Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Breakdown - GROUP D

Few suprising results were provided in this group as well! C'mon In-ger-laaand.

So, it ended in a 1-1 draw between England and France. I don't agree that you should ever really be 'happy' with a draw but this was England's hardest game and to gain a point here is brilliant. It not only robs 2 off favourites France but also England should be feeling pretty confident. There was a lot of talk after the Danish win over Holland that if they can win against such a strong, attacking team...then why can't England with a similar defensive structure?
As I have said before, I honestly think the lack of pressure on the lads has probably done them the world of good as they can just relax and go out there and do what they do best. It wasn't a flawless performance but there were many positives to be gained. Parker and Gerrard worked well to break up France's play and there was some explosive pace from Welbeck, Young and Oxlaide-Chamberlain on the break. In both halves of the game, England were guilty of dropping a bit too deep giving France far too many opportunites but they defended very well. It is a bit boring and it's hardly exciting to watch but I suppose for the current England squad to hold out hope of beating teams like France, it's what they have to do.

Man Of The Team: Gerrard

France will probably be feeling a bit frustrated, They were the better team on the pitch, they had more possession and they had more chances but England held firm. They should be more positive about the weaker defenses of Sweden and Ukraine and will probably still come out as top dogs but they were definitely expecting more than a point in their first game. They grew into each half of the game, pushing England back and looking dangerous and in control. Nasri and Ribery linked well with Benzema and the Frenchman was herd to mark indeed.

Man Of The Team: Nasri

Ukraine put in the suprise shift of the night, ending up top of Group D after a 2-1 win over Sweden. They was a cloud of doubt hanging over Ukraine coming into the tournament due to many injuries and generally being one of the lowest ranked teams, not that you would have guessed last night. Aging Shevchenko proved he's not past it with 2 great goals and Yarmolenko also lived up to the hype, with him and fellow winger, Konoplyanka, causing Sweden's full backs many problems. They struggled towards the end as Sweden continued to come at them but they held out and it is a very important win for them.

Man Of The Team: Veteran, Shevchenko

No suprises who was running the show for Sweden...Ibrahimovic as always was a dynamic presence of the pitch, scoring Sweden's only goal and constantly being in the middle of the action. They started slowly however and failed to really get Zlatan into the game and then failed to make their chances at the end materialise. Elmander did an ok job and Mellberg had a chance, but it was not to be for Sweden.

Man Of The Team: Ibrahimovic

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