Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Euro 2008 Liveblog: Italy v France

Yes, it is deja vu all over again.

It's either the '00 Euro Final or the '06 World Cup Final. Take your pick.

Anyway, with only three matches in the group phase it does, as they say, get late early. And thanks in part to a plucky Romanian side (and some dodgy refereeing) France and Italy face off in a winner take all match for survival in Group C.

Unless of course those same Romanians have something to say about it. A Romanian defeat of the Dutch in the other match would all but render Italy v. France an exercise in futility. And seeing how the Dutch have nothing to play for, don't expect to see EPSN's favorite player Ruud Van Persie on the pitch. Nor is Giovanni van Sneijder, Arjen Kuyt, or any of their other stalwarts likely to see time on the field.


So, oops. Fuck. Much like 04 when Italy posted a couple of listeless draws in their first two matches then watch the Scandinavians engineer a result to send them packing, Italy has only themselves to blame for putting themselves in this position.

France, on the other hand, can place all the blame on Domenech. He's an idiot.

Anyway, seeing how Europe doesn't understand that the United States doesn't shut down for these matches, we might have some liveblogging technical difficulties (specifically, if the live bloggamy starts, beware it might cut out at any moment). Still the thread is here to follow along.

And to get your commenting inspiration jumpstarted, it's another Euro haiku:

I'd take Gigi's life
Heroic penalty save
His wife is smokin'



[Tip o' the hat to NY Kid for the line-ups]

The starting XI for Everybody Negates Raymond:

GK - Coupet
DEF - Abidal; Gallas; Clerc; Evra
MID - Makelele; Toulalan; Ribery; Govou
ST - Titi (C); Benzema

The starting XI for Roberto Donadoni (those are my two favorite Mutant Ninja Turtles btw):

GK - Buffon (C)
DEF - Zambrotta; Panucci; Chiellini; Grosso
MID - Pirlo; De Rossi; Gattuso; Perrotta
ST - Toni; Madman Cassano


This match is being played at Letzigrund, in Zurich.

Centre official: Ľuboš Michĕl (SVK)
Assistant referees: Roman Slyško (SVK); Martin Balko (SVK)
4th official: Viktor Kassai (HUN)


T-minus 10: Ugh... Foudy. I can understand an SC anchor stumbling over 'Van Nistelrooy,' but he's only played for maybe the two most famous clubs in the world.

T-minus 8: Okay, good think Henry went to Barca. He's dead to me and I don't have to worry about mixed club allegiances fucking my Nationalism.

T-minus 6: Crowd-wide "Seven Nation Army" chant. Not a White Stripes fan. If you want me to lose my shit, you're going to have give me 50,000 people singing along to "Killer Parties."

T-minus 3: And we have our first crowd shot of hot Italian poon. Followed by "Song of the Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey"

T-minus 2: Rain. Repeat of what Cech pulled?

T-minus (-1): Ack... Grosso is going to have to come forward from the left back slot a lot to give some width. Look for France to try to expose that.

0:00: Kick. Italy in white moving left to right on your radio dial. France in blew.

2nd minute: First good push from France. Ribery cuts to the top of the box and fires a shot that is blocked away for a corner. Cleared by Italy.

3rd minute: Ref holds a small summit meeting. France takes a corner that lands at the top of the 18 but there is nobody there. Cleared.

4th minute: Italy looks a little tentative... Oh, on Toni's foot and he shoots it wide. Fail. He should have done much better with that. I'm agreeing with Andy Gray that he should have taken another touch on that before shooting.

6th minute: Really Italy, you're going to play Route 1 football? Counter from France. Ribery from the left side, puts it across the box, but it goes to nobody.

7th minute: Italy with nothing in the midfield. Zambrotta taken down by Ribery and it's Ribery who looks hurt. This would be bad for Ribery and France. Might be his ankle. Stretcher cart is out and he is still on the ground.

9th miunte: Still tending to Ribery. For all the ribbing. As an Italian, I want to take the French down at their best. Nasri to come on for Ribery.

10th minutes: And it's free kick for Italy on the restart as Ribery did foul Zambrotta. Corner from the free kick... Oh, and it's almost a header from Panucci. On replay that was going in but it was Makalele who put a leg to it to clear it. So close...

12th minute: France working the midfield. Two teams exchange possession on some sloppy giveaways.

13th minute: Perotta on the counter. Tries a long feed to Toni, but it's disruppted by Abidal maybe. France now working back up the pitch. A long cross clears to box and falls harmlessly to the italians.

15th minute: Now Italy counters and Grosso gets deep. But he wastes the cross. It's partially deflected and we're back up the pitch on the feet of France. Low shot from Benzema goes wide of the near side.

16th minute: Ref is getting a little whistle happy. Think he wants a restart on the restart by Italy. Which we get and it's quickly turned over.

18th minute: Both teams are looking to attack but neither team is stringing together any long possessions. Cassano taken down by Evra, hey my least favorite player on the pitch. Pirlo to take the kick.

19th minute: Nice job by Coupet. But he almost left it too late on the save and came close to giving Toni a chance on a header. Govou wastes a counter. He takes a shot instead of feeding either Benzema or Henry both of whom were breaking into an open space. Stupid.

20th minute: Exchange of long kicks results in a throw in for Italy. It's up and down without much actually happening. Both teams are getting near chances but not forcing the keepers to work for the most part.

22nd minute: Great ball from Pirlo but Perrotta can't get a touch to control it. Bummer that would have been the best chance of the match.

23rd minute: Pirlo was fouled but with no whistle. Benzema works to the right edge of the box then has the ball knocked out off his feet. Play results in a GK for Italy. I'm too tense to make jokes (I"m wigwam, I'm a teepee... I'm two tents).

24th mintue: And it's a straight red for Abidal! Great touch on the long ball to Toni, he drags it down and Abidal as the last man takes him down. It's a PK for Italy. Pirlo to take it.

PIRLO 1-0 Italy. He pokes it to the top left corner and Italy lead with the PK and are a man up.

26th minute: I'll defer to Andy Gray who says the penalty and the card were deserved. I can see France saying it was harsh, but Abidal was the last man and he took a decent whack at the back of Toni's legs. Actually think it was the second contact that got him the card. Ouch.

27th minute: Was typing and did sese the change... Oooh, De Rossi with a blast just high.

28th minute: More pressure from Italy. Looking to put this away quickly. Cassano has it stripped from him. Then another cross into the box and Toni tries to get cheeky with a nice little backheel flick.

29th minute: Backing up, it was Nasri that came off for likely another defender. Didn't catch the change. And another great ball to Toni. This one from Pirlo. Instead of brining it down, Toni tries to one-time it and it pushes it wide. It would have been difficult to say the least.

31st minute: Toni is suddenly a menace in the box. But he can't put away 2 or 3 chances. Again, none were easy, but he could have pretty much ended this for Italy.

Thanks to Cedric for the change it was Boumsong on for Nasri.

33rd minute: So France needs two goals and they are a man down and under siege. Insert French surrender joke here. Grosso skies one. And De Rossi collects a whistle. And Henry pushes one just wide. A great through ball from almost midfield, it was right on Henry's foot but he pushed it wide of the far post.

35th minute: Italy have let France up off the mat. They are creating some chances and getting pressure. Italy looking to counter. They turn it over and France works it up the midfield patiently.

36th minute: France's work is paying off in that they are getting to the box with possession but Italy gets a foot to the ball before it gets dangerous. Pirlo gives it away, then robs it right back. Nice tackle, but the possession is wastd and back from France.

7th minute: Gattusso gets a touch on Henry as he fires and it's a free kick to Frnace from outside the top of the circle. Benzema takes it and fires it right into the wall. Sorry blogger just got a little bitchy. Free kick into the wall, and Italy counters.

40th minute: Again, screw blogger. About three errors. Fortunately the two teams obliged by kicking it back and forth for a couplathree minutes.

42nd minute: Benzema sends one to the back post but there is nobody there. Henry checked his run. GK for Italy.

43rd minute: Still pletny of life in the match as Italy know they can't sleep on a 1-goal lead. Free kick for Italy at the top right of the box. Grosso to take it. OH... and it's a beautiful strike low and angled that hits square on the post. That was inches from putting this one in the books. Perrotta is down, or he was. Now he's up. Magic water... is there anything you can't do?

45th minute: Pirlo called for a foul. Dubious. Coupet did get a touch on that ball and saved France. Really, that was going in.

+1 minute: The kick hangs and gives Buffon just enough time to come catch it.

+2 minute: More pressure from France. But another harmless cross cleared back to midfield.

+3 minute: Ref stops play. Evra faking. Really, get up you pansy. Italy robbed of a counter.

+4 minute: Card for Chiellini. Yellow. Free kick for France. Italy trying to give chances back. The ball bounced in the box. Benzema was there, but can't get a touch on it. Italy are able to clear. Nervous moments in the last few seconds but nothing coronary inducing.

Half. Italy 1 - France 0

Apparently I missed a yellow by Pirlo. Really? French players were hitting the pitch more easily than, well, an Italian.

Okay, good readers, I have a prior obligation meaning this now becomes an open thread. If another UF'er can jump on and finish the liveblog, please do.



101 comments:

The NY Kid said...

Where's my damn Laetitia Casta? I smell an anti-French bias.

Precious Roy said...

Hey, you've got admin privileges, swap her out for Wiltord.

JT said...

I'd happily save her from Buffon's greasy advances

The NY Kid said...

Actually, I don't, since someone never got around to it. But I'm not sure that Sylvain is an adequate replacement.

JT said...

nice, a thinly-veiled assault. I'll do that now, you big sweaty whinger

Goat said...

I'm not sure if it's just because Buffon's name reminds me of Doug Buffone (I'm sure at least PR knows who I'm talking about) but I get the impression that Gigi's an utter moron. At any rate, his wife looks much too intelligent for him.

Precious Roy said...

Buffone's the night guy, right? I'll stream MJ&H but don't listen to too much of the locals in Chicago.

ü75 said...

Nice haiku, Frenchie.
Or are you the Italian?
I may never learn.

I kid, I kid.

Lingering Bursitis said...

seriously though, the Dutch made 9 changes:
* 16 Stekelenburg
* 21 Boulahrouz
* 03 Heitinga
* 14 Bouma
* 15 De Cler
* 06 De Zeeuw
* 08 Engelaar
* 20 Afellay
* 07 Van Persie
* 11 Robben
* 19 Huntelaar

whole lotta reserves in there. hearts must be wilting a touch in paris and mee-lan

Lingering Bursitis said...

France
* 23 Coupet
* 14 Clerc
* 05 Gallas
* 03 Abidal
* 13 Evra
* 10 Govou
* 20 Toulalan
* 06 Makelele
* 22 Ribery
* 09 Benzema
* 12 Henry

Italy
* 01 Buffon
* 19 Zambrotta
* 02 Panucci
* 04 Chiellini
* 03 Grosso
* 21 Pirlo
* 10 De Rossi
* 08 Gattuso
* 09 Toni
* 20 Perrotta
* 18 Cassano

Precious Roy said...

Could you try to tempt fate more than by starting Van Persie.

The Eye-tal in me is turning a little cartwheel. The Gunner in me is screaming with rage as I know he'll have a career-ender by the 37th.

Joep Smeets said...

in all fairness, Boulah and Engelaar are both starters, Heitinga, Bouma and de Zeeuw started in ALL the games before the tournament, van Persie and Robben can hardly be called B-quality and Huntelaar will make the step to a big european club sooner rather than later.

Also: Ibi Ibi Ibi Affelaaaay!

The NY Kid said...

ah, with Robben and VanPorcelain up top they should get enough goals to beat Romania.

Lingering Bursitis said...

it's that dutch midfield that is troubling. not a lot of dominance there.

could mutu's penalty miss/buffon's save (however you look at it) be the real heartbreaker before these matches even kick off?

Goat said...

Over/Under on when Van Persie gets hurt? I've got 30 minutes. PR, yeah he does nights and Bears pre- and post-game and he's an idiot.

Lingering Bursitis said...

note: in their hour of need, France turn to future Seattle striker Thierry "get me out of Spain, please!" Henry.


I'm surprised Lilian Thuram isn't giving it one last heave for the glory days of almost a decade ago

Lingering Bursitis said...

Joep: while that might all be true (and you would certainly know more than I would), it still points to a team that's a little tournament-rusty, and definitely one that'll play to a lower tempo with their first-place finish already assured.

It will give the Romanians hope to see such a "weakened" (at least when compared to the starting XIs from the first two games) XI being put out there.

Donadoni cannot be pleased.

ü75 said...

Instead of an over/under, we should just play guess-the-minute.

Goat, I've got you for 30 min.
I say 67th minute.

Andrew said...

my fearless prediction, which I will provide fo' free:

Netherlands 3-1 Romania
France 2-1 Italy

This is a certainty.

Lingering Bursitis said...

bastard. I gave the lineups!

ü75 said...

Donadoni looks like Wayne Coyne.

Lingering Bursitis said...

UF talisman Cassano to score Italia's gol

Andrew said...

13th minute. Hammy pull.

Precious Roy said...

37th... metatarsal.

ü75 said...

Andrew-I always like your Elon Fighting Christians logo. Do you have any affiliation with the school, or do you just like the disorderly nature of their former mascot?

ü75 said...

Dutch players are less likely to sing than Americans, but more likely than the Spaniards. What is those guys problem, anyway?

Goat said...

Are we playing guess the injury too? If so, I've got dislocated vagina.

Andrew said...

Which side chants out the beat to The White Stripes "Seven Nation Army" before the match? Is it the French? I mean, I don't see the Italians doing it - I don't know why.

TrippinBrammie said...

without a doubt this is the toughest day of the Pick Em for me so far.....and now with all this rain, I got no freakin clue....great Italian Anthem Singing though, damn!

Lingering Bursitis said...

he will not come back out after half-time...

injury: strained hamstring

Andrew said...

u75 - I went there for undergrad. I was a freshman there the year after they changed from the Fightin' Christians to the Phoenix (2000). The school store sold all the shirts with our Battlin' Pastor for five bucks, if I remember correctly.

Quick note: Elon actually considered changing the mascot to the Flying Squirrel.

TrippinBrammie said...

I'm calling Henry for 60+ and a goal....gunner love doesn't die

TrippinBrammie said...

quick flick over to ESPN Classic, caught Van Basten looking anguished....guilty.....are they throwing the match?

The Fan's Attic said...

I'm going against the odds...Van Persie to make it out of the match without injury. Not sure if he will go the full 90 or be subbed out for non-injury reasons, but I am going with full 90.

Also,

France 1 - Italy 3 (Cassano, Grosso, Toni)

Netherlands 2 (Huntelaar, Van Persie) - Rumania 1 (Rat)

The NY Kid said...

ALLEZ LES BLEUS, ALLEZ LES BLEUS, ALLEZ!

TITI! TITI! TITI!

The NY Kid said...

@TFA - you are now on the shit list with that prediction.

TrippinBrammie said...

only took 5 minutes for Luca Toni to blow another huge chance

The NY Kid said...

holy shit that was close.

The NY Kid said...

great - ESPN 360 is about 3 minutes behind the actual game. Fuckers.

Goat said...

Perhaps he caught what Gomez has.

The Fan's Attic said...

@NYKid: I know...but that's what my gut says.

Also, France's goal comes from Ribery.

Rat's goal is assisted by Dimone.

Andrew said...

TFA - your Ribery prediction looks to be on-point.

Oh . . .

The Fan's Attic said...

well, shit, that Ribery prediction just started all sorts of bad karma.

Goat said...

TFA--I hope your Van Persie prediction is more accurate than your Ribery one.

Goat said...

It's my first chance to see Nasri in action albeit via a liveblog.

The NY Kid said...

let's hope Nasri shows Arsene what he can do.

Andrew said...

TFA - quick, more predictions for the Italian side. French hopes and dreams rest on your shoulders!

The Fan's Attic said...

De Rossi with two assists, Pirlo with a yellow, Gigi breaks out a pink neckerchief for second half.

The NY Kid said...

FUCKING TOSSER! The ref was bought off.

The NY Kid said...

baby Jesus hates Domenech because of the astrology thing

TrippinBrammie said...

wow Abidal...way to pay off your manager's confidence there......


and now Nasri comes off right away, wow wow.....

Random said...

First match i've been able to watch due to work, and I get to watch the Italian Flopping Excellence. grrrr..

Goat said...

Was it a legit penalty?

The NY Kid said...

what a stupid substitution. We need Nasri for offense, since we need to score 2 goals, and he takes him out and puts in Boumsong? Good-bye Raymond, and good riddance.

MoonshineMike said...

goat, that was as "legit" as any Italian Penalty is. Which to say, not likely. A few minutes later he attempts a similar play and flopped similarly, with no french defenders around him.

Goat said...

What the fuck is Domenech doing?

The Fan's Attic said...

i know you're down a man so you want some defensive cover, but you're also down a goal and need a win to have any chance of advancing, plus one sub has already been used.

is there any precedent of firing a manager in the middle of a match?

The NY Kid said...

I'm pretty sure that Platini is rolling over in his grave.

What? He isn't?

Goat said...

Well, I trust that 10 minutes was all Nasri needed to show that he belongs at Arsenal.

The NY Kid said...

Casey Affleck is the Italian coach?

Precious Roy said...

Ack... blogger is hanging on the updates.

The NY Kid said...

This would never have happened if you had included my Laetitia Casta picture.

The Fan's Attic said...

Blogger also appears to be able to travel backwards in time. or maybe it's just this blogger that can time travel.

TrippinBrammie said...

Somehow I still feel strangely confident the Frenchies can come all the way back in the 2nd.....though they continue to waste chances....

The Fan's Attic said...

Pirlo with the yellow!!! I called it!!! I called it!!!

Too bad I didn't call the goal.

He'll miss the next match if they make it through.

Andrew said...

@ TrippinBrammie - I second your idea. They're a man down and chasing the match. This should be good.

The NY Kid - your feelings?

The NY Kid said...

I smell a brace from Benzema.

The NY Kid said...

and the Dutch are 0-0 at the half.

Lingering Bursitis said...

From the brilliant BBC liveblog:
My brilliant colleague Danny the Stat has just pointed out that the top goalscorers in the Bundesliga last season were none other than... Luca Toni and Mario Gomez, with 43 goals between them.

The Fan's Attic said...

must have used up their quota for the year.

TrippinBrammie said...

Gomez should have a few of his BUndesliga tally erased from the record books after that miss y'day....

Andrew said...

benzema had a chance, should've made a touch

TrippinBrammie said...

Benzema needs a training session w/ Podolski eh?

The NY Kid said...

and we're off again.

The NY Kid said...

The Dutch have scored. Phase 1 has begun.

Andrew said...

over/under on number of French shots? they're at 10 now, according to gamecast. henry and benzema look to pull the trigger at all times.

TrippinBrammie said...

damn, switched my pick from NED to Draw at the last minute...

Goat said...

Any word on Ribery's injury?

The NY Kid said...

I've got the audio too low so I don't get fired. Not sure how Ribery is doing.

Andrew said...

le joue est complet.

The NY Kid said...

Have I ever mentioned that I hate the Italian national team?

TrippinBrammie said...

Ribery's injury = one from which he now has plenty of time to recover....

The NY Kid said...

I'm out kids. No reason to stay at work and watch the rest. I will scan the remainder at home on DVR, just so I can weep in privacy.

Goat said...

Yeah, I guess it's a moot point now. Sorry NYK.

Lingering Bursitis said...

I look at Italy, and see nothing worth liking. Playing against 10 men since the 25th minute, a France without Ribery, and they finally score some goals (a PK and a freak deflection).

That and Toni is shit, and Gattuso and Pirlo will both miss the QF.

But hey, they're through and Donadoni's obviously a genius, etc.

The Fan's Attic said...

The Italians may have won, but the world has lost.

Not so much because France lost, my condolences NY Kid, but because it is Italy.

The Fan's Attic said...

Sorry Precious Roy, Italian football just isn't fun to watch.

TrippinBrammie said...

Italy totally sucks, as always, but hey Spain's not complaining, they're more vulnerable to a smaller tougher nation like Romania anyway




the one thing is, we should've all seen right from the way the Italians sang their anthem that they were going to win, that was just vigorous as hell

MoonshineMike said...

France has had too many busted chances - Benzema had several great chances. Gallas goes off with an injury with what looks like a blow to the temple.

The refs have jobbed the french. I feel for The NY Kid.

Goat said...

RVP just scored. Are we all in agreement that Spain should trounce Italy?

TrippinBrammie said...

Spain vs Italy w/out:

Pirlo
Gattuso
Derossi


something tells me TOrres/Villa will be finishing all those chances Benzema has blown....




France leaves the European Championships having scored one goal, with Henry giving the same number back to opponents as well

The Fan's Attic said...

From the NED - ROM gamecast:

A nice backheel from the ref - he's Swiss, and by the looks of that touch could have been playing for the co-hosts.

That's rough, burning the co-hosts when they're not even playing.

Lingering Bursitis said...

can a lot of this French squad now be culled into retirement where they belong?

TrippinBrammie said...

I think Mutu may have to go back on the Nose Candy after his disastrous tourney....

The Fan's Attic said...

Why is DeRossi missing? He isn't injured or on a yellow card is he?

Also, RVP makes the full 90 and Scores a Goal and Huntelaar scores...my Holland calls were spot on.

Everything else? Not so much, save for the Pirlo yellow.

TrippinBrammie said...

I ust heard Andy Gray say de Rossi won't play, maybe he was wrong


honestly no Pirlo is the only one that matters

Precious Roy said...

Sweet... I'm back just in time for the second half of the replay on Classic.

Should I liveblog it?

Kidding.

Maybe I should've broken that up into 3 separate comments, so we can top 100 for maybe the first time.

The Fan's Attic said...

well i don't see the harm in that.

The Fan's Attic said...

but, i don't think you will have much of an audience.

The Fan's Attic said...

so, you do it at your own peril.

Goat said...

I saw what you did there, TFA. Good work. I suppose this makes it 101.