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Euro 2012 Day 3: The blame gameblog by Lucyggg 11th Jun 2012
You will be hard pressed to find too many similarities between the two matches played in Group C today; the first a slow-burning tactical fight that finished in a draw, the second a fast and furious combination of thunder and blunder. In the aftermath, however, they both posed the same question: whose fault was it?
Whose fault was it that Spain had to settle for a puma football cleats point -- had to come from behind -- against Italy? Was it Vicente del Bosque's, for fielding a starting XI that did not include a striker? "We wanted to have superiority in the midfield so that we could have possession and arrive higher up the pitch," he explained. "The plan didn't go badly, Cesc Fabregas did very well [as a false nine]." The Spain manager had Fernando Llorente, Alvaro Negredo and Fernando Torres available to play a center-forward role, but only Torres got on to the pitch, for the final quarter of an hour. "When Torres came on the match was much more open," del Bosque retorted. "We had more chances to score, but so did they."
Was it the pitch? It did not play noticeably badly, and both goals came as the result of perfectly timed, perfectly weighted moves. But the grass was too long and dry, apparently. "I don't want to complain," complained Fabregas, "but we deserve much more. It is lamentable that we have to play on a pitch like this."
Whose fault was it that Ireland puma soccer boots crumpled against Croatia, giving up three goals and with them just about any hope of reaching the knockout stages? Was it that Shay Given had "one of those nights"? He was beaten by a 16-yard header and forced to concede an own goal when Mandzukic's second header of the night bounced back at him off the post. Was it just that the Croats were too good? The manager, Slaven Bilic, certainly thought so, saying afterwards that he expected his side to win. "We were preparing for this victory," he said. "We knew everything about this team. We knew we were a better team."
Was it that the officials cost Ireland dearly? Nikica Jelavic was not offside when he scored Croatia's second, because the ball was accidentally played to him by Irish defender Stephen Ward, but that hasn't stopped a heated discussion as to the exact meaning of that part of the offside law that refers to players "gaining an advantage by being in an offside puma football shoes position." Regardless, Ireland should have had a penalty in the second half, when Gordon Schildenfeld swiped his boot across the back of Robbie Keane's legs, only afterwards taking the ball.
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