After a joyous victory for England against their bitter rivals Germany in the last 16, John Newsome takes a look at all the Euro 2020 quarter-final fixtures and gives us his correct score predictions as well as a review of England – Germany game.
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The Last-16 Knock-out stages are complete with a couple or three surprises.
Probably the three that could be considered surprises were the Czech Republic beating the Netherlands, Switzerland overcoming the World Champions France and for some, England getting the victory against Germany, not for John Newsome, by the way, that was predicted but a lot didn’t believe in Gareth Southgate and his and our boys!
The Quarter-Final lineup is as follows
Friday 2nd July
17.00 in England
SWITZERLAND v SPAIN
Krestovsky Stadium, St Petersburg
Bet 365 offer Switzerland at 19/4, the draw at 13/5 and slight Odds On 13/20 for Spain to proceed to the Semi-Final.
Spain Win 3-1
20.00 in England
Wee Jean x
BELGIUM v ITALY
Allianz Arena, Munich
Bet 365 offer Belgium at 12/5, the draw at 21/10 and 13/10 for Italy to proceed to the Semi-Final.
Italy Win 2-0
Saturday 3rd July
17.00 in England
CZECH REPUBLIC v DENMARK
Olympic Stadium, Baku
Bet 365 offer the Czech Republic at 14/5, the draw at 11/5 and 11/10 for Denmark to proceed to the Semi-Final.
Denmark Win 3-2
20.00 in England
ENGLAND v UKRAINE
Stadio Olimpico, Rome
Bet 365 offer England at slight Odds On 4/6, the draw at 2/1 and 14/5 for the Ukraine to proceed to the Semi-Final.
England Win 2-0
England were simply outstanding against Germany with Gareth Southgate getting his team selection spot on, playing a Back-3 and 2-Wing Backs that the same system the Germans found difficult against Hungary.
Mr Southgate knew that and despite a few nervy moments, weathered the storm, tired the opposition out, then introduced Jack Grealish at the optimum moment to lift England to the next level.
Some people just don’t understand football and the said know who they are, GB got his tactics spot on. It’s about 90-minutes, it’s about a squad, it’s about getting everything right at the right time.
There are groups all over who have commented that England are this, that and the other. England are gaining momentum at just the right time, believe in Gareth Southgate and all of the Three Lions.
Respect Raheem Sterling!
Respect Harry Kane!
The Back-3 by the way, were Made in South Yorkshire. When John Stones plays, England don’t concede!
Italy overcame a resilient Austrian side that had the remarkable Marko Arnautovic as its spearhead. Marko was simply superb against an Italian side that assumed the Azzuri just had to turn up and job done.
Mr Arnautovic was up for the fight from the start and was immediately given a Yellow Card after 7-minutes, by an English referee in Anthony Taylor. Marko then thought he’d scored a great goal late on in proceedings only for the goal to be ruled out by the dreaded VAR.
In most of the games, the VAR has been involved but has been decisive, yet in the Italy v Austria game, the process wasn’t as fluid. English referee?
It’s a shame Marko Arnautovic chose the Chinese dollar instead of the English Premier League pounds as the boy is different class and the EPL certainly miss a player of Mr A’s quality. Respect Marko!
Austria have a few decent players such as Martin Hinteregger, Christoph Baumgartner, Konrad Laimer and Marcel Sabitzer. The Netherlands succumbed to a defeat against the Czech Republic initially after dominating proceedings but couldn’t break down the Czech defence.
In 27 seconds of madness, midway through the 2nd-half, where the Dutch striker, Donyell Malen was clean through and just had to beat the Czech goalkeeper.
The ‘keeper, Tomas Vaclik took the ball off Mr Malen, then sent a long ball downfield to Patrik Schick who pressured Holland’s Matthijs De Ligt into handling the ball clearly preventing a goal-scoring opportunity.
The on-field referee initially showed Mr De Ligt a Yellow Card but after the dreaded VAR advised the ref to look at the pitch-side monitor, the decision was quite rightly changed to a straight Red and an early bath for Matthijs.
That decision changed the game completely with the Czech Republic taking full advantage of the extra man and scoring twice to proceed to the Quarter-Final, where they will face Denmark in Baku. Spain and Croatia played out the game of the Last-16 stage with an 8-goal thriller after 120-minutes.
Super Boy Pedri, hit a tame back pass to his goalkeeper, Unai Simon from 40-yards that saw the Spanish stopper mis-control the ball and let it end up in the back of the net. Although a terrible mistake by the ‘keeper, it did go down as a Pedri own goal. One-Nil to Croatia.
Spain then scored 3-goals and with time running out, it looked for all purpose that an easy victory to the Spaniards was on the cards. Not so, Croatia scored twice in the final few minutes to take the game into Extra-Time.
Fortunately for Spain and unfortunately for the Croatian’s, the added 30-minutes went in the favour of Espania with Luis Enrique’s boys progressing to the Quarter-Finals to face Switzerland in St Petersburg.
One of the standout games from the knockout stage saw France firstly, come from behind against Switzerland, then allow the Swiss to level but then ultimately lose a penalty shootout to end their pursuit of adding the Euros to their World Cup chocolate that’s already in the cabinet.
Trailing by a goal to nil, Switzerland were awarded a penalty that would have gone a long way to taking the game, if scored, however, Hugo Lloris made a wonderful save to keep France in the tournament.
Two minutes and 19-seconds later, almost a round in professional boxing, Karim Benzema scored the equaliser, then a minute and 42-seconds on, KB scored a 2nd to give France the lead. Paul Pogba scored a beauty to give Les Bleus a 2-goal advantage.
Like Croatia, a couple of hours earlier, Switzerland pulled 2-goals back late on in proceedings to give the tie another 30-minutes.
Unlike the previous game, there were no further goals in Extra-Time, so the tie went to penalties, with the first 9, all converted. After a brilliant penalty save in normal time, Hugo couldn’t get near the Swiss-5 in the shootout.
It was then left to Kilian Mbappe to score France’s 5th, unfortunately for KM, the Swiss goalkeeper saved and France were on their way home. Fourteen goals plus the penalties, in the day from the 2-knockout ties. England beat Germany by a 2-0 scoreline, setting up a Quarter-Final against Ukraine in Italy on Saturday.
In the final Last-16 fixture, between Sweden and Ukraine, Man City’s Oleksandr Zinchenko put Ukraine in front, with RB Leipzig’s Emil Forsberg replying for Sweden, both in the 1st-half.
With no further goals after the break and for most of the the subsequent 30-minutes of Extra-Time, it looked like the tie was to be decided on penalties, until the Ukraine’s Artem Dovbyk scored late, late on in proceedings to get the victory by a 2-1 scoreline and move on to face England in Rome. It’s coming, Rome.
N’Golo Kante’s trophy room at his 3-bedroom Terraced house back in London is overflowing with medals, however, won’t be adding the Euro 2020 gong to his 2, count them, 2-Premier League Winner’s medals and the 2018 World Cup Winner’s piece of Gold. Probably the tie of the QFs is Belgium pitching up against Italy.
Both were outstanding in their relevant Last-16 games with Italy comfortably beating Austria and Belgium controlling Cristiano’s ageing Portugal side.
Whilst a lot will and would be happy that CR7 has departed, with a lot thinking the Superstar is a (insert rude word) the boy from Madeira should be afforded tremendous respect for what Mr Ronaldo has achieved in the game.
Three-Premier League titles, 1-FA Cup, 2-English League Cup, 5-Champions League titles (1-Manchester United and 4-Real Madrid), 4-World Club Cup (1-Manchester United and 3-Real Madrid), 2-La Liga titles, 2-Copa Del Rey Cup, 2-UEFA Super Cup, 2-Serie A titles, 1-Coppa Italia, 1-Euros-Portugal, 1-UEFA Nations League-Portugal and 5-Ballon D’Or, with countless other individual honours.
Plus being the joint all-time leading International goal scorer matching the Iranian Ali Daei’s 109. Cristiano won’t be retiring anytime soon. There’s been an argument over the past umpteen years about who is the best, Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi?
Personally, it’s Micheal Carrick but regarding the other two, it’s an argument that will separate many and is a great discussion down the pub over a few Guinness’s (other alcoholic beverages are available!)
There’s no doubt Young Lionel is up there but ponder on both careers, Cristiano Ronaldo, aka CR7, came over to Manchester aged 18 and not only played in the best league in the world but dominated proceedings and wore the famous Manchester United number 7 shirt with aplomb, equally matching the previous incumbents of the iconic numbered jersey, such as George Best, Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona and David Beckham.
Cristiano was handed the shirt as a teenager, and while some doubted whether he was worthy of such an honour at the time, Sir Alex once again knew what he was doing and the shirt will be associated with the Portuguese star, along with the other greats.
Memphis Depay wore the 7 at Old Trafford but the history weighed too heavy on the Dutch lad, who has just joined Lionel Messi at Barcelona.
Mr Ronaldo will go down as one of the best along with Mr Messi, Mr Cruff, Mr Best, Mr Pele, Mr Maradona, Mr Moore, Mr Gascoigne, Mr Carrick and Mr Glavin, however, where the Portuguese legend ranks in the final obituary is up to individuals to decide. Lionel hasn’t played for anyone else other than Barcelona. Coca-Cola will definitely vote for Lionel!
On that, there’s nothing wrong with having an opinion on what drink to drink, if one prefers Aqua, no problem. Paul Pogba got it right by dispersing with the Heineken 0-0. However, Big PP did it out of a moral and religious belief being a Practicing Muslim and the lads entitled to his belief, as is everyone but John Newsome would have dispersed with the Heineken 0-0 purely because it’s Zero-Alcohol, the girls and boys don’t drink Heineken (other beverages are available!) for the taste, the geezer and gals drink it to take away the hurt!
Life, as it has been proven over the past 18-months with the dreaded Coronavirus situation, plus personal battles, is difficult, there’s nothing wrong with having the odd Heineken, a glass of wine, a shot of Tequila or just the old fashioned Gin and Tonic.
To question someone, especially in these troubled times, really needs to be reversed and asked the question to themselves, what is life without pleasures.
In last week’s column, there was a story about one of Cristiano’s old teammates at Old Trafford, Mr Carrick, this week another of CR7’s mates comes under the spotlight and it’s fitting the lad is giving his views on ITV as a Euro 2020 pundit. Gary Neville
Another player straight into the Manchester United starting eleven without much of an argument is Gary Neville. For a long period, Gary was the best Right-Back in the Premier League and for England.
However, his sister Tracey says Gary wasn’t even the best Right-Back in the Neville household, putting her twin brother Phil ahead of the older sibling.
Gary made his debut for Manchester United in a UEFA Cup game in 1992 but had to wait until the 1994/95 Premier League season to establish himself in the side.
Big Nev had played 1-game in the 1993/94 Premier League season and then shared the Right-Back position with Denis Irwin who was often switched from his Left-Back role when Sir Alex chose Lee Sharpe as a tactical Left-Back in certain games in the 94/95 season.
Gary was part of the Class of ‘92 youngsters, which included Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt as well as David Beckham. Also part of the Class was Robbie Savage, John O’Kane, Ben Thornley, Simon Davies and Keith Gillespie.
Although Phil Neville is a constant inclusion as one of the Class of ‘92 stars, Phil wasn’t an original member in 1992, as Phil is 2-years younger than Gary and the rest.
In August 1995 at the start of Manchester United’s Double-Winning season, Match of the Day pundit Alan Hansen made his now infamous, ‘you can’t win anything with kids’ statement after Fergie’s Fledgling’s had suffered a 3-1 defeat against Aston Villa in the opening game of the 1995/96 season.
Alan Hansen was a sublime footballer in his day, the FIFA ‘21 brigade who are not familiar with Alan, just have to substitute Mr Hansen for Virgil Van Dijk. Alan then went on to be a great pundit on Match of the Day but it’s fair to say, his ‘kids’ statement wasn’t his finest moment.
Both Gary and Phil played against Villa in the opener with Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes in midfield, at the side of Roy Keane and Lee Sharpe.
David Beckham and another of the Class of ‘92 side John O’Kane were both substitutes with David coming on at half-time and John coming on later in proceedings.
United lost that game but Sir Alex stuck with the youth and with Eric Cantona and Ryan Giggs coming back into the starting eleven, the Red Devil’s went on to win the 1995/96 Premier League title and the 1996 FA Cup against Liverpool with a solitary Eric Cantona goal that separated United and the White Suited Spice Boys.
Although Gary didn’t start the final, with Phil taking his place at Right-Back (Tracey in the background shouting ‘I told you so!’), Gary was a substitute and came on in the final minutes to get a winners medal. Paul Scholes was also a substitute that day in May 1996 and got half-hour longer game-time than Gary.
Eric’s goal did earn this EveryTip contributor a steady £40 as, at 4/1 to be First Goal Scorer, a tenner was punted. Cheers, Eric!
Gary went on to establish himself, not only as the Manchester United Right-Back but also the England Right-Back for a good 10-years, gaining his debut in 1995 and taking part in the Euro’96 in England when the host nation got to the Semi-Final but were eventually beaten on penalties by Germany.
The defining memory taken from the tournament for Gary was when Paul ‘Gazza’ Gascoigne scored his wonder goal against the Jocks, Gary ran straight up to the legend and squirted water into Gazza’s mush recreating an infamous Dentist Chair sequence that the players got slated for before the Euro’s starting.
Another infamous moment from Gary’s International career came in a qualifying game against Croatia in 2006 when Big Nev harmlessly passed the ball back to the England ‘keeper Paul Robinson, the ball bounced over Paul’s foot and ended up in the goal. Gary certainly knows how Pedri feels.
Although the ‘keeper received the most amount of criticism following the blunder, Gary was credited with the own-goal.
Gary won 8-Premier League titles, 2-European Champions Leagues, 3-FA Cups, 2-League Cups, a FIFA World Club Cup as well as 3-Community Shields and an Intercontinental Cup (whatever that is?) in his time at Manchester United.
Gary spent his entire career at Old Trafford, which spanned just short of 20-years, with over 600-appearances, which quite simply is brilliant, as well as 85-Caps for England.
After his playing career finished Gary Neville has established himself as an expert pundit for Sky Sports and ITV have taken the lad on loan for the summer, whose views are forthright and at times controversial. Legend Gary, Respect.
When I find you waiting hours, oh
You’re there to save my life for our obvious goal
We’ve got a headstart for happiness, so for our part, guess we must be blessed, for this feeling to be so strong
Tell me, is that so wrong?
The space between us for days has been so far
I’ve spent a lonely week now I want to be where you are
We’ve got a headstart for happiness, so for our part, guess we must be kissed, by this force I feel inside
Now I’m not gonna hide
All the roads that lead to struggles, bring you back to where you need
Some reassurance in your own depth, only you can see but let others feel
Peace in my mind, I’m so happy to find, as I get on my trek with a headstart back to you
When I find you waiting hours, oh!
It’s my heart, not my head that takes control and you’ve got to lead where your heart says go and in hope that it turns out so and that’s all that you can hope for, can you expect much more?
Naive and wise with no sense of time, as I set my clock with a heartbeat, tick-tock
Violent and mild, common sense says I’m wild, with this mixed up fury, crazy beauty
It’s healthy to find all these feelings inside, as I get on my trek with a headstart back to you
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