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Euro 2012 Team of Matchday 2: Gomez & Torres find their form for Euro 2012 favourites

Euro 2012 Team of Matchday 2: Gomez & Torres find their form for Euro 2012 favourites

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The Germany and Spain strikers were amongst the goals as their sides claimed crucial victories. Goal.com takes you through the best XI from another set of group-stage games

The second matchday of Euro 2012 provided even more fireworks than the first, and our line-up includes notable players who lived up to expectations as well as those who provided massive boosts to their reputations on football's biggest stages in Poland and Ukraine.

Starting between the posts, Stipe Pletikosa denied Italy what would have been a killer blow to Slaven Bilic's side with several athletic first-half saves when the Azzurri were controlling the match, later allowing Croatia to earn a 1-1 draw. The most noteworthy stop was when the veteran goalkeeper came off his line quickly and powerfully to perform an admirable double block on Claudio Marchisio.

At the back, France rained on the parade of co-hosts Ukraine as Philippe Mexes ensured that Andriy Shevchenko and Co did not continue their heroics from the first matchday. The AC Milan defender was excellent in the air and kept the home supporters from having anything to cheer as he marshalled Laurent Blanc's side to a 2-0 victory in Donetsk.

Mats Hummels allowed Robin van Persie to slip away for one early opportunity but did not put a foot wrong thereafter in Germany's impressive 2-1 victory over the Dutch. The Bundesliga-winning Borussia Dortmund centre-back anticipated the opposition attacks to perfection, cutting out several opportunities while also moving forward very comfortably in possession - shown by a solo run through the heart of Bert van Marwijk's side that nearly resulted in a rare goal.

Olof Mellberg's fourth European Championship will end in disappointment as Sweden were eliminated from the group stage, but his effort belied his age in the 3-2 loss to England. The Olympiakos centre-back did lose sight of Andy Carroll on the Three Lions' first goal, but responded by bundling home his side's first off Glen Johnson and then flicking home a header of his own. He also had one brilliant challenge to deny Danny Welbeck on the edge of the area in a memorable display.

Moving into midfield, Theo Walcott played the supersub role for England. With Roy Hodgson's men trailing  2-1, the Arsenal star emerged to score the equaliser with a swerving effort before bursting through the Swedish defence to set up Welbeck's winner.

Meanwhile, where Cristiano Ronaldo failed for Portugal, Joao Moutinho succeeded. The Real Madrid man faltered in key moments, but unlike his team-mate the Porto midfielder was calm and secure in the centre of the pitch and delivered a perfect cross for Pepe's headed opener in his side's 3-2 victory over Denmark that keeps them within distance of a place in the knockout stages.

Bastian Schweinsteiger said he would reach top form before the game against the Netherlands and he made good on his promise in the victory over their heated rivals with two assists for team-mate Mario Gomez. His movement in midfield was excellent, not only in going forward, but in shutting down the Netherlands' stars as well.

It was certainly a good day at the office for David Silva, who scored a goal and made two assists in a 4-0 humiliation over Republic of Ireland. The Spanish playmaker calmly jinked past the flailing defenders to slot home his side's second goal, before poking through to send Fernando Torres away for the third and a quick corner for Cesc Fabregas to complete a four-star performance from Vicente del Bosque's side.

The attack boasts some of football's most famous goalscorers, beginning with Fernando Torres. The Chelsea attacker silenced his doubters by netting early on to start the rout of the Boys in Green. He pounced on the ball in the area to lash it past Shay Given after just three minutes and then broke away from the Irish defence in the second half to calmly add another.

Despite scoring in Germany's first win, Mario Gomez still had his critics, but one would be hard pressed not to praise him for his two-goal performance against the Netherlands. The Bayern Munich striker's first was of the highest quality, as all in one movement he collected a pass, spun towards goal, and stroked the ball into the net to open the scoring. He added a second soon after, firing high into the net for his third of the tournament.

Another man with a double salvo, though in vain, was Nicklas Bendtner. The towering Denmark hitman ensured he was in the right place at the right time to nod home his side's first against Portugal. He then steered in his second with a much more difficult opportunity by heading off the post to level the scores at two-a-piece. Unfortunately for him, though, Silvestre Varela gave the Seleccao a late win.


PLETIKOSA
CROATIA
Player Rating: 3

MEXES HUMMELS
MELLBERG
FRANCE GERMANY
SWEDEN
Player Rating: 3
Player Rating: 4
Player Rating: 3

WALCOTT MOUTINHO SCHWEINSTEIGER SILVA
ENGLAND
PORTUGAL GERMANY SPAIN
Player Rating: 3.5
Player Rating: 4
Player Rating:  4 Player Rating: 4

TORRES
GOMEZ BENDTNER
SPAIN
GERMANY
DENMARK
Player Rating: 4
Player Rating: 4
Player Rating: 4

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