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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, Pechersk, Kyiv
Attendance: 56,500; Kick-off: 9.45pm EEST, 7.45pm BST; 
Live on BBC One/HD (UK) - Commentator: Guy Mowbray

  Match Summary
England Squad

Italy Squad
Results 2010-2015 Italy - Andrea Barzagli (82 81:28), Christian Maggio (93 92:59)

Italy - Mario Balotelli scores (1-0).
England - Steven Gerrard scores (1-1).
Italy - Riccardo Montolivio missed (1-1).
England - Wayne Rooney scores (1-2).
Italy - Andrea Pirlo scores (2-2).
England - Ashley Young hits bar (2-2).
Italy - Antonio Nocerino scores (3-2).
England - Ashley Cole saved (3-2).
Italy - Alessandro Diamanti scores (4-2).

Italy kicked-off, England kicked-off ET. 124 minutes (penalties took another six minutes to complete). (45:03 & 48:12) (16:02 & 15:08)

 

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) & Ricardo Santos, 38 (10 December 1973).

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

Fourth official - Cüneyt Çakır, 35 (23 November 1976), İstanbul, Turkey, FIFA-listed 2006.

Reserve Assistant Referee - Bahattin Duran, Turkey
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%
Statistics from UEFA.com. Those in italics are from BBC Sport.

England Team

 

Rank:

FIFA (6th June 2012) 6th
ELO rating 4th to 5th
Colours: The 2012 home uniform - White shirts with red piping on collar, white shorts, white socks.
Capt: Steven Gerrard, 21st captaincy. Coach: Roy Hodgson, 64, appointed 1 May 2012,
6th match, W 4 - D 2 - L 0 - F 7 - A 3.
England Lineup
1 Hart, C. Joseph J. 25 19 April 1987 G Manchester City FC 22 14 GA
2 Johnson, Glen M. 27 23 August 1984 RB Liverpool FC 40 1
3 Cole, Ashley 31 20 December 1980 LB Chelsea FC 98 0
4 Gerrard, Steven G. 32 30 May 1980 M Liverpool FC 96 19
15 Lescott, Joleon P. 29 16 August 1982 CD Manchester City FC 20 1
6 Terry, John G. 31 7 December 1980 CD Chelsea FC 77 6
16 Milner, James P., off 61st min. 26 4 January 1986 M Manchester City FC 30 0
8 Parker, Scott M., off 94th min. 31 13 October 1980 M Tottenham Hotspur FC 17 0
22 Welbeck, Daniel N.T.M., off 60th min. 21 26 November 1990 F Manchester United FC 9 2
10 Rooney, Wayne M. 26 24 October 1985 F Manchester United FC 76 29
11 Young, Ashley S. 26 9 July 1985 M Manchester United FC 25 6
England Substitutes
9 Carroll, Andrew T., on 60th min (59:45). for Welbeck 23 6 January 1989 F Liverpool FC 7 2
7 Walcott, Theo J. on 61st min (60:04) for Milner 23 16 March 1989 M Arsenal FC 28 4
8 Henderson, Jordan B., on 94th min (93:47) for Parker 22 17 June 1990 M Liverpool FC 5 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.
   
4-4-2(1-1) Hart -
Johnson, Terry, Lescott, Cole -
Milner
(Walcott), Gerrard, Parker (Henderson), Young -
Rooney, Welbeck
(Carroll).

Averages (Starting XI):

Age 27.7 Appearances/Goals 46.4 5.8

 

Italy Team

 

Rank:

FIFA (6th June 2012) 12th
ELO rating 11th
Colours: Made by Puma - Azure blue shirts with white collar (green/blue trim), blue shorts with white trim/hem, blue socks with white tops.
Capt: Gianluigi Buffon Coach: Cesare Claudio Prandelli, 54 (19 August 1957), appointed 30 May 2010, effective August 2010.
Italy Lineup
1 Buffon, Gianluigi 34 28 January 1978 G Juventus FC SpA 118 0
15 Barzagli, Andrea 31 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.
19 Bonucci, Leonardo 25 1 May 1987 CD Juventus FC SpA 18 2
16 De Rossi, Daniele, off 80th min. 28 24 July 1983 M AS Roma SpA 76 10
18 Montolivo, Riccardo 27 18 January 1985 M ACF Fiorentina SpA 35 1
6 Balzaretti, Federico 30 6 December 1981 CD US Città di Palermo SpA 10 0
7 Abate, Ignazio, off 91st min. 25 12 November 1986 RB AC Milan SpA 4 0
8 Marchisio, Claudio 26 19 January 1986 M Juventus FC SpA 24 1
9 Balotelli, Mario B. 21 12 August 1990 F Manchester City FC, England 12 2
10 Cassano, Antonio, off 78th min. 34 13 October 1977 F AC Milan SpA 33 10
21 Pirlo, Andrea 33 19 May 1979 M Juventus FC SpA 87 10
Italy Substitutes
22 Diamanti, Alessandro, on 78th min (77:58) for Cassano. 29 2 May 1983 M Bologna FC 1909 SpA 3 0
23 Nocerino, Antonio, on 80th min (79:29) for De Rossi. 27 9 April 1985 M AC Milan SpA 13 0
2 Maggio, Christian, on 91st min (90:47) for Abate. 30 11 February 1982 D SSC Napoli SpA 19 0
Maggio cautioned in the 93rd min for a foul, for a vicious body-check on Ashley Young. Suspended.

unused substitutes:

3-Giorgio Chiellini (injured), 4-Angelo Ogbonna, 5-Thiago Motta, 11-Antonio Di Natale, 12-Salvatore Sirigu, 13-Emanuele Giaccherini, 14-Morgan De Sanctis, 17-Fabio Borini, 20-Sebastian Giovinco.
   
4-4(1-3)-2 Buffon -
Abate
(Maggio), Barzagli, Bonucci, Balzaretti -
Pirlo -
Marchisio, Montolivo, De Rossi
(Nocerino) -
Balotelli, Cassano
(Diamanti).

Averages (Starting XI):

Age 28.5 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

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

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CG