Monday 13 June
Over in Euroland Sweden and the Republic drew one each while holders, Spain, beat a plucky Czech side. The real news was the evening’s performance by Antonio Conte’s Italy who in a tactical master class, out witted and ultimately defeated Belgium.
Italy controlled things so completely Hazard and old boys De Bruyne and Lukaku didn’t have a sniff.
Brazil are out of the Copa as they slumped to a 1-0 defeat to Peru. The surprise loss does mean that Willian will get a few more hours on a sun lounger this summer.
Tuesday 14 June
The two arrested with flares in their pockets at the Liverpool game have been given three-year banning orders from all football. While we wouldn’t want to condone carrying, lighting or wearing flares, you have to say the ban is on the extreme side of heavy handed.
It is not as if a flare is actually dangerous.
Nothing much over in France as Hungary beat Austria and we got to see Ronaldo tears again as his beloved Portugal were held by Iceland. Eidur Gudjohnsen was on the bench for the Icelanders.
Wednesday 15 June
Fixture day and a home start as West Ham visit. Jose Mourinho visits in late October and we have Tottenham at home at New Year. The season finishes with three potentially relegation threatened sides in Middlesbrough, West Brom and Sunderland.
Over in France Roy will have a show down with Slovakia on Monday after the central Europeans managed what he couldn’t and soundly beat a very poor Russia. 2-1 flattered our friends from the steppes.
Romania and Switzerland share the points while France comfortably beat Albania.
Unfortunately biff went of again in Lille as Russian and England supporters were absurdly mistreated by the police. England fans were herded into a square with one open bar and kept there with nothing to do but drink. Any attempt to leave the square, even in small numbers was repelled by lines of riot police, who then waited for the inevitable.
Thursday 16 June
England 2:1 Wales
Roy Hodgson’s men stumbled past a spirited but blunt Wales. By the end of the match the tactical genius had five strikers on the pitch and little or no control of midfield. The tactic so bullied the Welsh they didn’t know what to do and Daniel Sturridge’s late strike spared England’s blushes.
Misfiring isn’t just England’s problem as stuttering Germany were lucky to escape from a match in Paris against Poland. The game finished nil each but Poland had the better chances.
As the Euros goes into the second week of competition, it’s pretty hard to find a stand out team of the tournament. If you disagree and think you can see the winner why not bet on Euro 2016 with William Hill?
Friday 17 June
The Czech Republic and Croatia had to be led off the field as flares rained down on the pitch during their 2-2 draw. The Croatian were leading before the incident and the fighting and flares from their end of the ground seemed to put them off allowing the Czechs back in.
Experts in local politics suggested the Croatian fans were deliberately trying to disgrace their FA.
Italy looked a little ragged as they eventually beat Sweden 1-0 whereas Spain looked full of beans dispatching the Turks with a 3-0 drubbing.
Saturday 18 June
Irish eye were smiling until the second-half when it all went wrong and Belgium showed the class we were expecting – Lukaku with two and Witsel scored the goals that leave the Irish needing to beat Italy to stand a chance.
Iceland and Hungary drew as did preening, self-regarding fancy dan’s Portugal. The mincing twerp missed a penalty as well as a hat full of presentable chances.
Sometimes little boys show off and try too hard.
Over in the Copa and Juan Cuadrado and Colombia beat Peru in a penalty shootout. Oddly they don’t have extra time in Copa matches until the final so the 0-0 went straight to penalties.
Sunday 19 June
The first group is decided as France struggle to a dull 0-0 with Switzerland with plucky Albania finish behind those two after beating Romania 1-0.