Sorry this is late, but in between starting work experience/ crying myself to sleep/ staying up half the night/ crying myself to sleep/ waking up early/ crying myself to sleep, I just haven’t had the time. (Ooops, did I give away the score then…?)
Our fourth quarter-final is
ENGLAND vs. ITALY!!
Italy last won a knock-out in 2006.
England also last won a knock-out in 2006.
I don’t think a favourite actually exists. Odds on is a draw. Although there does eventually have to be a winner. Whether it’s in normal time, extra time or penalties is anyone’s guess. As is the winner.
Fairly even. A very good chance early on, for both sides. But after that, it fell rather flat. England played very well, probably their best of the tournament. Fluid passing and only every three or four passes were to the Italians, which is a definite improvement. Despite England’s improved play, Italy were by far the better side and the English were lucky not to be trailing. Score: 0-0
Much the same here, to be honest. Once again Italians with more possession, mor passes, better pass completion rate, blah blah blah. Those, however, do not win games. Unless you’re Spanish. Italians made three changes which barely affected the game. England brought on Carroll, who got some nice headers in, Walcott who made no significant contribution and Henderson, who, despite the deep intakes of breath and expletives that occurred when Parker was substituted, didn’t mess up. Score: 0-0.
First half of extra time:
Oh gosh, it’s getting repetitive but…much the same here also. Italy attacking, England defending and lucky not to be trailing. Score: 0-0
Second half of extra time:
More commonly known as ‘the best way to beat a deflated English football team.’ And don’t the Italians know it. Balotelli beat his team-mate Hart. Gerrard beat Buffon.
Montolivo missed. Rooney scored!!!!
England are in with a great, big, masssivoo chance here. Oh wait. No. Because they don’t really like winning penalties. Pirlo scores the most beautiful, ruthless penalty I have ever seen and Young misses.
So, even stevens, just the way we like it. And Nocerino, a sub, scores and Cole misses.
Diamante, also a sub, scores this England are out. Hart saves, England are given the second chance they always seem to need. But, alas, the Italians are too good.
And that’s it. Out of another tournament. In a quarter-final, on penalties. The round stays the same, the form of elimination stays the same; only the opposition changes.
ITALY 0-0 England.
A.e.t. ITALY 0-0 England
Penalties ITALY 4-2 England
Spain vs. Portugal on Wednesday.
Italy vs. Germany on Thursday. A day I had inexplicably kept free.
The final on Sunday.
Who can do it? How can England improve for Brazil? What was your opinion on the penalties/game?