21 Jun 2021 - 23:11
EURO 2020: Finland vs Belgium (0-2)
Finland had been trying to press the Belgian midfield high in the first minutes, but Belgium then gradually took control of the game. Finland's goalkeeper Hrádecký denied them the opener on two occasions, while the rest of the Finnish defense have been holding on without too much problems during the first half.
Belgium eventually managed to convert their chances in the second half. The first Belgian goal came following a corner, Vermaelen's flicked header bounces off the post and the ball hits Hrádecký's hand, making it bounce back inside the goal.
Seven minutes later, on the edge of the area De Bruyne plays a low pass forward for Lukaku by the penalty spot, who turns and unleashes a low strike past the goalkeeper.
Belgium complete their first round as Group B winners, followed by Denmark, Finland and Russia, after Denmark's 4-1 win against Russia.
21 Jun 2021 - 20:10
EURO 2020: Ukraine vs Austria (0-1)
Not many goal scoring opportunities in the first half, with two teams well organized in their positioning. Austria made the difference on a corner from Alaba from the left. In the middle of the Ukrainian defense, Baumgartner stretches his leg forward to tap the ball in.
In the second half, Ukraine could not get their strikers into dangerous positions inside their opponents' penalty area and Austria grab the second spot in the group.
20 Jun 2021 - 20:04
EURO 2020: Italy vs Wales (1-0)
Italy have been in control of the first half, blocking most of the Welsh's build-ups by the halfway line. The Italian attacks were mostly launched through lofted forward passes landing inside the penalty area.
Wales did create some danger following a corner, but have been struggling with keeping the ball inside the Italian half.
The Italian goal came 6 minutes before half-time. By the right corner of the box, Verrati drills a free-kick deep into the penalty area. Pessina runs past his marking defender and deflects the ball low into to the far corner.
In the second half, Italy have been using fewer deep passes into the box. With Wales reduced to 10 men from the 55th minute, it was easier for the Italian players to use the whole width of the pitch to prepare their attacks.
Their runs down the wings have been a constant threat as the Azzurri were at times with as many as 6 players inside the box ready to receive crosses. Even when the crosses were not reaching the targeted player, the clearances from the Welsh defence had to be precise enough to prevent the ball from coming back to an oppoonent in shooting position in or just outside the box.
With 3 wins in 3 matches Italy are Group A winners, followed by Wales, Switzerland and Turkey, after Switzerland's 3-1 win over Turkey.
19 Jun 2021 - 23:06
EURO 2020: Spain vs Poland (1-1)
Spain have enjoyed most of the possession and have been pretty much in control of the midfield however Poland have created a few more goal scoring opportunities during the first half. The Polish have launched their offensives through counter attacks and from balls won back in their opponents' half.
La Roja's goal came after 24 minutes. Morata receives a low pass forward inside the box and slots it past the goalkeeper.
The Spanish created a lot more chances during the second half but could not get enough precision in their attempts at goal.
Poland's equalizer came early in the second half. Lewandowski gets on the receiving end of a lofted cross from Józwiak and his towering header at the back post is on target beyond reach of the goalkeeper.
19 Jun 2021 - 20:04
EURO 2020: Portugal vs Germany (2-4)
A first half played on a high tempo, with both teams looking to launch attacks. Germany have been relying on a possession play, creating danger inside the Portuguese box with deep crosses and link up plays around the edge of the area.
Portugal's chances have come from counter attacks, with Bernardo Silva, Jota and Ronaldo finding each other with quick passes, allowing Portugal to finish their actions inside the German box almost every time.
The pace did not slow down in the second half, with both teams creating a fair amount of chances. However Germany have maintained the pressure during most of the game, taking advantage of their ability to get many crosses inside the box, which the Portuguese defense has been having much trouble dealing with.
19 Jun 2021 - 17:35
EURO 2020: Hungary vs France (1-1)
Right from the start Hungary had opted to press the French midfield quite high and managed to obtain a few free kicks in their opponents' half. However after 10 minutes the French midfield took possession of the ball and the game has been mostly taking place on the Hungarian half.
France have been quite wasteful inside the box on a few occasions. Hungary were not. They converted their only real chance with a precise shot from Fiola just before half time. The action came from a good link up play on the left wing. Fiola receives the ball inside the left hand side of the box and coolly slots it past Lloris at the near post.
France have been pushing hard throughout the second half and managed to grab the equalizer but could not convert their chances to take the lead. The equalizer originated from a good effort from MBappe. The French striker carries inside the box from the right, resists the challenge of his marking defender, drives up to the byline and cuts it back low in front of the goal. A defender slightly deflects the ball back and Griezmann knocks it in from close range. With this 1-1 result, all options remain open for each team in the group to qualify for the second round.
18 Jun 2021 - 23:07
EURO 2020: England vs Scotland (0-0)
In the first half the Scottish managed to bring the ball to the edge of the English box several times but have not been able to get through the center defense. The few dangerous situations they have created came through the wings.
As for England, the danger has mostly come through set pieces, through balls and a sustained pressing of the Scottish backline to try to block them during build up phases or to force them to play long balls forward.
After the break, the strong activity of the Scottish midfield has allowed them to launch a few counters and made it difficult for England to develop their attacks.
In the last 10 minutes, the pressure was growing bigger on the Scottish defense, with England attacking through the wings and when blocked, looked to quickly slide the attack through to the opposite wing, trying to find space in the Scottish defense. However Scotland have been defending with lucidity, without giving away dangerous free-kicks, and managed to hold on to the draw.
18 Jun 2021 - 20:11
EURO 2020: Croatia vs Czech Republic (1-1)
There have been a few chances for both sides in this pretty open game during the first half. However the lack of precision in the attempts at goal, both on open play and set pieces situations, did not allow for creating any serious threats for the goalkeepers.
It took a penalty for the Czechs to unlock the scoring after Lovren's elbow hit Schick's face as both players where jumping to head the ball following a corner.
Modric, well marked during the first half by the Czech players, has been positioned quite low in the second half. His contribution in the build up has mostly been limited to reaching other midfield players, and when he was sought during offensive phases, it had to be through backward passes.
With Modric positioned low, the Croatian have been mostly attacking through the left wing with Perisic, but this lack of diversity in where the attacks were coming from allowed the Czech defense to anticipate in bringing more players in to block Perisic's wing.
Initially Perisic did manage to get through on his own to score the equalizer, soon after the break. He runs down the left wing and carries into the box with a tight angle for a shot a goal. Keeping the pace high, he swiftly cuts back inside, taking his marking defender off balance, and thunders the ball high into the far corner of the goal.
With this 1-1 result, both teams are keeping their options open in their hope to secure their qualification in their last match.
18 Jun 2021 - 17:14
EURO 2020: Sweden vs Slovakia (1-0)
The first 45 minutes have been quite uneventful, with both sides playing their possession phases on a low pace. Most chances have come from Slovakia, although Sweden also managed to set themselves in attacking positions on occasions. In the last 20 minutes the build-ups were made of repeated lateral passes, but without nearly enough speed to take the defenses out of position.
Clearly the second half has been played with totally different intentions, with Slovakia attacking through possession sequences and Sweden taking any opportunities they had to launch counter attacks, mostly via Isak. The Swedish striker has been instrumental in breaking through the Slovakian defense on numerous occasions to create opportunities either for himself or for his teammates.
In the dying minutes Slovakia tried to increase the pressure upfront in search for the equalizer but could only manage deep crosses into the box or attempts from long range, as the Swedish defense has been well organized throughout the game, not giving much space away.
17 Jun 2021 - 23:26
EURO 2020: Netherlands vs Austria (2-0)
The Dutch managed to score the opening goal early from a penalty and created most of the goal scoring opportunities. Throughout the first half, the Austrian midfield has been struggling to get to ball to their strikers and could only manage one dangerous shot from 20 yards. The Netherlands were quick to break out in counters through the wings and have been finding spaces on many occasions in the Austrian's half but lacked lucidity in several of their attempts at goal.
In the second half the Netherlands made no mistake at the back and could secure their win without too many problems. The Orange team could launch more counters, taking advantage of the space left in midfield by their opponents during the phases when Austria were trying to push forward and needed more time to get back in position.
The second goal originated from Depay by the halfway line with his precise through ball onto Malen rushing towards the box, chased by two defenders. As he reaches a shooting position inside the left side of the box, he opts to square the ball to his right where Dumfries, unmarked, can easily tap it in.
Austria did create a few chances in the last 20 minutes, and maybe could have pulled one back had they been able to increase the pressure upfront, but it would have taken more to outplay the well-organized Orange team tonight.
Nevertheless considering the cheer number of times that the Dutch forwards managed to get in or around the box, they could have used more precision in some of their attempts at goals, and made better use of some situations where they were approaching the box outnumbering the Austrian defenders. However the job is done and this win already qualifies the Netherlands for the second round of the tournament as group C winners.
17 Jun 2021 - 20:17
EURO 2020: Denmark vs Belgium (1-2)
During the first half the Danish forwards spent some time pressing the Belgian defense during build up phases, preventing them from properly passing the ball to their midfielders. And when the Belgian managed to eventually get their midfield players inside the Danish half, they had been struggling with getting their usual quick passing game into action.
The Danish goal came only after 2 minutes. Following a missed forward pass from the Belgian defense the ball comes directly to Hojbjerg in central position just outside the box, who picks out Poulsen stepping into the area to his right. Poulsen's precise low strike enters the left corner of the goal.
Lukaku tried to drop deep to take part in the build-up, but the Danish defense has remained focused at trying to stop offensive plays as early as possible, giving him and Carrasco hardly any space to receive the ball in good conditions or to make runs inside the box.
Denmark have dared to take on this Belgian team right from the start, without defending too low, and in addition to their early goal, they were also able to create several goal-scoring opportunities.
With De Bruyne coming off the bench after the break, followed by Witsel and Eden Hazard 15 minutes later, the Belgian midfield was largely renewed in the second half. Belgium have been more at ease to develop their offensive game made of quick short passes in the last 25 yards.
Lukaku receives a pass forward on the right wing by the halfway line, his first touch allows him to turn and slightly break free from his marking defender, enough for the Belgian striker to start a run down the right wing, outpacing the defense. He drives inside the box from the right, cuts it back for de Bruyne, who picks out oncoming Thorgan Hazard to his left, who coolly slots the ball past the goalkeeper from close range.
Fifteen minutes later, quick link up play by the Belgian offensive line across the edge of the penalty area, outpacing the moves of the Danish defense trying to cut off the passing flow. The ball gets to De Bruyne whose low first time shot to the near post goes in the back of the net.
In the last 20 minutes the Danish have tried to play deep crosses into the box for Cornelius and Braithwaite and it nearly paid off if it weren't for the crossbar or good saves from Courtois.
17 Jun 2021 - 17:19
EURO 2020: Ukraine vs North Macedonia (2-1)
Except for two dangerous attacks including a goal disallowed to Pandev for offside, North Macedonia have not been able to cause any serious problems to the Ukrainian defense in the first half.
Shevchenko's men had been doing the job before the break, dominating the midfield and making very good use of timely passes into space, easily outplaying the North Macedonian defense's offside traps. The quick moves and link up plays of the Ukrainian forwards have outpaced the marking defenders, creating danger inside the box sometimes with a single pass, including one-on-one situations with the goalkeeper.
The first goal came following a corner from the left. Karavaiev slightly deflects the ball at the near post, sending it across the six-yard box all the way through to the far post, where Yarmolenko gets in first to tackle it into the back of the net.
Five minutes later, Yarmolenko on the right wing plays a well-timed pass into space for Yaremchuk who drives into the right side of the box and strikes the ball past the goalkeeper.
Ukraine have kept on creating goal scoring opportunities during the second half, but Dimitrievski denied many of their attempts at goal.
Unlike during the first half, North Macedonia have been attacking with more players and have created real danger in the Ukrainian defense.
The North Macedonian pulled one back after Trajkovski drilled a sweet strike from outside the box that bounces of the low end of the crossbar. Pandev latches on to the ball and is fouled inside the box. The referee calls the penalty. Alioski takes it, the ball is saved by Bushchan, making it bounce back into play and Alioski followed through to smash the ball into the net.
Lots of actions and efforts throughout the entire match may have caused the players from both teams to use quite some energy and in the last minutes, the attacks have been coming from box to box with lots of space in midfield. North Macedonia pushed until the dying seconds for an equalizer but the shots at goal have been lacking precision in the end.
16 Jun 2021 - 23:18
EURO 2020: Italy vs Switzerland (3-0)
Italy have been blocking the Swiss offensive plays without too much trouble during the first half. During the Swiss possession phases, the Italian forwards have constantly been applying pressure to prevent clean initial build-ups in their opponent's half, making it difficult for the Swiss defenders to find their midfield.
When in possession, Italy have been favouring the wings to run their attacks, with Berardi on the right and Spinazzola on the left, both managing to get through on occasions to deliver crosses inside the box. On the first goal, Berardi gets into the right hand side of the box, outruns his marking defender, and squares the ball alongside the six-yard line for Locatelli to tap it in.
After the break, Switzerland have tried to put some pressure on the Italian defense and even managed to drive inside the box a few times thanks to individual skills from Shaqiri and Zuber.
However the Nati has been exposing itself to numerous Italian counter attacks, mostly coming down the left through Berardi and Immobile.
Italy scored a second goal, following a past-paced offensive play with Berardi and Barella on the right wing. The ball is squared back to Locatelli, with enough time and space to set himself in shooting position and drills a precise low strike from 20 yards into the right corner of the goal.
In the dying minutes, Immobile, unmarked, latches on to a ball halfway into the Swiss half, turns to set himself in shooting position, and drills a long range shot into the left corner of the goal, the goalkeeper only getting to slightly touch the ball before it goes in.
The precision and lucidity of the Italian strikers made the difference, as Locatelli and Immobile demonstrated their ability to find space and unleash powerful and precise long range shots, before the Swiss defenders could get a chance to close in and try to block them.
16 Jun 2021 - 20:13
EURO 2020: Turkey vs Wales (0-2)
In the first half, both sides have had opportunities to get inside their opponent's box, mostly through attacks coming down the wings. The Welsh defence was mostly concerned with covering the center, preventing Yilmaz from getting himself on the end of crosses. However Wales' goal just before the break did not come from a cross, but did come from another good combination between Bale and Ramsey.
Bale latches on to the ball in midfield and sees Ramsey initiating a run towards the box in between the Turkish central defence. Bale's beautiful lofted pass forward is well timed for Ramsey's run. Ramsey controls the ball with his chest and drills a half-volley past the oncoming goalkeeper.
The goal opportunities have kept accumulating during the second half, with Wales looking to score a second goal and Turkey giving it all to avoid a second defeat in this group stage, which could virtually destroy their hopes of reaching the second round.
As time was passing by, the pressure to get that equalizer was growing bigger on the Turkish side but their forwards have been lacking precision in front of the goal.
Space began to open in midfield for the Welsh team, who spent the last minutes trying to make the best of the many counter-attack opportunities they were offered nearly each time the ball was recovered in midfield.
After two unsuccessful attempts, Bayle managed to deliver another well timed pass, leading to Connor's finish in the dying minutes. Bale drives into the box alongside the byline and squares it back to Connor Roberts on the near post. Roberts' first time strike goes past the goalkeeper to make it 0-2.
16 Jun 2021 - 17:12
EURO 2020: Finland vs Russia (0-1)
The Russians have enjoyed most of the possession but have had trouble driving inside the box for most of the first half. Finland has been defending very low and avoided giving away any dangerous free-kicks.
Dzyuba has remained a threat at the front of the Russian attacking line as he was repeatedly being sought inside the box with crosses and through balls.
However the Finnish defence managed to isolate the tall Russian forward when inside the box, to prevent him from laying the ball off for a teammate strike.
Up front, Finland have managed to create some danger on occasions, with good combinations from Pohjanpalo and Pukki but have only been dangerous in counter attacks, as most of the Finnish team remained positioned quite low, even when in possession.
Just before the break, Dzyuba dropped deep, positioning himself just outside the penalty area, and made a good link up play with Miranchuk for the Russian opener: a one-two between Dzyuba and Miranchuk gets Miranchuk inside the penalty area. Surrounded by four Finnish defenders preventing him any right-foot strike, Miranchuk cuts inside onto his left foot and his sweet strike finds the inside net of the far post.
A midfield line playing much higher throughout the second half allowed Finland to attack with more than just Pukki and Pohjanpalo trying to link up with each other. Crosses have been coming from both wings inside the Russian box as Finland in search for an equalizer was deploying a wider attacking setup, stretching the Russian defense to create a bit of space in the middle.
Russia have tried to avoid remaining positioned too low and were visibly more motivated by the prospect of securing a second goal. The Russians initially launched a few counter attacks, without taking too much risk at the back. However during the last 10 minutes, Russia regained more control in midfield, allowing them to block their opponents' build ups at an earlier stage, and to get their strikers more often inside the Finnish penalty area.
15 Jun 2021 - 23:30
EURO 2020: France vs Germany (1-0)
Both teams have been very thorough in their positioning during the first half, even when in possession. Germany have been doing their best at keeping the ball in midfield, which has prevented the French from too easily reaching MBappe or Benzema. The Germans managed to get inside the French penalty area on several occasions and the French defense had to give away two dangerous free-kicks close to the edge of the area.
Les Bleus were able to get through on occasions from the left wing and their goal came mostly from the fact that Pogba made a brilliant lofted pass to the other end of the box where Hernandez was totally free to drill a dangerous cross.
During the second half, Germany have carried on the pressure up front but this time the French central defence has proved tighter than during the first half, forcing the Germans to go through the wings.
More danger coming from the wings caused the French defence to give away a few corners and to let several crosses get through. However it has been visibly easier for the French to defend in the air, with Varane, Kimpembe and Lloris making no mistake, than trying to block the German forwards' quick combinations through the center during the first half.
This strengthening of the central defence, along with Griezmann's lower positioning, meant that the midfield was almost completely dominated by the Mannshaft. After Tolisso was brought in for Benzema in the last minutes, the flow of German attacks has been slowing down.
As for Les Bleus, narrowing the space in central defense has proved efficient. The Germans had to take the risk to throw more players forward, to increase their chances to get around the defence.
However with more players upfront, there's always the risk of being taken out of position when the opponent gets the opportunity to break into counter attacks.
This happened on a few occasions and ended up in two disallowed goals for the French and a risky situation with MBappe nearly earning a penalty after being brought down inside the box following a precise defensive tackle from Mats Hummels.
15 Jun 2021 - 20:18
EURO 2020: Hungary vs Portugal (0-3)
During the first 20 minutes Hungary had been doing a good job at preventing the Portuguese midfield from holding on to the ball, and have even been applying some pressure quite high into Portugal's half.
However throughout the rest of the first half the goal opportunities for Portugal had been steadily increasing, and the balls have been flying close to the Hungarian posts and crossbar.
The Portuguese team eventually managed to find their forwards in more direct way on the wings, which led to several goal opportunities originating from crosses.
Oddly enough Portugal did not manage to create many chances during most of the second half. However just when it was looking like the Portuguese team was running out of ideas on how to go through the Hungarian defence, it took a deflected cross followed by a deflected shot to unlock the situation, six minutes before the end.
Portugal then opted to increase the pressure and this time the Hungarian defense was no longer on time to block the Portuguese strides into the box. Avoiding a one-on-one situation with the goalkeeper costed them a penalty and a quick one-two movement inside the box took the defense out of position and definitely ended any remaining hopes for a Hungarian come back.
15 Jun 2021 - 14:51
EURO 2020: Today is all about Group F (or so-called "Group of Death" in this edition of the tournament) as there is no game scheduled from any of the other groups.
This is the group where Hungary has been drawn the tough challenge to face title holders Portugal (today at 5pm BST in Budapest), and the last two world champions France and Germany, clashing at 8pm BST in Munich.
14 Jun 2021 - 23:21
EURO 2020: Spain vs Sweden (0-0)
Sweden managed to snatch a point from a Spanish team that has kept trying to keep the back line under pressure until the very last minute.
During the first half, Spain had been enjoying the huge majority of possession and goal scoring opportunities. However a fair amount of those chances have come from long range shots or situations where the Swedish defence was in place. The Spanish team was giving the impression that they had the game under control, yet the Swedish defence had not been under real threat of being taken off position.
Swedish striker Alexander Isak created himself a good chance a few minutes before the break, but that was the only time the Spanish defence had to deal with a dangerous situation.
La Roja approached the second half in a more intentional fashion. Unlike during the first half, the Spanish forwards have managed to drive inside the box on numerous occasions, causing real danger in front of the Swedish goal.
It took great defending and an exceptional performance of Sweden's goalkeeper Robin Olsen to deny the Spaniards an opening goal.
As for Spain, they have demonstrated that, although they remained goalless tonight, they have been capable of changing tactics after failing to get through a defence. This was mostly achieved by playing in a more direct way, even making use of deep crosses forward to get the ball into the box, avoiding long passing sequences once those had proven unsuccessful.