• FT

    Italy

    1

    Croatia

    1

  • FT

    Spain

    4

    Rep of Ire

    0

EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP

Arena Gdansk, Poland

Attendance: 36572

* Local time based on your geographic location.

Spain

  • Fernando Torres 4'
  • David Silva 49'
  • Fernando Torres 70'
  • Cesc Fábregas 82'

4 - 0

FT

Watch Live on: ESPN2, ESPNDeportes, ESPN3.com
  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Thanks, kids.

  •  

    James Tyler: Sweden

  •  

    James Tyler: versus

  •  

    James Tyler: England

  •  

    James Tyler: 2.15pm ET

  •  

    James Tyler: Join us all TOMORROW

  •  

    James Tyler: Leander!!!! The best around.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Thanks for joining us!

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: On that note.

  •  

    [Comment from Charlie]
    Leander, I think they are singing "At Least We're Not the Dutch"

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: Who wants to play for Spain on Monday? Hop on a plane. Del Bosque will hold auditions in Wroclaw town square.

  •  

    [Comment from Charlie]
    And then there were 15....

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: What's the song about? How does it go?

  •  

    James Tyler: Oh. It is. Has been since the 4th minute, really.

  •  

    [Comment from Scouser]
    Fields of Athenry

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Even though they're the first team eliminated from this tournament.

  •  

    James Tyler: They think it's all over...

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: The Irish keep singing anyway.

  •  

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Final whistle.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: What are they singing? Can anybody tell?

  •  

    James Tyler: Exactly, Rog. Great minds. In full voice no matter what. They'd be singing that loud if it was 10-0

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Irish fans. Are there any finer. Really moving listening to them. The beauty of football

  •  

    James Tyler: The volume of proud singing is impressive. Irish fans, I think. Full credit to 'em.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: It's 11 alright. It's OK, you couldn't see through the smoke in your car.

  •  

    James Tyler: Is that even 11 names? I don't even know. Del Bosque might field a starting 8.

  •  

    James Tyler: So, Del Bosque's team sheet for Croatia: Sergio Ramos; Arbeloa, Llorente, Javi Martinez, Jordi Alba; Cesc Fabregas, Fernando Torres; Navas, Sanri Cazorla; Del Bosque

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Half-assed tap. Half-assed tap. Half-assed tap.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Yes.

  •  

    [Comment from Austria]
    Is the game that boring now?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: 91st minute. (Ignoring the aforementioned.)

  •  

    James Tyler: (gets back in flaming, crashed car)

  •  

    James Tyler: Leander, I know we're friends but it's much too early for that.

  •  

    James Tyler: (car explodes into flames)

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Drat.

  •  

    James Tyler: (gets in car)
    (drives off cliff)

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: (Kicks him in the backside.)

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: (Leander gives him in the backside as he goes.)

  •  

    James Tyler: (hands in live chat keys)
    (leaves through side door)

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Spain isn't on six points. They're on four,  they tied Italy.

  •  

    James Tyler: WHOOPS. Stand down, America. I am wrong.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: I wonder what the German coaching staff see when they watch this game?

  •  

    James Tyler: Richard: they're on 6 pts. Only Croatia can pass them for Group C qualification.

  •  

    [Comment from Mike]
    "Casillas later." - Spain to Ireland

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Hey, now. Genk is the finest former carbon-mining town in East Flanders!

  •  

    [Comment from GFOP Mike]
    Rog. Can't it be both?

  •  

    [Comment from Richard]
    I don't understand, Spain hasn't qualified for anything yet

  •  

    Roger Bennett: The big question: Are Spain really looking good or is this just a matter of Ireland playing like Genk?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: D'oh!

  •  

    [Comment from Jan]
    Do you have "Tap. Tap. Tap" control-ced on your keyboard now Leander?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: 88th minute.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: I don't know how. I'm not all pro like you.

  •  

    James Tyler: Ole ole ole ole

  •  

    James Tyler: Leander, you can always flow the Twitter feeds in!!!

  •  

    Roger Bennett: What fo we learn from this game? That the best of Real and Barca trumps the finest squad players from West Brom and Wolves.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: As Rog said on Twitter -- because he won't share his best stuff with us on here -- they could break out the rare False One.

  •  

    James Tyler: This Croatia game ought to be fun. I reckon Sergio Ramos plays in goal, Cesc as left-back, Fernando Torres in defensive midfield. What say you, Del Bosque?

  •  

    [Comment from Jim]
    The Irish have reached their Pique... Alba over now

  •  

    [Comment from PeterG]
    Fabregas is fine / scores a goal as the false nine / Next game's Torres' time.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Tap. Tap. Supposed handball by Pique. Tap. Tap.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Tap. Tap. Tap.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Good tackle by McGeady. Corner.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: 84th minute.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Your TV has rediscovered its interest, Ravi?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: A few torreador moves to celebrate.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Found the space between Andrews and Given.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Should have been marked properly.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Short corner, evades a man, hammers it off the far post.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: With an almight thunk!

  •  

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Rocket.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: FABREGAS!

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: GOAL!!!

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Arbeloa on the right, square for Cazorla, curles it at far low corner, Given saves well.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Tap. Tap. Tap.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Thank you for accenting that properly. We're friends again.

  •  

    [Comment from Andrew]
    Touché :)

  •  

    [Comment from ToddInTheShadows]
    Hmm... need a pun for "Green" that relates to Ireland... nope, not coming up with anything

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Joke's on you. They already have!

  •  

    [Comment from Andrew]
    Keep hating Leander, have fun watching the Dutch crash out!

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Paul Green on for Ireland.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Cazorla one of those players who would have a glittering international career if he'd been born somewhere else but is instead buried six spots down the depth chart for Spain.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: The Spanish fans bow in appreciation.

  •  

    James Tyler: I'm excited to see the Spanish second XI against Croatia.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Iniesta is off for Santi Cazorla.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Tap. Tap. Tap. Long ball. Martinez offside.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Pique with a nice dribbling run in his own box.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: 79th minute.

  •  

    [Comment from PeterG]
    James on to McClean up the score line... I Duff my cap to Damian.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: The binkie did its job.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Xavi curls it over.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Given is clutching his security blanket as Spain gets ready for free kick.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: A good last 15 minutes for McClean and he can help his chances of trying to land in the starting lineup against Italy.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: And he shall henceforth be known as SuperPundit.

  •  

    [Comment from Charlie]
    Oh my god! James McClean looks like a cross between Michel Ballack and Alexi Lalas!

  •  

    Roger Bennett: McClean on. And the figthback begins...

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Finally.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Duff off for James McClean.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: So is my TV. It just konked out.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Tap. Tap. Etc.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Getting a bit bored of this game now.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: 75th minute.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Keane with the shot, saved well by Casillas!

  •  

    [Comment from Alex]
    Now a proper striker is on!

  •  

    James Tyler: Right thing for Del Bosque to do: Let Torres get that applause. Forget about the hat-trick. He needs to hear the roar of the crowd. Or in this case, the mild cheering drowned out by wolf-whistles.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Fabregas is on.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: And use up his entire allotment for the year.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Don't want him getting carried away and scoring five.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Torres comes off.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Hard to say. Germany faced a proper team.

  •  

    [Comment from stretch]
    Better team: Germany or Spain?

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: The Irish will still have something to say about the group, though. Trap and the players will be up for it when facing Italy.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Poor Cesc

  •  

    Roger Bennett: he also scored a bunch against Genk this season didn't he?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Iniesta and Silva combined to win the ball and sprung Torres, who finished cleanly one-on-one with Given.

  •  

    James Tyler: MUCK OF THE IRISH

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: The ultimate humiliation.

  •  

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: GOAL!!

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Torres with a second!

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Yes. Cant wait for the Spain to take on Ireland at the European Shinty championships in July. Going to get tasty

  •  

    [Comment from Rugger]
    Are those like Aussie Rules posts Rog?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: He is their daddy.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Too soon?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: I thought Thierry Henry would.

  •  

    [Comment from Aaron]
    UEFA can take the Irish out for pizza and ice cream after the game.

  •  

    [Comment from PeterG]
    Exactly, Leander, this isn't Ultimate Frisbee.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: 68th minute.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Yes. Mike R. They should have asked UEFA to play with Hurling posts. Could get a point for knocking it between the uprights

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: That's like a participation or sportsmanship award, those don't really count.

  •  

    [Comment from Mike R.]
    Ireland should get half a goal just for putting a good effort together.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Ward with a great tackle on Torres, who would have been in on goal.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Duff with the corner. Foul commited. Free kick to Spain.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: McGeady gets a cross in and Ramos has to head behind.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: 't Is a very handsome attack!

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Ireland on the breakaway.

  •  

    [Comment from PeterG]
    Rog, didn't we see that in the Champions League final... and semi-final... and really every win Chelsea's had this spring?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: After the dip, of course.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: I shall self-administer a good flogging after this game.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: I mean Markie Mark Alonso. Dang. Screwed that up.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: This is like watching the 1970s play 2012

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Markie Mark Wahlberg is off for Javi Martinez.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Was that Keith Andrews trying to be like the Spanish?

  •  

    James Tyler: I like Jon Walters. He's trying, bless.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: McGeady, shot blocked. Andrews in the box but Spain clears.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Real Salt Lake's or Spain's?

  •  

    [Comment from Bill Nye]
    All Keane is going to see in his nightsmares are red jerseys, red jerseys everywhere.

  •  

    [Comment from ToddInTheShadows]
    That's definitely a Long shot, DW.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: To reiterate, at this Euro head-to-head is counted before goal difference.

  •  

    [Comment from bam bam]
    i think spain wants/needs a third to help on goal differential

  •  

    [Comment from DW]
    surely Ireland must "Long" for a goal right now

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Ball pings around a bit in the box, Busquets eventually hits it wide.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Is it only the 60th minute? This game is dragging on. An air of predictability since the first minute.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Silva again dances to the back line, earns a corner.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: I'm gonna kill Rog for turning the entire discourse on this Euro towards hair.

  •  

    [Comment from Charlie]
    David Silva has sneaky nice hair. It bounces wondrously after a goal....and in slow motion.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Silva cuts inside, feeds Torres, who is well defended.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: 60 minutes up.

  •  

    [Comment from CB]
    Has Pique ever scored a PK?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: That's a pretty nice summary of this game, isn't it?

  •  

    [Comment from Austin]
    Irish are going to lose, but Given still deserves man of the match.

  •  

    [Comment from Jim]
    ESPN Gamecast shows he saved 10 of 12 shots on target... Still impressive

  •  

    [Comment from A]
    Can we safely mock people who were talking up the possibility of Ireland advancing now?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: We have a winner.

  •  

    [Comment from mikeandike]
    It doesn't Mata, given they're up 2-0, the Spanish are pushing Forde and are Keane on keeping their foot on the Fabregas until the game's Dunne...

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Missed it. Was reading comments. But believe it!

  •  

    [Comment from Bobby T.]
    Did that stat just say Given has saved 13 of 15 shots on target? Impressive.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Regular service resumed, as Jeff Carlisle would say.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Iniesta with a deft ball for Torres, who was offside and fluffed the chance anyway.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Fair point.

  •  

    [Comment from Jim]
    They've also NOT blocked a LOT of Spanish shots

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Irish lose the ball.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Irish on the ball.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: No, but appreciate the effort!

  •  

    [Comment from Bill Nye]
    Irish i believe are in's pain. Did i do that right?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Irish, to their credit, have blocked a LOT of Spanish shots.

  •  

    [Comment from GreatGooglyMoogly]
    O'Shea can't you see?

  •  

    [Comment from Charlie]
    How long is Shay Given's right arm?!?!?

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: So, Ireland on course to be the first team eliminated.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Fat chance for Spain.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Overlap on the right, Arbeloa cuts it back, Given with magnificent save on Xavi, I believe.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Spain of course!

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Marvelous save!

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: On the pitch.

  •  

    [Comment from CB]
    On the pitch or the puns, Ravi?

  •  

    [Comment from Brad]
    It doesn't look like the Irish are particularly Keane on scoring...

  •  

    [Comment from Scouser]
    Let's just hope they don't get Mcgeady...

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Claim your credit at the window.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: I can't find the comment anymore, but somebody said, "You don't O'Shea"

  •  

    [Comment from DW]
    spain is really free-"whelan" now

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Yellow now for Alonso. Bit harsh. Standard, routine tackle.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: It confuses them.

  •  

    [Comment from Bill Nye]
    Irish get ball then kick it back

  •  

    [Comment from Nicklas Bendtner]
    I came back from a 2-0 deficit by myself

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Tap. Pass. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. (Description written to scale, does not reflect actualy number of taps.)

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Enforce the mercy rule.

  •  

    [Comment from Chicagooner]
    Anyone else think Ireland is well and truly Dunne now?

  •  

    [Comment from CB]
    The Irish are having a possession famine.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: "It's amazing over there. I'd love to go back there some day," Robbie Keane doesn't say.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: OMG, was that a bad pass by Xavi?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Irish out of Spanish territory.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: 51st minute. Irish in Spanish territory.

  •  

    [Comment from PeterG]
    Things we've learned today: Spain has some good players who don't play for Barcelona.

  •  

    [Comment from Jack]
    Breaks 2 ankles, and megs the other defender

  •  

    [Comment from mikeandike]
    on a Silva platter

  •  

    [Comment from Jan]
    I like how the Irish defender just fell over right before that goal.

  •  

    [Comment from Austin]
    Couldn't walk it in, went for the next best thing and passed it in

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Not good keeping there, imo, from Given. Punch went straight into the danger zone.

  •  

    [Comment from Brain]
    Man City again!!!

  •  

    [Comment from Travis]
    That was one of the most softest finishes I've ever seen

  •  

    [Comment from Grant]
    Dunne lost his powers for a brief second

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Deeply impressive goal.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Inista with a shot, Given punched it away, Silva cut inside, outside, inside, then rolled it into the corner.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: So much time he had on the ball.

  •  

    [Comment from Jack]
    Also David Silva just embarrassed the entire Irish defense

  •  

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Silva!

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: SPAIN!

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: GOAL!!!

  •  

    [Comment from Jason Argonut]
    Oh, so THAT's the tap-tap-tap to which you refer!

  •  

    [Comment from Pirloette]
    WHAT A BALL FROM XAVI THERE! WOW!

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Shay is Given to make serious saves.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Given with a good save! Arbeloa tries again but can't control it!

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: You're a pro.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: A proper live blogger never stops typing.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: They hear it's pretty there.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Between types. Doable. Sandwich.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Ireland yet to set foot in Spanish half.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: When, Ravi? I'm doing quite a lot of live blogging at the moment.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: I think in this first minute of the second half alone, Spain has had 28.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Leander, eat, man!

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: 177 Spanish touches in the final third. 28 to Ireland.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: *Tummy rumbles*

  •  

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: We're off again.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Enlightening.

  •  

    [Comment from mikeandike]
    Chicken Kiev is from Kiev, but invented by a foreign chef, just like the "Russian salad" is known locally as Salat Olivier- a french guy brought it over

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: No, actually from here. Not sure if I've tasted the authentic version, but no matter, hit the spot.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Walters is coming on for Ireland in place of Cox.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Or Pennsylvania Dutch?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Or Dutch oven?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Or French fries?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Is it one of those things like Bolognese sauce, that's not actually from there?

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Only had two chicken kievs so far.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Oh dear...

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Now I'm thinking about that cream cheese dip in the fridge.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Guys, I was hungry enough as it was.

  •  

    [Comment from Alex]
    Oh god pierogies are sooooooooooooooo good.

  •  

    [Comment from GBK]
    Since when is England losing a shock?

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Well, given I'm in Ukraine, I'll go with pierogies. Yummy.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Brie is sticky though.

  •  

    [Comment from Jason]
    @Ravi, what's up for snacks?

  •  

    [Comment from mikeandike]
    Yarmolenko and Konoplyanka slice through French defense like a hot knife through Brie

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: And if he hadn't appealed his ban, he would have missed that one too, sandy.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: No, back for Ukraine.

  •  

    [Comment from sandy]
    Is Rooney back for the game tomorrow?

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Then he has his days wrong! They play Sunday.

  •  

    [Comment from Charlie]
    Bendtner thinks that Denmark will win tomorrow

  •  

    [Comment from bam bam]
    For all of Spain's possession only 1 goal is underwhelming

  •  

    [Comment from Pat]
    UKR shocks the commenters. England lose.

  •  

    [Comment from Scouser]
    Unless Shevchenko goes off again.

  •  

    [Comment from Matt]
    I will buck the world.. both Sweden and Ukraine will win

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Wow, that would be a shock indeed.

  •  

    [Comment from Charlie]
    England wins, Ukraine shocks France

  •  

    [Comment from GFOP Mike]
    England and France win

  •  

    [Comment from Misty]
    Sweden beats England 2-1. Ukraine and France tie 1-1.

  •  

    [Comment from Gayatri]
    Group D=Dull. Ukraine is the only interesting team in the whole group.

  •  

    [Comment from Ben]
    Torres scores a goal / Chelsea fans awonderin' / Where was that all year?

  •  

    [Comment from Blazer Patch]
    Spain taps Ireland / Ireland loses bravely / Fans party no less

  •  

    [Comment from Rob Roy]
    England 2-1, France 2-0

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: That's what I would go with.

  •  

    [Comment from Scouser]
    England and Sweden draw. France beats a brave Ukraine.

  •  

    [Comment from Alex]
    France wins, sweden england probably tie

  •  

    [Comment from Steve]
    England and Sweden will draw; France will win by two goals

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Touche.

  •  

    [Comment from Greg]
    The team that wins.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Who gets points tomorrow in England-Sweden, Ukraine-France?

  •  

    [Comment from Misty]
    Irish show deep heart / one nil too precarious / Dunne hero. Score Spain score

  •  

    [Comment from PeterG]
    If these were Gooners / They'd tap tap tap until / They walked into goal.

  •  

    [Comment from CB]
    The Irish are screwed / Will be done after next match / Like English and Dutch

  •  

    [Comment from Pog]
    While Leander pees / ballack and Lalas tussle / Bob Ley oozes joy

  •  

    [Comment from Alex]
    Shay Given works hard / Get the man a bloody glass / Of Jameson whiskey

  •  

    [Comment from Travis]
    tap tap tap tap tap/tap tap tap tap tap tap tap/tap tap tap tap goal

  •  

    [Comment from Rob Roy]
    Irish under siege / good thing nothing is Given / give him a Guinness!

  •  

    [Comment from slim]
    Lonely Robbie Keane / Please... someone help in attack / Ireland get shut out

  •  

    [Comment from Haiku]
    Tiki taka shot / tiki taka tiki shot / tiki taka goal.

  •  

    [Comment from PeterG]
    I can't see the game / But with "tap tap tap tap tap" / I feel like I'm there.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Ireland players have two options usually. Play negative until it gets to Given, or hoof it long. Tough way to play.

  •  

    [Comment from DW]
    Spain not finishing/close games favor underdogs/still, I think Spain wins

  •  

    [Comment from Greg]
    Just One Spanish Goal. It is our hero Torres. Must be a typo.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Could have been a lot worse for Ireland after conceding that early goal. They won't be too disheartened only down by a goal. But how fit will they be in the second half?

  •  

    James Tyler: Just, wow. The Irish outfield players need a pint or three of whatever Shay Given's having.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: I pee; you haiku.

  •  

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: And that's half-time.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Iniesta on the half-volley! Given taps it over.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Good yellow. Took one for the team.

  •  

    James Tyler: Glenn Whelan bringing some Stoke to Silva, there. A gift from Tony Pulis.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Silva brought down on the run on Spanish breakaway. Yellow for Whelan.

  •  

    [Comment from Sputnik]
    Given may have to ice his whole body after this game

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Keane gets a shot off in the box, but it's blocked by Pique.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: You know, you would have thought Spain would have put this game away by now. But Ireland is showing a real talent for hanging around in spite of being utterly dominated.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Given punches, Alonso's effort is wide.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: 45th minute.

  •  

    James Tyler: Robbie Keane is typically ghostly today.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Corner now to Spain.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Those English and their Dunne.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Sir Ian gives him a little love too.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Xavi's shot blucked by Dunne!

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: I wonder how much of this lop-sided effort is Spain rounding into form and how much of it is Ireland's almost total lack of talent.

  •  

    James Tyler: Gerard Pique could take a nap on the grass at this rate.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Can Given hold the ball for a little longer...let's say, 40 minutes?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Xavi with a shot after nice pass from Silva. Easy for Given.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Iniesta returned to his second home: the ground.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Now Busquets finds Torres very deep again and does try to lob it but Given catches it easily.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Iniesta found Torres in space, demurred on lobbing Given and hits it square, where the attack dies. Should probably have shot.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Duff and Warne now with a run up the left. Lose it but Cox recovers. Spain clears eventually.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Taptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptap

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Good Irish resistance now. Keep it tight for 80 minutes, 1-0, and then bring on McClean and let loose. Well, that's the plan.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Seeing as it's a U-23 tournament: very.

  •  

    [Comment from Brian]
    How different will the Spanish roster be at the Olympics?

  •  

    [Comment from Scouser]
    Hard to pass when you're being tackled by the ref.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: The Irish sing better than they pass.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: 37th minute.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Does anybo...

    What?

    Coming!

  •  

    [Comment from Mark]
    Obviously, the ref doesn't like Irish people...

  •  

    [Comment from Rex]
    lol ref set a pick for the spanish

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Keane now gets a yellow for bringing down Iniesta.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Corner is cleared, Spain recovers.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: As if Spain needed any help, the ref knocked over the Irishman on the ball and Xavi picked it up.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Unless they've become bilingual, it's indeed different.
    Speaking of commentators, Chris Waddle was on the plane from Kharkiv to Kiev today.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Spain wins a corner.

  •  

    [Comment from bobo]
    tevez and the hulk ( the older one , Lou Ferrigno)>

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: I don't think we have the same one, Ravi. Here in America we've got Sir Ian  and Stevie Mac on the call.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: So many Ireland passes are negative. The ones they do play forward are usually picked off. Tough bind.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Does this commentator know he's on air? He's sniffing and coughing without switching off his microphone.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Some of it even by Ireland!

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Moving on. All kinds of football going on now.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Bit of a stretch there.

  •  

    [Comment from mikeandike]
    Xavi and De Niro

  •  

    [Comment from The Likely Lad]
    Torres today is like his doppelganger Lindsay Lohan driving round Malibu, a threat at every turn!

  •  

    [Comment from HarryPotter]
    Buffon looks like Lord Voldemort, but with hair and a nose ofcourse.

  •  

    [Comment from PeterG]
    Tap tap tap tap tap tap.... I think you've got the play by play covered.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Actually...

  •  

    [Comment from Jan]
    You're here for the color, not the play by play Leander.

  •  

    [Comment from TheghostofFernando]
    Pique and Chuck Norris?

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: I swear my uncle looks like SAF. And I tell him about it all the time.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Torres wins the ball in box but had knocked somebody over. You can see the confidence oozing out of him all of a sudden.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: 31st minute already! This game is flying by. Maybe I should do some more actual play-by-play.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Pique and Busquets try to tap their way into the Irish box but it's cleared well.

  •  

    [Comment from PeterG]
    If Ireland are the Washington Generals does that make Carlos Puyol, Curly Joe?

  •  

    [Comment from juan doe]
    Arjen Robben and Bruce Willis?

  •  

    [Comment from Jan]
    Nick Collison (of the OKC Thunder) and Jake Gyllenhall

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Ireland getting a little smarter about setting up their line.

  •  

    James Tyler: He might... for the shopping and restaurants.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: A few offsides calls on Spain here.

  •  

    [Comment from Stoyanov]
    Is there any chance Villas-Boas will go to Tottenham?

  •  

    [Comment from Dave]
    David Silva resembles Ratatouille

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Villas-Boas and Juan Mata!

  •  

    James Tyler: Now now, TLL. The Generals scored plenty.

  •  

    [Comment from The Likely Lad]
    Ireland has a serious Washington Generals vibe to them today.

  •  

    [Comment from Kira]
    I've been hung up on Jelavic's resemblance to Ovechkin

  •  

    James Tyler: Andre Villas-Boas looks like famous golfer Nick Faldo.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: I second that, Leander and RVP.
    Here's one: Andy Carroll and Marat Safin.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Ireland looking brighter now they are adapting to realization passes can be less than 50 yards long

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Seriously, dead ringer.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Alonso and Wahlberg!

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Leander looks like Robin van Persie.

    Wait, who said that?

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Pirlo and Wahlberg? Leander, you kidding?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Over on the field, Ireland is full of good intentions but devoid of the skill to execute them against a foe as formidable as Spain.

  •  

    James Tyler: Daniele De Rossi looks like Charlie Day.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: That's an awful thing to say about someone. How dare you besmirch his good name like that?

  •  

    [Comment from mikeandike]
    LS-no, but Buffon resembles Nicholas Cage

  •  

    [Comment from juan doe]
    Clearly Pirlo. That mop on his head is fabulous

  •  

    [Comment from Charlie]
    Spain: "How shall we embarrass the Irish today?" Pique: "Let me score"

  •  

    [Comment from Grant]
    Pirlo, better hair

  •  

    [Comment from Mike R.]
    But Ravi, does any other team in the Euros have an MLS CHAMPION besides Ireland?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Answer: does Pirlo resemble Mark Wahlberg?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: He was disconcertingly open though.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Question: who is suaver? Pirlo or Alonso?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Pique heads it well wide.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Corner taken short and played to Xabi Alonso, who sends an absolute laser. A minor touch from Keane makes it another corner.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: One of many now.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Hell of an attack.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Alba now on a run into the box, his cross finds Silva's head but his diving effort is deflected over.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Wow, that's a great effort.

  •  

    [Comment from Scouser]
    Spain was "Given" the game because Ireland was "Keane" on "Aiden" the Spanish efforts to push the "Ledger". One "Ward": "Duff"ers.

  •  

    James Tyler: I feel bad for Robbie Keane as this kind of early-game humiliation was definitely not a childhood dream of his.

  •  

    [Comment from Jeremy]
    JT - Ireland is legally required to start any eligible player with a last name as Irish as O'Shea.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Now Iniesta with the shot, but Given batts it away.

  •  

    James Tyler: See! Leander does jokes too. We are multi-faceted. Like the Spanish midfield.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: The Spanish with some chip-backheel magic in the box, but the Irish were sufficiently packed in.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Feel bad for the Irish. But hey, getting here was job done. Off the top of my head, did anyone in their team play in the Champions League last season? And if not, can any other team in the Euros say the same?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Poorly.

  •  

    [Comment from bobo]
    Leander how do you pronounce your last name ?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Forward half Pique with a run up the right wing. This attack does too.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Spanish free kick, taken short, comes to nothing.

  •  

    James Tyler: I think Trapattoni's biggest gaffe is the use of John O'Shea. Rog?

  •  

    [Comment from Greg]
    Leander wants to block JT because he's green with envy over his wit.

  •  

    James Tyler: You all hate them, but at least when you see these riffs on the sports pages tomorrow, you're well galvanized against them.

  •  

    [Comment from Grant]
    He's british, pun's are in his dna

  •  

    [Comment from CB]
    "Pluck of the Irish" if they somehow get a result out of this game.

  •  

    [Comment from CB]
    Put an orange jersey on him, Leander!

  •  

    James Tyler: "Block of the Irish" (assuming they actually stop Spain's attacking flamenco)

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: 20th minute here.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Turn that into a pun!

  •  

    James Tyler: :(

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: How do I block JT?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: That about sum up the game so far?

  •  

    James Tyler: "Unlucky Charms"

  •  

    James Tyler: "Forlornly Stone" (ok, that's a reach)

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Push. Shove. Puff. Puff. Sprint. Sprint. Cover. Re-cover. Sprint back. Tackle. Hoof away.

  •  

    James Tyler: "Irish Eyes Are Not Smiling" (though eyes could never actually smile)

  •  

    James Tyler: "Bad Luck of the Irish"

  •  

    James Tyler: Let's get all the puns out the way now, shall we:

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Tap. Tap. Tap-tap-tap. Tap. Tap-tap.

  •  

    [Comment from ToddInTheShadows]
    Irish have the ball but can't even get it off their half of the field. Sad.

  •  

    [Comment from Charlie]
    You know they're having fun when Pique is shooting. Or, they have no confidence in Torres....

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: I'm so happy. For the first time since being here, when they have a game on TV, they actually have the score and time. Simple pleasures.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Pique now with a shot! Right at Given.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: More tapping. A Spanish corner.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Yeah, I had the same query, jd.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: He insulted my sister.

  •  

    [Comment from juan doe]
    Leander, why you gotta go studs up on Ravi?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Splendid through ball to Xavi now. Ball is cleared but comes off Xavi's shin. Goal kick.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: For a team that reached the tournament thanks to a good defense and organization, Ireland has shot itself in the foot the first two games. Silly errors.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Can anybody guess who's on the ball?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: You're lying, Ravi. it was the hospital.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Irish certainly not intimidated.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: A looong Irish ball into Spanish box. Well handled.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Hey guys, sorry I'm late.
    Was in the treatment room after Leander hacked me down in training.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Some more Spanish tappyness outside the Irish box as Whelan can't clear and Silva picks it up, but he handles it as he gets it to Torres.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Great stat from @barcastuff: Torres is the first non-Barcelona player to score for ESP under Del Bosque at a World Cup or Euro #fcblive Villa 5 Iniesta 2 Puyol 1, Cesc 1

  •  

    James Tyler: Look, off-target pop culture references aside, there is a clear Torres-Dunne relationship in that the latter exists to make the former feel better about himself.

  •  

    [Comment from Grant]
    And neither of those 2 groups appear to be in this chat

  •  

    [Comment from Grant]
    If richard dunne is superman, Adam Christman is pele

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Nice up and down game thus far.

  •  

    James Tyler: To a very a very dedicated group of Villa and Ireland fans, yes, Leander.

  •  

    [Comment from EBArsenal]
    You mean Dunne scored four own goals against Torres and Liverpool, right?

  •  

    [Comment from Jan]
    More like Aquaman.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Mercy rule. That is a great idea. That will leave us with Ballack and Lalas doing an hours filler in the studio

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Because he is otherwise Superman?

  •  

    James Tyler: El Nino is his Kryptonite.

  •  

    James Tyler: Fernando Torres managed (I think) four goals against Richard Dunne when he played for LFC.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Ireland with a shot from outside the box but it's defelcted over. They get a corner.

  •  

    [Comment from Rob]
    Is there any sort of mercy rule? 10 goals and done?

  •  

    [Comment from JRL]
    I feel bad for Ireland, they got scored on very early in both games so far.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Shay Given looked like that Robert Capra photo on Torres goal

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Arbeloa headed back a cross but the onrushing Torres knocked it wide.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: But he Torreses it.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Torres with another chance!

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Leaking an early goal clearly part of Ireland's gameplan

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Really a very nice goal from Torres, who rounded a man after picking up the ball and hit it so hard Given had no chance.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: We are, to be clear, not even 7 minutes in.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: A half-decent finish and it might have been 2-0 there.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Silva with time and space to shoot, but it's right at Given.

  •  

    [Comment from ReadingFC Mate]
    Old Fernando Torres would of scored twice there!

  •  

    [Comment from A]
    If even Torres can score this game is going to get UGLY

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: O'Shea with a poor cross into the Spanish box.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: The Irish clean sheet thus held up just four whole minutes.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Slice of magic. Almost as emotional as Shevchenko's goal

  •  

    [Comment from Charlie]
    Torres is scoring better than the Dutch, Leander...

  •  

    [Comment from Luke]
    Too Easy...

  •  

    [Comment from Rory]
    Ha Torres Haters Ha

  •  

    [Comment from Bobby T.]
    TOOOORRRRRRRREEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSS

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Iniesta with a nice ball into Silva, who is uppended but Torres picks it up and rams it into the top corner!

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Balo to begin. Di Natale off the bench. His left knee is battered and he has to be used with real care

  •  

    James Tyler: Nailed that on Twitter. Torres

  •  

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Who? Yes! Torres!

  •  

    [Comment from Robert H]
    Question about the previous game: Your preference Ballotelli w Cassano or Di Natale w Cassano?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: GOAL!!!

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Spain with a first attempt to play through all that green. Doesn't reach Torres.

  •  

    [Comment from Mike]
    Yes, also potentially in mourning.

  •  

    [Comment from Jan]
    Anybody drinking a Guinness in honor of the Irish?

  •  

    [Comment from Scouser]
    8 clean sheets for Spain against Ireland in their last 12 games...yikes.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Ireland's TIki Taka confusing the longball minded Spaniards

  •  

    [Comment from SMT]
    Clash of jerseys looks like Christmas....

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: We're one and a half minutes in and Ireland still has its clean sheet.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Upset being just 3 or 4 nil to Spain?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: A first foul by Busquets, who knocks over Cox.

  •  

    [Comment from OMally]
    I sense an upset today

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: On to the game.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: What now?

  •  

    [Comment from Ben]
    St. Louis

  •  

    [Comment from Ben]
    Orlando, FL. Lightning capital of the US.

  •  

  •  

    [Comment from Jan]
    You mean good afternoon East Coast. It's still morning in some places.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: And we're off.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Ooh! Where's this?

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Forza Irlanda. As they say in Rome

  •  

    [Comment from Ben]
    At work...with a very pretty lightning storm out my window...

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Sound advice there, DW. And a stern warning to all of you out there. Don't sit on the toilet too long.

  •  

    [Comment from DW]
    TheghostofFernando, if you are on the toilet for the entire game, your feet will be so badly asleep, they'll need to be amputated

  •  

    [Comment from PeterG]
    Really not so hard / He's Leander Schaerlaeckens / Refrigerator

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Good afternoon America. Come on Ireland! Viva Espana. Etc.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: What do you mean "next"?

  •  

    [Comment from Dave]
    unable to stream game at work so this is the next best thing

  •  

    [Comment from ToddInTheShadows]
    See, in pro wrestling, this is what is generally known as a "squash match."

  •  

    [Comment from Chad]
    The 2014 World Cup will be nice, I don't have to risk losing my job to watch the games.

  •  

    [Comment from Sam]
    Watching this from work, not trying to hide, cause i don't do anything at work

  •  

    [Comment from Guest]
    Leander, your name / Not really the best for / haikus and what not

  •  

    [Comment from Steo]
    proudly slacking off and watching this at work

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Anthems and such now.

  •  

    [Comment from Alex]
    The Irish Need Luck / Though Fernando is starting/ a possible draw?

  •  

    [Comment from TheghostofFernando]
    Toilet

  •  

    [Comment from ToddInTheShadows]
    My bedroom. Working from home has many advantages.

  •  

    [Comment from sandy]
    Trying to look busy at my desk and not laugh too loud at the comments.

  •  

    [Comment from PeterG]
    Torres to Chelsea / Not my fifty million / Champions League win!

  •  

    [Comment from Scouser]
    Bad choice for Torres / Should have stayed at Liverpool / Alonso too please

  •  

    [Comment from Brian]
    computer (jk)

  •  

    [Comment from Alex]
    Work. In a call center.

  •  

    [Comment from Robert]
    I'm am watching at work. And I'm not even trying to sneak...

  •  

    [Comment from Ireland Fan]
    I'm on the 33rd floor in the bathroom, with the window open

  •  

    [Comment from Jay Jay Okocha]
    Biology lab

  •  

    [Comment from Rugger]
    Work

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: So where is everybody sneakily following this feed from? Your cublic? Classroom? Your child's birth?

  •  

    [Comment from Jan]
    Torres to Chelsea / Not worth fifty million / Shouldn't start for Spain

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Italy now has two points, Croatia has four, Spain has a point and Ireland has none.

  •  

    [Comment from Michael]
    I forget.. who has more points? Netherlands or England?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Simple, really. How many people do you know of capable of volleying themselves in the face?

  •  

    [Comment from Scouser]
    Shane Long in for Doyle...thoughts on that?

  •  

    [Comment from Scouser]
    Absolutely, the man had an excellent campaign. If it weren't for the embarrasment of riches Spain has at midfield I could make the same inquiry about Mata.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: I am, if nothing else, controversial.

  •  

    [Comment from PeterG]
    Leander, you're saying that a single goal against Barcelona with the score already 2-1 wasn't with 50 million pounds?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: I thought he was due for a chance in the Italy game. He's a big, strong target man who is strong in the air but can play over the ground in the tiki taka system. And unlike Torres, he's had a great rseason.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Who knows? It's either Torres or Fabregas at this point it seems. I've heard from Spanish journos that Negredo has looked really good in training.

  •  

    [Comment from Scouser]
    When is del Bosque going to give Llorente a shot?

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: The Solid Gold Dancers are back on the field. Gdansk loves its gold lame'.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Interesting, JT. I'd heard he's out of contract this summer.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Ireland's formation is listed as their usual 4-4-2. We'll see how far Keane or Cox drops back into midfield to help defend.

  •  

    James Tyler: Incorrect, Leander. He's still under contract at Wolfsburg though the manager hates him and is open to selling. Now or never, really.

  •  

    [Comment from Mike]
    Any word on Ireland's starting formation?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: No need. He's a free agent! (Speaking of well-time scoring benders.)

  •  

    James Tyler: Rumor has it that Vicente Del Bosque has entered a $28m bid for Mario Mandzukic.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: If you accept that the result is a given, perhaps. But yes, Torres will need to break out. Or it will be time to give Fernando Llorente (my pick) or Alvaro Negredo a run.

  •  

    [Comment from Tom]
    I think this game is more about finding a true striker for the rest of the tourney than it is about the result

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: As a reminder, head-to-head is the first tie-breaker when two teams are tied on points. Then comes goal difference.

  •  

    [Comment from Espana4Life]
    Completely agree Misty. Spain needs to win at least 3-0. 4-0 to be comfortable.

  •  

    [Comment from Jan]
    Easier said than done when Torres is your starting striker.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: I imagine he said something along those lines, Misty. This is the obvious gimme game of the group for Spain, and with Croatia posing a steep challenge, they'll definitely want to bulldoze these pesky Irish aside.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: That Spain/Croatia game is shaping to be a whopper of a contest. Alas, I will be in Poznan for Italy/Ireland.

  •  

    [Comment from Misty]
    As a Spain fan, hopefully del Bosque told the boys today, score, score again, and score some more to ensure getting out of the group. Need to beef up that goal differential.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: There will be no complaints about the dry field from Spain or anybody else today. There has been intermittent rain for the last few hours.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Slight difference in the crowd today. Whereas Spanish fans were in the clear majority against Italy, the tables have now turned. Irish fans hold about a 3:1 edge in terms of numbers.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Says Irish radio man Ken Early (@kenearlys) on Twitter: "watching warm-ups in gdansk. spain players ping the ball around in a furious rondo. shane long accidentally volleys a ball into his own face"

  •  

    James Tyler: So, which Spaniard will boldly score a handball goal today and be unapologetic about it?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Sam lies!

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Spotted what? :)

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Well spotted Sam.

  •  

    [Comment from Sam]
    IniTesta..what are you trying to say??!!

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: As you can see, Torres is starting. We'll see if he scores, allowing the hounds of Twitter to descend upon me.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: You're out-Scousing yourself today, Tyler.

  •  

    James Tyler: Indeed we do, Ireland. But we'll always have The Beatles.

  •  

    [Comment from DW]
    I heard torres is starting, is that true?

  •  

    [Comment from Ireland]
    England sucks!

  •  

    James Tyler: I was proud of #FAUXranje yesterday, Leander. Thought it had staying power. Alas...

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Indeed I do Leander. Here they are.

    Spain: Iker Casillas; Jordi Alba, Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Alvaro Arbeloa; Sergio Busquets, Xabi Alonso; David Silva, Xavi Hernandez, Andres Initesta; Fernando Torres

    Ireland: Shay Given; Stephen Ward, Sean St. Ledger, Richard Dunne, John O'Shea; Aiden McGeady, Glenn Whelan, Keith Andrews, Damien Duff; Simon Cox, Robbie Keane

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: I'll always have the last laugh. He's English.

  •  

    James Tyler: Well, Leander, El Nino is a striker in name only. #cliche

  •  

    [Comment from PeterG]
    Be careful Leander, I hear JT is already planning on needling you regarding the Dutch.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Do you have lineups, Car-Lizzel?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Yes, Fernando Torres will be starting for Spain today, in place of Cesc Fabregas, meaning they're actually fielding a forward today.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: G'day everyone from G'damp Gdansk.

  •  

    [Comment from Ukie86]
    I predict at least one Fernando will score in this match!

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Croatia's incredibly dynamic movement was hard for Italy to contain, whose class in midfield, was hard for Croatia to cope with. A very fair 1-1, I'd say.

  •  

    James Tyler: Words that rhyme with Orange:

  •  

    [Comment from flak_catcher]
    Didn't get to watch the first game, thoughts?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Erm, not be Ireland, basically.

  •  

    [Comment from Jeremy]
    What do the Irish need to do to have a chance?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: *Blocked*

  •  

    [Comment from Tim]
    Leander if we mention the Netherlands, will you block our comments?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Afternoon, yes. Riveting... we'll see.

  •  

    [Comment from Rugger]
    Afternoon Leander! Ready for another riveting chat!

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Thanks for joining Jeff Carlisle and I for today's festival of Spanish tippy-tappyness versus Irish rough-and-tumbleness.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Good afternoon, All!

 
COMPLETE TEAM CLOSE X
Goal Shot Video
  •  
  • Shots (on goal)

  • tackles

  • Fouls

  • possession

  • Spain

  • 26(20)

  • 14

  • 9

  • 66%

    34%

  • Republic of Ireland

  • 6(4)

  • 24

  • 16

Republic of Ireland

Line-up
POS No Name

G

1 Shay Given

D

2 Sean St. Ledger

D

3 Stephen Ward

D

4 John O'Shea

D

5 Richard Dunne

M

6 Glenn Whelan
M
21 Paul Green

M

7 Aiden McGeady

M

8 Keith Andrews

M

11 Damien Duff
M
22 James McClean

F

10 Robbie Keane

F

20 Simon Cox
F
14 Jonathan Walters
 
Substitutes
POS No Name
G 16 Kieren Westwood
G 23 David Forde
D 12 Stephen Kelly
D 13 Paul McShane
D 18 Darren O'Dea
M 15 Darron Gibson
M 17 Stephen Hunt
M 21 Paul Green
M 22 James McClean
F 9 Kevin Doyle
F 14 Jonathan Walters
F 19 Shane Long

Match Stats

  • Spain
  • Republic of Ireland
26(20) Shots (on goal) 6(4)
9 Fouls 16
8 Corner kicks 2
6 Offsides 1
66% Time of Possession 34%
2 Yellow Cards 3
0 Red Cards 0
2 Saves 11