EURO 2016, Italy v Republic Of Ireland, Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille, France

Italy 0 – 1 Republic Of Ireland

This was probably the best game we attended of the tournament but there was a problem. A massive storm was due to hit Lille just as the game was about to start so as a precaution the decision was made to close the roof. Of course the storm never hit, instead that appeared over London and the stadium became this massive sauna. Vinny was falling asleep, I was yawning like mad and eventually had to go get some air in the stadium concourse.

Ireland totally dominated a changed Italian team and deserved the win. Italy still had the quality to win this match but never really got out of second gear for longer than 30 seconds. When they did however they looked dangerous. Italy could win Euro 2016.

We had 2 spare tickets for this game and we managed to sell them to 2 Irish fans who decided the day before to travel over for the match, their plan was to watch it in some pub. I persuaded them to part with €160 euros and they joined us in the stands. They both agreed that they were glad I did as they really enjoyed the experience of the game. When they won they thanked and hugged us saying it was the best €80 they have ever spent.

Ireland progressed to the next round as the best place 3rd team.

Report: BBC

EURO 2016, Northern Ireland v Germany, Parc des Princes, Paris, France

Northern Ireland 0 – 1 Germany

Northern Ireland fans I applaud you. You were incredibly entertaining on the metro to the stadium, even more well behaved with your bottles of wine outside the stadium, and you stayed on mass at the final whistle, for almost an hour despite your loss singing Will Griggs on Fire.

The game, like all the ones we attended so far at Euro 2016 was average at best.

Report: BBC

EURO 2016, Slovakia v England, Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint Étienne, Loire, France

Slovakia 0 – 0 England

England absolutely dominated this game from start to finish but just couldn’t break down the Slovakians. I feel that we as a country have gone backwards during this tournament. England had a 100% perfect qualifying campaign winning every single match, yet we hit a major tournament and everything goes out the window and we fail to break down teams.

One thing which is good for LFC fans is that Adam Lallana has been Englands best player at Euro 2016 by a mile. I think Woy cocked up during this game, during the first part of the first half he dominated the left side of the pitch and easily had the pace on Martin Skrtel. Woy moved him more centrally and I felt we lost a big part of our game by doing this. Martin Skrtel eventually won Man of the Match.

Side note: The crowd was 85% England fans who were by far the loudest I’ve ever heard them.

Report: BBC

EURO 2016, Czech Republic v Croatia, Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint Étienne, Loire, France

Czech Republic 2-2 Croatia

So this was an interesting one… Initially we were sat in the lower tier behind the goal within the mixed section which was mainly filled with Croatia fans however we choose to move as it was getting ridiculously crowded there. This proved to be a wise move later on in the match.

The game itself was nothing special at all with both sets of fans behaving. Then something strange happened. 5 minutes before the end the French police lined the pitch in riot gear, why? no idea, there was nothing at all in the crowd to suggest this was needed, at all other games there has been stewards there with a massive rope, hardly threatening at all. Their presence changed the atmosphere and soon flares were raining down onto the pitch. At this point it was 2-1 to Croatia with 5 minutes to go and they were well in charge of the game, so pretty crazy. We took this cue to leave the ground and on doing so passed a line of riot police running to the ground.

A late penalty was scored by the Czech Republic which we missed.

Report: BBC

EURO 2016, Albania v Switzerland, Stade Félix Bollaert, Lens, France

Albania 0-1 Switzerland

The second game of the 2016 European Championship held in Lens, this Group A match wasn’t a classic encounter at all but was a good introduction to international tournament football for myself and Vinny who plan to do 7 games in the coming fortnight. We were in with the Albanian fans who were by far the majority within the ground which was a surprise. They were friendly enough to us but were a little racist from time to time, something you see unfortunately a lot at these international showcases it would seem.

Myself and Steve (who also joined) planned to travel over from London on the morning of the game where we would meet Vinny in Lille before travelling on. We only just made the 06:58 Eurostar mind you with the pair of us jumping the queue at security to get on the train moments before it left.

Goal Scorers:
Switzerland: Schär (5)

Report: BBC

FC Barcelona v RC Celta de Vigo, Estadi Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain

Last time I was here Barca scored 5 and Messi got a hat-trick.

This time Barca scored 6 and Suarez got a hat-trick, including the penalty-pass from Messi.

Points to remember:

  • We saw all of the front 3 score (Messi, Neymar & Suarez)
  • Messi is still amazing, every time there’s 3 players on him and they still struggle to stop him
  • Iniesta made the tackle of the season, which is odd as I didn’t think they knew how to tackle anymore in Spain
  • Luis Suarez, is still unreal, such quality a real shame he’s no longer a red
  • The Rakitic goal was a quality team goal with a great assist from Suarez

Goal Scorers:

  • FC Barcelona: Messi (28′ minutes), Suárez (59′ minutes, 75′ minutes, 81′ minutes), Rakitic (84′ minutes), Neymar (90’+1 minutes)
  • RC Celta de Vigo: Guidetti (39′ minutes pen)

Report: BBC
Highlights: Footytube