /national anthem lyrics
The idea of “BBC analyst” and “ITV analyst” is increasingly a thing of the past. Craig Bellamy in the studio and Tony Pulis in the ITV4 com-box at Toulouse, both recently on the Beeb. Not complaining, mind. Neither of them are Robbie Savage.
Sounds like the “Rocket League” isn’t exactly “rocket science”… (hey, someone had to say it, and given the quality of 200% pundits tonight, it HAD to be me.
Red shirts, fifty years of hurt.
Blue socks, fifty years of cocks.
Eric Dier, the sky-er is the limit for that young man.
Bale strikes the keepers’ palms on 60 seconds. Three offside Welsh players in Akinfeev’s eyeline so it may not have counted anyway.
Bellamy has already said Russia “lack fight…on the pitch, anyway.” Joined in the studio by a bearded Mark Hughes, about which I have yet to form a coherent opinion (about the beard, that is. Hughes is a ****)
Jamie Vardy fires over the bar with his knee. He thinks outside the box. He’s got some interesting opinions.
Pulis’s early analysis of the Russians is informative (“they are going for it” being the gist) but nameless. I suspect “the lad” might be seeing a lot of the ball for them tonight.
Alright, Beckensmalling, just get rid of it.
Chance! Chance? Lallana and Vardy, the ball flicked into the penalty area, but some excellent defending keeps the ball from Daniel Sturridge.
We didn’t get to see his little dance. Small mercies.
Ramsay!!! Cymru 1-0!
Just writing about the redundancy of the phrase “defences are on top” when Joe Allen’s pinpoint pass proves the point and Ramsay dinks the ball right-footed over the on-rushing but exposed Akinfeev.
They just broke away from this match to show the goal from the Wales match. Russia are so terrible that’s it’s probably a good thing that no-one in their right mind will be going there in two years.
The game has been getting “stretched” since minute one. Russia are marking Bale like they’ve never heard of him.
Wales top the group. “Call it off now,” says an audibly beaming Pulis.
England have started with two known smokers on the field tonight. I could not be more proud. Recapturing the spirit of 1966.
Everyone but Russia qualifying at the moment. Best-case scenario, that.
England have had the best of the first fifteen minutes, then Vardy chases through on the left but sees his shot smothered by the goalkeeper.
Sam Vokes booked for an elbow on Beretzutski which has left the Russian in need of a bandage. Replays show that Vokes only had eyes for the ball and it isn’t initially clear how Beretzutski’s head got cut. Still, the prospect of another water-polo hat appearing in the second half will keep me going..
That’s a bad foul by Bertrand, there, on Pekerik, whose nose is now gushing blood like the world’s worst Mannekin Pis tribute.
2-0 Cymru. Neil Taylor. Neil bloody TAYLOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Slovakia’s approach to defending against Vardy is similar to Mark’s assessment of Russia’s preparations for Bale. Is Vardy just unplayable? I don’t know, or care.
I don’t think Putin is going to be happy about this.
Pulis happier than Putin. Taylor’s first goal for Wales. “Bale in space” says Joe Speight. Bale’s pass is cut out but side-footed beautifully into Taylor’s path by Shirokov. Taylor’s first finish is very that of a full-back. Akinfeev saves but the rebound is on a plate stuff for “the man from Ian Rush’s home town.” Pulis says Wales are playing “smashingly” and believes he willl get stick for that “new” word. I suspect he won’t care in the long run.
Russia have been atrocious. At Euro 2016, as well.
STILL NIL NIL COME ON ENGLAND FOR FUCK’S
Yellow card for Pecovsky, for a late, trailing leg.
Ahem. Still 0-0 in Saint-Etienne.
Matter of time, Edward. Slovakia only beat Russia 2-1 and Russia are hopeless. Who couldn’t beat them by more than one go….oh…
No. Seriously, matter of time.
Meanwhile, Russia have a moment. Wayne Hennessy saving from a nearly clean-through Dzyuba. Careful now.
Whatever the Welsh is for ****!!!! Bale runs from box to box unruffled, sets up Vokes, who hits Akinfeev’s legs. Should…have…scored. Rue missed chances? etc…
I am absolutely convinced that Slovakia will win this, and this is based on on nothing I’ve seen over the last half hour. Its muscle memory of the brain.
32 minutes played, and time for us to announce our official Twohundredpercent Gran of the Match™ award. It is Adam Lallana’s nana, pictured here with a portrait of him she painted.
Bale “goes down under a challenge” in the box. But its one of those where the forward “leaves his leg in.” No penalty.
“I’d be screaming my head off if it was 0-0,” says Pulis. “But as its 2-0 I’ll let them have that.” Over-over confidence perhaps?
But then Ramsey pings another shot against Aknfeev’s mittens.
That’s not the one who kisses him in that ad… (please, PLEASE know which ad I’m talking about…PLEASE!!!)
England are not scoring. Which is irksome for me. But I am willing to take the broader view. This is why I am voting remain.
Bale hits Akinfeev’s gloved palms again. If the gloves were made of the same material as those Swiss shirts, they would no longer be gloves.
Wales have had SEVEN shots on target in 38 minutes. Seven more than Sweden in 180 minutes.
Bale again. Against two defenders but gets another shot away. At Aknfeev again, alas. But if Russia aren’t keeping an eye on the pony-tailed one NOW, why would they decide to do so after half-time?
I’ll tell you what this feels like. It feels like the England vs Russia match.
I’m going to blow your mind here, but we’re probably going to need Harry Kane.
England’s delivery on set pieces has been dogshit, so far. They’re much better looking in open play.
Duda’s gone so so deep, do doo doo da day.
Bet my money on the pony-tailed Bale…somebody bet on Sam Vokes…
The drugs don’t work, eh?
Bale gives Ramsay an easy chance, which the Arsenal man spurns.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I have considerable admiration for Jamie Vardy. He’s achieved a tremendous amount. But I wouldn’t having him mind my pets while I was on holiday.
Future pub quiz teams will one day answer questions about who England were playing the day Rarcus Mashford scored his famous Euro 2016 hat trick, on the day in history we are currently living through.
Bale sets up Ramsay again in stoppo. But Ramsay does the Arsenal thing…cuts inside and spurns the chance. The half could not have gone much better, though. Should be more than 2-0 but 2-0 SHOULD be enough, unless Russia’s half-time tea is heavily doped…oh…wait…
Russia swap Beretzutski twins at half-time. But they need another ten, much better, twins to get back into this. The one on now is Russia’s goalscoere in their first match.
Meanwhile…47 minutes…Bale…run…shot…at Akinfeev. He’ll get one right soon, surely?
FOOTBALL IS BACK HAPPENING, all up in my grill. Can England do it? Asked England for the next 45 minutes. And then probably forgot about fairly quickly.
Back under way in Saint Etienne, by the way. England’s away kit is bullsheeeee, isn’t it?
Of course, were Slovakia to nick a goal here, England will be relying on 4 points being enough to get through in third place. No pressure.
Four points will be enough. Above Albania already.
Chris Gunter has SEVENTY Welsh caps. Blimey. His cross is nearly turned in by a Russian defender – the tall, immobile one…which doesn’t narrow it down much…
Russia substitute captain Shirokov…and take a full minute to find someone else to wear it. Akinfeev gets the “honour.” Well, he’s been their busiest player…in possession most often…
Mother fuck, that was close by Slovakia. Smalling decides to chest it back to Hart with Mak lurking off his shoulder. Only divine intervention could save us.
Meanwhile at the other end, Clyne cuts into the penalty area, six yards out, and shoots – a brilliant save.
Ramsay to Bale, out comes the new Russian captain to make a 94th save…
More Russian possession this half but only one half-decent cross to show for six minutes of it. And Wales are creating chances at will on the break.
Vladimir Weiss finds himself in space, miles of space, on England’s right. Joe Hart does well to keep his head, making a smart save at turf level.
“At turf level” isn’t a thing. Stop trying to make “at turf level” a thing.
Wayne Rooney replaces Smokin’ Jack Wilshere. He’s been very poor today, in an England midfield that has been seriously lacking.
First free-kick in Bale territory…and Ashley Williams takes it…ha, no… Bale fires wide. Akinfeev had it covered and had no chance to make a Joe Hart of it.
If Glenn Hoddle doesn’t shut his face soon, I’m going to lose my mind.
You’re going to lose your mind, then…
Adam “Jack Hargreaves” Lallana is now withdrawn, Delle Alli replacing him.
This is killing me, this
Henderson crosses to the far post and Delle Alli, with his first touch, has a brilliant low shot blocked on the line by Skrtel.
Citing “Out of Town”? (which none of us would ever have watched if it wasn’t on next to the football highlights in the Sunday schedule). Mind lost…
Chuck in a floater. If you chuck in a floater, we’ll win the games. Don’t you want us to win the games?
Russia…have a shot but Glushakov is a good review of it, as well as the shooter’s name.
I don’t think am England team with this defence can afford to go games without scoring.
Roy’s made two too many changes, hasn’t he? Not enough substitutions to amend his mistake now.
Mamaev booked for a “third-man tackle” on the, admittedly combative, Joe Allen. (Would have been a “black card” in Gaelic Football). And Joe Ledley nearly converts Ashley Williams’ knock-down from the resultant free-kick
Imagine sending a substitute on, with a live, furious adult swan stuffed up his jersey. Flailing about, breaking arms left, right and centre. Honking.
Bale. 3-0 At long bloody last
Should actually be disallowed. Ramsay plays the ball through the statuesque Russian “defence” to Bale, who times his run perfectly. But Vokes, a foot offside, waves a leg at the pass as it…er…passes him. Just as Pulis commends him for “not getting involved with the pass.” Ooops. But ha-ha…
Wayne Rooney as a midfielder has been a revelation. Good positionally, great vision and distribution, strong on the ball. Plus all the old instincts around the penalty box. Could he be the next Bobby Charlton? If so, he’s going to need to grow some more hair.
Eric Dier chucked in a floater. Daniel Sturridge nearly wins the game. What more proof do you need?
Mamaev pulls Ramsay’s shirt half off his back. A Swiss shirt would not have survived. “Must be a booking” says Pulis, correctly, before suggesting the referee is “feeling sorry for them.” But, of course, Mamaev was already on a yellow. So…
Still, he won’t be missing Russia’s next match in the tournament. Because there WON’T BE ONE. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA etc…
Daniel Sturridge is replaced by Harry Kane. Roy’s last throw of the dice.
Pulis is seeing injuries all over the place. But Ledley does limp off. Looks like cramp, though. Not surprising, given his recent lack of football…or shaving…
Pulis even suggested subbing Bale and Ramsay “in case” of injury. Wales are making him THAT confident. They’ve been THAT good.
Harry Kane, he’s one of our own
A statement which loses impact
Due to the tautological nature of the statement
It almost scans…if you ignore the line structure…
Fucking Jordan Henderson, he’s no sodding use, is he? What the hell is going on? Is there some sort of mass delusion that I’m somehow immune to? He is painfully average, yes? Yes?!
Ignasevich has a free-kick in Bale territory…and hits hit halfway to Madrid… Being a Wales fan right now must be SOOOOOOOOOOOO good…
Nathaniel Clyne went paddling, everyone called him Nathaniel Brine.
England are going to have one really good chance tonight in the last ten minutes. But only one. And if they don’t take it, they better hope their defence can hold on.
Possession stats show 50-50. Which bears no relation to any conceivable reality…especially as Wales then string together about 30 individually cheered passes. So comfortable are they know that they HAVE subbed Bale. Six minutes left.
Chuck it in the mixer. Get a floater up.
“We are top of the group, I said we are top of the group” sing some of the Welsh. Tempt that fate.
Meanwhile Dzyuba misses a sitter from seven yards…by five yards…and no-one seemed in the least bit surprised…
England have been frustrating more than anything else tonight. Slovakia have done virtually nothing all evening, and could yet snatch a goal.
Pulis confused by Russia. “I know people will say Russia were poor but they shouldn’t take away from Wales like that.” He then says “Russia have been poor” before talking up their “great league.” He then adds “they drew with England didn’t they?”, although that MIGHT be making a slightly different point.
Meanwhile, Ramsay has another good chance deflected wide. 88 minutes.
One theory I read was that second place might suit in that players get an extra twenty-four hours rest. But that’s an irrelevance, tonight. This has been Wales’s night, mos def.
I’m calling Bald Man of the Match as Martin Skrtel, by the way. He’s been immense.
England, you shower of fannies.
48 hours, Speight said earlier (Saturday to Monday).
Two minutes stoppo, the ref having mercy on Russia souls, as Dzubya fires over.
They’re having a Wales of a time in Toulouse, eh? EH? EH?
Crack pipe is coming out tonight.
Another big screen shot of a Welsh fan crying but the context could scarcely be more different.
Full-time. 3-0. “A special night to be a Welsh fan” says Speight. And boy is he right…
But anyways, well done Wales on winning the group. They’ve been behind for, what, ninety seconds in their three games?
Martin Skrtel’s wife is called Myrtle.
Wales win the group..and they know it, the crowd letting out a gutteral roar as the final whistle goes at St Etienne.
Slovakia to go through too, I’d suggest. Smiles all round, then. Come on England fans…even you…
Full Time: England 0-0 Slovakia. A frustrating night for England rather than am outright bad one. Slovakia had two chances all night, and England gifted them one of those. At the other end, a quite outstanding goal line clearance from Martin Skrtel from Delle Alli’s first touch was as near as England came, but they have a couple of positives to take. They controlled the game and kept a clean sheet. It wasn’t as apocalyptic as it will undoubtedly be spun, but it wasn’t… good.