Italy v Republic of Ireland Match of the Day Live

Italy v Republic of Ireland

Manish Bhasin introduces live Euro 2012 coverage of the final round of Group C matches as the Republic of Ireland take on Italy. Italy still have a chance to progress with a win.

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Welcome to BBC Three's live coverage of Euro 2012. Tonight, we


focus on Group C, where three teams are vying for the two qualifying


spots. Spain and Croatia are favourites, but the question we are


asking this evening is that after two heavy defeats, can the Republic


of Ireland salvage some pride and end Italy's hopes of making the


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Italy can only qualify from this group with a victory tonight. Even


then, they are not guaranteed to go through. Italy could win


convincingly, but still go out with Spain and Croatia draw at 2-two or


higher. Trust us on that. Ireland are sadly already out, but will


look to end the campaign on a positive note. We will keep you up-


to-date with the Spain versus Croatia game, which is also on BBC


One. But here, we are concentrating on Italy versus the Republic of


Ireland, in the company of Steve Staunton and Alan Shearer. Steve,


Richard Dunne has said the players are clearly hurting after the two


big defeats. It is all about putting on a performance, isn't it?


Especially for those who have given support. Yes, our performance has


been disappointing. We made simple mistakes which cost us dearly with


goals. It is so uncharacteristic of the team. I think Giovanni


Trapattoni has said, let's have a good goal. He has stuck with a team


which has been successful in their qualifying campaign, and he is


I you surprised that he has not really change things around and,


with youth this time? I would have liked to have seen young Maclean


given a goal. I do not know why Darron Gibson is not playing in the


middle of the park. Shane Long is another absentee that I find


strange. They are all good, young, hungry footballers with pace.


his defence, it is the older guys with experience that got them into


this position. He did not be surprised after this tournament if


you see the likes of Damien Duff, shade -- Shay Given, even Robbie


Keane, say to the fans, that is enough. We gave Ireland our best


shot. That is why he stuck with them tonight, because it is


conceivable that three or four of the guise could retire after this.


Damien Duff is captain for the evening and picks up his 100th cap


for the Republic, one of only five players who have done so. Can't


remember through the first one was. It is fantastic for him. He


deserves it. He is a great professional. He works so hard in


training. He is the ultimate professional, and he is a leader.


He has been given the armband tonight. As for Italy, four changes


They have to go for goals, don't they? They need to win tonight. A


few people were surprised at the system. In the first game, they


played three at the back. In qualifying, they were successful


with four at the back. They have gone back to four tonight, with De


Rossi pushing into midfield and two forwards, with Balotelli left back,


which does not surprise me because we have not seen anywhere near his


form in the previous two games. Andrea Pirlo caught the eye. We saw


that terrific free-kick from him. He has been crucial for them in


midfield. Absolutely. He is a fantastic player who brings an


experience to that Italian midfield. If Ireland are going to get


anything to write, they will have to get around him. He will start


most things off for Ireland tonight. All of his goals for Italy have


come from set pieces, be it penalties or free kicks. They also


have to go against them nature to score goals. They have to win this


game. It is as simple as that. You might see a different approach from


the Italians. It is almost time for kick-off in Poznan. Could there be


a final dramatic twist for group C As the Republic of Ireland take on


another former Ireland manager, Mick McCarthy, with Steve Wilson.


So will Ireland play with some freedom to write? Will Italy play


with fear? For Ireland, Giovanni Trapattoni is a manager for Italy.


He is a legend, and tonight, he is their enemy within. Italy cannot


qualify if they don't win. They may not qualify even if they do. And


Giovanni Trapattoni will know every single Italian strategy in the book,


because it is a book that he helped to write. And Giovanni Trapattoni


is a huge factor in the Italian psyche tonight. They are on a


knife-edge, and they face a side, Mick McCarthy, who are coming out


here in Poznan very much with something to prove. Very much so. A


lot has been said and written back home in Ireland about the


performances. It is sad that we have never given ourselves a solid


footing to compete. We based our success here on a solid defensive


base, and we have not had it. We conceded seven goals, most unlike


us and certainly unlike a Giovanni Trapattoni team. So here they walk


into a sultry, sticky evening in Poznan, the Municipal Stadium. It


is not full, maybe about four- fifths full. And about four fifths


of the people in the stadium Irish. So a night for Ireland to try and


restore some pride. A night for Italy to try and get through to the


last eight of this European Championship. The Irish have had a


ball. But unfortunately, they have not had much of the ball. Their


fans have been making themselves heard wherever they go. But now it


is down to the men in green, red and white to do something where it


matters. The anthem of the Republic of Ireland will be the one we here


# A ta faoi gheall ag Eirinn. # Buion dar slua.


# Thar toinn do rainig chughainn. # Faoi mhoid bheith soar.


# Sean tir ar sinsear feasta. # Ni fhagfar faoin tioran na faoin


traill. # Anocht a theam sa bhearna baoil.


# Le gean ar Ghaeil chun bais no saoil.


# Le gunna screach, faoi lamhach na bpilear.


# Seo libh canaig amhran na bhFiann # Fratelli d'Italia.


# L'Italia s'e desta. # Dell'elmo di Scipio.


# S'e cinta la testa. # Dov'e la vittoria?


# Le porga la chioma. # Che schiava di Roma.


# Iddio la creo. # Fratelli d'Italia.


# L'Italia s'e desta. # Dell'elmo di Scipio.


# S'e cinta la testa. # Dov'e la vittoria?


# Le porga la chioma. # Che schiava di Roma.


# Iddio la creo. # Stringiamoci a coorte.


# Siam pronti alla morte. # Italia chiamo.


# Stringiamoci a coorte. # Siam pronti alla morte.


# Italia chiamo #. Si! It is a great anthem, and the Irish


fans are enjoying it almost as much as the Italians, jumping up and


down and clapping along. As you can see, Damien Duff, wearing the


captain's armband this evening. As we were saying earlier, it is his


100th cap for the Republic this evening. They say there might be a


storm about half-time, so bear with friendlies before this tournament,


their last run of results in 26 years. They have won only one of


nine matches in major finals since then. They won the World Cup in


2006. That is not great. Here is the referee, who is a Turkish


insurance worker who took charge of Ukraine's win over Sweden in group


D and also Fulham's victory over Trapattoni had made a whole bunch


of changes he would have been accused of favouring Italy, be


country he managed to in 2004. He also represented them as a player


in the 1962 World Cup. Some were keen for him to go after a couple


of poor displays. Others believe that reaching the finals was


achievement enough. His response to his critics suggest that if it is


down to him he will do the two more years on his contract. Ireland


wearing be predominantly white shirts and green shorts. They want


to really put on a put -- a display for their supporters. Italy after


when. Mick McCarthy, as a manager, how do you feel psychologically


playing against a team managed by somebody who used to be your


manager? It will play on his mind. Let's see what happens. Italy have


to when. Kevin Doyle here for Ireland. They nearly scored after


nine seconds of the game. It was a good chance. They made a hash of it.


I don't know how Kevin Doyle latched on to it. 18 years ago


today, Ray Houghton scored in New one slide away. Interesting to see


the set-up already. And they want to chase it, Ireland. One of the


midfield players has caused a problem but I am happy to see that


they are closing them down. Ireland have played four halves of football


so far in this tournament. They have conceded in the 4th minute of


each half. They will be glad if it is 0-0 at -- after five minutes


of Robbie Keane. Not a particularly comfortable start for the Italians


closing down, not letting them settled -- settle. McGeady and Duff


might have a bit of joy because they are playing narrow. Balzaretti


across, decision goes island's way. -- Kevin Doyle. Him it is a goal


kick. Path -- not a free kick, as it turned out. The I thought it was


a half decent chance from the free edge of the penalty area. Damien


Duff is also in the box. These lads never give anything up easily. They


have not played well and they know that and they want to repay the


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Wylam -- Glenn Whelan snuff it out. Goal kick, Kevin Doyle incensed.


looked like a corner kick to me. Let's see if the referee has got it


right. Never. He did well, Kevin Doyle. He was trying to get a shot


in but, if not, good to get a corner kick. Ignazio Abate had a


little bit of room on the other side. Ireland have to be narrow


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because they are playing three Italian squad. Also in the stands,


The cross deflected, Kevin Done with the clearance. -- Richard


Dunne. Path they have got the -- they have got the extra man in


Andrew's. -- Andrews. Into it -- Italy coming into tonight's matches


going to so -- shut down the two forwards down, the rest of the team


Mario Balotelli? They need goals. The manager knows better than


anybody else. You do not know what you will get out of Balotelli. When


he is good he is very good and when he is bad he caused us problems. --


can't debt done one against one. -- Sean St Ledger. Put away by Richard


Dunne. They have committed a lot of little shove from Robbie Keane.


was always going to be a foul. Them his Italian experience of Inter


Milan seems a long time ago now, needed to come a little bit earlier.


The longer it goes on, the more anxious the Italians will get.


are leading two centre backs against Robbie Keane. They should


let Kevin Doyle stay up against the offering. Just be patient, keep


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hold of the ball, and neither one of the pitch. The referee has asked


Kevin Doyle to put the ball out of play. It does my head in. Was he


enjoyed? I think Doyle did brilliantly. That was his job. He


actually kicked Doyle, so I don't know how much he hurt him. I think


it is rubbish. They should play on and see it out. A head injury is


one thing, but that is not a head injury. I agree. It is usually


have been since they became world champions in 2006 in the World Cup.


They went out of the last European Championships in the quarter-final


stage on penalties to Spain. And they had an abysmal World Cup.


There are a few countries which have been poor since they won the


World Cup. By their standards, they have had two poor tournaments, and


that is not counting the finding the picture a bit awkward.


-- they are finding the pitch a bit awkward. The pictures are really


hard now. Most of them wear rubber- That got the reception it deserved


from the fans behind that goal. was never convincing. His eyes lit


up when he thought he had a shot. The two Italian full-backs are


pushing really far. I would like to see one or two of our winners


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is wrong with that?, says Richard Dunne. I don't think it was for


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that, because that is always going them have the ball are working so


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minutes, and they have not caused get a head on it. Well played,


McGeady. Excellent play from group see when you look at the


games include one who is the daddy of them more. And we have the baby


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marriage corner. For a moment, they will punish us. 0-0 here, and still


0-0 in the Spain-Croatia game. That means that as it stands, Spain win


the group and Croatia go through with them. Is it not to to to yet?


Yes, there is the two to two things. If Spain and Croatia finish with


two each, Italy could win 15-0 and frustrating. We are that keen to


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score a goal. Kevin Doyle could tonight. -- Ireland look a


one of the star men of the Republic of Ireland World Cup team of ten


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seems any challenge in there is a Ireland would go out with a whimper.


I do not think that will be the case. Not a chance. Never, ever.


They have been playing well. But they have to do better with the


opportunities. They are defending was probably Italy's best chance so


far. Balzaretti gets the yellow Natale before that. It was a good


chance. The Italians are not The inevitably in Poznan the Poznan


was going to happen. Stephen Ward needs somebody to run for that. He


needs a centre forward been prepared to chase that. Would it be


cruel to suggest that the Irish fans don't want to wait for a goal


to do the Poznan? They came here wanting to see their team when. To


see our team when. But if they don't they will still enjoy being


here. They want to see the team play and they have come to have a


Great block, they are all appealing for handball. They are not going to


get it. The Turkish referee says no. Great run by Balzaretti, wasn't it?


Fabulous. He has been booked for a rugby tackle but he showed his good


side there. It has hit him in the looking for a ball to slip inside


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all over the top. They are but the door is shut. The two


centre backs are playing a very narrow. Sean St Ledger did a good


Ireland. They need to get out of from di Natale, which I don't think


would have beaten Shay Given. of respite, because we have been


under pressure there. The two winners are doing a great job but I


would still like to see one of them to get it on target! Off the line.


Pressure is building on the Irish goal now. Cassano, a good hit.


don't know how di Natale get that on target. It was a great strike


and you would expect Shay Given to gobble that up. The di Natale did


fantastically. Was that across the line or not? The goal is given. The


goal is given. It might be Antonio Cassano at the heart of the huddle.


Italy lead 1-0. I think you would have to say that that was over the


line. It was over the line. Antonio Cassano with the header. Shay Given


got a hand to it. It has been covering in the last four or five


minutes. It has. It started with a mistake, di Natale nearly scored


and Shay Given has spilled the shot. It is looking at half. It had been


crying for Fido six minutes. -- five or six. Italy would when this


group if it remains like this. Spain would go through as runners-


up. A yellow card for Keith Andrews. It his -- it is mack his second of


again before half-time. Then it with this free kick. We can see how


Croatia. We then got a head to it. -- Glenn Whelan. Cassano with the


header put them on five points. They are level on points with Spain


and Croatia but Italy would go blood on the lip of Balzaretti. The


yellow card is coming out for John O'Shea. I think he is given the


yellow card because he saw the O'Shea has the yellow card, the


Italians have the free kick and Andrea Pirlo will take it.


Shouldn't he have to go off if he has blood on his face? It is not


have been fortunate, Ireland. was a really good free kick. You


was unlucky. He was on the move, he jumped early, he got in front of


him. It was actually a great header. Scored a couple goals in a Euro


2004, Cassano. I don't think it would take a lot for the referee to


give another yellow card. At the moment, Spain, Croatia and Italy


all have five points. The results against Ireland would be taken out


of the equation and the other teams would be put in a mini league. The


goals scored against the Irish would not count. One flick on and


he was always through -- almost was offside, which is fairly


obvious. This is all hypothetical but if Italy do win Group C and it


-- then the winners of Group D would play Spain. It looked like


handball by George at Chiellini. -- now. It really is different if the


other team are one goal ahead. It makes you chase the ball all night


long. It is difficult to go from 4- 4-2 to forfeit -- 2433 mack, a


positive position to a negative one. Good block. I think Balzaretti was


happy with that, he had run about 70 yards. I hope somebody is


watching di Natale, who is lurking inside the Irish penalty area.


Richard Dunne came across very quickly to block Thiago Motta.


never stands still. Great ball by Thiago Motta and well done, Richard


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bed gracefully. He won't be older he gets, believe me. The Irish are


out of the Irish headers. They looked full of enthusiasm. When he


went in, they must have thought, here we go again. That is half-time.


Ireland started like a different side from the one that was so


comfortably beaten by Croatia and Spain. But the tide was beginning


to turn, and then Antonio Cassano's near-post header definitely crossed


the line. At the moment, Italy So a disappointment for the


Republic of Ireland, because for most of that half, they more than


held their Rome. Yeah, we did. But unfortunately, simple mistakes and


poor decision-making cost us again. It has knocked the stuffing out of


the boys. You could see in the last few minutes that everything has


been drained out of the lads, who put in a very good shift so far.


But unfortunately, this is what happens. It was looking positive


until Cassano has struck. It was. The Republic had a fair amount of


the game for the first half-hour, and created a few chances. We


thought Italy were not looking too dangerous. But basic errors have


cost Ireland the goal. It is in stark contrast to prove the


Republic of Ireland's game in qualifying. Six out of 7 goals they


have conceded have been down to defensive mistakes. There were two


or three hours in the build-up to we did OK. There was a wonderful


left. It was just a knock-on. We gave the ball away again. Then


there was a shot. Shay Given rushed off his line and then fumbled the


shot. The smallest guy on the pitch got the header, and it should not


happen. You have got to stay alive to set pieces. We have seen time


and time again that set pieces win or lose you games. The smallest guy


on the pitch got a free header, and that is not acceptable. But Ireland


have had their chances, but it has not quite happened to them. We have


had good situations. But again, we have taken the wrong option. As a


centre forward, Kevin Doyle got this ball after five or six seconds,


and he has to test the goalkeeper, Buffon. He had the opportunity. The


defenders are showing him where to go. The gap was there. As a forward,


you have to be thinking that way. Perhaps this is why they are not


scoring goals. There was a poor ball in to Robbie Keane, who did


all right to shield it, but look who he passed it to. Kevin Doyle.


There are your two centre forwards. Look in the 18 yard box. There is


no one there. That is one of the reasons why. Aiden McGeady had a


great run, but he overruns it again. You can see that Damien Duff is


screaming for it. Doyle is the widest man. It is these little


errors that have cost us. When Aiden McGeady ran at the back line,


he could have caused problems. Ireland have had their fair share


of chances. We have highlighted three opportunities. They should


get their shot at goal away earlier. When they don't, they have to get


there goals in the box with more quality. No one expects them to go


out and beat Spain or Croatia, but the chances have been there for


them tonight to score against Italy. It goes to show what you said


earlier about the strength of injecting pace in this Ireland side.


That is it. With any football team, you have got to have pace. Aiden


McGeady has the ability to do that. But he has to get better at quality.


Robbie was looking for a pass often. He doesn't do that, he delays it.


As you can see, Damien Duff is screaming for to get a shot of.


for Italy, Di Natale came in for Balotelli. He has been their main


danger man. He has looked very sharp. They are having problems


with Di Natale and Cassano. They found themselves in that pocket


where they were getting the ball time and time again. Cassano and Di


Natale were waiting for the ball to come in. I think the referee got it


right on the handball. For me, that is not a penalty. Those two guys


want to get in the box and score goals, whereas Robbie Keane and


Kevin Doyle are not so keen. They are spending too much time outside


the 18 yard box. Let's look at where this leaves us at half-time.


As things stand, Italy lead the group at five points ahead of Spain.


Italy scored two goals in the head to heads. The other teams have


scored just one. If Croatia score in the second half, then Spain


could exit the competition, which would be extraordinary. Absolutely.


It is unbelievably tight in this group now. It will be fascinating


to see how both Croatia and Spain face up to that in the second half.


It is anyone's at the minute. you have been engrossed in this


feast of football for the last 11 days, you could be forgiven for not


realising that another sporting treat is almost under starter's


orders. And they're offer. That is a nice hat, followed by stuck in


the turf. Cheeky tipple. A late push from Gone With The Wind. It


Alan, you have got horse racing on Wednesday. Yes, for 20 5:00pm on


Wednesday in the Royal Hunt Cup. We have got a day off, so I will be


there. Just when everybody has had enough of the rain over here, you


actually want it to rain. Our horse likes a bit of mud, so I am praying


for rain. As the start of Royal Ascot begins


tomorrow, we will also see one Wayne Rooney make his Euro 2012


debut. The heartbeat. The polls. The one. Good things come to those


who wait, and your time is now. Stronger than an ox. Potent as


venom. Rooney, Rooney, Rooney. Your name strikes fear. Unleash the


This is England at the Stadium in Donetsk, having a look at the


facilities before the bid game. Wayne Rooney, by all accounts,


looking very relaxed. Not straining at the leash, as some have put it.


But being relaxed is a good thing. It is, and this is the moment he


has been waiting for. He asked his team-mates to do the business in


the first two games, to allow him to come into this game all guns


blazing. We are assured that he will play tomorrow, and that is


right. No point having him in the squad if you were not going to play


him in this game. Andy Carroll or Danny Welbeck, who gives way?


Probably Andy Carroll. Harsh on him, probably, but in fairness to


Welbeck, in the first two games, he has been brilliant. He did not


score in the first game, but he was excellent, and his second game has


given him the role he deserved. They have got a lovely


understanding of being in and around each other when the ball is


coming into the box. There is plenty of movement and mobility,


and they will cause any team problems. Let's see what has


happened in tonight's other game group C. Spain are taking on


Cup a few years ago. Beautifully done. Almost out of reach. So


the hallmarks of the Spanish game. The first shot on target came from


thought that was a foul. It was right under the nose of the


additional assistant behind the goal at that end. Usually, anywhere


on the pitch, that would be a foul. That has been the one major talking


point, that challenge. Was it a foul? Definitely not a foul for me.


It was a fantastic tackle from Ramos. If you look at the direction


of the ball, and look where it goes. It goes out for a corner. That


tells you that the defender has won the ball. But it was a great tackle.


You would be proud of a tackle like that. Definitely. Plus, the centre


forward is hurting. It is not right seeing Spain play in light blue.


is not my favourite kit. But they have not been beaten in it. That


means there player is hobbling a bit towards half-time. That is not


great, considering that Croatia are now one goal down and needed to get


another player to come on as well, you bitch. I think Croatia will be


quietly confident, and Spain will get edgy. Who knows? Column have


come out. -- Holland have gone out of. By the way, looking at mind


games before football matches, this is nice. The Italian goalkeeper,


Buffon, is trying to out stare the mascot. Who blinks first? He is


doing well, but he did not flinch. Solid as a rock. What about the


Republic, Steve? What do they do in the second half? A much improved


display on the last two. What can they do? A bit more quality. Take


their time. One or two subs now would freshen things up. Let's have


a go with Italy. This is not a getting to this tournament but I


have found it really tough and it is an eye-opener for the guys who


think, we have done well to get here, can we kick on? Clearly the


answer is no. The players are about to emerge from the tunnel. Let's


hand you back took our commentators in Poznan, Mick McCarthy and Steve


his lip stitched up. Italy are topping the group at the moment


ahead of Spain but if Croatia sneak in the goal Spain could be going


out with the Dutch. Everybody is caning Ireland for not having any


points but Holland so far do not have any points. Ireland other


first to emerge and I don't think there are any changes in the side


at half-time. Cassano, who scored the goal, is waiting to somebody in


the crowd. -- waving. All that Italy can do is win the game of


course but it is possible that they could win the game and not go


through. The system used by UEFA was defended by Michel Platini


today. It is the same system used by the Champions League. It throws


up the odd position of Spain, Croatia and Italy all having five


points in the current situation. Italy top the group because of the


mini league. But Ireland have 45 minutes to put Italy even more


firmly in the corridor of uncertainty. Let's grasp the nettle


while we are waiting. Lots of discussion about whether Trapattoni


should stay or go. What do you think? If he has the desire and


hunger and belief that he can build another team and make sure that he


can coach them, yes. But it will have to be turned over, there is no


question. Six weeks ago he was a hero. The short pause is because we


need to co-ordinate with Spain and need to co-ordinate with Spain and


Croatia. Cassano could not keep the ball in play. It is an Irish throw.


Buffon would have come and collect inside the Italian half of the


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he will take the throw-in, the man Balzaretti with all kinds of room.


Well played, Glenn Whelan. He kept Sean St Ledger. Early Italian


pressure. The Italians seem to be getting numbers forward. Another


and around their own penalty area. The way they started, the first 30


Dunne. Smash over the top by Balzaretti. You think he might have


put his laces through that. Hit it with some violence, you get a


deflection and who knows. Pretty tame effort considering where he


was. Yes, but we are getting Almost impossible. He was behind


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him, falling over, trying to get away to the far side. A nice touch.


A bit of space was made for de Rossi by the run of Cassano.


need to get a foothold in this game. He has gone for the top left-hand


corner. He was wayward with it but they are running all over the top


of us and if they get the second goal... There is a danger that


Ireland could leave Poland with the worst ever record of European


Championship finalists. Zero points and to a goal difference of


Robbie Keane at the back post. I think that hit Ignazio Abate. It is


Richard Dunne and Andrea Barzagli. It only takes one Irish goal, that


header and it was a nervous moment for the Italian defence. You fancy


our Guys to win the game in the air. The Premier League has lots of


football spend a box. -- balls into went to the near post, Shay Given


got something on it and he is grateful that Keith Andrews is


shelf on Robbie Keane. The referee narrowed to deal with the three in


the middle of the park. A waste from Cassano. That was a lovely


move. Went for the near post. will never be beaten at that near


post. While we were watching a replays of that, Chiellini has a


problem and the Italians are suggesting he is not going to be


able to go on. He would be a loss for them. They have had their


defensive problems. Andrea Barzagli with a calf injury was not able to


play in the first two games. think I would be tempted at this


stage, all we can do is get something out of the game, and I


would be tempted, with 34 minutes left, try to liven it up, try


something, see if we can get a spark because at the moment we are


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with Spain in second place. That was not an easy one. It was


spinning. Again, they just played through Ireland. It is all a bit


too easy at the moment. This was that with a look of contempt on his


face. It nearly missed him by a long way. He was not going to


flatter the pass by trying to chase bench. I don't know if there seems


to be any movement or not. Buffon made the save. Keith Andrews, who


scored against the Italians in a 2- from the referee, which he didn't


get. Cassano and Di Natale are two good players up front. Cheers for a


little bit of control from contemplating a second I thought I


saw the number 10 on the fourth official's board. In which case,


that would be Cassano. Balzaretti was pulled back by O'Shea. The


frustrated, the players and the Irish fans, thinking that every


little decision is going against them. Is he wanting them to make a


substitution first? I am not sure. The former West Ham man Diamanti


will come on in a minute. But this interesting. They seem to use Di


Natale and Cassano. There goes a familiar figure in Cassano. Another


familiar figure comes on for him. It was a great goal. His movement


was terrific. Alessandro Diamanti, now of Bologna. He had only won one


cap prior to this tournament. He had a year at West Ham. He had


eight goals, four of them from the change is imminent as well. Shane


Long will bring some energy and enthusiasm. He is a handful. He is


very difficult to deal with. He is not the biggest man in the world,


but he has a real presence about him. Will he take will be off and


have more physical presence up heading straight for goal. Well


done to Keith Andrews. Won the team-mate corner just by his


make the change first. Aiden McGeady is coming off. I thought it


might be one of the two centre front? 25 minutes to go. The Irish


are appealing. Richard Dunne is, anyway. Bit of a lone appeal from


coming out to play on the right hand side of the Irish midfield,


with Long supporting Robbie Keane. It looks that way. I was hoping


they might have three up front. It Bonucci under pressure. I wonder


who has been delegated to mark him? Dunne. Still, Spain versus Croatia


Italy are going through as group winners at the moment, but there is


still plenty of time for that Free kick, right on the edge of the


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Irish Box. The referee got that one are just a red herrings. It is


Pirlo. Over the bar. He is whingeing at the wall. What was he


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 89 seconds


expecting? They are going to try played well. They have narrowed the


eight years ago in 2004, time flies - Italy were going through in the


very last minute of their group game against Bulgaria, winning 2-1.


Then the other match that matter for them, Denmark and Sweden were


2-1 and then they equalised in the last minute to finish 2-2. And


Italy went out, so they will not take anything for granted. You can


see why it frustrates the players Rossi. Did well, Kevin Doyle. De


Rossi took one for the team. Professional foul to stop them


getting forward. It will not affect his participation in the quarter-


final, assuming Italy have a quarter-final. Now that it was a


tattoo. Glenn Whelan with his free kick. Cam Ireland find an


equaliser? Plenty are hoping. The sheer weight of numbers might cause


that they have given the free kick away, because they were breaking.


And I am not so certain it was a will be off like a scalded cat.


Great delivery from Duff. De Rossi is down and holding his head.


must get sick of this. He might have been caught but they are


wanting a game stop and it is not in the rules, they don't have to


stop the game. Unfortunately the referee did stop it because the


Irish were breaking. It is a yellow card for Buffon. A little bit too


is a corner. A really good spell this for Ireland. Yes, Italy have


dominated but they are getting a bit nervous. Mario Balotelli is


coming on. At di Natale is coming Buffon under all kinds of pressure.


Inevitably gets the free kick his way. He was always going to get a


free kick. He comes and flaps. I know he is a very experienced


keeper. Trapattoni is about to put Jonathan Walters on. Trying to


spread unease among the Italian the change. Jonathan Walters is


coming on and Kevin Doyle is going done. I am a bit surprised. I think


Kevin Doyle has been excellent and coming out why did he has been a


real handful but Jonathan Walters Balotelli. It is a free kick as


has been strangely muted, with the nerves are round the place. Ireland


have just had a good spell. -- around the place. Free kick, foul


on Jonathan Walters. What a good position this is in. I have no idea


what they are complaining about. It nerves. I do they speak good


Turkish or he speaks good Italian, I don't know whether there is a


common language between them! Turkish referee has very pointedly


taken 10 long strides. That is a good 10 yards, that. There marking


his six yards. He is spot on. -- the marking is. Excellent save by


Buffon. Fabulous. He has kept his heart in the mouth time. He has to


say that. If they want to go through to the quarter-finals, he


has to save that. Ireland a touch on it. Robbie Keane has


gone after it, and he has kept it in. Offside in the middle. Italian


defenders do clear that 18-yard box so they have caught them offside a


couple of times. It is a difficult one to tell. He was the nearest man.


Robbie Keane maybe became active when he chased after it. Bouton


with the clearance as we look at some fairly anxious Italian faces.


-- Buffon. Ireland's best spell of the game, best spell of the


tournament. You can just feel it with 10 minutes to go, something


special might be just around the corner for Ireland. He won the


header. Let's see if it was a foul. Not a chance. We have had our best


spell here and it has become a bit more direct, playing up to Shane


Long. You can ask whether it is Ireland playing better or Italy are


getting nervous. A bit of a relief, that, for the Italians. Still


goalless in good banks to -- Gdansk. Andrews and Long in the middle.


Sloppy from Italy. He has been the Tallis man, the guy who has got the


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 89 seconds


has been on the pitch but he is one. Damien Duff and Glenn Whelan


are incensed. He is on his way down before anybody get anywhere near


him. Standing order, that. They do wriggle through all of them if he


is in the mood. He has got a free kick. That was theatrical. Has he


caught him? Yellow-card is shown to Sean St Ledger. He misses the next


match but it is purely theoretical. He caught him there, definitely.


Yes, he caught him, but it is a theatrical for to the ground. --


Italians as to who is going to take this. Balotelli and Marchisio have


minutes plus extra time of excitement. The Italians have moved


the ball back a bit and the referee has made them put it back on the


spot from where he gave the free kick. While he had his back


to talk about there. Marchisio seemed to shove some body and...


was a handball. No question. Robbie Keane is coming off. Fabulous


career. He was always going to break the goalscoring record, but


surprised that he is offside there, I would like to see that one again.


for a push because the Lines man definitely had his flag up for


offside. -- linesman. Italy are close but nowhere near as close as


penalty. We have only had one penalty in this entire championship


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class. He has been a real threat, and defended well when he has had


Spain have scored. Very late on, we have got a Spanish goal in Gdansk,


and we have got a red card for Keith Andrews in Poznan. I'm afraid


he has not helped himself by smashing the ball away. Keith


Andrews is sent off with two yellow cards. It is all kicking off. I was


looking at Giovanni Trapattoni, and he was shaking his head. He


probably thinks the Italians are getting all the decisions. We used


to think that when he was there as well. That will be a corner.


Deflected off Richard Dunne. The Italians have a lead and a man


advantage, an time is almost up. That goal for Spain has meant that


Italy no longer take the group. done absolutely nothing so far in


this European Championship, and then he goes and does that. It was


well worth the wait. Well done, Bonucci, who has just told him to


shut his goblin no uncertain terms. He has just cut his hand across it.


He scored a goal, so what? All the Irish players are completely


of an eye in real time. Italy have a corner here. It does not change


the group, by the way. Spain are still on top. Italy still in second


place. It would be very hard on Ireland if Italy get another.


all gone wrong. All in disarray, and yet they had a good spell in


this second half. It was a great finish from Balotelli. John O'Shea


that will affect the result. It is a stupid free kick. Abate has had a


really good game. There was no need for that. Just a few seconds to go


there. Balotelli ignored those around him. He did well, Richard.


Left on his lonesome there, when there were three of the Italians.


In goes the corner kick from Italy. It is going to be another corner.


Italy are desperate for a third because, should Croatia equalise


and it is 1-1, then that means that 2-0 would not be enough for Italy.


3-0 Wood, which is why they are desperate for a third goal. The


referee blows his whistle, and Italy have won this goal -- game by


2-0. Now they wait for confirmation that a Croatian equaliser in go


danced against Spain will not knock them out. The celebrations are on


hold at the moment from the Italians whilst they are still


playing in Gdansk. But Mario Balotelli's all has meant that it


has finished here at 2-0. Balotelli and Given exchange have. The


Italians don't know yet if they are through. While we wait for that,


let's reflect on the Irish campaign. Great disappointment, obviously,


but much better tonight? Huge disappointment, but they were never


going to be happy with being just better. They had a good spell for


30 minutes, and then Italy deservedly took the lead. In the


second half, they dominated. We had a good little spell, and then we


have one sent off. It looks awful, because we have not been like that


in the tournament. We ended up with ten men, and it is a real


disappointment. But one is asking the Italian fans wet of the game


has finished in the Gdansk. They can't tell him from here, but there


is the answer. Italy are through! They know it now. Spain have beaten


Croatia 1-0. It was a horrible wait, because if Croatia had scored late


in that game, then Italian Joia would have turned to tears and they


would have been out. But as it is, Croatia for through the trapdoor.


Spain win group C. Italy go through as runners-up. Spain and Italy are


through. Ireland goal and applaud their magnificent fans before


heading home. It has finished in Poznan.


Incredible scenes there, with Italy clearly delighted to be through to


the quarter-finals. Steve and Allen, this went right down to the wire.


Incredible much of football. We just didn't know what was going to


happen right until the last kick in both games. A great night of


football. From the Republic of Ireland's point of view, at least


they went out give it a good goal. They fought in the second half. At


least they gave it a go. You can hear that the fans are happy with


what they have seen. They made it so much noise tonight, and that has


been one of the hallmarks of the Republic's involvement in this


tournament. The support has been incredible. You can still hear them.


There are 20,000 or 30,000 of them, and they have enjoyed every minute.


Thankfully, at least in the second half, the lads put in a great shift


for them. Unlucky not to get a goal, but it was a much improved


performance in the second half. Gdansk in Poland, these are the


scenes. Similarly jubilant for Spain. They go through.


Disappointment for Croatia. They go home. There manager gives up the


position. Yes, he has got the manager's job at Lokomotiv Moscow.


It looked as if Croatia had a few chances. Ability-wise, Italy, Spain


and Croatia are three very good sides. We are going to lose a side,


with Croatia missing out. Spain were wobbling this evening. That


will give all the other protagonists of the tournament


plenty of heart. If you look at the group itself, Spain have been quite


poor at the back. Italy got at them. We did not do too much to them, but


Croatia got at them. I think there is a weakness there at the back.


They did not look great, but they won 1-0. And that is all that


matters. Let's get final confirmation. These are the scenes


in Gdansk. Clearly, disappointment What an evening, gents. It was a


great evening of football. But looking at the points total, we all


expected Spain to win the group, which has happened. But the


standard of football from both Italy and Croatia has probably


surprised everyone. The problems Italy had coming into the


tournament, they have looked pretty strong. And Croatia, with Jelavic.


They have got some good players. They will be disappointed, but as


you say, Ireland were up against three good sides. The Italians do


it in every tournament. No one fancies them to get out of the


group. Don't be surprised if they go all the way either. If you look


at the Czech Republic and Greece, laugh qualified from other groups,


and look at their ability compared to Croatia, Croatia can count


themselves lucky. It has been a high standard group apart from the


Republic. The Irish performance was much improved in the second half,


but they found themselves one-0 down. It has been one of the


hallmarks of their display defensively that they look very


unsteady. It is so not like us. There was a catalogue of mistakes


here. We gave the ball away. Here, we had a chance to clear it again,


moving all over the place. For me, that was a poor goal to give away.


Cassano gets a cross to Keith Andrews. The hallmark of the


Republic, coming into the tournament, was that the one thing


about them was that they would be tough to beat. But in this


tournament, they weren't, unfortunately. They gave away too


many basic errors. When you do that against top quality players, you


get punished. That is the disappointing thing from their


point of view. They came into it with high hopes, maybe not of


qualifying, but of giving it a right could go and saying to their


fans, we have turned up. It was not meant to be, but we gave you


everything. But now they will go away thinking, we gave away so many


sloppy errors. If you look at the start of the first half and second


half, it is so not like us. The other thing is, we normally close


down teams as a unit. But in the first game, we played too deep as a


back four. Then your midfield is stretched and you are playing


against three in the middle of the park. Then there midfield has a


helluva a long way to go and support the front two, so we were


disjointed and spread out. It was crucial that the Republic put in a


much better second half performance as they leave this tournament and


focus on the World Cup qualifiers the 2014. Keith Andrews had a mixed


second half, but he fought a good save from Buffon. This was typical.


Three of our lads react to it. One Italian defender, and where does


the ball fall? In fairness to the Italian defender, that was


tremendous defending. How many times do you seek defenders


isolated and not going in to protect the goalkeeper? Well, this


time the defender got there first. It was fantastic defending. It was,


but pleasing from our point of view to see three of our lads react.


was unfortunate for Keith, because his tournament ends now. We didn't


see the incident, but here was the second yellow card. There was


nothing in that. It is his reaction. That is a bit harsh from the


referee. The referee has not been too bad during this tournament.


letter of the law says that he probably should. But he is totally


frustrated. His reaction got him the second yellow card. That sums


up the first three games. That is the way it has gone for the


improved second half performance, they conceded a second goal. This


was a magnificent goal. You can take nothing away from that finish.


We said at half-time that at set pieces... And they have been done


by another set piece. It is a great folly but when he looks that, he


should not get beaten. He should be half a yard in front of him. Pot --


disappointing. Let's get some reaction from the Republic of


Ireland camp. Robbie Keane. An incredible reception from the


fans once again. Yes, the last three games they have been


fantastic. We did not perform as well as we know we can and we did


not get the results, but if anybody deserves if it is them. Perhaps we


should have got a result? I think we played well tonight but we did


not really get too many chances. Obviously disappointing that we did


not get anything out of the group and the players are disappointed


but we have been be -- beaten by better team is. Set pieces again?


Yes, that has been the same for the last few games. In previous games


we were quite solid in that department. Is it the end of the


road for some of the players? will have to see.


He could be on his way. Could we see him in the Republic of Ireland


shirt again in a major tournament? He is big pals with Richard and I


hope the two of them don't go together, O'Shea and Shay Given as


well. That is five of them out of the starting 11. If it is, it would


be a shame for the likes of Damien Duff and Shay Given and Robbie


Keane. I have been fantastic and given everything to their country.


To bow out on a game and a tournament where it has not gone as


expected for them, it would be a shame, but no surprise. Definitely


the end of an era. Let's see how events unfolded in Gdansk because


Spain against Croatia was watched by mark Brotherton and its -- Simon


impressive. Beautifully done by a long slow. -- Xabi Alonso. Him he


was trying to drive back as hard as he could and hopefully it would


hallmarks of the Spanish game. Ramos. First shot on target comes


easy stopped. The -- stop. Beautiful movement from Mandzukic,


got the better of Ramos. He is taking some stopping here, and


Ramos went diving in. I thought that was a foul. It was right under


the nose of the additional assistant behind the goal. Anywhere


else on the pitch I would say that would be a foul. Here is in


Leicester -- in Leicester for Spain. possession. Beautifully done there.


Mandzukic into the centre. Rakitic! Saved by Casillas and away by a


Xabi Alonso. Great ball by Modric. Anywhere down for a cross and the


goal -- or across the goal. What a chance. Her Xavi making himself


available, as he always does, at the earliest opportunity.


Schildenfeld able to make the block. Again it is to one of the central


defenders, this time Pique, who is down and holding his head. It does


not quite reached Silva Because Schildenfeld puts himself in the


right place at the right time. is an excellent delivery towards


the near post. If the referee sees that, that is a red. Croatia


looking for that one chance that could swing the game around


completely, and then mack is the man who could be the provider of


that opportunity. -- there is. False to Vega and the save made by


Casillas. -- it falls to Domagoj Vida. The blue shirt flooding


forward. -- blue shirts. It fell to the right man, -- wrong man, didn't


it? They are taking a chance now, Croatia. In Leicester for saying


the stop from Pletikosa. -- Iniesta stays down. Spain are going through


to the quarter-finals. Finally the deadlock is broken. Croatia


suddenly have an awful lot to do and not much time to do it in.


Iniesta was not offside. Finally Spain pick the lock.


Spain are through with Italy but it was nervy stuff. Let's reflect more


about the Republic of Ireland's For the tournament, from a neutral


perspective, the two sides you would want to see have gone through.


Yes, although it ended up being a really nervous end, especially for


Italy. For the Irish point of view, three games and three defeats.


There is pressure on Trapattoni. Should -- be? -- should there be?


They have come here and come up against better opposition and they


have been punished for it. I think we were competing against teams we


could not really cope with. We had some bad luck, some if the goals.


Whether Trapattoni goes ball stays, now is the natural time for there


to be some evolution in the squad. Clearly some of these guys are not


likely to be around for two, four years. No, Robbie Keane, Damien


Duff, Shay Given, they are the ones, and they might say they have had


enough. If it is Giovanni, I hope he has that desire and ambition to


build a new team because he has made a success by getting us here.


But it has been asked -- a disappointment here.


Obviously Trapattoni has signed up for the World Cup qualifiers. Do


you expect him to fulfil those fixtures? I would expect so. I


think he would see that there is enough young talent coming through.


There is and nucleus to build on and I hope he does. He has done a


wonderful job in the qualifiers but we need to push on with the younger


talent. Looking at the teams they will have to compete against,


Germany, Sweden, Austria, the Faroe Islands and Kazakhstan, a major


challenge. It will always be a major challenge for Ireland. Four


us to qualify for it honoured is a magnificent achievement. You can't


take anything away from that. After that, anything is a bonus. They


have been brilliant to come here but they have just come up against


better opposition and I have to say, we could have done better, but they


did great there to get here. have to do -- leave it there. Thank


you for your company. The Irish go home after a much improved


Manish Bhasin introduces live Euro 2012 coverage as the final round of Group C matches gets underway. Tonight's featured game is expected to be Italy against the Republic of Ireland, although results in previous matches could mean that Croatia versus Spain is shown instead.

It will be a special occasion for Ireland's coach Giovanni Trapattoni, a managerial legend in Italy, who had a four-year spell as coach of the Azzurri. The Irish will begin as underdogs but will take heart from their friendly win against the Italians last summer. And those with longer memories will recall Ray Houghton's famous winner against Italy at the 1994 World Cup.

Four-times World Cup winners, Italy have only lifted the European Championship once, although they came desperately close to a second title in 2000, losing in the final to France. Cesare Prandelli has replaced Marcello Lippi as Italy coach following the disappointing World Cup campaign, and has earned praise for adopting a more attacking approach. Defensively, however, they remain a tough nut to crack, with Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon still as formidable an obstacle as ever.

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