What started as a crazy first ten minutes resulted as a game of strength on strength. Italy, obviousy playing just a bit better than England. There isn’t much to say but I’ll bring up some halftime notes!
England-I think their main problem on the right side is James Milner. He slows down the game considerably and messes up in crucial times. I say throw Theo in there and let him do his magic. Other than that, Welbeck hasn’t seen much of the ball, so I say throw in Andy Carroll and get some width into the team. Other than that, I do not see anything other than the solid defense and strong will of John Terry saving there butt once again.
Italy- Other than the lack of finishing quality, I say don’t change anything and make sure that you get more opportunities to have more shots on goal.
Final Score – England:0/Italy:0(win by PK’s)
Although I can’t say that the extra time was surprising, the game was definitely an exciting match. Italy played very well and tested England’s defense for a solid 120 minutes without prevail. That’s not to say that England was parking the bus, as they had a decent amount of attacks but nothing as dangerous as the attempt early in the match that Buffon magically stopped. For most of the game, Italy attacked with pace and strength, showing anyone who said they didn’t deserve to be there a thing or two (I’m on that boat). No game should end by penalties, and I hate to see like England leave because of my ties to the Barclay’s Premier League but the game must be decided. Some notes for the teams, even a little for England and Roy.
Italy- After this game, Italy has shown is offensive teeth, as England was forced to play defense for most of the time. The attacking power of Balotelli and Cassano was definitely felt hard by England, as the support threat of Pirlo was always lurking. Buffon was top notch as always, showing a bit of youth and expertise at the same time. The one worry I have is Italy’s ability to score, which has not been prevalent this tournament. If they want to beat Germany, scoring is gonna have to be something the get down over the break. Other than that, making sure that Schweinsteiger doesn’t create and Mario Gomez doesn’t get free looks on the net are on top priority goals. Also, playing with the same style and pace as they did today will score them a goal on the weaker defense of Germany.
England- Defense was solid enough to hold a Italian onslaught but the offense was terribly poor even with the Rooney addition. Andy Carroll showed more life and worth than Rooney and Welbeck, and that is a major worry for them. Rooney did not have a good tournament show, almost comparable to Robin van Persie. Two players who both had amazing seasons in the Barclay’s to show up and not do anything for their countries. Maybe not having Lampard was a bigger issue than thought, but the bottom line is that Roy needs to think of something for the offense if he is still here by 2014.