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AC Milan at Euro 2012: Ibrahimovic and Montolivo impressed with their performances while Mexes was disappointing

AC Milan at Euro 2012: Ibrahimovic and Montolivo impressed with their performances while Mexes was disappointing

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A few Italian representatives from AC Milan were brilliant, but Philippe Mexes of France was the biggest disappointment of the lot. Goal.com's Adwait Bhattacharya analyzes..


DEFENDERS


Philippe Mexes | FRANCE


France

Goal.com Average Rating: (2.17)
Appearances: 3
Tackles: 4
 Clearances: 27
Blocks: 0

The Frenchman was a clear favourite of Laurent Blanc, and although he started clumsily in the game against England, Mexes clearly grew in confidence as the game progressed and was comfortable against Ukraine as well. However it all came crumbling down against Sweden, as the AC Milan defender mis-read several long balls and failed to hold the defensive line on occasions.

Picked up a booking to boot, which ruled him out from the crucial game against Spain. They were knocked out in the quarterfinal with a 2-0 scoreline which ended their miserable tournament.



Ignazio Abate | ITALY


Italy

Goal.com Average Rating: (2.50)
Appearances: 3
Tackles: 8
 Clearances: 7
Blocks: 0

The right wing back was left out in favour of Christian Maggio in the first two games, as the Napoli man was seen to be more suited to a 3-5-2, which his club side also employ. However when Cesare Prandelli switched to a back 4, Abate displaced Maggio from the side and had a decent outing against Republic of Ireland, although his usual attacking forays were not to be seen.

Against England in the quarter finals, Abate did more than enough to thwart the threat by Ashley Young on the wings and helped keep England at bay. An injury ruled him out of the semi-finals.

He was back for the finals against Spain and replaced Balzaretti at right back. He made few clearances and tackles on the night but his performance was well below par.


Milan


MIDFIELDERS


Antonio Nocerino | ITALY


Italy

Goal.com Average Rating: NA
Appearances: 0(2)
Passes: 29
Passing Accuracy: 96.9%
Passing Accuracy Opp. Half: 90%

Nocerino might have had a stellar season for the Rossoneri, but saw action worth all of 1 minute, as a late substitute against Spain, as Prandelli preferred Thiago Motta, Claudio Marchisio and Riccardo Montolivo over him as a box-to-box midfielder.

He got his second and the last chance of the tournament against England in the quarters as a substitute. He could not create much impact in the game except the last 90th minute shot on target that was saved by Joe Hart after a beautiful measured ball from Pirlo.



Riccardo Montolivo | ITALY


Italy

Goal.com Average Rating: (2.38)
Appearances: 4 (1)
Passes: 171
Passing Accuracy: 83.4%
Passing Accuracy Opp. Half: 78.32%

The Italian had been sitting on the bench for the majority of the Group Stages. He came in as a second half substitute against Croatia, but had next to no effect on the game, only managing to pick up a pointless booking and was on the pitch, as the opponents scored the equalizer. Patchy passing stats showed why he had been left out in the cold by Prandelli in the first three matches.

There on, he found a regular place in the starting line up with decent performances against England and Germany. Against Spain, he could not do much in the midfield attacking wise as Spain ran rampant.


Milan


FORWARDS


Zlatan Ibrahimovic | SWEDEN


Sweden

Goal.com Average Rating: (3.33)
Appearances: 3
Goals: 2
Total shots on target: 7
Total shots off target: 4

While Sweden have had a wretched campaign, Ibrahimovic himself, cannot be held too responsible for their early exit. He scored the opener in the 2-1 loss to Ukraine, and was a constant threat against the hosts as well as against England, where he always looked dangerous on the ball and caused several problems for John Terry and co. Having already been knocked out of the tournament before the last game, he helped inspire Sweden to a consolation victory against France as well, scoring a spectacular goal in the process.



Antonio Cassano | ITALY


Italy

Goal.com Average Rating: (3)
Appearances: 6
Goals: 1
Total shots on target: 7
Total shots off target: 9

He had been central to Italy’s attacking plans during the Championship, and had started all their six games. 

Possibly lacking in match fitness, after having been sidelined for a long period last season, Cassano improved as the tournament progressed but didnt often last the whole of the 90 minutes.

His partnership with Balotelli was a positive as they combined well especially against the English and the Germans. He did score a goal against the Republic of Ireland to seal their qualification into the knockout stages. In the final against Spain, he did test Casillas in the first half but was substituted in favour of Di Natale after the break.

 

 

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