Daily Archives: June 12, 2016
The thing about tournaments like this is that when the football starts rolling, it never stops. It took forever for France to hit the ground running with the match opener against Romania but things kicked off yesterday with our new boy, Granit Xhaka, locking horn against his brother, Taulant, as Switzerland played Albania. Another former Gunner, Johan Djourou, was part of the Swiss squad that that gained victory in a rather tough encounter.
The game featured a lot of hard tackling and the things you’d wish for in a football game. Xhaka admitted that it was bizarre coming up against his brother,
“It was a very special moment for my family, it was rather bizarre,” he said, after being named Man of the Match.
“I think we played very well, we gave everything for our country and we’re very happy. Maybe me a little bit more!
“We knew it would be a difficult game, Albania are a great side, very compact and solid. We wanted to score as early as possible.
“There was a lot of pressure on our shoulders but it was great that me and my brother pushed back our limits. I don’t think anyone can hold anything against us. We fought against one another, and it was a football match, nothing more.”
Xhaka had an awesome game, creating three chances, winning five aerial duels, completing close to a century of passes and having 129 touches to his name. This earned him the man of the match award.
Switzerland’s victory brings them level on points with hosts, France, as both teams are doing their bit to take ownership of that group. Xhaka’s next game is against Romania on the 15th of June.
Moving over to the next game that had some Arsenal focus, Aaron Ramsey and his Welsh Dragons came up against Slovakia to open up the football in Group B. Chris Coleman played 3-5-2 that switched to 5-3-2 when the Welsh were defending and it was a no brainer when the scoreline was opened that the man that literally brought the Welsh to the competition, Gareth Bale. The Slovaks leveled the tie from a bloke called Duda.
Ramsey had a glorious opportunity to pull another goal back for the Welsh when he was left unmarked in the box but his header glanced over the bar. Then there was the counter attack for Wales that saw Bale cover quite some ground with his raw reserves of pace but after feeding Ramsey, the chance went begging, much to everyone’s dismay.
Ramsey saved the best for last as he had the decisive touch late on for Hal Robson-Kanu whose scrappy effort skipped past Kozacik to give the Welsh all three points.
Finally, England clashed with Russia for the last game of the day but there was some crowd trouble before and after the game. The game itself saw Russia do more of the defending but England failed to take advantage of the chances afforded to them. However, Tottenham’s Eric Dier, an unlikely source, curled in a lovely effort that breezed past Igor Akinfeev. Right at the death, a late effort from Vasili Berezutski halted England’s hopes of going level with Wales, which makes the encounter with the Welsh very tasty.
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