I haven't been watching much of Euro 2012; I keep forgetting to set the DVR. In fact, the only day of pool play I saw was the first day of the Germany/Portugal/Netherlands/Denmark group of death. I also missed most of the quarterfinals; the one exception being the final one, which was between England and Italy. I'm fairly indifferent to the Brits; I like watching Rooney play, and they normally manage a few other good players. I'm not too fond of the Italian diving team; too physical with zero ability to take it in return, it seems like. Although I do like Balotelli; maturity issues aside, he's a fantastic and creative player. All of that left me hoping for a British upset, but with little expectation of that coming to fruition. But despite hearing that the Brits hadn't been playing well on offense or defense, I still expected a closely fought match. And I guess it was that, if you limit your comparison to the scoreboard. But the Italians dominated the game from the get-go. The British just had no midfield quality at all, and couldn't maintain possession at all. In fact, I don't think they got a single chance on goal from a gradual build-up; it was all counterattacks when the Italians got too many men downfield, and missed a close chance. In fact, without some bad luck (by the peninsulars) and good goaltending (by the islanders), this game would have ended up four-nil or five-nil. Well, the Brits might have managed a goal; they did get a couple of very good chances. But with that luck and goaltending, it kept seeming like they might still score and upset. And when they went to overtime, that still seemed to be the case. Unfortunately, my DVR quit before the game actually ended (two and a half hours should be long enough, but that forty minutes of pre-game hosed me), so I didn't see Nocerino's goal called back offsides. And, of course, I missed the penalty shots. I must admit, I thought the Brits would have an even shot at winning if they got to PKs, but it was not to be. The shots, themselves, were pretty creative. Balotelli did his slow-shot that I've mentioned before. One of the other Italians cheekily chipped the goaltender. And I seem to recall there was one other oddball, but I can't rememeber it at the moment. Anyway, that all left me a little disappointed, but it was decent game. The Brits deserved to lose, as they were badly outplayed, but did manage to keep it interesting. As far as individual performances, Balotelli was a one-man wrecking crew; I think he had more chances than everyone else on the field. Not anyone else; everyone else. I'm still astounded that he didn't manage to convert any of them. Rooney did not have a good game; he seemed a little off. Of course, some of that might have been that he just wasn't getting any touches. As I said, no midfield to get the ball to him. And because they were so few and far between, he was probably trying to do too much. Nocerino also had a nice night, despite being a late sub. He had the disallowed goal in overtime, as well as a great chance late in regulation that was stopped by an outstretched foot in an excellent (and somewhat lucky) play by one of the British defenders. Oh, and I alluded to Hart having a very nice night in goal. He deserved a lot of credit for the game making it to PKs. But the Italians will be playing Germany tomorrow night in the second semifinal.

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