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Sunday, 24 June 2012
2012 European Championships Final Quarter-Finals, Match Four


England 0 Italy 0 [0-0]
0-0 after ninety minutes

Italy won 4-2 on penalties

 

Natsional'nyî Sportyvnyî Kompleks Olimpiyskyi, Pechersk, Kyiv, Ukraine
Kick-off (EEST): 9.45pm 7.45pm BST.

Attendance: 56,500
.

Steven Gerrard won toss
Wayne Rooney kicked-off ET
Italy kicked-off
124 min 45:03 & 48:12; 16:02 & 15:08

Match Summary
England Squad

Italy Squad
[0-0] De Rossi's swerving left-foot volley hit the post 4
 
  [0-0] Alessandro Diamanti cross hits the bar 101
  [0-0] Antonio Nocerino scores with head; offside 115
   
  Andrea Barzagli 82 81:28
  Christian Maggio 93 92:59
Commentator: Guy Mowbray with Mark Lawrenson
 
1-1 Steven Gerrard


2-1 Wayne Rooney

2-2 Ashley Young hits crossbar

3-2 Ashley Cole saved
0-1 Mario Balotelli
 
1-1 Riccardo Montolivio wide
 
2-2 Andrea Pirlo
 
3-2 Antonio Nocerino
 
4-2 Alessandro Diamanti

(penalties took another six minutes to complete)

 

Match Summary

Officials from Portugal

England

Type

Italy
Referee (yellow) - Pedro Proença Oliveira Alves Garcia
41 (3 November 1970), Lisboa, FIFA listed 2003.

Assistant Referees - Bertino Miranda, 40 (18 May 1972) and Ricardo Jorge Ferreira Santos, 38 (10 December 1973).
Fourth official -
Cüneyt Çakır, 35 (23 November 1976), İstanbul, Turkey, FIFA-listed 2006.

Additional Referees - Manuel Jorge Neves Moreira De Sousa
, 37 (18 June 1975), Porto, FIFA-listed 2006 and Duarte Nuno Pereira Gomes, 39 (16 January 1973), Lisboa, FIFA-listed 2002.

Reserve Assistant Referee - Bahattin Duran, Turkey
UEFA Evaluator - Jozef Marko, Slovakia

9 (8) Goal Attempts 35 (34)
4 (4) Attempts on Target 20 (18)
0 Hit Bar/Post 2
1 Saves 8
3 Corner Kicks Won 7
1 Offside Calls Against 2
15 (15) Fouls Conceded 11 (10)
36% Ball Possession 64%

England Team

 

Rank:

FIFA (6 June 2012) 6th
EFO ranking Group 3

ELO rating 4th to 5th
Colours: The 2012 home uniform - White v-neck collared jerseys with red piping on collar, white shorts with red trim, white socks with two-tone red hoop.
Capt: Steven Gerrard
(21st (38) captaincy (3))
Manager: Roy Hodgson, 64 (9 August 1947), appointed 1 May 2012,
6th match, W 4 - D 2 - L 0 - F 7 - A 3.
England Lineup
1 Hart, C. Joseph J. 25
66 dys
19 April 1987 G Manchester City FC 22 14 GA
2 Johnson, Glen M. 27
306 dys
23 August 1984 RB Liverpool FC 40 1 1
the 75th player to reach this milestone
6 Terry, John G. 31
200 dys
7 December 1980 CD Chelsea FC 77 6
15 Lescott, Joleon P. 29
313 dys
16 August 1982 CD Manchester City FC 20 1
the 160th player to reach this milestone
3 Cole, Ashley 31
187 dys
20 December 1980 LB Chelsea FC 98 0
16 Milner, James P., off 61st min. 26
172 dys
4 January 1986 RM Manchester City FC 30 0
the 100th player to reach this milestone
4 Gerrard, Steven G. 32
25 dys
30 May 1980 CM Liverpool FC 96 19
17 Parker, Scott M., off 94th min. 31
255 dys
13 October 1980 CM Tottenham Hotspur FC 17 0
11 Young, Ashley S. 26
351 dys
9 July 1985 LM Manchester United FC 25 6
10 Rooney, Wayne M. 26
244 dys
24 October 1985 AM Manchester United FC 76 29
22 Welbeck, Daniel N.T.M., off 60th min. 21
211 dys
26 November 1990 CF Manchester United FC 9 2
England Substitutes
9 Carroll, Andrew T., on 60th min. (59:45) for Welbeck 23
170 dys
6 January 1989 CF Liverpool FC 7 4 2
3
7 Walcott, Theo J. on 61st min (60:04) for Milner 23
100 dys
16 March 1989 RM Arsenal FC 28 19 4
9
8 Henderson, Jordan B., on 90+4th min (93:47) for Parker 22
7 dys
17 June 1990 CM Liverpool FC 5 1 0
4
result: England 0 Italy 0

unused substitutes:

5-Martin Kelly, 12-Leighton Baines, 13-Rob Green, 14-Phil Jones, 18-Phil Jagielka, 19-Stewart Downing, 20-Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 21-Jermain Defoe, 23-Jack Butland.

team notes:

This is the first time England have had an unchanged teamsheet since the final two matches of the 2010 World Cup Finals.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's father, Mark Chamberlain, also played for England (1982-84).
Manager Roy Hodgson had coached Switzerland against Italy in the World Cup quailfying matches on October 1992 and May 1993 (2-2 and 1-0), a friendly in June 1994 (0-1) and a Centenary friendly in June 1995 (0-1).
 
4-4-2(1-1) Hart -
Johnson, Terry, Lescott, Cole -
Milner
(Walcott), Gerrard, Parker (Henderson), Young -
Rooney, Welbeck
(Carroll).

Averages (Starting XI):

Age 28 years 114 days Appearances/Goals 46.4 5.8
Hodgson's most experienced starting XI

 

Italy Team

 

Rank:

FIFA (6 June 2012) 12th
EFO ranking Group 3

ELO rating 11th
Colours: Made by Puma - Azure blue buttoned-up collared jerseys with white collar with green/blue trim, blue shorts with white trim/hem, blue socks with white tops.
Capt: Gianluigi Buffon Manager: Cesare Claudio Prandelli, 54 (19 August 1957), appointed 30 May 2010, effective August 2010.
Italy Lineup
1 Buffon, Gianluigi 34
148 dys
28 January 1978 G Juventus FC SpA 118 0
7 Abate, Ignazio, off 91st min. 25
225 dys
12 November 1986 RB AC Milan SpA 4 0
19 Bonucci, Leonardo 25
54 dys
1 May 1987 CD Juventus FC SpA 18 2
6 Balzaretti, Federico 30
201 dys
6 December 1981 CD US Città di Palermo SpA 10 0
15 Barzagli, Andrea 31
47 dys
8 May 1981 LB Juventus FC SpA 31 0
Barzagli cautionbed in the 82nd minute for a foul, after his studs bounced over the ball as he tackled Ashley Young 30 yards from the Italian goal.
21 Pirlo, Andrea 33
36 dys
19 May 1979 DM Juventus FC SpA 87 10
8 Marchisio, Claudio 26
157 dys
19 January 1986 RM Juventus FC SpA 24 1
16 De Rossi, Daniele, off 80th min. 28
336 dys
24 July 1983 LM AS Roma SpA 76 10
18 Montolivo, Riccardo 27
158 dys
18 January 1985 AM ACF Fiorentina SpA 35 1
10 Cassano, Antonio, off 78th min. 34
255 dys
13 October 1977 RF AC Milan SpA 33 10
9 Balotelli, Mario B. 21
317 dys
12 August 1990 LF Manchester City FC, England 12 2
Italy Substitutes
22 Diamanti, Alessandro, on 78th min (77:58) for Cassano. 29
53 dys
2 May 1983 RF Bologna FC 1909 SpA 3 0
23 Nocerino, Antonio, on 80th min (79:29) for De Rossi. 27
76 dys
9 April 1985 LM AC Milan SpA 13 0
2 Maggio, Christian, on 91st min (90:47) for Abate. 30
134 dys
11 February 1982 RB SSC Napoli SpA 19 0
Maggio cautioned in the 93rd min for a foul, for a vicious body-check on Ashley Young. Suspended.
result: England 0 Italy 0

unused substitutes:

4-Angelo Ogbonna, 5-Thiago Motta (injured), 11-Antonio Di Natale, 12-Salvatore Sirigu, 13-Emanuele Giaccherini, 14-Morgan De Sanctis, 17-Fabio Borini, 20-Sebastian Giovinco.
 
4-4(diamond)-2 Buffon -
Abate
(Maggio), Bonucci, Barzagli, Balzaretti -
Pirlo -
Marchisio, De Rossi
(Nocerino) -
Montolivo -
Cassano
(Diamanti), Balotelli

Averages (Starting XI):

Age 29 years 12 days Appearances/Goals 40.7 3.3

 

    Match Report by Mike Payne

So, sadly, the England adventure comes to an end, in the cruellest way possible, after a dreaded penalty shoot-out yet again.  This brave England side gave their all but in the end, if truth be told, they weren't quite good enough, and it is Italy who now go on to meet the Germans in the semi-final.

It was obvious from the start of this quarter-final that the Italians had not only decided to try and play into the space beyond England's back four, but also to shoot on sight of goal.  Mario Balotelli spent all evening trying to pepper teammate Joe Hart and it started within 38 seconds.  On three minutes a pull-back from the right was met by Daniele de Rossi and he hit a magnificent shot with the outside of his boot.  The ball sailed away from Hart's dive but struck a post before being cleared.  Italy meant business. 

But England soon came back and they almost opened the scoring on five minutes with a fine move started and almost finished by the impressive Glen Johnson.  His link up with James Milner down the right ended with a cross to the middle that found Johnson five yards from goal.  He managed to adjust his feet and hook a shot goalwards but Gianluigi Buffon pulled off a fine save.

In the context of what was to follow, one now wishes that one of those early chances had gone in!

To be fair, after Johnson's near miss England had the better of the next 20 minutes although there were no more chances as good as that one.  Wayne Rooney headed over from Johnson's cross, and then Rooney, from a good position, wasted a good passing opportunity.  Meanwhile, Balatelli had a cross blocked by Steven Gerrard, Milner had a cross cut out at the other end and then Danny Welbeck did well to clear an Italian corner.  But it was the Italians who then created another fine chance.  This time the mercurial Andrea Pirlo found Balotelli in a central position and he seemed certain to score, but John Terry came from nowhere to make a brilliant blocking tackle.

As the game ebbed and flowed it was England's turn next, when a good break on 32 minutes ended with Rooney setting up Welbeck for a clear shot at goal.  But instead of blasting it low and hard he decided to side-foot the ball and it flew over the bar.  That was a golden chance to be honest and at this level those sort of chances must be taken.  Unfortunately it is something England never quite get right in these big games.

As the half wore on Italy started to assert their authority, made easier for them by England's decision to sit back and wait for the next attack.  They had seen how the Italians struggled when the pressure was put on their defence but instead of going for it they sank further and further back waiting for the next Italian thrust.  Antonio Cassano fired in another shot, one of several he had, and he then had another go, with Hart parrying the effort.  A great challenge from Joleon Lescott then stopped Balotelli, whilst a poor free-kick by Italy almost led to an England chance.  Rooney though, still not the force he can be, disappointed with his final ball.  Right on half-time Balotelli had yet another effort, this time the ball flew over the bar.

The second half began with chances at both ends, as England pushed for a breakthrough.  But on 47 minutes De Rossi missed a sitter from right in front of Hart's goal.  Terry was having another fine match and another great block produced a corner for Italy.  From this Hart was almost deceived by a shot and then saved again from the follow up.  The third rebound should have been put away but as the shot flew over one sensed that this might just be England's night.

On the hour mark Roy Hodgson sent on Andy Carroll for Welbeck and Theo Walcott for Milner.  Immediately Carroll added more zest to the attack, and that gave Italy something to think about.  But always Pirlo was the master of ceremonies, controlling the pace of the game and the pattern of play.  Annoyingly England just sat off him and allowed him to spray his passes around.  Conversely, when England did get into good positions both Gerrard and then Scott Parker produced a poor pass at the vital moment.  England had chances in this game, of that there is no doubt, and to be honest there was not a lot between the teams.  Okay, Italy showed the quality, but England were still maintaining their high standards of grit and determination.

De Rossi blasted a shot over, Ashley Young's shot was deflected wide and a Gerrard free-kick just needed a touch before Buffon gathered.  Carroll had a good effort and then superb play from Johnson stopped substitute Antonio Nocerino from scoring.  Again, one wishes now that one of those chances had counted.

So, the ninety minutes were up and it was into the extra time.  One or two of the England players were showing signs of weariness at this stage and Italy were strong throughout the extra period.  Balotelli twice tested Hart and an Alessandro Diamante cross evaded everyone before striking the outside of a post.  Walcott's darting run and cross was just too long and at half-time in the extra period it was still 0-0, and that was down to England's sheer hard work.  For all Italy's possession they really had struggled to score and England can be proud of their defensive tournament. 

The second half of this period saw Italy dominant still, but only a Diamante shot caused concern for England.  Terry, Lescott, Ashley Cole and especially Johnson had fine games at the back for the Three Lions, and at least no-one could fault the effort put in by this squad of players.

It had to be didn't it, of course, the penalty shoot-out.  Italy's Balotelli strode up for the first penalty and despite some brilliant nods and winks and stares from his Manchester City teammate Hart, you have to hand it to the Italian, he had the last laugh by scoring.  Up stepped Gerrard to equalise and then false hope as Riccardo Montolivio drove his kick wide.  Rooney confidently made it 2-1 and then it all went wrong.  Pirlo did a 'Lineker' and chipped it over the goalkeeper, Young blasted his against the bar, Italy scored again and Cole ruined his 98th cap by giving Buffon an easy save.  Diamanti hit the final nail.

To be fair Italy deserved the win, just about, but England weren't that far short and overall they can be really pleased with their efforts.  It was a little disappointing that we didn't try something slightly different in the use of our substitutes, and it was surprising that a player of the quality of Phil Jones never got a kick during the fortnight.  Maybe his time will come.  At least we remained unbeaten and finally we had something to be proud of, with the outstanding effort and determination being shown by everyone.  Hart, Terry, Lescott, Cole, Johnson, Gerrard and Carroll were hugely impressive and everyone gave their best, and you can't ask for more than that, sadly though it wasn't quite enough in the final reckoning.

Last but not least a pat on the back for Hodgson, who has been nothing short of superb, both on and off the field.
 

Source Notes

TheFA.com
BBC Sport
UEFA.com
Mike Payne - football historian and contributor
cg