Breaking News: Manchester United skipper Bruno Fernandez RETIRES from international football today after France knockout Portugal from Euro 2024 tournament in penalties shootouts 

Breaking News: Manchester United skipper Bruno Fernandez RETIRES from international football today after France knockout Portugal from Euro 2024 tournament in penalties shootouts 

 

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16 minutes ago

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Portugal v France LIVE: Result and reaction as France end penalty shootout hoodoo

France 0-0 Portugal (5-3 on penalties): Didier Deschamps men advance and will face Spain in semi-finals

 

Chris Wilson

,

Richard Jolly

16 minutes ago

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French Fans React To Euro Penalty Shootout Win Paving Way To Semi-final

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France will take on Spain the semi-finals of Euro 2024 after clinching a penalty shootout victory over Portugal in their quarter-final clash in Hamburg.

 

That match was bereft of any attacking quality in the final third with both sides missing a plethora of chances as goalkeepers Mike Maignan and Diogo Costa proved their worth between the sticks. Maignan denying Bruno Fernandes and Vitinha from close range with Costa helping nullify the threat of Kylian Mbappe.

 

The teams could not be separated after 120 minutes and the match went down to a penalty shootout. Cristiano Ronaldo sank his first up for Portugal but the French were flawless. Joao Felix’s effort (third in the Portuguese line-up) struck the post to hand Les Bleus the advantage and a fabulous finish form Theo Hernandez sent them through as 5-3 winners.

 

Relive the action from Portugal v France with our live blog below:

 

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REPORT: Gifted Portugal dragged down by Ronaldo the anchor in underwhelming Euro 2024 exit

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93’ CLOSE! – Ronaldo fails to hit the target from Silva’s cutback (POR 0-0 FRA)

70’ CLOSE! – Camavinga drags an effort wide after good work from Dembele (POR 0-0 FRA)

66’ CLOSE! – Kolo Muani fires just wide after great block from Dias (POR 0-0 FRA)

63’ SHOT! – Vitinha cannons an effort against Maignan from close-range (POR 0-0 FRA)

61’ SAVE! – Maignan does well to get a hand to Fernandes’ low, driven effort (POR 0-0 FRA)

49’ SHOT! – Mbappe goes for goal from range but finds Costa (POR 0-0 FRA)

6 hours ago

Gifted Portugal dragged down by Ronaldo the anchor in underwhelming Euro 2024 exit

Six and out. Cristiano Ronaldo’s sixth and last European Championships came to an end as Portugal paid for an impotence that stemmed from affording their captain privileged status. They went out on penalties, Joao Felix rolling his spot kick against the foot of the post as everyone else scored, but after a second successive stalemate, after 364 minutes without scoring.

 

If it is an equally damning statistic that no France player has scored for them in open play this tournament, five did in a shootout. Diogo Costa had saved a trio of Slovenian spot kicks in the last 16 but Ousmane Dembele, Youssouf Fofana, Jules Kounde and Bradley Barcola all found the net, allowing Theo Hernandez to set up a superpower semi-final against Spain.

 

The ends can justify the means and for Didier Deschamps, dullness has brought a fourth semi-final in the last five major tournaments. In the process, France conquered a demon or two. Eliminated from Euro 2020 on penalties, losing the 2022 World Cup final in a shootout, France avoided an unwanted hat-trick. They also gained a modicum of revenge for their Euro 2016 final defeat to Portugal.

 

 

Gifted Portugal dragged down by Ronaldo the anchor in underwhelming Euro 2024 exit

Portugal 0-0 France (France win 5-3 on penalties): Ronaldo offered little despite his privileged status as undroppable and France ended their penalty hoodoo to squeak into the semi-finals

 

Chris Wilson5 July 2024 23:15

16 minutes ago

Gareth Southgate gives response to Jude Bellingham escaping ban for crotch grab

Gareth Southgate feels it is a “common-sense” decision not to suspend Jude Bellingham for his crotch-grabbing celebration against Slovakia and insisted the midfielder shows great maturity in how he reacts to his eventful life.

 

The midfielder was found guilty of “violating the basic rules of decent conduct” by Uefa and was fined €30,000 and given a one-match ban, which is suspended for a year, so he will be allowed to play in England football team’s Euro 2024 quarter-final against Switzerland on Saturday.

 

England manager Southgate feels the Real Madrid footballer would be a lesser player if he did not act with such emotion and believes Uefa were right not to opt for a more severe punishment.

 

He said: “I think it’s a common-sense decision. Clearly it’s an unprecedented moment in someone’s life to score a goal like that in the 96th minute. I don’t know how I’d have reacted in that moment if that was me, at his age as well.

 

 

Gareth Southgate gives response to Jude Bellingham escaping ban for crotch grab

Bellingham’s post-Slovakia celebration earned him a suspended one-game ban from Uefa and Southgate has backed his young midfielder

 

Chris Wilson6 July 2024 05:00

1 hour ago

Luke Shaw fit for England’s Euro 2024 quarter-final clash with Switzerland

England manager Gareth Southgate says Luke Shaw is available to start Saturday’s European Championship quarter-final against Switzerland.

 

The Euro 2020 final goalscorer was selected for the tournament in Germany despite being out since mid-February with hamstring issues.

 

Shaw was the only out-and-out left-back named in England’s 26-man squad, with Southgate admitting it was a calculated gamble on a player he had hoped would be available for the second group game.

 

The 28-year-old has yet to feature in Germany and was an unused substitute in last weekend’s 2-1 extra-time win over Slovakia, but the Manchester United full-back could make his long-awaited return against Switzerland.

 

 

Southgate offers Shaw injury update and explains how he can still impact Euro 2024

The left-back has yet to feature for a single minute in Germany

 

Chris Wilson6 July 2024 04:00

2 hours ago

Harry Kane believes ‘best present’ for Gareth Southgate would be England win

England captain Harry Kane insists the players want to celebrate Gareth Southgate’s 100th game in charge by giving him the perfect gift – victory over Switzerland and a place in the Euro 2024 semi-finals.

 

Southgate will become just the third coach to reach a century of matches in charge of the England men’s senior team when they meet Switzerland in Dusseldorf on Saturday evening.

 

He was appointed – initially on an interim basis – in 2016 and this is the fourth major tournament in which Southgate has led the nation having previously reached the 2018 World Cup semi-finals before losing the Euro 2020 final on penalties to Italy.

 

 

Harry Kane believes ‘best present’ for Gareth Southgate would be England win

Southgate will become just the third coach to reach a century of matches in charge when he faces Switzerland on Saturday.

 

Chris Wilson6 July 2024 03:00

3 hours ago

Landmark 100th match ‘last thing’ on Gareth Southgate mind before Swiss showdown

Gareth Southgate dismissed talk of England having an easy draw as misplaced “entitlement” as he focuses on reaching another European Championship semi-final in his 100th match in charge.

 

All eyes will be on Dusseldorf on Saturday as the Euro 2020 runners-up look to beat Switzerland and kick on from unconvincingly topping their group and last week’s great escape against Slovakia.

 

Southgate was seconds away from his eight-year reign ending in humiliation, only for Jude Bellingham’s overhead kick to save the day before Harry Kane’s extra-time header secured a 2-1 last-16 win.

 

 

Landmark 100th match ‘last thing’ on Gareth Southgate mind before Swiss showdown

All eyes will be on Dusseldorf on Saturday when England play Switzerland.

 

Chris Wilson6 July 2024 02:00

4 hours ago

The Arsenal battle of old and new that will decide England v Switzerland at Euro 2024

Like too many of his international teammates, Declan Rice has not been at his very best level at Euro 2024. Too few times has he been able to surge forward in possession. He’s winning fewer duels per 90 minutes, has been successful in fewer aerial challenges and has been dispossessed more often in Germany than he did during the Premier League season with Arsenal.

 

Of course, there’s another difference, too, which makes the above comparisons both eye-opening and irrelevant all at once: he’s not playing the same role for England as he does for the Gunners, so why would he achieve the same things?

 

Indeed, that seems to be a theme this summer in the Three Lions’ camp. Kieran Trippier and Trent Alexander-Arnold were both right-back all year for their clubs, if in different ways. Neither are with England. Phil Foden is playing on the opposite flank. Ezri Konsa’s only minutes so far have come in the one back line position he doesnt play. And Rice, well, Rice’s position is still central midfield, but he’s operating under very different roles and instructions and instead of a safety net behind him, he largely is the safety net.

 

While there shouldn’t really at this stage be too much discussion about players not being able to operate outside of a single method or in a single area of the pitch, it does give rise to a series of questions including why some are picked, others aren’t and a particular system utilised if it’s not getting the best out of any of them.

 

 

The Arsenal battle of old and new that will decide England v Switzerland

Declan Rice hasn’t performed to his best but might hold the key to the Three Lions standing firm against Switzerland

 

Chris Wilson6 July 2024 01:00

4 hours ago

Sorry Toni Kroos – even legends don’t always get their dream farewell

And just like that, the light goes out, the curtain comes down, the show is over. Not just of Germany on home soil at Euro 2024, but of one of their greatest stars in modern history and one of the defining midfielders of a generation.

 

Toni Kroos bowed out of the club game with a Champions League winner’s medal and a performance to match the prestige of the occasion; his very last appearance came at international level though, where even he, the great pass-master of die Mannschaft, was unable to match the poise, the possession and most importantly the penetration of Spain.

 

There has been some surprise as the tournament has progressed over Kroos’ decision, of course. He starred in the group stage, head and shoulders above the rest on more than one occasion.

 

At 34 he’s not exactly beyond use either, having just enjoyed another tremendous campaign with Real Madrid and having been lured out of international retirement by Julian Nagelsmann, precisely to play this vital role.

 

But there will be no final this time, no dream farewell scenario. Kroos’ 114th cap is his last, and unfortunately for Germany, among his least effective.

 

 

Sorry Toni Kroos – even legends don’t always get their dream farewell

The iconic midfielder retires as a Champions League winner – but not a European Championship one

 

Chris Wilson6 July 2024 00:30

5 hours ago

Spain v Germany player ratings: Dani Olmo shines as hosts dramatically dumped out of Euro 2024

And here are the player ratings from the earlier game…

 

Spain beat Germany in a thrilling contest in Stuttgart that ended 2-1 after extra-time, thanks to a 119th-minute Mikel Merino header.

 

The first half was dominated by fouls and bookings more than free-flowing attacking football, with Kai Havertz scuffing the best chance of the half as Pedri was forced off due to injury and three players received yellow cards (with Toni Kroos somehow escaping one too).

 

But the second half was a far more exciting affair, not least after great work from Lamine Yamal set up Dani Olmo to sweep the ball past Manuel Neuer on 51 minutes. That goal injected life into the contest, with Germany growing into the game and both teams having chances.

 

The hosts looked like they were exiting the competition until Florian Wirtz crashed a half-volley against the post and into the Spanish net, and the so-called ‘real final’ was suddenly heading to extra-time.

 

Both sides traded blows in the last 30 minutes, with neither managing to gain the upper hand in attack, before Carvajal played a lovely switch across the pitch and the ball ended up with Olmo. He played an inviting cross to the near post and Merino was there to guide a lovely header home and take Spain to the semi-finals.

 

But how did each player perform? Here are The Independent’s player ratings:

 

 

Spain v Germany player ratings as hosts dumped out of Euro 2024

Spain 2-1 Germany (aet): La Roja send the hosts packing from Euro 2024 after an enthralling encounter in Stuttgart

 

Chris Wilson6 July 2024 00:00

5 hours ago

Spain break Germany hearts but dramatic Euro 2024 win may come at great cost

There’s no second summer fairytale for Germany, as it’s instead Spainwho have the happy ending. For now. Mikel Merino ensured they rose above it all, with a brilliant header in the 119th minute. The big question as to whether they go and actually win Euro 2024 is what the cost of this 2-1 victory over the hosts will be. Toni Kroos didn’t get his grand farewell, either, as he instead contributed to a match that often turned ugly.

 

That meant that it didn’t quite become the game of the tournament in the manner anticipated but it was thoroughly absorbing, right until the death. And that was very, very late. It is easy to see why games like this can prevent teams from becoming champions, because of the gruelling physical and psychological cost. Spain now have Alvaro Morata and the red-carded Dani Carvajal suspended for the semi-final, with Pedri looking like he might be out injured – maybe for the summer. He was the victim of an abrasive challenge from Kroos in the opening minute, that very much set a tone.

 

Through that, Spain displayed another quality in a European Championships when they have already shown so many. They were the picture of perseverance. That wasn’t just because of what a gallant German team put them through but what they put themselves through.

 

 

Spain break Germany hearts but dramatic Euro 2024 win may come at great cost

Spain 2-1 Germany (aet): Mikel Merino 119th-minute winner sent the hosts packing as Spain march into the semi-finals but new questions are now posed

 

Chris Wilson5 July 2024 23:45

5 hours ago

Gareth Southgate faces Euro 2024 dilemma that will define England legacy

A brief preview of the England game tomorrow, before we reflect on the other result from today…

 

In the final hours before England’s Euro 2024 quarter-final, there was one last decision playing on Gareth Southgate’s mind. The manager has been working on a back three for a lot of this week, but now has Luke Shawready and willing to play. While Southgate admitted they have to make “a decision regarding match sharpness and how quickly you can adjust back into that intensity of the cauldron of the tournament”, it might also bring a decision about formation.

 

Shaw at left-back would mean the manager’s initial 4-2-3-1, in the manner he actually wanted to play it, and the presence of an actual left-footer in the role could make a big difference.

 

Decisiveness may be all the more important here, since England have largely muddled through a tournament with a lot of clouded thinking to get this far.

 

Southgate himself played down the relevance of formation, pointing to the flexibility within games and how “you build with a four, you defend with a five”. That may have been a further attempt to cloud things for everyone else, especially given the manager’s aggravation this week at leaks about the work on a three-man defence. His comments on Shaw and formation create that bit more confusion.

 

There may be more to that than just mind games since Switzerlandmanager Murat Yakin was clear on how important he sees formations after their last-16 win over Italy.

 

 

Gareth Southgate faces Euro 2024 dilemma that will define England legacy

Impressive Switzerland will provide a unique quarter-final challenge, and Southgate must address what might be the biggest question of his England reign

 

Chris Wilson5 July 2024 23:30

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More aboutPortugal FootballFrance FootballEuro 2024Didier DeschampsKylian MbappeCristiano Ronaldo

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