Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Group D: England v Ukraine Post Match Analysis

Rooney 48

England start off in a 4-4-1-1 shape, starting 11:
GK: Hart  LB: Cole, CB: Lescott,  CB : Terry,   RB Johnson, RM: Millner, CM: Parker, CM: Gerrard,  LM: Young, Ss: Rooney,  ST: Welbeck.
SUBS USED:Milner/Walcott 69  Welbeck/Carroll 82   Rooney/Oxlade Chamberlain  86

Ukraine start off in a 4-4-1-1 shape,starting 11:
GK: Pyatov LB: Selin, CB: Khacheridi, CB: : Rakitsky,, RB: Gusey, CM: Garmash, DM: Tymoshchuk, LM: Konoplyanka, RM: Yarmolenko, Ss Devic , ST: Milevskiy
SUBS USED: Devic/Shevchenko 69  Butko/Milevskiy 77 Garmash/ Nazararenko 77

A Little look:
England went into tonight's game with the added bonus of Rooney's return (who, in his one and only previous appearance at the Euro's, scored 4 in 4).  The team unit has been strong when playing reactive football, and they will feel they can build from their solid base. Ukraine will have to work hard to deal with  England's left. Shevchenko will start on the bench so Ukraine will have to up their level as, excluding Shevchenko, they have only managed one shot on target in the first two games.    

Ukraine started as expected; they pressed high all over the pitch, and the full backs played wide and pushed right up. This caused England a lot of problems, as the more attacking side (the left) was forced to stay deep; they were always worried about the out ball the full backs gave.

Both teams played at too slow of a pace in the first half and for most of the second, but this can be attributed to the lack of creativity from the Ukrainian's and England alike, which allowed enough time for the defence to set up. Rooney, in the first half, really should have had a goal, although England only had four shots in the first half with zero on target. That quickly changed at the start of the second, with a Rooney goal, which was lucky as England only had two more shots on target in the game. England are still not doing enough with the ball; they had less possession and played over a hundred less passes. The Ukraine team will feel they should have had a goal as the ball did cross the line, but in the build up to the goal there was a glaring offside shout, so maybe justice was served. All in all, apart from on the flanks, Ukraine never really did enough to test the England blockade, and the amount of shots and failed crosses from each team showed that this battle was fought in the middle of the park.

Konoplyanka  and Yarmolenko came inside and looked like they could cause some damage, along with the "wing-backs" who always gave width, and this left space between England's full backs and centre backs, which a clever moving striker would have taken advantage of. Milner gave a lot when working back but, as always, just didn't get into the game as an attacking threat; both teams crossed the ball a lot and his delivery was poor, displaying his lack of international quality. Milevskiy will be disappointed he missed his chance, it had "goal" written all over it, but again this should have been called offside. Devic showed good feet but not a lot else, and Welbeck didn't show what he can do in this game as he drifted out of it quite a bit.

Captaincy appears to have brought the best out of Gerrard, who Hodgson has managed to coach a bit of discipline into, and seems to be thriving, setting up England's first goals in each of the three group games. His 'Hollywood' passes being of more benefit to this counter attacking team, as well as making better choices of when to pass long and when to pass short, although he was caught dwelling on the ball on a few occasions, resulting in quick Ukrainian attacks, that England managed to snuff out courtesy of some good defensive work from Lescott and blocks from Parker (the human shield). With Rooney back in goal scoring form in his first game, and some good options from the bench, England can be optimistic on reaching the semis.

Full Time:
England never really got going as an attacking unit, although they didn't need to as a draw would have seen them through; during the qualifiers for this tournament (under Capello) England scored a lot of goals by sitting deep and scoring on the break, which is a sensible option giving they were playing against the home nation in their back garden, in a game England only needed a point and Ukraine could settle for nothing less than a win. Reactive football suits England, but just down the road is a team who are masters at it, along with knowing where the goal is. Italy will be a lot tougher than the media is giving them credit for, and some credit should go to England, as making it through the group stage, as group leaders in a tough group, is a good achievement to build on.

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