If there is a hell, it must have been Kiev, Ukraine. That is what the English might have been thinking, in their 9th defeat against the Italians. It was home to a Brit’s original uproar, one that comes from deep down his or her gut, creating an animalistic noise that would send terror to most unresponsive of men. We hear their pain, but it is hell, so we do not react.

For an Italian though, this could have been nothing but better than heaven and Andrea Pirlo, the gatekeeper.

England usually bows out in a penalty shootout at this stage of the Euros. And 2012 was no different.

All of us were well aware that tonight’s game would come down to who bossed the midfield. Posession in that one area of the field was vital. That was given. And the Italians boasted about their capabilities to reign over England in that aspect. The midfield maestro, Andrea Pirlo had this to say prior to the game

“They have been more practical than impressive — and we are confident of beating them. They have weaknesses that we can exploit, particularly in the midfield. They are missing some key players and I think we will have the measure of them in that area.”

– Andrea Pirlo to Sun.co.uk

Andrea Pirlo, Euro 2012

Maybe, it was psychological warfare, that he was trying to steer up, but he was right. Pirlo was by far the best player on the pitch. He was distributing the ball like he was on a journey around the English players. Watching him do what he does best is an absolute joy. Especially, when the best player on the park goes and chips the ball to beat the keeper in a penalty, in an occasion like this. How cheeky was that? A Rembrandt like display, from a football perspective.

If people thought a game between these two teams would be boring, they would have to think again. The game started off greatly with both teams showing great attacking intent. The first five minutes of the game dictated what was coming. It started off with a left foot effort from De Rossi, who by the way was wearing a shirt with one arm long sleeve and another short. Then a few seconds later, Glen Johnson’s 6-yard effort called for a great reaction save by the Italian legend – Gigi Buffon.

However, it was the Italians that looked like the team with that extra piece of control. They managed to possess the ball better creating most opportunities but had nothing to show for it.

The English continued to drop inviting the team to attack. They attacked for the first 10 minutes but normal service had been resumed since then. There was always a question of whether the English could play in the front foot if necessary? Today proved that, at the moment, they cannot.

I particularly felt sorry for Ashley Young as he consistently delivered jaded performances in each and every game, making me feel like he is the Janet Jackson of football.

The English had lost more than the opportunity to progress to the semi-finals. Indeed, the roar of the three lions has been suppressed tonight.

Write A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.