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Euro 2012: Cristiano Ronaldo answers his critics and five things that we learnt from Day 10

Euro 2012: Cristiano Ronaldo answers his critics and five things that we learnt from Day 10

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Goal.com's Adwait Bhattacharya has a few lessons to share on what was learnt from Day 10 of Euro 2012...

I
The Dutch Have Only Themselves to Blame

The Dutch came into the Euros as one of the 3 favourites to go on and win the tournament. They had one of the most lethal attacks to boast about but they leave with no victory in the group stages. Perhaps it was about too many big egos as revealed by Arjen Robben, ahead of the match against Portugal.

But with an attack that boasts of Robben, RVP, Sneijder and others, the Dutch have only themselves to blame. Their attack lacked vision and togetherness while their defence looked very amateurish. It has indeed been a shambolic tournament for them on and off the field. Perhaps a change in the system can do the trick for their next big challenge in the 2014 World Cup for which they have to qualify.

 

II
When the going gets tough, the tough gets going!!

Having fluffed two great chances against the Danes and the 'Messi chant' fiasco, Ronaldo had too much pressure on him to perform on such a big night in a decider against the Dutch. But as they say 'When the going gets tough, the tough gets going' . What an inspirational performance it was from the Portuguese captain who finally came to the party with two goals for his side.

After his superbly timed run and well-taken goal, the smile was back, the swagger was back and the confidence was back. It was finally like the Ronaldo we were used to seeing last season, who tore apart and tormented teams week in-week out in La Liga. Ronaldo has generally been an underperfomer for his national side. Oh! How he would now like to change that.

 

III
Portugal need an Alarm Clock

    

In the three games that Portugal played, it was evident that they need an alarm or a warning bell to step up their game and perform. Against Germany, they were unlucky to lose given that they had created better goal scoring opportunities in the last 20 minutes after having conceded a goal. Against the Danes, they suddenly had to step up their game after it was all level only to leave it late to snatch a 3-2 win. Yesterday too, only when they went 1-0 down that they took the game away from the Dutch.

It is safe to say that the team performs well under pressure and they are very dangerous when they have their backs against the wall. Immediately they switch to a Go-To "Y" FORMATION where it becomes a three-pronged attack (the Y), with two off the ball runners, one as a decoy and the other to receive the ball. It is a lethal counter attacking option that has worked for them. For sure a risky option that Portugal take but till the time it works, who can complain?

 

IV
Germany Need to Practice Their Set-Piece Defending

Germany might have dominated the game against the Danes, but the only reason the former could score was because of some atrocious defending by the latter who looked clueless from a set-piece.

One would blame Badstuber for the error which led to Krohn-Dehli's goal, but the fact of the matter is that the entire German defense was at fault. When Bendtner headed to redirect the ball across goal for Krohn-Dehli to score, the Germans were at fault on two separate occasions in one play.

If there is one thing Low needs to address in his next practice session, it should be set-pieces because one mistake like this against a team like Greece could end their dream forever.

 

V
Krohn-Dehli, Bendtner and Agger: Take a Bow!

Before we start applauding the Germans and Portugal on their quarter-final qualification, let's credit the Danes for their outstanding effort yesterday and the two games before to give us one of the most exciting "Group of Death" we have seen in years. It's sad they could not come out of it but they have won a lot of hearts.

Not many must have heard of Krohn-Dehli, but after his two goals in three games, you will struggle to find a football fan who wouldnt know who he is.

Nicklas Bendtner, for once, can shut up all the doubters who called him washed up prior to this tournament and he showed both Van Persie and Huntelaar how a lone striker is supposed to play. He had total of 2 goals and 1 assists.

Inspirational skipper Daniel Agger as he lead from the front and yesterday was a wall for German attack with 10 interceptions and eight clearances. That's 18 occasions in which Agger was in the right place at the right time to stop a German attack. No wonder why Liverpool fans rate him so highly.

 

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