Lakenheath Old Boys

We are all former students at Lakenheath High School and other public schools in East Anglia. We were in school in the 70s and 80s and drank deeply from the well of British culture of those decades - the pints, the telly, and of course the footie!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Day 4 - Group E: Italy v. Belgium

This is the one I've been waiting for - Italy v. Belgium. Sweden and the Republic have just wrapped up another tight Euro 2016 match-up, ending in a 1-1 draw. Sweden's only shot on goal was Kieran Clark's own goal for them. Ah well...let's see if this marquee can break us all out of our Euro doldrums. Belgium certainly have the quality on paper to bring the Italians out of their shells. I'd love to see an early goal or two from the Belgians to get things rolling. Join me from 3pm onward for all the action.

86 Comments:

Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Belgium come into this match ranked #1 in Europe by FIFA. But we all know that Italy are no mugs. This should a fascinating encounter. If it's another boring low-scoring affair, I'm really going to be depressed.

2:53 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

The teams lining up in the tunnel:

Italy - Buffon, Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini, Candreva, Parolo, De Rossi, Giaccherini, Darmian, Pelle, Eder.

Belgium - Courtois, Ciman, Alderweireld, Vermaelen, Vertonghen, Witsel, Nainggolan, Fellaini, De Bruyne, Hazard, Lukaku.

2:56 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Very interesting from Wilmots there - plenty of steel in midfield, with Witsel and Fellaini but then the dynamism of Hazard, DeBruyne and Lukaku up front.

2:59 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Hair Bear sporting his new blond 'fro - don't know about it.

2:59 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

It's Mark Clattenberg on the whistle and Adrian Healey chewing his vowels on the mic.

3:00 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Italy get us underway.

3:01 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Lukaku is sprung for the first time down the right and he pulls an inviting ball back - out for a corner.

3:03 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

The usual cagey start from the Italians.

3:04 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Eder gets the ball down and shoots - blocked out.

3:05 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Clattenberg is giving Eder a bollocking now. Should have gotten the yellow card.

3:08 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Mangolani on the end a number of knock-downs there. Tipped around by Buffon.

3:11 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Ominously, Italy went through the playoffs unbeaten, despite being unfancied. Belgium are going to have to be at their best to break them down.

3:16 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

The break is on for Belgium but De Bruyne can't find The Chunk.

3:17 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

The game has settled into a very enjoyable pace. Not so fast as to be manic, not so slow as to be stilted. Possession changing hands regularly, the ball zipping from one end to the other. No chances yet, but it’s all very promising.

3:19 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Nice ball through from Mangolani but Chunk didn't anticipate it. That's why I'd like to see two up front for Belgium. I don't see that Fellaini is really adding that much.

3:21 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Italy basically have a back five when not in possession, and a front four when they do, with the two full-backs forming part of both groups. They’re going to be knackered by the evening’s end.

3:23 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

And like that we're through a quarter of the match without score.

3:24 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Oh - Ciman intercepted really well and pushed it wide to the Ginger Winger, who played a horrible ball in. The distribution has to get better.

3:25 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

I've been quite impressed by Ciman so far. He's romping up the wing with aplomb and delivering some decent balls over.

3:28 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Nice cut and thrust to this match now.

Pelle tries a shot from distance.

3:30 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

GOAL! GIacherrini beat the offside trap superbly and slid home.

1-0 Italy!

3:32 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Now, then. What will that do to this match? Belgium have got to go out and play now. In this Group of Death, a loss could be deadly. Belgium would be bottom of the group tonight if this result stood.

3:34 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Italy have a historic habit of locking down 1-0 results.

3:35 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Hazard immediately pops up on the right wing for the first time. He’s done very little on the left, so it’s not much of a surprise.

3:36 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Oh - Pelle with a free header there should have put Italy 2-0 up. Belgium's defense are all over the place.

3:37 PM  
Blogger gooner71 said...

May I just interrupt to comment that that Belgian defensive effort was so Spursy? No, suit yourself then.

3:37 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Terrible touch from Lukaku - he's been rubbish so far.

3:38 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

I was thinking the same myself - terrible missed header by Toby. However, you have to admire that 40 yard ball from the center back Bonucci right on Giaccharini's toe.

3:39 PM  
Blogger gooner71 said...

That clanking siege machine with the bad rinse is having a 'mare too.

3:39 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Witsel with a long range effort well wide of the mark.

3:40 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

De Bruyne jinked inside and tried a left footed effort - block out. Better pressure from Belgium though.

3:41 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

The entire front line for the Red Devils is having a stinker. Nerves? It can't help to have FIFA ranking them #2 in the world. Stupid.

3:41 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Oh - better there. Hair Bear with a lovely ball through to De Bruyne but his shot was brilliantly blocked by Bonucci.

3:42 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Clattenberg has brought The Chunk and Chellini together for a chat like a couple of 1st graders. Not sure what that's all about.

3:43 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Oh - Ciman found Hair Bear well but Chunk could only try an unconvincing flick over the shoulder.

3:44 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

The Italians are reverting to form, inviting Belgium on to them.

3:45 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Oh - Pelle was nearly on the end of that cross. Great stuff.

3:46 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

One minute of stoppage time.

3:46 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Half-time: The end of a breathless first half; by far the best match of the tournament so far, just as we'd hoped.

3:47 PM  
Blogger gooner71 said...

Goal seems to have awaken the Belge a bit

3:47 PM  
Blogger gooner71 said...

You watching this on the box? You're at least 60 seconds ahead again.

3:48 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Belgian kicks us off fighting for their Euro 2016 lives.

4:03 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Yeah - I'm watching on the box - ESPN. How are you watching?

4:04 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Lukaku has been completely nullified by this Italian defense so far. They're turning on a clinic.

4:07 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Nice flick on by The Chunk but De Bruyne allowed it to bounce off him like a statue.

4:08 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

What the hell is Wilmots doing - he's got a bench loaded for bear. It's time to make a move.

4:09 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Oh - lovely break through Hazard and Lukaku but he put it over the bar.

4:10 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Hazard with a decent shot but Buffon was behind it all the way.

4:13 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

This one could swing either way now - it's absorbing.

4:13 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

A bit more rhythm now to the Belgian attack now - the Italians are dropping very deep.

4:14 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

De Sciglio coming on for Darmian. Like for like - must've seen something he didn't like.

4:15 PM  
Blogger gooner71 said...

ESPN360 on the webs. It got all busy here so I only got back to see Courtois do well to keep out that shot just now.

4:16 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Another lovely ball from Bonucci there to Eder. Wow!

4:17 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

I'll have to use that tomorrow when I'm at work.

4:18 PM  
Blogger gooner71 said...

this Belgian effort is why I predicted that their coach would walk the plank. They have some of the best individual players around, but this is often what you get when they're playing as a nation.

4:19 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Mertens comes on to replace Mangolani.

4:20 PM  
Blogger gooner71 said...

Off goes that cockatoo and on comes Mertens. Good sub.

4:20 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

It looks as if Hazard has pushed up beside Lukaku now, with Mertens slipping in his former role

4:20 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Chieillini picks up his requisite yellow card for a cynical tug back on Hazard.

4:22 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Belgium piling the pressure on again now.

4:23 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Lovely weaving run by Mertens there but he was stopped by Bonucci.

4:24 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Pelle was receiving treatment for his shoulder a moment ago.

Now Hazard is down after an aerial clash.

4:24 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

De Rossi's complaining about something now.

4:27 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Looks as if Origi might be coming on. Let's hope he doesn't pull Lukaku off.

4:27 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Mertens really is a live wire but Lukaku wasn't able to control his pass.

4:29 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Belgian fans booing Wilmots as Lukaku is taken off. Origi on. Why not have two strikers on? I do not get modern managers.

4:30 PM  
Blogger gooner71 said...

Wilmots for the chop.

4:31 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Nice move from Candreva setting up a cross to Giaccharini who wins a corner with a deflected shot.

4:31 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

He will be if they crash out at the group stage. A shocking decision.

4:31 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Eder picks up a yellow card for another cynical tug on Martens.

4:32 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Ciro Immobile on for Eder now.

4:32 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

And the final change for Belgium - Atletico's Carrasco on

4:32 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Not sure how De Bruyne is still on the pitch - he's been rotten.

4:34 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

The cards starting to rack up for Italy now - Bonucci is the latest.

4:35 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Daniele De Rossi troops off - Thiago Motta on for him.

4:35 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Oh - Origi should have buried that header. Great ball in there - you would've fancied Lukaku to bury that one.

4:39 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

A little under ten minutes for Belgium to dig this one out.

4:40 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Thiago Motta into the book now - I think that's five yellows for Italy now. Might be a factor in their third match.

4:41 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Oh - Immobilie broke forward and pulled a terrific save out of Courtois.

4:42 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Should have been a penalty called against Chellini.

4:45 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Massive scramble there - how did that one stay out?

4:47 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Three minutes of stoppage time to come.

4:47 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Vertonghen picks up an unnecessary yellow card there.

4:48 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Italy just playing it about asking Belgium to come and get it.

4:49 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

GOAL! Pelle has picked off the Belgians right at the death.

Great team effort there as Belgium pushed for an equalizer.

4:49 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Final whistle: Well - the wily Italians have done what they always tend to do - crush the dreams of more exciting and talented teams.

It was the ultimate professional performance from the Azzurri.

2-0!

4:51 PM  

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