Euro 2012: Day 1

My picks:

>> Poland 0 – 0 Greece <<

That’s what I’ve got as the score in my pool. Problem is I’ve seen the bottom of more pools than over-indulgers at a Rolling Stones after party

>> Russia 2 – 1 Czechs <<

Russians historically do well against Czechs in eastern Europe.

Game updates:

Poland score, deservedly, after waves of attacks eventually lead to a Lewandowski header. Congrats to those who took up Coral on their tweet this morning offering 5:2 odds on the Dortmund man scoring at all in the tourney.

At the half, you cannot argue that Poland do not deserve to be up a goal but a ridiculous call on the red card to Sokratis has all but sewn up the result for them. To add insult to expulsion, the Spanish ref opted not to give a penalty to the Greeks for a clear though inadvertent handball in the box minutes later.

Greek tactics are clearly to draw fouls and pump balls into the box. This will become even more black and white in the second half now that they’re down a man. Will be interesting to see if Poland continue marauding or play a bit more conservatively and settle for the one-nil win.

Here’s my quick and nasty video analysis of Poland’s goal done with my iPhone and TV:

No one yet is commending the long run made by #8 Rybus into the box. That run creates the 2v1 and draws the Greek centre back to him as his run is dangerously convincing. This frees up Lewandowski at the far post for a much easier finish than had he just been 1v1 with a centre back draped all over him.

If a Greek midfielder had been willing to track that run not so sure it would have resulted in a goal

Game over. Greeks will be ecstatic despite the miss on the penalty. Man of the Match is clearly Salpingidis. Came on at the half and was a constant thorn for the Polish back four. Scored, drew the penalty (and red card) and scored again only for it to be called back for offside on the crosser.

Great start for the tourney and for my pool!

Time for Canada v Cuba…

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6 Responses to Euro 2012: Day 1

  1. cutleron says:

    Samaras looking like a fool, with the ball and without. For me, he’s at fault for the goal.

    • Gregor says:

      I’d say Samaras is ineffective so far but I can’t really blame him for the goal. He held up the ball, laid it off and the donkey he played to took a very poor first touch and got stripped of the ball. That allowed Poland to break forward and score in transition

      • cutleron says:

        If he was told to play wide left and not make up midfield numbers, then it’s not his fault, but with the three midfielders playing centrally and not tracking the wonderful run from the number 8, and no defensive work from Samaras or the wide right player, they were always going to be leaving the two centre backs at sea.
        I just want him to react to the fact that he plays his teammate a difficult ball to deal with and then notice that that guy’s poor touch will result in a threat.
        Greece looked naive all around, including the last man who had to choose one of the runs to track but didn’t take either and the keeper too.

        Full disclosure: I have a bias against the loping running style of strikers like Samaras and Omar Salgado.

        Poland should take this, but 10 men is a bit harsh on Greece.

      • cutleron says:

        De Vos and I both mentioned the run! His audience is slightly bigger than mine, er, yours. It is _your_ blog after all.

        Both keepers showing nerves on the goals. Wanting a touch. Impatient to do so and thus unpredictable for their defenders. Wenger has seen that before from Szczney

  2. Gregor says:

    Of the players in the vicinity, I’d say Samaras is least responsible for tracking that run from the wide mid. I stuck up my considerably less high tech analysis of the goal and still contend the ball was given away too easily off a bad first touch and the lack of tracking on the run by Rybus creates the 2v1 in the box that free Lewandowski to score.

    As for Szczesny. Totally agree. He had no need to come for that ball. His defender had it well covered and all he did was ensure he was in no position to deal with the second ball off the deflection/blocked cross.

  3. cutleron says:


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