Sunday, June 22, 2008

Italy Out of Euro 08

This sucks to have to write. Spain defeated Italy 4-2 on penalty kicks today to advance to the semifinals of the Euro tournament.

The first 120 minutes of the game consisted of Spain attempting to create chances, and Italy playing perfect defense to shut them out. Italy on the other hand, could not get anything going on offense, characterized by another bad showing from Luca Toni.

In the penalty shootout, Iker Casillas saved both Daniele De Rossi and Antonio Di Natale's shots and Cesc Fabregas hit the winning shot for Spain to give them the 4-2 win.

Di Natale had the opportunity to tie the penalty's at 3 after Buffon saved a Daniel Guiza shot, but his miss assured Cesc the opportunity to a hero.

Spain's win sets up a matchup with Russia. It is the first time Spain have reached the semifinals of a major tournament since the Euro's of 1984.

As an Italy fan, I have to say that Pirlo's absence was really missed, as there was almost no meaningful possession for Italy. I'm about to go watch some highlights of Luca Toni's season this year, because I don't understand how he could have scored 39 goals this season, and look 
this bad in the Euro's.

You could say the better team won tonight due to the possession and control by Spain, but I disagree. Anything Spain did Italy stopped, and Italy's best chance, a 62nd minute shot by Comoranesi, was better then any chance Spain had.


Andrei Filimonov said...

I would say it was evenly matched game with two teams canceling each other. Italy having problems in the offense was hardly surprising. However Spain was outright disappointing - another indication how good defensively Italy was. At the end it was Spain who was lucky to get it to the penalty kicks. They had no clear scoring chances at all and Italy squandered at least two outstanding chances and paid the price.

Anna Italia said...

Tell me about it! I was crushed and so upset with Donadoni for destroying the good work done by Marcelo Lippi. Italy has not been the shadow of the 2006 World Champions since Donadoni took over.

Talking about record in the EURO 2008.. oh please.. meglio non chiedere (better not ask) We did bad because Donandoni never found the right strategy or formation.

Andrei.... Italy's defense... I will say with big capital letters "ITALY AND JUVE DEFENDER GIORGIO CHIELLINI"

Our strikers? have you seen them? EXCEPT DEL PIERO who did not get proper respect from Donadoni when he could have played in all 3 matches.

Well, I stop here because I am still mad.

Anonymous said...

Donadoni isn't a terrible coach, but he isn't qualified to be the man on the bench for Italy. He waa mediocre at best while leading Livorno and the only reason he has this job is because of his record as a player. That being said I feel he made some decisions that were poor.....1.) Why do give Antonio Cassano a spot on the club while leaving a good luck charm like Filippo Inzaghi at home ? I know Inzaghi had a tough past season but the man would have been a good bench player who when called upon has scored big goal time after time. The only thing Cassano has is his bad attitude and underachieving status. 2.) As Anna said, Del Piero should have had more playing time. The 70 or so minutes he played in the Romania match was the best calcio Italy played in the tournament. How do you leave Serie A's leading scorer on the bench ? I'll cut this ever possible long list down to this....3.) De Rossi should never have been given the chance to take a penalty. His goal against France was not skill but luck off an Henry deflection. Yes, Di Natale took a bad spot kick himself, but for Donadoni to leave Luca Toni out of the top 5 kick takers is a joke. I'm disappointed but considering our major injuries and poor gameplans we did alright. The World Cup is all that matters. Euro tournaments are all well and good but the real test of a champion comes down to the world stage.....and we still are Campioni del Mondo !!!

Monica 08 said...

What did you think of the changes Donadoni made? Del Piero couldn't do much. Weren't they done too late?

He put the wrong starting lineup, Camoranesi was so motivated once he went on the pitch. The Deco of the team. Just where was Aquilani?

The one thing I can't understand is keeping Luca Toni the whole 90 minutes. He was constantly marked by 2 Spain players. I wonder if Inzaghi was missed today.

mad6986 said...

I watched the highlight video of Luca Toni's 39 goals in the Bundesliga this past season, and I have to say that he shows almost no creativity when he scores.

This normally wouldn't be a problem if someone could create and get him the ball, but Italy's offense can't do that.

Italy just kept kicking the ball to him when he was double teamed, and Toni's lack of creativity meant that no chances on net would occur.

All I gotta say about the changes is that no change could have made as much of a difference in the game as Pirlo playing.

Andrei Filimonov said...

Efficient execution and capitalizing on most of their chances - something Italy usually excels at - hurt them the most. IMO this is the biggest thing that was missing in this Italian team.

Anonymous said...

I think mad is right. Luca Toni can be a little too one-dimensional. As a Palermo fan I was able to follow his play closely. His play in the World Cup was mediocre up until the Ukraine match and this time around he struggled. It may be that he isn't at ease on the international stage like his Bayern Munich partner Miroslav Klose who lights it up on the highest stage.

mad6986 said...

It wasn't even Klose that helped him at Bayern, it was Ribery that was setting up his every goal.

Anna Italia said...

Ace Italia - I am wondering the same question over and over why DONADONI left Super Pippo Inzaghi home! Madonna! Inzaghi at least could have created some danger in the attack, that guy "smells goals and know when to catch them."

Matti said...

Because I wasn't really supporting either side, I thought that penalties was a fair way to end the game. I thought it was a very even game, with the Italian defense being superb, but their attacks being uninspired, while the Spanish dominated possession. Normally I hate seeing penalties end a game because the team that wins usually doesn't deserve it, but in this case I think it was the only fair way to end it. It was a very entertaining game.