Football (Soccer)

Well boys we have our first shock of the group stages, Belgium 0-1 Slovakia.

Massive result in a very tricky group now after Romania's big win earlier. Shakes things up a bit.

France v Austria up next.
 
Slovakia have done it!! What a result for them and Belgium gave it everything. This group table is all over the place with Romania and Slovakia leading. The round 2 of matches in this group will have very high stakes now.
 
Saliba and Kante starting for France. Wonder if Kante will be rusty from the Saudi league level. Saliba is a really great defender, surprised he's had a struggle convincing Deschamps that he's worth a starting place.
 
Saliba and Kante starting for France. Wonder if Kante will be rusty from the Saudi league level. Saliba is a really great defender, surprised he's had a struggle convincing Deschamps that he's worth a starting place.
The French midfield looks pretty underwhelming considering they got stronger midfielders on the bench than what's starting
 
The French midfield looks pretty underwhelming considering they got stronger midfielders on the bench than what's starting
Seems like Deschamps has some unusual preferences. We'll see if Kante is as sharp as he would have been before going to that league, but dragging him back in seems like a lack of trust in and a bit of a snub to Tchouameni and Camavinga. He also had a problem with Saliba until now and resolving that could make them even more solid at the back.
 
France look dangerous when they are on the move, but at the same time Austria don't look like mugs and it wouldn't be the biggest surprise if they got a goal somewhere. This is already the game to go longest without a goal at this Euros so far.
 
Austria giving France a decent game here. French look dangerous going forward of course but Austria very lively in the press and winning the ball high up the pitch.
 
Damn, Austria so close there. That's their best chance so far, would have been very interesting if that went in.
 
France take the lead though - OG by the Austrian defender, Mbappe made it happen. 1-0
 
Oh no, own goal after Mbappe shot into the area and it rebounded of an Austrian player into the net with no chance for the keeper.
 
France's side look decent still with that front three but miss something with no Varane, Pogba and Giroud at their prime. Still going to go far in this thing it looks like but not unbeatable.
 
Dramatic end to the match and Austria fought to the end to get the equaliser and never gave up. Mbappe went off with I think a broken nose and got booked after staying on the pitch when the ref didn’t allow the French subs on. France win 1-0.
 
Was a decent game France had a few half opportunities to make the game more comfortable but couldn't take them. They'll be happy with that as a draw or defeat could have left them floundering as they're in one of the tougher groups.

Only negative for France was Mbappe's apparent broken nose, the collision, albeit accidental, looked disgusting, I'd be amazed if it isn't broken as it looked sideways as he came down. If it's broke he'll miss at least the rest of the group phase depending on the severity & if it needs surgery. If France do make it out of the groups & he can return, he'll likely have to wear a mask.
 
That could be a huge blow to France if Mbappe misses most of the tournament now, these things can happen though, certain big players are hyped before the thing starts and then injury can change the landscape completely.
 
Opening fixtures in PL next season: (local time)

Fri 16/8
20:00 Man U - Fulham

Sat 17/8
12:30 Ipswich - Liverpool
15:00 Arsenal - Wolverhampton
15:00 Everton - Brighton
15:00 Newcastle - Southampton
15:00 Nottingham - Bournemouth
17:30 West Ham - Aston Villa

Sun 18/8
14:00 Brentford - Crystal Palace
16:30 Chelsea - Man City

Mon 19/8
20:00 Leicester - Tottenham

Fulham at home feels like a good starting game to hopefully get the 3p. I might miss the game unfortunately as I believe we had plans to see Alien Romulus that night but can hopefully watch it afterwards (or go to an earlier screening). What stands out the most is Chelsea - City, Maresca getting a tough game off the bat as the new Chelsea coach.

Full list here:
Premier League 2024/25 fixtures released!

2nd game week has Man Utd - Liverpool and Newcastle - Spurs, 3rd game week has Spurs - Arsenal. Some big games right off the bat.
 
Looking forward to seeing what impact Arda Guler can have today. ( @Sebastos ) I'm sure he will be the star of many future tournaments if not this one.
 
Good game between Georgia and Turkey 1-1 at HT and a cracking goal by Turkey from the edge of the box as well.

Second half could be fun.
 
Turkey 2-1 STUNNING long range strike from 19 year old Ader Guler.
 
3-1 Turkey, mad end to the game with the Georgia keeper up for the corner in the last minute, its cleared and Turkey have an open goal to roll it into to win the game.
 
Georgia put up more of a fight than I expected, very impressive from them. Amazing goal by my boy Arda Guler! And a breakaway goal right at the end for Turkey to make it 3-1 with the Georgia GK pusing up at the end in chase of an equaliser.
 
That was one of those classic Euro's games you didnt expect much and it had the lot. Georgia really should have made it 2-2 but missed a couple of great chances. Great start for Turkey though, they had mad support as well. Nobody will want to play them in the next round thats for sure if they make it.
 
Strong Portuguese team:

Diogo Costa
Nuno Mendes
Pepe
Rúben Dias
João Cancelo
Vitinha
Bruno Fernandes
Diogo Dalot
Rafael Leão
Cristiano Ronaldo
Bernardo Silva
 
Oh and the likes of Joao Felix, Pedro Neto, Goncalo Ramos, Matheus Nunes, Diogo Jota, Ruben Neves on the bench. Crazy squad and team. Got to be one of the contenders alongside France, Germany, England and Spain.
 
12th match at the Euros and the first to be 0-0 at half time.

That said, Portugal definitely the dominant team as expected. They'll be disappointed not to win this in the second half.
 

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