France Humble Iceland 5 – 2 In Euro 2016 Quarter Final

Euro-2016-FranceThe host nation of the on-going Euro 2016, France, have humiliated Iceland 5 – 2 to qualify for the semis.

The French demonstrated their superiority, as they shocked the Irish on Sunday night.

Goals from Olivier Giroud, Paul Pogba, Dimitri Payet and Antoine Griezmann set France ahead of Iceland, as they dominated the first half.

Arsenal striker, Giroud netted another fantastic goal in between Iceland’s Kolbeinn Sigthorsson and Birkir Bjarnason goals.

France would contest for the final match’s ticket with Germany who earlier beat Italy 6 – 5 on penalties.

Germany Beat Italy In Euro 2016 Quarter Final

Germany, Italy, Euro 2016Germany had to endure a long stretch of penalties as they defeated Italy 6-5 in the third quarter final match of the Euro 2016 championship.

The game had ended 1-1 after 120 minutes of football.

Mesut Ozil broke the deadlock in the second half but the Germans’ lead lasted few minutes as Jerome Boateng’s handball in the box gave Italy a penalty which was well converted by Leonardo Bonucci.

The quality of their penalties were, however, not particularly good.

Thomas Mueller, Mesut Oezil and Bastian Schweinsteiger all missed for Germany while Simone Zaza, Graziano Pelle, Leonardo Bonucci and Matteo Darmian missed for Italy.

Germany goalkeeper, Manuel Neuer, who was voted Man of the Match, said; “I have never experienced a shoot-out like this. I think most of the Italians just aimed into the middle.

“The 1-1 score we conceded during regular time was a bit unlucky. But I believe we were the better side and are deservedly through to the semi-finals.”

The total of 18 penalties ties the record for most penalties taken in a Euro penalty shootout.

The record was set in 1980 when Italy also lost 8-9 to Czechoslovakia in the 3rd place play-off.

Del Bosque Believes Italy Defeat Not End Of Spain Era

euro 2016Italy on Monday evening put in a dominant performance as they beat defending champions Spain 2-0 in Paris to reach the quarter-finals of Euro 2016.

Antonio Conte’s side took the lead in the 33rd minute through defender Giorgio Chiellini but they could have had more but for three superb saves from David De Gea.

Spain had a golden chance to equalise right as the death through Gerard Pique but Gianluigi Buffon was alert to the danger, making a brilliant save before Graziano Pelle’s strike sealed victory in injury time.

Spanish coach, Vicente Del Bosque, however believes that the defeat does not signal an end to Spain’s reign at the top of world football.

“Sometimes a team has to accept defeat,” he said. “I accept that Italy were better than us, but that does not have to mean it is the end of an era. Spanish football still has a great structure, with good players and coaches, and now we must look forward to qualifying for the next World Cup.”

The Italian coach shares the sentiment and was quite modest in victory. “It is in rude health,” the victorious Italy coach said.

“Look who keeps winning all the Champions League and Europa League [titles]. I wish Italian football was as healthy, because this is not the rosiest period for our country in terms of footballing talent. I think everybody knows that, and that’s why this victory should fill us with pride.

“I have said on many occasions that in terms of going forward Italy had to be a club; we have to play like a team faced with a league season because we cannot rely on outstanding individuals as we have done in the past. We have to be a team and I think we are getting there.”

Italy will now face Germany in the last eight at the Stade De Bordeaux on July 2 and Conte says, “They are the best side at these championships bar none, and we are going to have to face them without Thiago Motta, who is suspended, and possibly Daniele De Rossi, who has hurt his rib.

“Germany are a great team and there are a lot of hurdles in our path but when the going gets tough we can often manage to respond.”

Euro 2016: Italy Beat Sweden 1-0 To Make Last 16

euro 2016Italy have maintained their Group E dominance in the ongoing Euro 2016 championship after beating Sweden 1 – 0.

The Italians were able to get through to the Round of 16 with a late goal in the 88th minute from Inter Milan forward, Eder Martins.

The match was played on Friday at the Stadium de Toulouse in France.Italy-Sweden, Euro 2016

Italy had beaten Belgium 2 – 0 in their first match with goals from Emanuele Giaccherini and Graziano Pelle.

On the flip side, Sweden have been struggling to get a win in the competition after their match with the Republic of Ireland ended 1 – 1.

While Sweden are currently third in the group with one point, the match between Belgium and the Republic of Ireland would determine who will come second.

Euro 2016: Experienced Italy Stun Belgium 2-0

euro 2016A united Italy team on Monday night dented Belgium’s chances of glory at the Euro 2016 with a clinical 2-0 victory in Lyon.

Emanuele Giaccherini scored the opening goal in the 31st minute, while Graziano Pelle scored sealed the victory through a classic counter attack in the 91st minute.

After going one goal down, the Belgians missed several chances as they chased the equalizer all through the second half but Italy defended well.

Romelu Lukaku would be one of the guilty players, wasting one of the best goal scoring chances on the night as Marc Wilmots’ men failed to make it 1-1.

Pellè settled Italy’s nerves with a second after one of Belgium’s desperate attacking forays went bad and resulted in a counterattack.

Belgium, ranked number two in the world and rated as one of the pre-tournament favourites, are now bottom of Group E with Ireland and Sweden in second and third after drawing 1-1.

Earlier in the day, reigning champions Spain left it late as Gerard Pique’s 87th-minute header earned them a deserved 1-0 victory over a dogged Czech Republic in their Group D opener.

Spanish Coach, Vicente Del Bosque selected under-pressure goalkeeper, David De Gea for the starting line-up.

In the most one-sided game of the tournament so far, Vicente Del Bosque’s side looked like they would not get any reward for their possession until the Barcelona defender headed in Andres Iniesta’s cross.

Ranieri, Kane Win Premier League Awards For March

Premier LeagueHarry Kane and Claudio Ranieri have won the March Barclays Premier League awards for Player and Manager of the Month respectively.

Ranieri guided Leicester City to a draw and three 1-0 wins over Watford, Newcastle United and Crystal Palace, to maintain their lead at the top of the Barclays Premier League.

He was voted for the award ahead of a managerial shortlist that featured AFC Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe (W3 L1), West Ham’s Slaven Bilic (W2 D1) and Swansea City’s Francesco Guidolin (W3 L1).

It is the fourth time Ranieri has claimed the Barclays manager award, the joint-most for an Italian alongside former Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti. Ranieri is the 15th manager to have won the award four times.

Ranieri won the award in November this season and also was awarded it twice during the 2003/04 campaign when with Chelsea.

No Leicester manager has won the award more than once in one season, although Martin O’Neill claimed it three times in a three-year period from September 1997.

Ranieri has the chance to join Joe Kinnear (1993/94 with Wimbledon) and Sir Alex Ferguson (1999/00 with Manchester United) and Ancelotti (2010/11) to have won the award three times in one season. That feat is also possible for Tottenham Hotspur head coach Mauricio Pochettino, who was named manager of the month in August and February.

Five goals in four matches won the Barclays Player of the Month award for Kane, a tally that has taken him to the top of the race for the Barclays Golden Boot with 22 goals so far.

He beat a shortlist that also included Southampton’s Graziano Pelle, Swansea City’s Ashley Williams, Leicester duo Wes Morgan and Riyad Mahrez, and West Ham United’s Dimitri Payet.

It is the third time Kane has claimed the award, after winning it in January and February last year.

 

Culled from premierleague.com

Townsend Scores As England Draw With Italy

EnglandTottenham winger, Andros Townsend, came off the bench to produce a late equaliser for England in a 1-1 draw against Italy in Turin on Tuesday.

Southampton striker, Graziano Pelle’s header looked to have put Italy on course for victory in the first-half of the friendly against England.

The English side on the other hand, struggled to get to grips with the changes made by manager, Roy Hodgson, after Friday’s Euro 2016 qualifier win against Lithuania.

By the introduction of several substitutes, the Tottenham winger’s rising 20-yard drive 11 minutes from time, gave England a draw in the second-half.

Hodgson’s side then ended the game on top and only a fine save from Buffon stopped England captain, Wayne Rooney – who had earlier hit the bar – from adding to his total of 47 goals for his country and closing even further on Sir Bobby Charlton’s all-time record of 49.

The experiment of using Phil Jones in midfield failed miserably and he reverted to defence when Chris Smalling went off ill just before half-time.

Correspondingly, Arsenal’s Theo Walcott, was also misused in a forward role rather than on the wing.

Hodgson said after the match, “I’m really happy with our second half, I thought we were the better team. That’s pleasing in the sense that under (Antonio) Conte, Italy are a strong team.

“We’re missing a few players and when they’re available, we have a few more options.”