Euro 2012 - Spain V France
Posted by Guest Writer on Mon, 25 Jun 2012.
Hopefully you haven't noticed my absence... or now that I've mentioned it you definitely have. Either way, blame exams. But, now I am free to watch the (sadly diminishing) last few days of the tournament in peace. So, on to the second quarter final game- the Spanish Armada versus the French.
Both sides were fairly evenly opposed but with the Spanish side still struggling to find their feet without a clear striker, France had a glorious opportunity especially with the likes of Franck Ribery leading the attack. And although Iker Casillas was called upon several times, he demonstrated exactly why he is the world's number one between the sticks. Even without lion hearted Carles Puyol, the defenders did a fine job, leaving the French feeble and goalless.
Cue midfield legend Xabi Alonso who still to this day is firmly set in the hearts of Scousers. And what better way to mark a century of appearances for your nation than with a double helping of goals to take you into the semi finals?
His first goal came from an absolute beauty of a cross from rising star Jordi Alba. Xabi 'ginger beard' Alonso headed in the powerful cross within the first twenty minutes only to step up to the penalty spot in the dying minutes of the game. However much he may have helped his beloved country, his name still continues to befuddle commentators. So to anyone who is confused, he is XABI Alonso- not XAVI Alonso. Please, never commit such a heinous mistake unless you wish to be dubbed a culedrista.
France threatened upon a few occasions but failed to impose any serious threat. They improved marginally in the second half, with the look of hunger lingering in their eyes, but again, it proved to be a re-run. They conceded possession and like many others, failed to deal with the midfield duo of Xavi and Iniesta. Though they have a team of star studded players who largely play for top flight clubs, they lacked the belief and goals. There was a furious aura surrounding them, but with their failure to make the most of chances can only be considered their fault. They've done well to make it to this point of the competition, but to end their miserable streak, it's back to the drawing board.
Spain still have room for improvement. Their loss of David Villa is still rather obvious but they will have to make do. They have the immense talents of some of the world's greatest, but they lack a ruthless impulse. Stop trying to walk the ball into the net hombres!
Article by Faz