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Nigel's Euro Diary

Updated: Jun 16


The Euro 2020 tournament is up and running and with every team now having played their first games we can get a feel of who look like making it all the way to the Final at Wembley in July.


FRIDAY

The opening game between Italy and Turkey started slowly but with an un-Italian like performance of attacking intent, the Italian 3-0 win has set a good tone for the tournament.

I can't remember an Italian team ever playing in that fashion


SATURDAY

Saturdays 3 games were lit up by The Belgians who dominated Russia and were well worth their 3-0 victory with Lukaku looking good odds of finishing with the Golden Boot,

This was overshadowed by the terrible events in Copenhagen.

The sudden collapse of Christian Erikson and subsequent treatment was shocking to those viewing either in the ground or on television. Fortunately, he looks to be recovering as well as can be expected but questions should be asked after the tournament has finished over UEFA's handling of the resumption of the game.


SUNDAY

England I hoped would be the highlight of the day and in the opening half of the first half with England dominating the game it looked the case, but as the game went on and Modric seeing more of the ball both teams looked as equal as they were back in 2018 in the World Cup Semi-Final.


Sterling's goal and England victory was ground out but to highlight the importance of the victory, it was the first time England had won their opening game at any Euro tournament they have played in.


The match of the day though was the Dutch win over Ukraine who fought back thanks in some part to Yarmolenko's wonder strike to get them back into the game after they were adrift by 2 goals with 15 minutes left to play.


Special mention to Marko Arnatovic in scoring after coming on as a substitute for Austria in their 3-1 Victory over North Macedonia. His celebration was pure Marko.


MONDAY

The Scots had waited 33 years for this game, not since France 98 World Cup have they competed. 3-0 defeat to Morocco finished that poor time in France so now they felt they had a chance against the Czech republic who on the face of it look to be the outsider pick to watch as they dominated the Scots on home soil and with his second Schiek looks to have Goal of the Tournament in the bag already.


He is one to watch for me as we go on especially against England. With West Ham having our own Czech mates playing for them, he could be just what we need in our hunt for a striker for next season.


The Poland Slovakia game threw up possibly the surprise result so far, with the Slovak win, but that was as I expected Lewandowski to star.

Spain Sweden just about deserves a mention, and nothing more.



TUESDAY

The Puskas stadium is full of hopeful Hungarians hoping they can overcome the reigning champions, Portugal. They get to witness history though as Christian Ronaldo scores 2 of Portugal's late 3 goals to become the all-time Euro tournament-leading goalscorer with his 10th and 11th goals in the Euro's.


He is the 1st player to appear in 5 Euro Tournaments and the 1st to score in 5 Euro tournaments. Neither of his 2 goals matches the quality of Trevor Brooking's brace 40 years ago in the previous stadium that made way for this rebuilt stadium.

Hummel's own goal to give the French the lead woke up the tense game between them & the Germans.


Two grand old masters of the European game meeting in a group stage of any tournament for the first time.


Mbappe's disallowed offside goal was the 2nd one today, 1st was for the Hungarians, but both times the linesman did not flag until the ball was in the net, instead of flagging as both players took the ball with still work to do to hit the net.


Both decisions by the officials were correct but why wait and cause so much disappointment and wasted effort, if as in both cases they hit the net just to see it count for nothing.

Another pointless rule change that needs to be sorted.


My tip for the tournament off the first round of games are Italy.

They were great going forward and resistant to everything in defence, Turkey may not have offered much threat but that was down to the performance of the Italian backline led by the great 36-year-old man, Chiellini.

Notable mentions to the French who won't be too far away, and were unlucky to see 2 goals chalked off for offside and Portugal. Any team with Ronaldo has a chance of winning the trophy.

Keep looking out for more Euro updates from me as the tournament goes on.

Thanks for reading.