Euro 2012: Day 11 as it happened

Live text commentary as Italy beat the Republic of Ireland and Spain knock out Croatia in the final round of games from Group C.

18 June 2012 Last updated at 22:30

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As it happened

  1. 2230: 

    That is it for our coverage for our live text coverage of tonight's Euro 2012 action. Nicky Campbell is live in Donetsk tomorrow for 5 live Breakfast on the day England take on hosts Ukraine in the Donbass Arena. They'll be joined by Glenn Hoddle, Peter Shilton, Chris Waddle and Henry Winter. This is all live (tomorrow) morning from 06:00 BST on BBC Radio 5 live. The live text will return tomorrow afternoon, when Tom Rostance will be your commentator. I'll see thee.

  2. 2227: 

    Italy's win over Ireland ends their winless streak of six matches at major tournaments. This was their longest ever non-winning streak at major tournaments. Ireland lost their fourth successive European Championship finals match tonight and join Netherlands and Sweden as the team with the longest active losing streak in the tournament. Ireland's fourth-place group finish is also their worst ever performance at the Euros.

    On a more positive note: Damien Duff won his 100th cap tonight becoming the fifth international centurion for Ireland. Shay Given (125), Robbie Keane (120), Kevin Kilbane (110) and Stephen Staunton (102) are the other four.

  3. 2223: 

    Spain are now unbeaten in nine successive European Championship finals matches. They are one win away from equalling the record for unbeaten games in the tournament, held jointly by Netherlands, Italy and West Germany. Overall, Spain haven't lost in 17 competitive matches, equaling their third-best unbeaten streak in competitive matches. They also have two unbeaten streaks of 24 successive competitive matches. Right, I'm done quoting positive stats about them now. I'm only scaring myself even more.


    Chloe in London on text: "Going to bed a happy woman... Forza Italia!"

  5. 2218: 

    So, Spain go through as Group C winners and now lie in wait for the runners-up of Group D for a quarter-final clash in Gdansk on Saturday 23 June. Italy progress as runners-up , meaning they will be the opponents for the winners of Group D in Kiev on Sunday 24 June. I'm pretty sure England would just take qualification right now, but I'm sure going through as group winners would be preferable than runners-up. The Italians are good but Spain are special.

  6. 2214:  
    Phil McNulty, BBC Sport Chief Football Writer

    "Thought Croatia did really well tonight. Unlucky to lose to Spain and well done Slaven Bilic at the final whistle. Grace."

  7. 2214:  
    Lee Dixon, MOTD pundit on BBC Radio 5 live

    "Tonight Spain were off-colour, but great credit to Croatia. They got men behind the ball and defended in numbers, but also broke quickly. The back four of Spain tonight looked really rocky, and the full-backs looked all over the place. You can really get at them on the wide areas."

  8. 2214: 

    In case you missed them earlier, or you just want to watch the action again, the goals and match highlights are available on this very website. I'd avise you to have a look at Balotelli's volley, which is cracking goal. The best of the Man City man.

  9. 2211: 
    Republic of Ireland captain Robbie Keane speaking after Italy 2-0 Ireland

    "The fans have been fantastic but it's a shame the team didn't perform as well as we know we can and got a result for them. We're disappointed that we didn't get something out of the group. We've been beaten by better teams, I think."


    Dan in Huddersfield on text: "Re James in Winchester (2126): Yes, you are the only one. You are the one being disrespectful for having anything bad to say about the way Spain play. One of those midfielders scored the goal, and one other midfielder got the assist, so your theory is pointless. Rant over."

  11. 2207: 
    Newcastle United manager, and MOTD pundit, Alan Pardew on Croatia v Spain

    "The Spanish in this tournament over the three games don't look as good as they did in the World Cup and previous European Championships. Up until the last 10 minutes Croatia were always in with a chance."


    Segun Agbaje on Twitter: "What's the negative talk about Spain for? They knew they needed a draw and they played for it. It's called having a game-plan."

    Stewart Croskery on Twitter: "Why Spain won't play Llorente I'll never know!"

    Chris Hussey on Twitter: "Didn't realise that Andrews could embarrass Ireland further. Disgraceful."

  13. 2201: 
    Everton manager David Moyes at PGE Arena, Gdansk from MOTD on BBC One

    "Slaven Bilic got it about right. They made one or two chances - and probably had the best chance of the game. But Ivan Rakitic didn't take it. And when they were a little bit tired near the end Spain got their goal. But the best team won - there's no doubt about - even though it wasn't great by Spain. Up until the last five minutes Spain could have gone out. It will give other teams confidence to come and beat Spain. But when they don't have the ball they've got to be compact."

  14. 2158: 

    Just seeing the Mario Balotelli goal again and in his celebration the Manchester City forward is not short of a word or two. That is, until a canny team-mate shuts his mouth for him by holding his hand over it. The gesture is pretty clear - just enjoy the moment Mario. Maybe he can write a strongly-worded letter later. "Dear Points of View, why oh why oh why is it always me?!"


    Alex on text: "Croatia should have had a penalty and Navas is clearly offside for Spain's goal, he is offside when the initial ball is played. Croatia have been robbed!"

    Richard Wood on text: "Got to feel for Croatia and Denmark. Would've won Group A at a canter."

    Tom on text: "Spain's 'total football' is overrated, passing the ball around the back four for most of the game isn't how the beautiful game should be played."

  16. 2151:  
    Robbie Savage on BBC Radio 5 live

    "Germany have been the outstanding team. Nobody's set the world on fire. Spain have tinkered with formations. Spain are beatable, based upon their performance in the group stages. They've won one game in three."

  17. 2151: 

    It is a shame that Keith Andrews' sending off spoiled what was a good Irish performance against a vastly superior opponent tonight. Ireland were outclassed throughout the tournament, but their display in Poznan had more spirit and fight than either of their first two games.

  18. 2150: 
    Newcastle United manager, and MOTD pundit, Alan Pardew on Croatia v Spain

    "Spain taking Torres off was a bit of a risk for the manager but it paid off because the substitute Jesus Navas scored the goal. There was a gap in the Croatian defence for the first time and I think Iniesta and Navas were both in line. But Spain weren't brilliant, and if I was in the England squad, I wouldn't be worried watching that."

  19. 2149: 

    Croatia can hold their heads high, despite bowing out of Euro 2012 tonight. They gave the Spanish a good game, just as they did with Italy. Slaven Bilic will leave his post as coach a disappointed man, but he has been wonderful for the Croat national side and enhanced not only his but their reputation.

  20. 2147:  
    Danny Mills on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra at PGE Arena, Gdansk

    "Spain haven't played fantastically well but they've won the game. They left it late and they haven't played that well in this competition. But that's a worry for everybody else. Spain were below par, they cruised it and the played the game in second gear. For me, they didn't do enough to win this game."

  21. 2147:  
    Kevin Kilbane, capped 110 times by Republic of Ireland, at Municipal Stadium, Poznan for BBC Radio 5 live

    "It's been a real disappointment for Ireland here at this European Championship. The supporters have carried themselves with such dignity around the towns, they've sung their hearts out and they've been brilliant for the Irish players. Those players will go off the pitch with their pride really hurt after such a disappointing tournament."

  22. 2147: 

    Tonight, Spain were not as fluent as we have come to expect from them but they could not be gung-ho when the cost of defeat was so large. They were the better side and did what they had to do, albeit with at least one major scare, courtesy of Ivan Rakitic's header. Observers can possibly take hope from the way Croatia made life uncomfortable for them. This includes England, who would face the Spanish in the last eight if they finish as Group D runners-up.

  23. 2143: 

    The Italians players and fans in Poznan go absolutely wild. No conspiracy theories needed this time around as they reach the quarter-finals courtesy of that win over Ireland.

    Italy deserve to be in the last eight. They have been solid throughout their three matches in what was a tricky group to navigate.

  24. 2142:  
    Kevin Kilbane, capped 110 times by Republic of Ireland, at Municipal Stadium, Poznan for BBC Radio 5 live

    "That was a wonderful finish by Balotelli. From the Irish point of view it's really bad defending, but it was a great ball into the box. Balotelli shrugged off John O'Shea and it was great technique. Brilliant finish."


    Tom Arnott on Twitter: "Such an injustice but Spain will not win this tournament. Croatia out but the Greeks and Czechs through... criminal."

    Jack Gill on Twitter: "For all the possession Spain had they weren't really a threat on goal for most of it."

    Jack Willows on Twitter: "A sad goodbye to Slaven Bilic. What a job he has done."

  26. 2140: 

    Spain and Italy qualify from Group C, with Croatia joining Republic of Ireland in exiting the tournament.

  27. 2140: 
    FULL-TIME- Croatia 0-1 Spain
  28. 2139: 
    FULL-TIME- Italy 2-0 Republic of Ireland
  29. 2139: 

    All that can save Croatia now is a goal in Gdansk. Can they get it? They have a corner and keeper Stipe Pletikosa is going up. He has to. It is a poor delivery, though, and Spain clear. Time is nearly up...

  30. 2137: 
    GOAL- Italy (Mario Balotelli) 2-0 Republic of Ireland

    It doesn't change what needs to happen in Gdansk for Croatia to go through, but the goal does confirm Italy's win. It is a great goal as well. A corner from the right is swung over to Mario Balotelli. It is behind him, but the striker repositions himself and hooks a volley back over his shoulder and into the net. Superb goal from the Man City man.

  31. 2134: 
    RED CARD- Ireland - Keith Andrews

    Republic of Ireland midfielder Keith Andrews is furious as he is sent off for a second booking and he lashes out by kicking at the ball before walking down the tunnel.

  32. 2131: 
    GOAL- Croatia 0-1 Spain (Jesus Navas)

    That is that for Group C. Spain have been far from their best but right at the death they take the lead, which may send them through as group winners. Cesc Fabregas chips the ball over the Croatia defence to Andres Iniesta, who has broken the offside trap along with Jesus Navas. Iniesta squares the ball for his team-mate and Navas is able to smash the ball into the unguarded not from point-blank range. Spain now top the group and Croatia need two goals if they are to stay in Euro 2012.

  33. 2130: 

    Croatia scrapping now for that key goal. Vedran Corluka rises in the six-yard box to meet a corner and gets his head to it, despite the attention of Iker Casillas, but it is not controlled and goes over the bar.

  34. 2129: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Rep of Ireland - Simon Cox on for Robbie Keane

    Is that the last we will see of Robbie Keane in an Ireland shirt.

  35. 2129: 

    Andres Iniesta combines with Cesc Fabregas to give the former a chance from an angle on the right but Stipe Pletikosa pushes the ball behind. From the resulting corner, Spain are unable to create anything. Meanwhile, Italy are looking to finish off Ireland and confirm their progress to the last eight with a free-kick from 22 yards. Alessandro Diamanti takes it but strikes the wall. Five minutes to go.

  36. 2127:  
    Kevin Kilbane, capped 110 times by Republic of Ireland, at Municipal Stadium, Poznan for BBC Radio 5 live

    "The Italians are getting frustrated with the referee. They feel he's made a couple of wrong decisions. Ireland are pressing in numbers now. Two, three, four, five players are pressing once there's a danger in Ireland's defence. They're recognising it, going together, hunting in packs and pressing really, really well."

  37. 2126:  
    Danny Mills on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra at PGE Arena, Gdansk

    "You just feel if Spain do step up the tempo by a couple of notches they could really cut the Croatians apart. I'm surprised they haven't done it yet. Iniesta has been their best player but even he has been a little off-key."


    Martin in Fleet on text: "Come on Croatia. For all of Spain's impressive technical ability the Chuckle Brothers "to me, to you" style of passing can get rather dull... or is it just me?"

    James from Winchester on text: "Am I the only one who has lost all respect for Spain, and think they're just making a mockery in not playing with strikers? It makes no sense. Doesn't matter how good you may be at passing a ball, play the game properly and stop trying to reinvent the beautiful game by making it farcical. The joke is, they'll probably get through the group and even win the tournament, being nothing but disrespectful and showing no class whatsoever. Rant over."

  39. 2126: 

    Spain break. This could wrap up the game in Gdansk and end Croatia's challenge for good. It is five on two and Sergio Busquets is given the ball on the edge of the box but he is hesitant and a last-gasp Croatian challenge denies him the chance to shoot. Croatia live on. They have eight minutes to save themselves.

  40. 2125: 

    Two big chances in the same few seconds of each game that could have changed the picture. Keith Andrews's shot from 25 yards is goalbound straight at Gianluigi Buffon, who saves, while in Gdansk, Ivan Perisic's shot from an angle is parried away by Iker Casillas.

  41. 2122: 

    This whole half has been delicately poised waiting for something to happen. So far, little has, but a goal for either Croatia or Ireland would seriously mix things up. However, in Gdansk it remains Spain looking like scoring. If Cesc Fabregas had shot when he created space for his left foot it could have done some damage. However, he looks to come back again on to his right and Croatia block.

  42. 2119: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Italy - Mario Balotelli on for Antonio Di Natale
  43. 2119: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Ireland - Jonathan Walters on for Kevin Doyle

    Alex Porochine on Twitter: "Just had a eureka moment regarding how the head-to-heads work. Awful system."

    Stuart Gunn Wiseman on Twitter: "You've got to love UEFA for finding the most bizarre way of working out a group stage."

    Chris Cox on Twitter: "Wonder what odds you'd have got on both Spain and Holland getting knocked out so early. Could happen yet."

  45. 2119: 

    Spain are draining the life from Croatia by keeping the ball in the Croat half and keeping Slaven Bilic's side firmly on the back foot.

    In Poznan, Ireland are having a few openings and Shane Long meets a corner but heads it over. A foul is given, though, for Richard Dunne's foul on Gianluigi Buffon.

  46. 2116: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Spain - Cesc Fabregas on for David Silva
  47. 2116: 

    Ireland could throw a spanner in the Italian works here. They have a free-kick wide left, which Damien Duff delivers and Richard Dunne meets but he is off-balance and his header goes away from instead of towards goal.

  48. 2115:  
    Danny Mills on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra at PGE Arena, Gdansk

    "Croatia, with Jelavic and Mandzukic now on, could certainly cause problems for Spain. But they need to step it up now coming up to 20 minutes to go. They have got to start taking a chance or two. Spain, without the dogged defending of Carles Puyol, do look slightly susceptible from crosses."

  49. 2115: 

    20 minutes to go. It is as you were at half-time. Italy going through as group winners with Spain joining them. What have Croatia got left in the tank? A goal in Gdansk could send holders Spain crashing out.

  50. 2113: 

    Croatia are still getting the odd opening as they look to salvage their campaign. A cross from the left is just too high for the unmarked Nikica Jelavic in the box. Soon after a cross from the right is volleyed high and wide by Ivan Perisic.

    Meanwhile, in Poznan, Andrea Pirlo goes close for Italy with a free-kick, which he curls over the wall but also the bar.

  51. 2112: 

    Jesus Navas wins a corner for Spain with a cut-out near-post cross. Xavi takes it and it breaks out to Sergio Busquets on the left, but his cross is also cut out before David Silva can get a touch.

  52. 2108: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Croatia - Nikica Jelavic and Ivan Perisic on for Domagoj Vida and Danijel Pranjic

    Croatia roll the dice with attacking substitutions.

  53. 2108: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Rep of Ireland - Shane Long on for Aiden McGeady

    Matt Bateman on Twitter: "What a chance! Not sure Croatia will get a better one."

    Jack Hollands on Twitter: "Jelavic would have finished that..."

    Ben Aitkenhead on Twitter: "Spain on edge here. Need to respond. Croatia so close to scoring."

  55. 2106:  
    Danny Mills on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra at PGE Arena, Gdansk

    "Rakitic should have scored. He headed straight at Casillas. It was a good save but a yard either side and he would have scored. That was the problem."

  56. 2106: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Spain - Jesus Navas on for Fernando Torres

    Torres has barely had a sniff.

  57. 2104: 

    There was Croatia's chance. And they have spurned it. Luka Modric wins the ball and runs down the right before producing a superb curling cross with the outside of his boot that is aimed straight to the unmarked Ivan Rakitic at the back post. He has only Iker Casillas to beat and meets it with his header, but the Spanish keeper does superbly to palm the ball away. It is a good save, but he shouldn't have been given a chance. Had that gone in, Croatia would have leapfrogged Spain in the group and left Spain staring elimination in the face. How important will that moment be in the outcome of this group?

  58. 2101:  
    Danny Mills on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra at PGE Arena, Gdansk

    "There's no panic from either side at the moment. Both are very relaxed - there's no hurry from Croatia. But if it gets to 60 minutes and it's still 0-0 then Slaven Bilic will have to start making some changes."

  59. 2101:  
    Kevin Kilbane, capped 110 times by Republic of Ireland, at Municipal Stadium, Poznan for BBC Radio 5 live

    "Within the Irish media the questions are constantly being asked of them: are you retiring? But Richard Dunne and Robbie Keane are still young enough to carry on and bring so much experience to the squad. So are Damien Duff and Shay Given. They could help the younger players integrate."

  60. 2101: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Italy - Leonardo Bonucci on for Giorgio Chiellini

    A challenge with Kevin Doyle sees Giorgio Chiellini come off injured to be replaced by Leonardo Bonucci.

  61. 2100: 

    Another flare goes off in Gdansk, momentarily spreading smoke over one half of the pitch. What's wrong with just wearing a scarf and singing? "Carol, I'm off to the game." "OK, have a nice time. Don't forget your illegal fireworks."


    Phil Gallagher on Twitter: "Given will be having nightmares about this tournament for years to come."

    Tim G on Twitter: "Really hope the results stay like this, even if it means the 0-0 drought is over."

    Ben Caird on Twitter: "So if Croatia score the cat would be very much settled in amongst the pigeons..."

  63. 2056: 

    Another Spanish wave forward sees Andres Iniesta drive on and flick a pass through for Fernando Torres, who beats the Croatia defence but not their keeper Stipe Pletikosa, who dives at the striker's feet to claim the ball.

  64. 2054: 

    Spain firmly on the front foot in Gdansk but Jordi Alba is penalised for a push on his marker as he looks to create space for a shot. Croatia need the goal more, but Spain still look more likely to get it.

  65. 2053: 
    Everton manager David Moyes at PGE Arena, Gdansk from MOTD on BBC One

    "Croatia have done a great job of containing Spain, but they have to keep it going. They can't open up too soon. But they need to do a bit better in possession and nullify what Spain are doing. The longer the game goes 0-0 it will swing in Croatia's favour. Spain will know if Croatia get a late goal, it will put them out. If I was Slaven Bilic I would be delighted. I would keep it the same and in the last 20 minutes go for it."

  66. 2053:  
    Kevin Kilbane, capped 110 times by Republic of Ireland, at Municipal Stadium, Poznan for BBC Radio 5 live

    "There have been a couple of goals Shay Given can be questioned on in the tournament. I think he might be low on confidence and then you do strange things. Shay's been such a consistent, calm goalkeeper over the years."

  67. 2053: 

    Italy look to strike early in the second half as Federico Balzaretti's cross into the box is turned towards goal by Antonio Di Natale. However, Sean St Ledger - the current king of the block - gets in the way for Ireland and Italy have a corner, which comes to nothing. Soon after, Italy come forward once more but Antonio Cassano's shot from another Balzaretti cross is again blocked, this time by Richard Dunne. What is it with Ireland and starting badly after the break?

  68. 2050:  
    Mick McCarthy on BBC One at Municipal Stadium, Poznan:

    "Trapattoni should stay If he has got the desire, hunger and belief that he can build another team because some of these players are coming to the end of their careers."

  69. 2048: 
    KICK-OFF- Croatia v Spain & Italy v Republic of Ireland
  70. 2047: 

    The teams are heading back out. Apologies to Spain fans, but for the purpose of drama and devilish fun what we need next is a Croatia goal.

  71. 2046:  
    Danny Mills on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra at PGE Arena, Gdansk

    "Spain have looked a little complacent. They haven't been really sharp. They're playing at around 70% of their usual standard around that final third. Croatia are going to have to come out in the second half and go for it, which will open things up for Spain who will try to work in those little holes."

  72. 2046:  
    Lee Dixon, MOTD pundit

    "You have to give a huge amount of credit to Croatia - all their men are getting behind the ball. The two wide players have worked ever so hard to stop Spain's full-backs coming forward. They have kept everything in front of them and worked unbelievably hard. They've had a couple of chances themselves but they need to score in the second half and you would think their best chance will come from a set piece."


    Jon Evans on Twitter: "The league table has been explained (1718). The most ridiculous rulings ever by Uefa. Really not the right way to rank teams on level points."

    Craig Gallagher on Twitter: "Head-to-head works in a 38-game league season, and even in a 6-game Champions League group, but not if there's only 3 games."

    Paul Thompson on Twitter: "England v Italy in the quarters anyone?"

  74. 2046:  
    Alan Hansen, MOTD pundit

    "The big thing about working so hard is 'can you do that for 90 minutes?' If you're getting back and chasing in two banks of four, not only do you get tired, but you get disillusioned. And Croatia have to score now. It's a tall order. But, as Lee [Dixon] says, their best opportunity might come from a set-piece."

  75. 2046: 

    I have to apologise for the 'as it stands' group tables on this live page, which currently show that Spain top the group instead of Italy. I can assure you that is not the case. Unfortunately, our technology cannot cope with the complicated Uefa designs for group qualification.

    Many of you are tweeting and texting still unclear as to how these groups work. For clarity, I wrote an entry explaining the situation just after 17:18 BST. You can also get info from our permutations page, or the Uefa equivalent.

    If ever meet the person who designed these groups I will bite my thumb at them.

  76. 2040: 

    Croatia may well feel aggrieved at not being given a penalty in that first half. Granted, Spain will argue that Sergio Ramos got the ball from his challenge on Mario Mandzukic, but he also caught the man as he slid through. It would not have been a surprise to see a spot-kick awarded.

  77. 2038:  
    Football analyst Alan Shearer on BBC Three:

    "We've seen time and again the importance of set pieces and Republic of Ireland have let one of the smallest players on the pitch put Italy ahead from a corner. That is not acceptable."

  78. 2038:  
    Mick McCarthy on BBC One at Municipal Stadium, Poznan:

    "The goal has just knocked the stuffing out of the Irish team. They must have thought he we go again and it looks like that."

  79. 2038: 

    Italy are the big winners after those first halves. Their goal against the Irish means they have forced their way above Croatia and Spain and to the top of Group C. The Italians have looked the better side and it would take a big turnaround in momentum for the Irish to cause an upset.

    Meanwhile, in Gdansk, as is the norm, Spain are dominating possession against Croatia, but they have not created much so far. However, Croatia have created less and will need to offer more up front if they are to avoid crashing out.

  80. 2033: 
    HALF-TIME- Croatia 0-0 Spain
  81. 2033:  
    Kevin Kilbane, capped 110 times by Republic of Ireland, at Municipal Stadium, Poznan for BBC Radio 5 live

    "To concede a goal from a set play against an Italian team that haven't got much height, the Irish will be really disappointed with that. It's not like them."

  82. 2032: 
    HALF-TIME- Italy 1-0 Republic of Ireland

    Stephen Cummins on Twitter: "Shay Given has had a shocker of a tournament."

    Said Madrid on Twitter: "Italy shouldn't sleep on that goal they've got. They should go and kill the game off."

    Andy Marnick on Twitter: "Spain look so dangerous when they are moving forward!"

  84. 2031:  
    Mark Bright at PGE Arena, Gdansk for MOTD on BBC One

    "The longer this game stays goalless, the more Croatia will have to push forward following Italy's goal. That will suit Spain. But Croatia have looked quite comfortable defensively - they have nullified the Spanish attack. It's rare you see Spain give the ball away so easily - that's credit to Croatia. They have stuck to their task."

  85. 2029: 

    It is pretty quiet in Gdansk at the moment, where Spain are sitting pretty, holding Croatia to a draw and holding most of the possession. Spain will want to win the group, though, so you imagine neither of these sides will sit back.

  86. 2028: 

    Unfortunately for Ireland they played a part in their own downfall for the goal, specifically in conceding the corner as Shay Given fumbled a shot from Antonio Cassano behind. In fairness, it was a dipping shot but not something Given couldn't have dealt with better.

  87. 2026: 

    As it stands, Italy are top of the group, with Spain joining them in the quarter-finals. The onus now switches to Croatia.

  88. 2025:  
    Mick McCarthy on BBC One at Municipal Stadium, Poznan:

    "The goal has been coming. Don't let them score from a corner though. We are 1-0 down now and it's going to be tough."

  89. 2025:  
    Kevin Kilbane, capped 110 times by Republic of Ireland, at Municipal Stadium, Poznan for BBC Radio 5 live

    "The linesman didn't actually give it, but it looked a certain goal. The Italians were convinced and quite rightly it's been given. Shay Given couldn't keep it out and its disappointment for Ireland. They've conceded from a set piece when they really shouldn't have."

  90. 2021: 
    GOAL- Italy (Antonio Cassano, 36 mins) 1-0 Republic of Ireland

    Italy's pressure pays off and they have their goal. Just a minute after Antonio Di Natale sees a shot from a tight angle on the right cleared off the line by an Ireland defender, Italy force a corner on the left. It is met by Antonio Cassano at the near post. Shay Given tries to prevent it going in but it drops just over the line before Damien Duff pokes the ball clear. Italy have just thrust themselves right into the qualification picture.

  91. 2020:  
    Kevin Kilbane, capped 110 times by Republic of Ireland, at Municipal Stadium, Poznan for BBC Radio 5 live

    "Di Natale turned and swivelled in the box. He got a good shot away but Sean St Ledger managed to get his body in the way. He deflected the ball away from Shay Given's goal. It hit him high on the arm, but I wouldn't have given it."

  92. 2020: 

    Ireland are holding on a bit now, with Sean St Ledger playing a big role. Antonio Di Natale tries to turn into a shooting opportunity in the box but he is muscled off the ball by the Irish centre-back. Italy stepping it up in search of that vital goal.

  93. 2018: 

    Half an hour now gone in these games in Group C and we have yet to have a goal. As it stands, it remains Spain and Croatia going through and Italy joining the Republic on the Euro 2012 scrapheap.


    Opta Sports on Twitter: "There has not been a penalty awarded at Euro 2012 since the first game of the tournament, Poland v Greece."

  95. 2018: 

    Italy looking to strike decisively in Poznan. Federico Balzaretti crosses from the left for Antonio Di Natale in the box but his goalbound shot is blocked by Sean St Ledger.

  96. 2016:  
    Kevin Kilbane, capped 110 times by Republic of Ireland, at Municipal Stadium, Poznan for BBC Radio 5 live

    "I've been impressed with Aiden McGeady. He carried the ball 30, 40, 50 yards there to the heart of the Italian defence, and you have to say Italy do look a little bit worried in this good spell for the Irish."

  97. 2016: 

    Spain come forward again and David Silva plays a one-two with Xabi Alonso on the edge of the box. However, Silva loses his footing at the vital moment and his shot loops into Stipe Pletikosa's arms.

  98. 2015: 

    Mario Mandzukic is clearly struggling after that tackle from Ramos. He is being helped from the pitch. That's not good news for Croatia. The striker has scored three goals in this tournament and led the line superbly for them.

  99. 2014: 
    YELLOW CARD- Croatia - Vedran Corluka

    The defender's appeals against the non-awarding of the penalty earns him a booking.

  100. 2013: 

    Croatia appeal for a penalty. It is a Sergio Ramos sliding tackle on Mario Mandzukic, which is very risky. He gets some of the ball but also the man with studs high. I think that is a decent shout for a spot kick.


    Vinny Person on Twitter: "If I were an international football side, I'd like to be ‪Croatia‬. Modest, charming, unassuming but wiry and capable."

    Sarah Morgan on Twitter: "Croats should start going for ball more and Spanish shins/ankles/shirts less. Looking strange blend of resigned and desperate!"

    Jon Pickett on Twitter: "Spain's change kit is like Arnold Schwarzenegger's performance in Batman & Robin. Just awful."

  102. 2012: 

    Ireland are growing into the game against Italy. Only poor movement from Robbie Keane and hesitation from his team-mates denies them a potential opening on the edge of the Italy box.

    Gerard Pique has another long-range pop for Spain in Gdansk but is over the bar.

  103. 2010: 

    Good work from Aiden McGeady sees him deliver a cross from the right but Kevin Doyle is muscled away from the ball (legally) by Federico Balzaretti.

    In Gdansk, Fernando Torres has his first sight of goal but it is from a tight angle on the right and Croatia keeper Stipe Pletikosa palms behind. Soon after, Sergio Ramos shoots on goal from distance but Pletikosa saves.

  104. 2007: 

    David Silva is in impish mood. He skips past a couple of tackles en route to the box but a cynical foul by Ognjen Vukojevic halts him and gives Spain a free-kick. Xavi crosses but it is a disappointing delivery and Croatia clear, although Sergio Busquets is also penalised for a foul in the box.


    Scott Dixon on Twitter: "Spain‬ are unreal at keeping the ball! ‪Masterclass‬..."

    Ross McCafferty on Twitter: "Already looking like when and not if for Ireland. Disappointing not to see more changes. Trapatonni's far to stubborn."

    Richard Underwood on Twitter: "Croatia v Spain: flare v flair."

  106. 2005: 

    The Republic with a chance to forge something as a free-kick is delivered to the back post and met by Richard Dunne, but he is penalised for a push on his marker.

  107. 2004: 

    Italy blaze a shot from distance. It is Federico Balzaretti with the effort but it starts high and gets even higher to clear the bar by some distance.

  108. 2003: 

    The Spanish bench are up and not happy with a foul by Ivan Rakitic on Andres Iniesta. The Spaniard also nearly lost his shorts in the tackle. I hope he doesn't have any sponsorship on those pants.

  109. 2002:  
    Kevin Kilbane, capped 110 times by Republic of Ireland, at Municipal Stadium, Poznan for BBC Radio 5 live

    "Keith Andrews has probably been Ireland's best player in the tournament. He's played very well and done himself some credit, but against Spain he tried to play too defensively. That left spaces in the midfield which the Spanish exploited."

  110. 2002: 

    While Ireland are on the back foot for periods they can take a lot of heart from the fact they are not behind. They were in their previous two games at this stage. In addition, Aiden McGeady has already shown more eagerness in this game than he did in the previous two. A point to prove perhaps?

  111. 2000:  
    Mick McCarthy on BBC Three at Municipal Stadium, Poznan, on Italy striker Mario Balotelli:

    "He's caviar or cabbage. You don't know what you are going to get out of him. The manager knows best."

  112. 2000: 

    Spain have enjoyed 74% of the possession so far in Gdansk. It's a lot, but Croatia have been disciplined to deny them openings.

  113. 1958: 

    Cesare Prandelli's side almost create something as Antonio Cassano jinks past a defender on the right and crosses into the box but Richard Dunne heads behind for Ireland, who do a good job of dealing with the corner.

    In Gdansk, a typically silky Spain move ends with David Silva finding Andres Iniesta in the box but his shot lacks power and Stipe Pletikosa dives to his left to save.

  114. 1957: 

    10 minutes gone. No goals yet. It is very early, but as it stands Spain and Croatia are going through. Over to you Italy.

  115. 1956: 
    BBC Sport reporter Damian Johnson at Municipal Stadium, Poznan for Italy v Ireland

    "Plenty of empty seats for Ireland's last hurrah at Euros versus Italy, but Irish fans massively outnumber Italians."

  116. 1955:  
    Mark Bright at PGE Arena, Gdansk for MOTD on BBC One

    "Slaven Bilic knows it's going to be difficult but he's told his players 'we've got to keep the ball as long as we can'."

  117. 1955: 

    Italy have started positively, as you would expect, and are having a lot of possession in the Ireland half. A corner causes chaos in the Ireland box but it is cleared before Thiago Motta can get a goalbound touch on the ball. Meanwhile, a flare has been thrown near the pitch in Gdansk making it a bit of a pea-souper.

  118. 1952:  
    Kevin Kilbane, capped 110 times by Republic of Ireland, at Municipal Stadium, Poznan for BBC Radio 5 live

    "Not even one minute gone and two efforts on goal, from Ireland and then Italy. Ireland have got to get something tonight, to try to register some kind of result. They are playing a high line, trying to support Robbie Keane up front. Aiden McGeady looks confident too. He might have a point to prove - he's been getting a bit of stick in the media. He could be a key player for Ireland."


    Charles Kahanji on Twitter: "The Italian national anthem is undoubtedly the best anthem in the world, and they all sing it with passion."

    Phil Martinez on Twitter: "Before being Euro and World champions I remember perennial underachievement, so I'm sitting watching Spain feeling very nervy."

    Simon Cairns on Twitter: "Come on Ireland!"

  120. 1951: 

    Spain come forward and Jordi Alba's cross from the left is headed behind by a Croatian defender with Fernando Torres lurking. Torres meets the resuting corner at the near post but his header goes well wide.

  121. 1949: 

    Spain, playing in an unfamiliar light blue kit, with a chance in Gdansk but Xavi's free-kick is headed clear. Meanwhile, in Poznan, Daniele De Rossi fires a shot from distance wide for Italy against the Republic of Ireland.

  122. 1947: 

    Germany coach Joachim Loew is in the stands at the Spain v Croatia game. Clearly he doesn't rate Greece.

  123. 1946: 
    KICK-OFF- Croatia v Spain & Italy v Republic of Ireland

    Concurrent kick-offs... check. Text book.

  124. 1944: 
    Everton manager David Moyes on Croatia’s decision to drop Toffees striker Nikica Jelavic for their crucial clash against Spain:

    "I'm a bit disappointed Jelavic isn't starting. But it was always a decision Croatia coach Slaven Bilic had to make - go with two forwards or an extra midfield player. I think it's the correct call to pick an extra midfield player against this Spain side."

  125. 1944: 

    Gianluigi Buffon doesn't do anthems half-hearted. He belts it out with his eyes closed. Giorgio Cheillini isn't far behind him on the passion stakes. He nearly head-butts the camera as he belts out a big final note.

  126. 1942:  
    Football analyst Alan Shearer on BBC Three:

    "If Ireland are going to get anything then they have to get in around Andrea Pirlo to stop him. Italy have to win the game and you might just see a different approach from them in this game."

  127. 1941:  
    Danny Mills on BBC Radio 5 live at PGE Arena, Gdansk

    "On paper Spain should go out and win this. But they were poor against Spain and Ireland were very much inferior. Croatia are a decent team at high tempo, but Spain will try to keep the ball. If Modric can get hold of the ball he could cause the Spanish defence a lot of problems."

  128. 1941: 

    Right, it's time to get serious. The teams are heading out on to the pitch. We're just two sets of anthems away from the conclusion of Group C.

  129. 1940:  
    Kevin Kilbane, capped 110 times by Republic of Ireland, at Municipal Stadium, Poznan for BBC Radio 5 live

    "I didn't expect Trapattoni to make too many changes but it's been a long trip for a lot of these players and it would have been fitting for two or three of those changes to have come about. Put Darron Gibson into the middle of the park. Throw in James McClean and give him a run out. With fresher legs coming into the side a few lads could have made statements."


    Michael on text: "Got married 18 years ago today and spent large part of reception watching Ireland beat Italy. Having party to celebrate the happy event. And the wedding."

    Ryan in Northampton on text: "I feel sorry for the Irish but I'm sure if offered prior to the tournament to be level on points with Holland after the group stage they would have snatched at the chance...

  131. 1940: 

    Do you want to know how Spain have prepared for tonight's game? It would appear with a massive game of tig. "Ahhhh, Juanfran's got lurgies!"

  132. 1938: 
    West Brom midfielder Steven Reid, capped 23 times by Republic of Ireland, on BBC Radio 5 live

    "I'm surprised Trapattoni hasn't made more changes. I thought he would have given an opportunity to a few of the lads who have travelled, because it's a long three or four weeks together. It would have been nice for a few of those boys to get a game, because to be honest the lads who are out there tonight will probably just want to get on holiday now after those first two games."

  133. 1936:  
    Lee Dixon, MOTD pundit

    "I've heard people say Spain are going to be tired. But coach Vicente del Bosque said tired players, if they have got something to aim for, aren't tired any more. And bearing in mind they have possession for long periods, having possession doesn't tire you out."

  134. 1936: 
    Newcastle United manager, and MOTD pundit, Alan Pardew on Croatia v Spain:

    "To stop Spain you need your team to be diligent and to defend well because Spain will have a lot of the ball tonight. But they need to be on the front foot as well."

  135. 1929:  
    Danny Mills on BBC Radio 5 live at PGE Arena, Gdansk

    "A lot of teams have maybe taken encouragement from the way Italy played against Spain. They changed their whole system and it worked very well. Teams cannot out-pass Spain and have to do something a little different tactically to disrupt them. Spain are not fantastic at the back. Ramos can be erratic. There's often a lot of space in the inside channel, that space between full-back and centre-half."

  136. 1927: 

    Another piece of attacking team news tonight worth noting is the inclusion of Antonio Di Natale in place of Mario Balotelli. The Man City striker did leave training early in a session this week because of injury but coach Cesare Prandelli had indicated he would not be picking the striker anyway. Di Natale scored a great goal in Italy's first game after coming off the bench. He looked sharp. The kindest thing I can say about Balotelli is that, in contrast, he has not.

  137. 1923:  
    Mick McCarthy on BBC One at Municipal Stadium, Poznan

    "Ireland got to the tournament on a solid base and defensive unit. But then they've conceded early goals in both matches and their gameplan has gone to pot straight away. Having to chase the game against Croatia and Spain suits those teams and they simply have been better than us. But Ireland are playing for pride and I think they can shock Italy tonight."

  138. 1922: 

    Portugal were inspired by a world class player returning to form last night. Spain will be hoping that their own high-profile attacking talent is heading back to his best at the right time.

    Fernando Torres scored twice against Ireland and looked sharp. He only spent only 38 seconds on the ball , but four of his five shots were on target. Against Italy, and without a recognised striker starting the match, Spain had 17 shots, only five of which were on target. Against the Irish, 67% of their 27 efforts were accurate.

    Oh, and Spain have now won 18 of the 19 competitive games that Torres has started under Vincente Del Bosque.

  139. 1919: 
    Former Wimbledon and Birmingham defender Kenny Cunningham, capped 72 times by Republic of Ireland, on BBC Radio 5 live:

    "This is an ideal opportunity for Trapattoni and Ireland, now that the tournament's over. What a great opportunity in a competitive international game to blood a few of these young players and see exactly how good they are. It's a chance to freshen up the team and throw these players in, but he hasn't done it. A lot of people feel this is an opportunity missed and perhaps a sign of things to come, that the manager's going to remain loyal to his system."

  140. 1918: 

    The pundits, the opinion, the logic all points to a Spanish win over Croatia tonight. The stats are weighted in favour of the World and European champions. They have created 44 chances to Croatia's 25 in the tournament so far. 29 of those were on target as opposed to Croatia's 17. They've only scored one more goal, though.

  141. 1913: 
    Newcastle United manager and MOTD pundit, Alan Pardew on Croatia v Spain:

    "The key is getting possession of the ball for Croatia tonight. That's what Spain do - they lull you, get you tired and then you lose all your perspective of attacking them."


    Kev Hegarty on Twitter: "Don't understand why McClean hasn't started yet for ‪Ireland‬. Great attacking player."

    Luke De-ben on Twitter: "Finally Di Natale gets a start. Barzagli is back so De Rossi can use his passing in midfield. 3-0 Italy win."

    Ror Furbolg on Twitter: "Prandelli changing his formation all well and good, but it is the right time to be switching around with the pressure heaped?"

  143. 1912: 

    It is interesting to see Nikica Jelavic dropped from the Croatia team. Interesting but maybe not that surprising. Playing an attacking team, with two strikers, could well be suicide against the Spanish pass-masters. With the physical Mario Mandzukic having scored three goals from just four shots so far this tournament he was always going to get the nod for a sole-striker role, regardless of Jelavic's undoubted quality. But then, what do I know? I'm a primary school standard left-back with a rubbish left foot. And a rubbish right one.

  144. 1907: 

    I've said this already a few times, but it needs repeating: the winner of the game between Croatia and Spain will qualify as Group C winner. The loser would go out if Italy win. A 2-2 (or higher) will send both through.

    Croatia have won just one of four games against Spain (drawing the other and losing twice). All of those matches have been friendlies. The last saw Spain beat Croatia 2-1 in a 2006 World Cup warm-up game in Geneva.

    Spain are unbeaten in 16 competitive matches, recording 15 wins and one draw. Their last defeat was their 1-0 loss to Switzerland at the 2010 World Cup.

  145. 1903: 

    Former Ireland player and manager Steve Staunton has asked, where the next generation of Ireland players will come from? Ireland presumably.

    "Although we have some promising young strikers like Shane Long, I don't know much about where the next goalkeeper, defenders or midfielders are coming from," Staunton told BBC Sport.

    Fortunately, former international team-mate Kevin Kilbane is on hand with a handy solution. It's quite simple really. He says the current generation just shouldn't retire. Not ever, I should add, otherwise Ireland games could start to look like an episide of Dad's Army.

    "I wanted to play at the top level for as long as I could and I hope those guys feel the same way too," said Kilbane.

  146. 1856: 
    LINE-UPS- Italy v Republic of Ireland (19:45 BST)

    Italy: Buffon, Abate, Barzagli, Chiellini, Balzaretti, Pirlo, Marchisio, Thiago Motta, De Rossi, Di Natale, Cassano. Subs: Sirigu, Maggio, Ogbonna Obienza, Balotelli, Giaccherni, Borini, Montolivo, Bonucci, Giovinco, Diamanti, Nocerino, De Sanctis.

    Rep of Ireland: Given, O'Shea, Dunne, St. Ledger, Ward, McGeady, Whelan, Andrews, Duff, Keane, Doyle. Subs: Westwood, Kelly, McShane, Walters, Gibson, Hunt, O'Dea, Long, Cox, Green, McClean, Forde.

    Referee: Cuneyt Cakir (Turkey)

  147. 1856: 
    LINE-UPS- Croatia v Spain (19:45 BST)

    Croatia: Pletikosa, Vida, Corluka, Schildenfeld, Strinic, Vukojevic, Rakitic, Srna, Modric, Pranjic, Mandzukic. Subs: Kelava, Simunic, Buljat, Jelavic, Badelj, Vrsaljko, Dujmovic, Kalinic, Kranjcar, Perisic, Eduardo, Subasic.

    Spain: Casillas, Arbeloa, Pique, Sergio Ramos, Jordi Alba, Xavi, Busquets, Alonso, Silva, Torres, Iniesta. Subs: Valdes, Albiol, Javi Martinez, Juanfran, Pedro, Fabregas, Negredo, Mata, Llorente, Santi Cazorla, Jesus Navas, Reina.

    Referee: Wolfgang Stark (Germany)

  148. 1853: 
    BREAKING NEWS- Italy v Republic of Ireland (19:45 BST)

    Italy make four changes from the side which drew 1-1 with Croatia. Defenders Andrea Barzagli, Ignazio Abate and Federico Balzaretti come into the side along with striker Antonio Di Natale. Those to make way are Leonardo Bonucci, Christian Maggio, Emanuele Giaccherini and Mario Balotelli.

    Republic of Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni makes the one change with striker Kevin Doyle replacing Simon Cox. Forward Robbie Keane hands Damien Duff the captain's armband with the winger making his 100th appearance for his country.

  149. 1852: 

    It was a sad end to the Republic's true competitive involvement in Euro 2012 when they were smashed out of the tournament by Spain in the second round of fixtures. They can hopefully relax and enjoy the game tonight (while also being both professional and full of pride) but the post-mortem has already begun into where it went wrong in Poland and Ukraine.

    Some of the criticism hasn't gone down too well with coach Giovanni Trapattoni, who launched a bit of a tirade against former player Roy Keane for his condemnation. Have a look at the video on this site, and take particular note of how increasingly uncomfortable Robbie Keane gets as he manager builds to a bleep-worthy conclusion.

  150. 1847: 
    BREAKING TEAM NEWS- Croatia v Spain (19:45 BST)

    Spain are unchanged from the team that thrashed Ireland last week, with Fernando Torres once again tasked with leading the line.

    Croatia make two changes from the draw with Italy, with Everton striker Nikica Jelavic and Ivan Perisic dropping to the bench to make way for Daniel Pranjic and Domagoj Vida. At first glance it would appear Croatia will play one man, Mario Manduzukic, up front, and pack the midfield in an effort to stifle the Spanish. Best of luck with that.

  151. 1844: 

    To be serious, regardless of recent history, Italy are definitely favourites to claim the win they need tonight. And Italian defender Thiago Motta is confident that the worst case scenario from the other game will not come to pass, at least not by design. Despite the fact that the same scenario knocked Italy out eight years ago, when Denmark and Sweden drew 2-2 to progress, Motta said: "They are professionals. It won't happen, everyone will do their own jobs."

    I expect things to kick off bigger than a beer drought in Bigg Market if it does end 2-2, though.

  152. 1842: 

    Don't panic, though, Italy, don't panic. Surely not all the omens can be against you...

    This fixture takes place on the 18-year anniversary of Ray Houghton's famous winner for Ireland in their 1-0 win over Italy at the 1994 World Cup in New York. Oh forget it.


    Peter Corbett on Twitter: "Ireland maybe wearing white this evening but they won't be surrendering to Italy easily. I don't think it will be as predictable."

    Will Haynes on Twitter: "I hope Spain beat Croatia,as any tournament without them would be undervalued."

    Simon Stothard on Twitter: "Spain and Croatia draw 2-2 and Italy win 4-0. How wouldn't Italy qualify with better goal difference? Am I missing something?"

    To answer your question Simon, hopefully as simply as possible, when teams are tied on points, initially the results involving those tied teams count to decide who qualifies. So basically, with the results you suggested, it becomes a "mini-league" withing the group featuring Spain, Italy and Croatia, all of whom would have five points. Italy's four goals against Ireland wouldn't count and so Croatia would go through courtesy of a better goal difference than Italy. I swear this vein on my temple has been getting bigger since Saturday.

  154. 1833: 

    OK, no need to worry just yet Italy. Lets have a look at the next stat...

    Ireland are unbeaten in three matches against Italy under Giovanni Trapattoni's management. They won a friendly 2-0 in the Belgian city of Liege last summer, following on from back-to-back draws in qualifying for the 2010 World Cup. Oh.

  155. 1831: 

    And so to tonight. We'll start with Italy v Republic of Ireland.

    As I've already explained, Italy have to win if they are stand any chance of making it through to the quarters. And even then, a 2-2 (or higher) draw in Gdansk means an Italian win would count for nothing.

    So what are the chances of an Italian win? Well, Italy are currently in their longest ever major tournament winless streak. It is six games since they beat France 2-0 in their final group stage match in Euro 2008. Ah.

    Dan Roan, BBC sports news correspondent

    "Ever since Wayne Rooney was sent off against Montenegro in October and handed a two match ban, England fans have been looking forward to this moment. His return after suspension seems perfectly timed, but first England must get past the co-hosts and their own star striker. Wayne's wait is almost over, and England now hope their star striker and talisman can go from mere spectator to match-winning spectacle. Suddenly, England is beginning to expect once again."


    Alex in Richmond on text: "Re Matt (1813): Just like Denmark v Netherlands and Russia v Greece then!"

  158. 1824: 

    Portugal advanced to the quarters as a result of their win last night, with Germany also progressing as Group B winners thanks to a typically efficient victory over Denmark. The Germans maintained their 100% Euro 2012 record with the win and, according to coach Joachim Loew, will only get better. Great news for the Germans. Terrible news for everyone else.


    BBC Sport producer Juliette Ferrington tweets: "We've just been told to expect some wacky weather in Gdansk tonight..."

    Brilliant, I love an apocalypse.

  160. 1818: 

    Cristiano Ronaldo's display caught the eye of Everton boss David Moyes, who has been scouting the Euros while moonlighting for the BBC as a pundit. "If money were no object and I could sign one player from Euro 2012, it would be Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo," says Moyes.

    Bill Kenwright must have spurted a mouthful of tea all over his laptop this morning when he read that.

    Thankfully, Moyes goes on to give a very intelligent and eloquent insight into the Euros scouting process, in which it becomes clear that Ronaldo is probably beyond Everton's means. Well worth a read.


    Matt from Wiltshire, on text: "Spain will win, Italy will win. This is the most predictable night so far."

  162. 1813: 

    Here is proof of Uefa's hypothetical 2-2 draw between Croatia and Spain. If this comes to pass, Italy will not be happy. And, for the good of us all, someone at Uefa simply must be burned as a witch.

  163. 1811: 
    Former Wimbledon and Birmingham defender Kenny Cunningham, capped 72 times by Republic of Ireland, on BBC Radio 5 live:

    "The big discussion in Dublin and around Ireland is whether we want to persist with this philosophy of football, or are we going to go down a different path? My gut feeling is that I wouldn't stick with Trapattoni. He bonded the team together and gave the players a structure, but I think he's taken us as far as he can.

    "To step up to the next level and integrate a generation of new young players, I think we have to go down a different route. We should shake his hand, thank him for his efforts and move forward with another manager."

  164. 1811: 

    So that Cristiano Ronaldo lad is pretty good. Someone should but him for, say, £80m. The Real Madrid man absolutely tore the Netherlands to shreds last night. He scored twice and could have had more. It was the perfect riposte to the critics who suggested he hadn't yet shown up at Euro 2012.

    His two goals last night took him to 33 in internationals and into third place on the all-time Portuguese goalscorers list, ahead of Luis Figo, but behind Pauleta (47) and Eusebio (41). He is now the first Portugal player to score at five major tournaments (Euro 2004, 2008 & 2012 and World Cups 2006 & 2010) and the seventh player to score in three Euros, joining Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thierry Henry, Vladimir Smicer, Helder Postiga, Jurgen Klinsmann and Nuno Gomes.

    He's getting better with every game as well, it would seem. Ronaldo's time in possession of the ball has increased over the three group games (v Germany 49 seconds; v Denmark 1:01 & v Netherlands 1:29). The Czechs should be very afraid.


    Poppa Roy on Twitter: "Spain are finally involved in an interesting match as they're leaky defence is exposed by the attacking passion of Croatia - 3-3."

    Crip Cooke on Twitter: "Can't see past Italy/Spain going through. Yes, Croatia have been good with the ball but can't see them coping well without it."

    Gene Yew on Twitter: "Robbie Keane hat-trick tonight, silencing the criticism from Roy Keane."

  166. 1806: 

    As the eagle-eyed of you will have spotted (if you've waded through those damn permutations), the dreaded result for Italy tonight is a 2-2 draw between Spain and Croatia, which would leave the Italians powerless to do anthing.

    It appears someone at Uefa has a cheeky sense of humour...

    CNN Italian correspondent Tancredi Palmeri tweets: "This isn't a joke. On Gdansk stadium media area tv screens Uefa is making test of the final score of Croatia-Spain. Result on screen is 2-2!"

  167. 1803: 

    Winger Arjen Robben suggested there were "issues" in the Netherlands squad.

    He said: "Of course there were some internal issues but we will keep them indoors and, believe me, we tried everything - it's just not worked.

    "The hunger in the team is there but we failed together. And I mean the technical staff, the players, the whole team. This is the harsh reality of the sporting world. We must all, therefore, look in the mirror."

    I'd suggest one of the "issues" in the squad was the complete absence of Robben from any of the games he played in.

  168. 1801: 

    As you would expect, Van Marwijk's managerial performance has come under the microscope, with many people back home already having made their mind up. It starts with P and ends in 45.

    However, while Van Marwijk took responsibility for the loss after the game, he refused to answer questions about his future. Of course that may well change when the fellas with burning torches and pitchforks turn up on his doorstep. Saying that, he might get off with having his head turned into a vegetable on the front page of a newspaper. His head is quite round, I suppose.

  169. 1754: 

    Back to last night, and the tournament suffered a major casualty in the shape of one of the pre-tournament favourites, the Netherlands, going home winless.

    In truth, the Dutch deserved little more than they got. They were poor in a 2-1 defeat to Portugal, who were inspired by the superb Cristiano Ronaldo. Together with their wastefulness against the Danes and their inability to match the Germans, it meant only one thing for Bert van Marwijk's side: embarrassing elimination.

  170. 1750: 

    Over on 5 live sports extra from 1930 BST you can listen to the other game in Group C. Reigning Euro and World Champions, Spain, play Croatia.

  171. 1750: 

    Tonight's 5 live sport with Colin Murray from 1900 BST has full commentary on the Republic of Ireland's final game of Euro 2012 against Italy in Group C, with Giovanni Trapattoni's men looking to end their tournament on a positive note. Joining Colin in the studio for build-up and post-match reaction are Robbie Savage and former Ireland international Steven Reid.

  172. 1749: 

    There was huge concern amongst the Ukrainian people that Shevchenko may not be fit for the game against England, after he missed training on Sunday. However, he took part in training today and is apparently 50/50 to start on Tuesday.

    In his press conference, which has just finished, Ukraine coach Oleg Blokhin was in very relaxed mood, sparking of plenty of laughter with his comments, which I would bring you but for my inability to speak Ukrainian. I'm sure they were hilarious, though. At one point he was definitely asked about England's striking options, with Rooney, Welbeck and Carroll mentioned specifically. Blokhin began his answer by laughing. Read into that what you want.

  173. 1745: 

    In case you're interested, the question that Hodgson was unable to hear from the Ukrainian journalist was about Andriy Shevchenko. Roy answered like this:

    "Shevchenko is a world class player and his CV and record provokes no discussion. We have a lot of respect for the player - a lot of the players were team-mates of his at Chelsea. But we're focusing on our game and hope we'll play well ourselves and defend well against a world-class player like Shevchenko."

    Always the diplomat, Roy.


    Ben on text: "Exquisite build up play from Spain provides Torres with glorious chances... we've seen it all before as Chelsea fans. Spain shown the door?"

    Wilson in Leeds on text: "I can see this being a straight case of who scored the least against Ireland not getting through."

  175. 1741: 

    Captain Steven Gerrard continued on the subject of Rooney: "I can see it in his eyes - he's itching to get out there and perform."

    Maybe they might want to think about getting the lad some sort of eye drops.

  176. 1739: 

    The big debate regarding England is just who will Hodgson pick to partner the returning Wayne Rooney in attack? Here's a little teaser from the boss...

    "Picking between Andy Carroll and Danny Welbeck will be a difficult call because both have done so well, in the friendly matches and in the tournament. They've given me the classic manager's headache and it's the headache we all want because the players are playing well. But I've made it clear Wayne Rooney will start the game.

    "I've got no fear that Rooney is ring rusty. He's been training fully and I would say he's every bit as sharp as he was when he played his last game for Manchester United."

  177. 1738: 

    Roy Hodgson and captain Steven Gerrard have also partaken in a press conference today, which went perfectly, barring one moment when Roy's translating tool didn't have enough volume and he couldn't hear a question from a Ukrainian journalist. Oh, how everybody laughed.

    Anyway, one very positive line to come out of that chat was that England's saviour against Sweden, Theo Walcott, is fit after his hamstring scare yesterday. 'But what about Martin Kelly?!' I hear you cry in tearful desperation. Don't worry, he's fully overcome his virus. Fear us Ukraine!

  178. 1731: 

    Wayne Rooney and his new haircut were both out on the pitch in Donetsk as the Manchester United striker soaked in the first build-up to a match he will actually take part in this tournament.

    In case you missed it, Rooney recently did an interview with BBC's Gabby Logan, during which he talks about the aformentioned bonce styling and his penchant for positive thinking.

    A confident Rooney told Gabby: "If we keep working hard there is no reason why we can't go really far in the tournament. I think we're good enough. I know everyone doesn't want us to build expectations up but I firmly believe we have got the players."

  179. 1727: 

    To give all our heads a rest from permutations for a bit (but not the group stages entirely), England have been having a look round the Donbass Arena today ahead of their decisive final game against co-hosts Ukraine.

    Roy Hodgson walked through the stadium committing a major crime by wearing aviators inside. It also made him look a bit like Maverick's dad.

    Meanwhile, down on the pitch, it appears the players have run out of things to say to each other as they spent most of the time watching the unmanned video camera that was watching them. It quickly desecended into the world's most pointless game of chicken.


    Ben Vokes on Twitter: "Croatia to win tonight and Spain to go out. Mandzukic looks to be a top striker."

    Rich Skinner on Twitter: "As a Spurs fan I hope Croatia fail miserably, Modric has a stinker and his suitors all jump ship!"

    Marshall Hicks on Twitter: "Spain, one of the best,‬ versus Croatia, one of the rest..."

  181. 1720: 
    Former Wimbledon and Birmingham defender Kenny Cunningham, capped 72 times by Republic of Ireland, on BBC Radio 5 live:

    "We have been exposed at these championships. Our system has looked a little outdated and we find ourselves in a position where our tournament is over after four days and we're just playing for pride. We never got a foothold in the game against Spain and it was far too easy for them."

  182. 1719: 

    Have you seen Scanners? I feel like my head is going that way.

  183. 1718: 

    Right, here is the deal for tonight. Group C leaders Spain play second-placed Croatia, while Italy, in third, take on the already eliminated Republic of Ireland. As with the last two days, this is the final round of fixtures for this group, which means we have to dive back into all those mind-scrambling permutations.


    Spain - a win or a draw secures them qualification and top spot. If they lose, they could go out if Italy win.

    Croatia - victory sends them through as group winners. A 2-2 (or higher-scoring) draw will also see them through. However, ff it is 0-0, they are out. If they claim a 1-1 draw, Croatia will only be eliminated if Italy better or equal their 3-1 win over the Republic of Ireland. They are out if they lose and Italy win.

    Italy - a defeat or draw means they are out. A win will send them through but only if Spain or Croatia win or it is 0-0 between them. If that game is a 1-1 draw, then Italy need to better or equal Croatia's 3-1 win over Ireland. If they equal it, Italy will go through because they are ranked higher than Croatia by Uefa. However, if Spain and Croatia draw 2-2 or more then Italy are out.

  184. 1711: 

    As always, I can't provide as fuller service as I'd like without interaction from you fine licence fee-paying folk. You can consider this a call to arms for all of you with something to say and the means to type and send it. So, are we in for a straightforward night with Spain and Italy strolling through? Will Croatia gatecrash the party? And can the Republic make a final telling contribution to Euro 2012? Type now or forever hold your peace/bang on about it on Twitter later. You can tweet us using the hashtag #bbcfootball or text us on 81111 (UK). Make sure you put your name on the texts, though.

  185. 1705: 

    One thing I can guarantee you is that tonight's concluding games from Group C will be a damn sight better than their equivalents from two summers ago in South Africa, when you probably won't remember that the United States snuck a one-goal win over Algeria and England absolutely didn't hammer Slovenia 1-0.

    For your entertainment tonight we have World and European champions Spain in a winner takes all clash with Croatia and Italy looking to beat the Republic of Ireland and hoping the Spanish do them a favour.

    You bring the beer, let Euro 2012 deal with the drama.

  186. 1700: 

    It is a glowing testimony to what Euro 2012 has thrown at our eyes so far that yesterday's second halves from Group B were followed by just a slightly deflated sense of anti-climax.

    In any other tournament from recent memory, a night that saw one of the pre-tournament favourites crash out without a point to their name, a bona fide world superstar torch any poor opponent who had the temerity to stand before him and two goalscorers - one making his first start and another appearing for the 100th time - complete a clean sweep for their side would have us hailing football as being better than oxygen.

    There is only one conclusion to be drawn: we've been spoilt. Quickly, think back to the 2010 World Cup. Oh, the horror... the horror.

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As It Stands Table

UEFA European Championship - summary table; it charts each team by position, team name, games played, total goal difference and points
Position Team Played Goal Difference Points
No movement 1 Czech Rep. 3 -1 6
No movement 2 Greece 3 0 4
No movement 3 Russia 3 2 4
No movement 4 Poland 3 -1 2
UEFA European Championship - summary table; it charts each team by position, team name, games played, total goal difference and points
Position Team Played Goal Difference Points
No movement 1 Germany 3 3 9
No movement 2 Portugal 3 1 6
No movement 3 Denmark 3 -1 3
No movement 4 Netherlands 3 -3 0
UEFA European Championship - summary table; it charts each team by position, team name, games played, total goal difference and points
Position Team Played Goal Difference Points
No movement 1 Spain 3 5 7
No movement 2 Italy 3 2 5
No movement 3 Croatia 3 1 4
No movement 4 R. of Ireland 3 -8 0
UEFA European Championship - summary table; it charts each team by position, team name, games played, total goal difference and points
Position Team Played Goal Difference Points
No movement 1 England 3 2 7
No movement 2 France 3 0 4
No movement 3 Ukraine 3 -2 3
No movement 4 Sweden 3 0 3

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