duminică, 30 iunie 2024

Euro 2024: The offside rule

Switzerland - Italy 2-0

Germany - Denmark 2-0

Turns out, no, Italy was not even trying. There seemed to be a wave of optimism among the Italian supporters, with them thinking once Italy scrapes it out of the group stage, they're gonna click into form. But this is superstition more than anything else. The reality is that it's rather rare for the group stage form to be much different from the one in the knockout stages. This applies to England too, which will face a tough test against Slovakia today, and I'm not sure how they will come out.

So goes with Italy. It was indeed a scrape out of the group stage, and if it wasn't for the Zaccagni's 98th-minute equalizer against an out-of-form Croatia side, they wouldn't even have played this game. Not that they seem to care too much, or to understand the stakes.

Losing is not the issue. Losing can happen, and small margins can sometimes coordinate to work against you. But it was not the case here. Switzerland was thoroughly dominant, save for a short Italian spell halfway through the first half. But really, they never looked like winning, the Italians. And even the thing they're supposed to be good at, defending, was really shaky.

So a relatively comfortable and well-deserved win for Switzerland, and I kind of see them beating either England or Slovakia.


I just said comfortable win for Switzerland, but then throughout Germany's game I kept thinking how no game is gonna be easy from this stage on.

'clear and obvious'
I am now of the opinion that Germany will win the tournament, but boy, I expected a much easier game for them! Credit to the Danes, they were really unlucky to lose this game. And what of poor Joachim Andersen, whose first goal was canceled because of THIS offside, and then immediately after he concedes a penalty only for not withdrawing his hand quick enough from the trajectory of the ball?

Both decisions correct, but both so, so unlucky. 

Then Kasper Schmeichel guessed the right corner for the penalty, but it was just too close to the post for him to have any chance of keeping the ball out. And for the second goal, the BBC punditry was saying it's Kasper's fault for not coming forward to the ball. But look at the pass. The first time the ball hits the ground, it does a weird jump back, rather than forward, and that's what makes Schmeichel go back. So the water-logged pitch is to blame as much as Schmeichel if anything.

Credit to Musiala though, he still has to make the shot, and he did. Fullkrug missed a couple in a similar position later on in the game.

Overall, probably a deserved win for Germany, who did attack more, but squeezed through, really, a lot less comfortably than anyone expected, and who knows where the game would have gone if that first goal had stood? Which totally would have pre-VAR.

A quick note about stopping the game because of the storm in the first half: that shit was scary! I know the climate change deniers are an ever-decreasing group, and amongst them, the ones who do it out of conviction are a minority to the ones who do it for political reasons. But this surely must be a blow for all of them. Tornados, in Germany? Apparently so. We knew it was happening, but the pace of it is now really out of control. And the scary bit is not only that we don't have solutions for it, but also that as a species we don't seem all that preoccupied with finding a solution.

Oh well, let's enjoy a few more football tournaments while we can still find 90 minutes windows where it's safe to be outside.

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