Saturday provided the perfect antidote for any sore heads following Friday night’s huge Battle of Britain between England and Scotland with three crackers across Group E and Group F, including a number of plucky performances, stylish comebacks and unforgettable moments. Oh, and Roberto Mancini compared Wales to Stoke City. Here are the big stories from day 10 of Euro 2020.
World Champions France Held Against Hungary
Tournament favourites France showed that nobody is safe at Euro 2020 as they were forced to come from behind to salvage a point against Group F’s supposed minnows Hungary in a 1-1 draw in Budapest.
Didier Deschamps' men dominated large portions of the match but the Hungarians showed they mean business in the so-called ‘group of death’ with a spirited performance that almost saw them snatch a famous victory. Attila Fiola sent more than 60,000 fans at the Ferenc Puskas stadium into unadulterated delirium on the stroke of half-time, and they led for nearly 30 minutes before France’s pressure eventually paid off as Hugo Lloris launched a long ball towards Kylian Mbappe who squared the ball towards Antoine Griezmann for the simplest of finishes.
France, after beating Germany in their opener, were, and still are, heavy favourites for the tournament but Hungary may have laid out the blueprint on how to beat and frustrate Les Bleus as we go forward.
Germany Turn It Up To Beat Portugal 4-2
After a limp opening performance against France, Germany showed why, even when they’re not at their best, they’re still considered one of the absolute giants of European football after coming from behind to claim a convincing 4-2 win over reigning European champions Portugal.
Die Mannschaft showed that big game experience was the key to victory with the likes of World Cup winners Manuel Neuer, Toni Kroos and Mats Hummels helping to dominate Portugal for the first hour and Joachim Low’s side thoroughly deserved the three points on the balance of play. Two own goals, along with strikes from Kai Havertz and Robin Gosens, saw the 2014 world champions turn around a 1-0 deficit after Cristiano Ronaldo had scored the opener.
With this win and France’s draw with Hungary earlier in the afternoon, Group F has been blown wide open going into the final round of fixtures.
Spain Fail To Impress Again As Poland Come From Behind
Spain’s Euro 2020 is in serious danger of ending in the group stages after Poland came from behind to salvage a precious point in Seville, courtesy of their talisman Robert Lewandowski.
After a goalless stalemate with Sweden in their Euro 2020 opener, La Roja have only amassed two points so far in this tournament and seem a far cry from the Spanish side that won back-to-back European Championships in 2008 and 2012. It’s also the first time Spain have failed to win their opening two games since Euro ‘96.
Luis Enrique’s men took the lead through Alvaro Morata in the first half but Lewandowski got his Euro’s goalscoring account up and running in the second with a sublime header. Sweden currently top the group on four points, followed by Slovakia in second with three points, Spain in third with two points and Poland at the bottom with the valuable point earned this evening. It’s definitely squeaky bum time in Group E.
Wales Are Like Stoke, Says Italy Boss Mancini
Wales face a stern test against Italy on Sunday evening but with four points from their opening two fixtures, and a place in the last 16 looking increasingly likely they will be a tough team for the Azzurri to break down. Some might even go as far to liken them to an international version of Stoke City, like Italy boss Roberto Mancini for example.
Mancini, who managed Manchester City between 2009 and 2013, and often went head-to-head with the Potters in the Premier League, believes weekend opponents Wales are very similar to the Staffordshire outfit.
"Stoke had a very tough style of play, they were a very tough nut to crack," Mancini told a news conference on Saturday.
"It will be a very difficult match from a physical perspective because they are a powerful side like Stoke, but they are also very technical... Wales have players like (Joe) Allen, (Gareth) Bale and (Daniel) James. They have got some quality and skillful players."