Offshore Drilling, Euro 2012: England 1, Ukraine 0


source: Getty Images

Man of the Match: For all the controversy that he courts, John Terry is still capable of being a pretty good defender. Adjusting to playing right center half (as opposed to his normal spot on the left), Terry has steadily given better performances as the tournament’s gone on. Against France he was untested. Versus Sweden he started showing form assertiveness, while today he was the best player on the field. His recovery from a non-offside call to save a goal will be the highlight. Though he was beaten in the buildup to the shot, that play came after a dominant hour that kept Ukraine from threatening despite their dominance of possession.

NBC Sports: England beat Ukraine 1-0 to advance

Packaged for takeaway:

  • The talking point won’t be England winning or finishing at the top of Group D. It will be goal line technology; or, the lack of it.
  • In the 61st minute, a blown offside call allowed Artem Milevskiy behind England’s defense. He puts Joe Hart to ground and fires a left-footed shot toward an empty net from 14 yards out. Terry gets back and saves it, kicking it out, though replays show the ball clearly went over the line.
  • Most disconcerting for replay advocates will be the positioning of the goal line official. The man in black anticipated the play, was straddling the line and leaning into the field so he could see the shot. He still made the wrong call.
  • Prior to the controversy, it’d been a pretty stoic match, goal included. Wayne Rooney’s 48th minute opener came out of nowhere, to a certain degree. The second ball in after a corner was a Steven Gerrard ball into the six. Andriy Pyatov was a bit lazy, didn’t get down to play a deflected ball, and ended up tipping a ball put for an easy Rooney header.
  • The only other England chance before the goal was a first half Rooney header that went wide. This was the same England that cowered to France, only this time, they were cowering to a team they were expected to beat.
  • That’s why Rooney’s goal was more reason for relief than joyous breakthrough. The way the first half played out, Ukraine looked capable of sending England home, and England looked willing to let it happen. Pyatov’s mistake let the Three Lions off the hook.
  • This is what Roy Hodgson’s philosophies are built on. Implicit is his approach is the view that these types of mistakes happen, and if you can mitigate yours while exploiting your opponents, you can win. The problem with that view is that it’s too reactive. One missed assignment on a set piece, a poor penalty call, a sending off that leaves you down a man – one groundball with eyes, a dying quail – and suddenly all your conservativeness has done is waste time you should have used building your lead – a lead that becomes insurance against a blow offside call that can turn the match. You never impose your game on your opponents, and therefore never try to exploit your advantages. All you do is wait for errors, and if they don’t come, you’re screwed. Today, one came.
  • By the end of the match, however, Ukraine was pressing for an equalizer, testing Joe Hart and demanding a heroic moment from Joleon Lescott. The co-hosts, however, seemed to realize their tournament was over. There was no frantic final push.
  • Despite the goal, Wayne Rooney looked rusty. His first touches weren’t matching his ideas, as evidenced on the missed chance in the first half. He played 87 minutes, and his fitness didn’t look like a major issue; still, some rust needs to be knocked off.
  • Theo Walcott didn’t start. James Milner did, and it’s unclear to me why. The theory is that Milner’s better defensively, an idea with which I agree. Is he so much better defensively that it outweighs the advantages Walcott offers going foward? Today, at least, England could have used less Milner, more Walcott.
  • Steven Gerrard had another good game, but I continue to be confused by some real selective analysis. Two examples that jump out.
    • First, Gerrard was given a disproportionate amount of credit for the ball played in for Rooney’s goal. It was a well-driven ball that caused problems, but it wasn’t some unique piece of skill that couldn’t be replicated by most players in the tournament.
    • Second, a long, speculative ball in the second half was greeted with praise, though it ended up being a glorified turnover. With England struggling to maintain possession, the costs of trying that ball weren’t worth it. In addition, many long balls played by Gerrard mask a the same lackadaisicalness that manifests in his periodic jogging. It’s easier to hit a long ball, get credit for trying, and be done with it than play a short ball, after which you’d be expected to run into space.

    Gerrard’s having a good tournament, but there’s no need to act like the man doesn’t need bathrooms in his house. Not to mention it riles up curmudgeons like me who have no problem wasting 200 words on something that really isn’t that big of a deal.

  • Ukraine coach Oleh Blohkin made three changes, one forced by Andriy Shevchenko not being fit to start (he’d come on in the second half). He went to the bench, as did Andrei Voronin and Sergey Nazarenko, three of the team’s older players. While Ukraine could have used Shevchenko’s poaching in the first half, but it’s unclear they other two players were missed.
  • The win, combined with France’s loss, gives England Group D and a match against Italy (avoiding Spain). I’d suggest brewing a lot of coffee for Sunday’s game, as you’re going to need help staying awake. As I mentioned on Twitter, I hope they start with penalty kicks and save us two hours of ennui.

ProSoccerTalk is doing its best to keep you up to date on what’s going on in Poland and Ukraine. Check out the site’s Euro 2012 page and look at the site’s previews, predictions, and coverage of all the events defining UEFA’s championship.

Man City vs Man United: How to watch live, stream link, team news


Manchester City vs Manchester United: Erling Haaland is set for his Manchester derby debut when the two-time defending champions host the rapidly improving Red Devils at Etihad Stadium on Sunday (watch live, 9 am ET on Peacock Premium). 


Haaland has taken the Premier League by storm with an absurd 11 goals scored in his first seven games after (ostensibly) choosing Man City over Man United before leaving Borussia Dortmund this summer.

Six weeks ago, Manchester United had not a single point from their first two games, including a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of tiny Brentford, but Erik ten Hag has since switched tactical course en route to four straight wins, including a 3-1 victory over PL leaders Arsenal last time out, to set up this hugely intriguing showdown on Sunday.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Man City vs Man United

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

How to watch Manchester City vs Manchester United live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 9 am ET, Sunday
Online: Stream via Peacock Premium

Key storylines & star players

Despite a pair of disappointing draws (Newcastle and Aston Villa), it’s been an unbeaten start to the 2022-23 season for Man City, who still lead the PL in possession (66.4 percent per game) while also becoming an unstoppable offensive force from last season (14 goals in their first seven games) to this season (23). That’s not to say it’s been easy as Manchester City go through a tactical shift of their own to better appeal to the big Norwegian’s poaching abilities. Though they have been forced to grind out results a few times already this season, it’s highlighted a newfound spontaneity for a side that’s been as regimented as any in the world. Will that freedom be what ultimately lands Pep Guardiola his first Champions League trophy since 2011, and perhaps a third straight PL title (and a fifth in six years) to boot?

As for Manchester United, the Ten Hag era has been a wild roller-coaster ride already, short as it’s been. The back-to-back defeats were one thing, but the abject performances were the real cause for discontent. While picking up the four straight victories, the Dutchman has also settled on a midfield setup with Scott McTominay and Christian Eriksen operating in (effectively) a double pivot with Bruno Fernandes the most advanced of the three. It has brought defensive stability, of course, but more importantly the change has revealed a deadly counter-attacking side. Each of Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Fernandes have scored twice during the winning run, with new boy Antony also getting in on the fun on his debut. With space in behind (and the proper service from deep), Ten Hag might just have his first winning formula (albeit quite unlike him).

Manchester City team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Kalvin Phillips (shoulder), John Stones (hamstring), Benjamin Mendy (suspension – MORE) | QUESTIONABLE: Aymeric Laporte (knee)

Manchester United team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Harry Maguire (hamstring), Marcus Rashford (thigh), Brandon Williams (undisclosed), Mason Greenwood (suspension – MORE) | QUESTIONABLE, Donny van de Beek (knock), Martin Dubravka (knock)

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WATCH: Lionel Messi spins gorgeous free kick goal past Nice’s Schmeichel


Lionel Messi got the better of Kasper Schmeichel with an outstanding free kick as Paris Saint-Germain outlasted Nice 2-1 on Saturday at the Parc des Princes.

The world’s greatest scorer was fouled to set up a free kick just inside the arc. Nice, of course, got into a wall and former Leicester City keeper Kasper Schmeichel arranged it to his liking.

As he does so many times, however, Messi spun a free kick just over the wall. The ball, which came so close to taking a slight turn off a leaping wall member (actually, did it?), tumbled down and right into the side netting to give PSG a 1-0 lead before the match was a half-hour old.

[ MORE: USMNT’s Ricardo Pepi scores relentless Groningen goal ]

Gaetan Laborde tied the match before halftime, and Nice’s revamped roster looked set to hold tight for a point (The club’s signed familiar Premier League names Schmeichel, Ross Barkley, Aaron Ramsey, and Mario Lemina).

Even that wouldn’t be enough, though, as Kylian Mbappe came off the bench to replace young Hugo Ekitike to finish a Nordi Mukiele assist for a 2-1 win.

PSG has eight wins and a draw this season, good for a two-point lead on second-place Marseille. Messi has five goals and a joint-league-best seven assists, tied with Neymar. Mbappe and Neymar are tied for the league goals lead with eight.

Lionel Messi free kick goal video

USMNT’s Ricardo Pepi defies xG with relentless goal (video)


USMNT forward Ricardo Pepi’s goal while trying to will Groningen back into an eventual 4-1 loss to AZ Alkmaar on Saturday will not be one of the expected variety.

The 19-year-old striker, on loan from Augsburg, ran onto an audacious long pass from 20-year-old defender Neraysho Kasanwirjo but had plenty of work to do with AZ leading 2-0.

[ MORE: Josef Martinez scores audacious overhead goal ]

Pepi sees one defender fall in a race to the ball, then bodies up AZ’s Sam Beukema a little outside the six-yard box.

Hand-to-hand combat sees both players hit the turf, and Pepi probably could won a penalty.

But the World Cup hopeful spins while on the pitch and snaps a shot past charging AZ goalkeeper Hobie Verhulst to make it 2-1.

Video after the jump.

Ricardo Pepi

Ricardo Pepi goal video: Fantastic start to Groningen loan

Pepi now has a goal or an assist in his first three Eredivisie outings, not unlike his fantastic start to life in a USMNT shirt.

His goal contributions have taken a dive since his first two USMNT matches — World Cup qualifiers against Honduras and Jamaica — and he only has one assist from the following 10 outings in a U.S. shirt.

Still, Pepi is clearly one of Gregg Berhalter’s favorite options for the upcoming World Cup, and his performances will be measured against Union Berlin’s Jordan Pefok, FC Dallas’ Jesus Ferreira, and others.

In a tournament where every moment matters, his work for this scrappy finish will be well-noted by the USMNT staff.

Josef Martinez scores vicious overhead kick in Atlanta United loss (video)


If this is the last goal of Josef Martinez’s (likely) final season with Atlanta United, it will be very appropriate.

So for Martinez, even in a losing effort, to go airborne for an overhead kick that is a simply sensational feat of athleticism and power, well, it just feels right.

The 29-year-old Venezuelan forward joined the Five Stripes in 2017 in what seemed a massive capture for the club at the time and now seems downright gargantuan, but he’s fallen out with current manager Gonzalo Pineda and was even suspended for a match last month.

[ MORE: West Ham beats Wolves | Klopp reacts to latest setback ]

Martinez has nine goals and four assists in an injury-abbreviated 25-game season, giving him 111 goals in 156 appearances for ATL UTD. The former Torino and Young Boys striker is still being capped for Venezuela and would leave with an MLS Cup, Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, and Campeones Cup as well as a boatload of individual honors.

Atlanta lost 2-1 to New England on Saturday and returns home for their season finale next weekend versus New York City FC. The Five Stripes won’t make the playoffs unless at least two teams decide not to field teams, so if the NYCFC game doesn’t go well, let’s pretend this one was his final appearance for the club.