Euro 2012: Matchday Four (Group D)



One of the more highly-anticipated match-ups of the group stage kicks off today's Euro 2012 action as France takes on England in Group D's opener (Noon, ESPN).

The French come in riding high after a strong run of form over the past year. They boast a strong attack and steady defense, and will be favored to knock off an injury-hit England side that will also be without suspended star Wayne Rooney, who is due to miss the match after receiving a red card late in Euro qualifying.

The English are dealing with an injury-depleted defense that could be in serious trouble trying to slow down an attack featuring, Franck Ribery, Karim Benzema and Samir Nasri. John Terry and Joleon Lescott will be paired up in central defense today, while youngster Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain gets the start in midfield for Roy Hodgson's side.

In the day's second match, tournament co-hosts Ukraine take on favored Sweden (2:45pm, ESPN) in a match-up that should offer plenty of intrigue. The Swedes are favored, but will be faced with trying to beat a home team.

If you will be watching today's matches, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action.

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68 Responses to Euro 2012: Matchday Four (Group D)

  1. brant says:

    anyone got a line on a working feed for the ENG-FRA match? Stuck at work and don’t have the Slingbox up at the new house yet

  2. Mig22 says:

    I’m just waiting for Hart to make the tragic error. He is a great keeper but it’s England in a major tourney.

  3. Scott says:

    Oh my Milner…

  4. Chris says:

    Anyone else notice the person sporting a US soccer t-shirt in the crowd at the England France game?

  5. Mig22 says:

    It’s so sad it’s funny listening to Macca trying to come up with reasons why England could possibly win this.

    England might win but I would have to say that would be a wacky surprise.

  6. Mig22 says:

    I thought I saw it but I am not on DVR so I couldn’t check. Good spot!

  7. Scott says:

    In his defense they could easily be up 1-0. But, you’re right, this team ain’t that great.

  8. Steve C says:

    Great week to be on vacation. Sleeping in, drinking coffee, and watching Euro 2012.

  9. Mig22 says:

    yeah, they did have that Milner opp. If France doesn’t stretch England out, they COULD win on a counter.

  10. Scott says:

    That’s looking like Hodgson’s plan. And probably the best one available to him

  11. Mig22 says:

    The Mig effect in full form. I pan England, they take the lead. Sigh.

  12. Scott says:

    orrrrrrrrr on a set piece

  13. Josh says:

    I suppose the Three Lions will begin bunkering now…

  14. Josh says:

    and just as soon as I finish typing, France level the match. Serves me right

  15. Mig22 says:

    That’s how my commentary usually goes too.

  16. kimo says:

    Nasri such a punk … “be quiet” sign. Act like you’ve done it before.

  17. gacm32 says:

    How is that being a punk? A lot of players do that, it’s just a celebration like everything else. Better than the Brazilians having a entire choreographed team dance when they score in a friendly.

  18. Alex says:

    Lucky. At least replays are on ESPN3

  19. RK says:

    France look really, really good, but set pieces can change a match.

  20. Mig22 says:

    England had only 4 players forward for that corner a couple of minutes ago. Odd.

  21. Nate Dollars says:

    yes, a lot of players do it, but it’s (kind of) a punk move because it’s more a taunt than a celebration, though certainly not the worst you could do.

    and i agree, it’s better than the brazilian dance in a friendly.

  22. Mig22 says:

    Ribery is putting up a work rate I’ve never seen before. How many hundreds of touches does he have?

  23. gacm32 says:

    These commentators seem just a little biased. I know they’re English, but at least try ti hide your bias.

  24. Mig22 says:

    Apparently, it’s going to be that way for England. Just 4 attackers in the box on corners. I understand conservative but jeez.

  25. Mig22 says:

    I will say that England has NOT been well treated by the ref today.

  26. gacm32 says:

    France has been the much better side.

  27. gacm32 says:

    Now Milner fakes an injury.

  28. kimo says:

    Agreed. At a minimum, 3-4 yellow cards should have been issued.

  29. USAmr says:

    How many fouls is that not called for England? This ref looks so biased for France.

  30. kimo says:

    Agreed. France has certainly been creating and dominating possession.

  31. RK says:

    Marvin the Martian is on!

  32. Alex says:

    Off a questionable PK as well. I hate that

  33. elgringorico says:

    lol the interaction btwn Lalas and Ballack is so awkward. Here I side more w/ Lalas in that they should be content to pull out the draw, no matter how many buses they parked.

  34. SilverRey says:

    Lalas won’t let Ballack finish a sentence. Poor Ballack is wounded every time Lalas steps on his lines. Not a good combination. Bring back Rossi!!! (jk) Ballack just wants to extend some of his insight (which has been good imo when he gets it out). Lalas just wants to fight.

  35. elgringorico says:

    Yeah I really feel like Ballack is about to swing if he interrupts him one more time. I got all my money on Ballack although Alexi is wirey as hell.

  36. Sparta Riverside says:

    But what Ballack is saying in true…as just a fan of the game England’s philosophy is hard to watch. Sure they got a decent result, but that wasn’t great soccer to watch.

  37. Brad says:

    Were people late or was the bathroom line super-long because the stands only seemed 70% full. If people don’t want to travel to Poland or Ukraine what are the odds they’ll go to Qatar?

  38. Sparta Riverside says:

    Also, Alexi needs to be more considerate of letting a dude finish his sentences when Enlgish isn’t his first language. Once again, Alexi proves he’s a punk.

  39. bryan says:

    i saw that! ive actually seen a good number of US shirts/jerseys/flags for some reason.

  40. Brad says:

    Can anyone think of any tactics or strategy for breaking down a packed-in team like England was? Other than playing Barcelona style ticki-tacka one-two passes with a superstar like Messi, what else is there? Crossing the ball and having an Ibra or Carroll trying to head it in?

    It’s such a popular tactic now, parking the bus, and I think the coach and team that innovates a new way to attack it will be called a genius.

  41. bryan says:

    agreed. alexi is kind of a punk and is always interrupting. ballack is having enough issues making his points due to his english, but so many times lalas has cut him off as he is getting it across.

  42. bryan says:

    we actually had a discussion about this in the bar i was at watching it. we were wondering why the stands looked so empty.

  43. HoboMike says:

    Apparently, UEFA got the matchday fixtures mixed up. Today was France/Greece, not France/England. Shame.

  44. Brad says:

    I saw on a (in)famous website’s live chat that tickets were being scalped for 35L, which seems cheap to me. So probably there wasn’t a ton of demand…

  45. Mat says:

    This English side is very weak. They won’t make it out of this group.
    Was this France vs England or France vs Andorra? Because the way England played, it was hard to say.

  46. Brad says:

    I’m withholding judgement about England until they play Ukraine and Sweden. They should be a bit more positive in those games.

  47. Bozeman says:

    Lalas does that to *everyone*. Yesterday it was Tommy, and he was *incredibly* rude and arrogant in stepping on him. It was embarrassing.

  48. SilverRey says:

    Oh look, it’s yellow and blue vs, uh, blue and yellow?
    It’s got to be great as a player – everybody is supporting your team by wearing your colors in the stands!

  49. Brad says:

    I hope the directors of the Ukraine-Sweden game devote at least a third of the game on hot Ukrainian and Swedish girls in the stands.

  50. jon says:

    teams have been trying to break down packed in defenses for over 100 years. if someone comes up with a new and better way to do it, it probly won’t be on this comments thread

  51. Mig22 says:

    Hey, here’s another failed Chelsea striker signing that misses glorious opportunities. Torres -3, Sheva -1…and counting.

    As a Chelsea fan, this is pretty horrible.

  52. Ted in MN says:

    Ukraine and Sweden playing quite a match here for 0-0 at half time. Much more interesting than France and England was.

  53. Ted in MN says:

    I like Keller, but he has the most repetitive vocal inflection I’ve ever heard.

  54. Mig22 says:

    This has been entertaining.

  55. Mig22 says:

    I have always detested Ballack but I do have to admit he makes some decent points.

  56. elgringorico says:

    I believe the only “point” he has made today is that he personally prefers attacking, flowing soccer instead of bunkerball.

  57. SteveE says:

    I really like Keller on the commentary. Been a fan of his with doing the Sounders. Nice to hear him doing the big games too.

    Go Sverige!

  58. Ted in MN says:

    Bout time and well earned for Sweden with a bit of help. Can’t tell if the Swedish support is that massive or if the Ukrainians dance when angry.

  59. Ted in MN says:

    Then Ukraine responds with an even better goal. This is truly a wonderful match.

  60. Mig22 says:

    More Mig effect.

  61. Ted in MN says:

    2-1 Ukraine. Somehow they sneak it in nearpost past the man on the line much to Isaksson’s frustration.

  62. Ted in MN says:

    wowza. Zlatan put some strength behind that one.

  63. Brad says:

    I like Keller too. Way better than Harkes.

  64. drew11 says:

    Voronin swearing before the final whistle. LOL.

  65. David says:

    WAY better than Harkes.

  66. Eurosnob says:

    Sheva is no longer a Chelsea player, and, by the way, after you posted this, Sheva scored two goals against Sweeden. I am not sure if that makes you feel better or worse.

  67. jai_brooklyn says:

    Just a question of time before Ballack pops one on Lalas.