Euro 2012 Live(ish) Text: Spain vs Italy

Here we go again; ‘The next best thing for all those unfortunate not to be able to make it to the ground; experiencing it through someone else’s living room n text form.’

Spain 1 – 1 Italy

Full Time: Much like the Portugal Germany game, a turgid second half followed by a genuinely exciting second half. Based on these two games, Shilts advises you to ignore the first 45 mins of every game for the remainder of the tournament. Faultless logic.

93 mins: Full time.

91 mins: Xavi Alonso tries a trademark long range belter, but the belt breaks and then the rubber flaps about unconvincingly for a goal kick.

90 mins: FUCK OFF NANDO. Torres gets into the box on the left, and can’t quite cut it back to a fellow Spanish shirt. “He really is a shit, shit, shit player” – Jon Champion, 2012.

89 mins: More freekick hyperbole ending in anti climatic nothingness for Spain. The amount of free kicks that you see scored are in no way proportionate to the amount commentators expect them to be scored.

87 mins: Chance for Spain, as Navas puts a low cross into Buffon’s arms, which Torres rubbishly decides not to prevent by sprinting at earth shattering speed and backheeling into the net. WHY DOESN’T HE JUST GO HOME?

84 mins: IN THE PAST… Torres gets in great space, cuts inside a defender attempts an audacious lob from outside the box over an onrushing Buffon, which goes narrowly over. Jon Champion and Craig Burley wax further lyrical about how this makes him appalling, worse than Craig Burley even. A man with a grand total of 40 career goals.

83 mins: IN THE PAST HE WOULDN’T HAVE ALSO JUST GOT A YELLOW CARD FOR ELBOWING SOMEONE IN THE FACE, HE WOULD BE ON A DOUBLE HATTRICK AND HAVE BEDDED FIFTEEN WOMEN.

82 mins: IN THE PAST HE WOULD’VE GONE ROUND EVERYONE AND SCORED THAT. TWICE. Instead, Torres goes past Giovinco and doesn’t immediately score. He’s so dreadful now. Apparently.

81 mins: Both teams pulling off some tiki taka passes, affording me the opportunity to use the phrase again.

78 mins: Obligatory hype before a freekick about Xavi’s masterful prowess at the skill. He promptly plants it into the wall.

76 mins: Di Natale, unmarked, gets on the end of a fiercely driven cross, floundering at the volley and slide tackling it well wide into the hoardings. HE’S LOST IT.

75 mins: IN THE PAST FERNANDO TORRES (on for Fabregas) WOULD HAVE SCORED THAT, BACK WHEN HE SCORED EVERY TIME HE HAD THE BALL FOR LIVERPOOL, REMEMBER? REMEMBER. Torres, gets through on goal and goes to round Buffon, who stays on his feet and deals with it like a defender, punting it out for a throw. Quality.

72 mins: An unmarked Alba weakly volleys across goal, caressing the turf like a sensual massage.

69 mins: The corner comes in and Ramos tries booting several Italians in the face at once with an unconvincing overhead kick attempt which meets neither ball nor bonce.

68 mins: Navas puts in a tricky cross, which Buffon has to tip over. He then does that thing where goalkeepers try to emphasise how good the save was by holding on to the crossbar, an act which adds nothing to the actual save.

67 mins: I began writing as I though something was about to happen but then it didn’t, that’s how exciting this game has become! I’m on edge…

66 mins: Bonucci is yellowed for hacking down Xavi like a careless lumberjack.

63 mins: GOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAL! Had just finish writing up the last goal, I look up and David Silva dinks a delightful reverse pass through Italy’s defence with the outside of his boot, and out-and-out striker Cesc Fabregas slots home. More crap music.

60 mins: GOAAAAAAAAL! Di Natale scores after a sumptuous Pirlo pass puts him through on goal. DiNat ignores the traditional ‘FIFA goal’ of passing downwards for his teammate Cassano to tap in, instead bending it round Casillas. Crap music plays to mark this occasion.

59 mins: Spain manager Vicente Del Bosque suckles on his tactical thumb for inspiration.

57 mins: Arbeloa fouls Cassano. I thought I saw Arbeloa on a train to Clapham once, though it turned out it wasn’t him. True story.

55 mins: Balotelli seems to be hauled off for this miss and is replaced by Di Natale. Mario B sits on the bench and seems to just shout, what look like, a lot of swears to the person on his right.

52 mins: Balotelli wins the ball from Ramos excellently, has bags of time to run unchallenged towards Casillas’ goal, but decides to walk towards goal with the swagger of a man strutting down a road playing horrible Grime music on his mobile. Pique gets back and merks him.

50 mins: They’re attacking, Iniesta gets down the left hand side and has a shot saved from a tighter angle than the Kurt Angle ‘angle lock’ from wrestling moves fame. Buffon taps out, but in the good round-the-post-so-the-ball-doesn’t-go-in football sense, rather than the wrestling one, which makes you lose.

49 mins: Fabregas and then Xavi have tangible real life shots that you could see with your eyes! Interesting ‘shooting’ tactic that Spain seem to be employing in the second half this.

46 mins: Yay. More footballs under way. Turns out Spain had 62% possession and still managed to look less threatening, similar to seeing Chris Eubank on a night out, then spilling his drink and getting in a confrontation with him, only to find out he was made of wool.

Half Time: Hooray! The half is over. You know you haven’t enjoyed a match when you actively look forward to the advert in which Ray Winstone has a contrived conversation with himself.

45 mins: Balotelli does a cool thing, keeping the ball in play by the touchline by controlling the ball with a heel behind his head. It gets worked into the box and Thiago Motta has a powerful header saved. The two best chances have both come in the last two minutes of this half, the sort of occurrence which makes none of the documenting of the previous 43 mins feel worthwhile.

44 mins: Iniesta with the first actual properly scoreable chances, which he obligingly scuffs over from close range, attempting a lob and a tasty volley at the same time, producing something not as good as either.

42 mins: Fabregas forces a corner which a striker heads in misses all their players then eventually goes out for a goal kick.

41 mins: I started watching the rain outside my window and had to tear myself away from the exhilarating attacking display to watch this. Sacrifice.

40 mins: Christ this is boring.

38 mins: Spain work it into the box, but Fabregas is penalised for collapsing Maggio like a deckchair. Deckchairs are no longer chairs when they’re collapsed and nobody can rest by the pool on Maggio in his current state. Poor form Cesc.

36 mins: Balotelli, determined to attract negative press, gets yellowed after one more foul. I look forward to his inevitable sending off for attempting to eat the ball.

35 mins: Marchisio tries a scorching volley which becomes tepid by the time it’s saved by Ike Cas. Lukewarm.

33 mins: Cassano produces a stinging shot, which Casillas palms away like a man grabbing a nettle by accident, believing it to be a stress ball. Balotelli fouls Pique in trying to get the rebound, then starts beating up the pitch.

31 mins: Casillas tries to extend Spain’s boring possession football in his own area and Cassano trips him to no complaints from any spectator.

29 mins: Iniesta dances into the box, but instead of being met with a traditional striker/dance partner, his crossed ball tangos its way to Chiellini’s head, he boffs it behind for a corner. Poor tango-ing.

27 mins: The only thing worse than a Mexican wave is being told about one by Jon Champion.

26 mins: Chiellini fouls Xavi repeatedly and Craig Burley commends him. Commentators appear to be confused between wanting more excitement but encouraging foul play the breaks up the pattern of the game.

24 mins: Vaguely exciting play happens as Spain advance into the Italian’s box, but the lack of striker means they contrive to just keep passing it until they lose it.

23 mins: David Silva runs the ball out for a goal kick. Notice that he appears to be sweating profusely down the left hand side of his abdomen. Methinks his kidney is leaking.

21 mins: Cassano rakes a tasty effort across Casillas’ goal mouth, ruining the taste by raking too hard and destroying the texture of goal.

18 mins: Due to missing the pre match warm up, it has taken the ever observant Shilts until now to realise that Spain are playing with no recognisable strikers, presumably solving the problem of how to accommodate their death of world class midfielders by deleting Torres from the team sheet.

17 mins: Thiago Motta gets a boot raked down his side and is hurt by this, much to the scorn of ITV’s commentary team.

16 mins: Sergio Ramos nearly makes a mug of himself dallying on the ball in his own have, but then become a chalice with a lovely Cruyff turn.

12 mins: Pirlo produces a testing low driven free kick, but Casillas passes this test with at least 65% marks, gaining him a comfortable 2:1 and the ball is palmed away.

11 mins: The Spanish break away, and David Silva kindly rolls the ball into Buffon’s gloves. Mind gamez.

9 mins: Balotelli takes a punt from range which is instantly deflected wide. Looked far more threatening live than in slow mo, where it looks more harmless than a dead leaf.

7 mins: TIKI TAKA FOOTBALL from the Spanish, who dink it about in the Italian’s box, the Italians just stand still and this deals with this fine.

6 mins: A presumably intended-to-be-intricate training ground corner from Italy is as predictable as a maze with one wall for the Spanish.

5 mins: Maggio, who’s name reminds me of the moped in GTA Vice City, pootles down the right hand side and has his vehicle written off by a foul from Alba.

4 mins: Nothing of note has happened so far, so I haven’t noted it.

Kick Off: We’re under way in this fixture between the two most recent World Cup winners

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