Friday, 15 June 2012

Spanish pass-masters

We were treated last night to a footballing lesson by Spain as they dumped Ireland out of the European Championship. The Irish had made it via the play-off back-door and it showed last night as Artisans met Artists. It was a game of deja vu for me having witnessed an almost repeat performance in Alicante in October

As in Scotland's qualifier, Spain took control of the match within the opening five minutes. A stretching through ball from the exquisite Iniesta carved Ireland open and Dunne was caught in possession as he intercepted by Fernando Torres. The maligned Chelsea striker robbed him and surged around Ward before blasting a shot high into the net above Given's head. We had to wait until shortly after the re-start for the killer second but Spain made the game look so simple with getting on for 900 passes as the mesmerised their opponents.

The Irish managed only a hopeful punt at goal from a frustrated Robbie Keane. Keith Andrews again stood out for me and if he ends up playing for us at the Valley next season I will be delighted. The irish fans deserved more; they were there in their thousands, intermingled with their Catholic cousins. They play for pride in their last match and I really hope they avoid another beating although the Italians will need to give them one if they are to qualify for the finals. Croatia fought back in the earlier game to draw with 1-1 with Italy and give themselves every chance of joining Spain in the quarters.

Today is my youngest's fourth birthday and after a mini party at tea-time, my brother-in-law will stay on for the England game with me. We need an attacking display and we will need a couple of goals because I can see Ibramhimovic scoring. C'mon England, now's the hour!

No comments: