The best day in Euros history?

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June 30, 2021
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    Reactions to a manic MondayWorld Cup finalists Croatia and France both went out on an unforgettable day in Euro 2020

    Was it the greatest day of the Euros, ever?

    Two games went to extra time after late goals overturned 3-1 deficits in extraordinary fashion and there were 14 goals in total – the second most in the competition's history.

    Last Wednesday there were 18 goals across four games but today's 240 minutes of drama gave that record a good run for its money.

    In Copenhagen, there was a bizarre own goal, late heroics from substitutes and "broken hearts" at full-time.

    In Bucharest, there was a wonder goal, a penalty shootout and a giant-killing.

    Chris Sutton summed it up on BBC Radio 5 Live: "Magic Monday. What an incredible evening."

    Simply put, it was football in its purest form.

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    An epic game with 'unspeakable sadness'

    For Spain manager Luis Enrique, it was an "epic game" with a "beautiful ending" but Croatia midfielder Nikola Vlasic's heart was "as big as a house and then it broke after we conceded twice".

    Those emotions sum up what a frantic evening it was as Spain progressed to the quarter-finals following a 5-3 win over Croatia in extra time.

    Enrique's side were rocked when Croatia substitutes Mislav Orsic and Mario Pasalic scored twice in the final five minutes to come back from 3-1 down, but Spain rallied as the added 30 minutes produced yet more drama.

    "I've lived through really intense matches as a player and manager but this one genuinely had a bit of everything," said Enrique afterwards.

    "I'm ready for games like this if we have another – but I'm not sure if my family or the fans feel the same!

    "The end of the match was so beautiful – I'm glad that the game gave us a second chance to win it. It was an epic game. I've experienced many intense games in my career but this was one of the best."

    The scenes of jubilant celebrations from the Spaniards were in contrast to the devastated figures of the Croatians – "unspeakable sadness", it was described as by Vlasic.

    "When we netted twice in quick succession to draw level my heart was as big as a house and then it broke after we conceded twice," he told HRT.

    Former Scotland midfielder Graeme Souness told ITV: "We've been waiting for the competition to come alive and it did tonight. That was the best game in the competition so far."

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    'The greatest game on the planet'

    But if anything was to contest for the title of "best game so far" it was the one that followed in Bucharest as Switzerland shocked world champions France.

    Didier Deschamps' side trailed at half-time but two goals from Karim Benzema and a stunning long-range strike from Paul Pogba put them in the driving seat.

    Switzerland's Haris Seferovic and Mario Gavranovic then forced extra time and – if there was not enough drama already – France superstar Kylian Mbappe's deciding penalty kick was saved in the shootout.

    Former Republic of Ireland midfielder Roy Keane told ITV: "As neutrals we got sucked right into it, honestly. This is why it's the greatest game on the planet."

    Switzerland captain Granit Xhaka said they "made history", while goalkeeper Yann Sommer, the hero of the shootout, described it as "crazy".

    "What a game, what a night of football! The end is crazy, it is beautiful, but how we came back during the game from two goals down… I am really proud of this team," he added.

    "We always believed, we always said if we are down we will go to the end and not give up. It was our chance to go through. It is incredible how we played.

    "Anything is possible but that is always in football. We believed it, we are a small country but we have a lot of quality and have experience in our squad. We showed it."

    France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris added: "We went through every emotion possible and honestly that was football the way we like it. But the two goals we conceded in the last quarter of an hour really hurt us."

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    987 commentsShowLatestOldestHighest RatedMost Replied

    • L

      Comment posted by LockStockBringo, at 00:15 29 Jun

      This tournament has helped me fall back in love with football again and a huge, huge part of that is the refereeing. The way they have let games flow and waved play on for what would normally be silly free kicks, has been absolutely superb.7038

      • L

        Reply posted by Lets Agree To Disagree, at 00:35 29 Jun

        "This tournament has helped me fall back in love with football again and a huge, huge part of that is the refereeing. The way they have let games flow and waved play on for what would normally be silly free kicks, has been absolutely superb."Lets Agree To Disagree replied: Sadly you may have to stick to international football, British referees just don’t operate like that.2077

      More replies (41)

    • J

      Comment posted by John Coltrane, at 00:04 29 Jun

      The best night of entertaining football I’ve seen in years. Well done particularly to Switzerland.3463

      • T

        Reply posted by The Spin Doctor, at 00:20 29 Jun

        "The best night of entertaining football I’ve seen in years. Well done particularly to Switzerland."The Spin Doctor replied: Tomorrow England will show us how football should really be played……oh crap!23516

      More replies (24)

    • A

      Comment posted by AFCDale, at 00:07 29 Jun

      Hopefully Southgate isn’t planning to balance it with Turgid Tuesday.30110

      • S

        Reply posted by Steel Falcon, at 00:16 29 Jun

        "Hopefully Southgate isn’t planning to balance it with Turgid Tuesday."Steel Falcon replied: Yes he is. Every performance under his management is and will continue to be turgid.13629

      More replies (46)

    • S

      Comment posted by Steely_Dan54, at 00:12 29 Jun

      Best I can ever remember. Commiserations to France and Croatia, they played their part in two magnificent games. Goals, great goals, penalty saves, last-minute comebacks and giant-killings. It doesn’t get any better than that, Kudos to all involved.2650

      • C

        Reply posted by Celts, at 02:38 29 Jun

        "Best I can ever remember. Commiserations to France and Croatia, they played their part in two magnificent games. Goals, great goals, penalty saves, last-minute comebacks and giant-killings. It doesn’t get any better than that, Kudos to all involved."Celts replied: This tournament has proven that VAR is not the problem in the Premier League. It’s the incompetent English referees who operate it……3593

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    • M

      Comment posted by Milky Bar Senior Citizen, at 00:13 29 Jun

      Wonder if Kane and Mbappe will see their transfer fees and wage demands come a little more down to earth after this tournament.2264

      • P

        Reply posted by Panda, at 00:21 29 Jun

        "Wonder if Kane and Mbappe will see their transfer fees and wage demands come a little more down to earth after this tournament."Panda replied: If they carry on like this they will have to given away796

      More replies (20)

    • B

      Comment posted by BarryChuckle, at 00:31 29 Jun

      Just when you thought 4 hours of football couldn’t get any better, it ends with the French getting dumped out.20720

      • C

        Reply posted by Cantonawont, at 05:56 29 Jun

        "Just when you thought 4 hours of football couldn’t get any better, it ends with the French getting dumped out."Cantonawont replied: Don’t worry you’re next.7971

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    • A

      Comment posted by Ade Whitaker, at 00:06 29 Jun

      Bonkers day of football. Just brilliant!1831

      • L

        Reply posted by Lets Agree To Disagree, at 00:18 29 Jun

        "Bonkers day of football. Just brilliant!"Lets Agree To Disagree replied: Let’s hope tomorrow isn’t ‘Let down Tuesday’.687

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    • A

      Comment posted by Adam SE15NZ, at 00:57 29 Jun

      It’s not that I hate Pogba…His goal was superb. But his dancing, his arrogance, his gestures, cringe…Glad France is out. Well played Swiss.18027

      • M

        Reply posted by maint1234, at 02:53 29 Jun

        "It’s not that I hate Pogba…His goal was superb. But his dancing, his arrogance, his gestures, cringe…Glad France is out. Well played Swiss."maint1234 replied: The English have never won the euro cup . Never even reached the finals. While the French have won twice and reached the finals 3 times. Even greece has won the euro cup. Haha. I guess b.bc has convinced you that it is GREAT Britain. Haha.32133

      More replies (27)

    • F

      Comment posted by farmerthorne, at 00:08 29 Jun

      England will bring the tournament back down to earth tomorrow zzzzzz14120

      • D

        Reply posted by Dizzee69, at 00:14 29 Jun

        "England will bring the tournament back down to earth tomorrow zzzzzz"Dizzee69 replied: By defending properly and not conceding comical own-goals?8854

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    • A

      Comment posted by abby, at 00:23 29 Jun

      Only let down on this tournament so far is the sports pundits in the studio and commentary….. Shockingly amateurish1109

      • T

        Reply posted by tahid, at 02:36 29 Jun

        "Only let down on this tournament so far is the sports pundits in the studio and commentary….. Shockingly amateurish"tahid replied: Happy to see the general england fans see different (rightly ) than the ex english players turned pundits, who are so deluded and overhype england and their performance. They forgot they where also overhyped and came crushing in every tournaments.544

      More replies (18)

    • B

      Comment posted by Bazza84, at 00:20 29 Jun

      14 goals in the space of two games? The World Champions sent packing? Yeah I’d say its likely to hold up as one of the more memorable days in the annals of international football tournaments ever.

      Its mad that Spain scored 10 goals in two games when they struggled so badly in the first two games. Just shows how unpredictable this tournament is.1011

      • C

        Reply posted by Commentier, at 01:04 29 Jun

        "14 goals in the space of two games? The World Champions sent packing? Yeah I’d say its likely to hold up as one of the more memorable days in the annals of international football tournaments ever.Its mad that Spain scored 10 goals in two games when they struggled so badly in the first two games. Just shows how unpredictable this tournament is."Commentier replied: At this rate the final will end up 9-7 with one guy on a triple hat trick.302

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    • T

      Comment posted by toffeeblue, at 00:04 29 Jun

      100% the best day of euro football so far. That was pure entertainment. World champs and euro champs out in the fist knockout stage, has that ever happened before…. each game had a 2 goal deficate with what 10 mins left… superb football.
      I will not say it but i have a feeling.928

      • F

        Reply posted by flash , at 00:47 29 Jun

        "100% the best day of euro football so far. That was pure entertainment. World champs and euro champs out in the fist knockout stage, has that ever happened before…. each game had a 2 goal deficate with what 10 mins left… superb football.I will not say it but i have a feeling."flash replied: Um I’d recommend learning how to spell “deficit” rather than making a very risky attempt.29819

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    • P

      Comment posted by Peter North, at 00:06 29 Jun

      Croatia and Swiss played with guts and fight.
      Wish England played like this instead of being so overly conservative. The best defense is a good offence. We need to unleash everything tomorrow and play with unity, heart and desire.9211

      • K

        Reply posted by KingFreddy, at 00:08 29 Jun

        "Croatia and Swiss played with guts and fight.Wish England played like this instead of being so overly conservative. The best defense is a good offence. We need to unleash everything tomorrow and play with unity, heart and desire."KingFreddy replied: This team at least plays better together than the socalled “Golden Generation” at least.497

      More replies (19)

    • F

      Comment posted by frostyboy4, at 00:26 29 Jun

      Got a Czech Republic v Switzerland final written all over it.806

      • T

        Reply posted by toffeeblue, at 00:31 29 Jun

        "Got a Czech Republic v Switzerland final written all over it."toffeeblue replied: Italy v england1955

      More replies (8)

    • R

      Comment posted by Roci, at 00:21 29 Jun

      Both of today’s matches epitomized the best of football! What’s more, yesterday, the better team won by playing simple, direct football (Czech Republic) against the Dutch who tried to flick and walk the ball into the net.552

      • M

        Reply posted by mike griggs, at 08:30 29 Jun

        "Both of today’s matches epitomized the best of football! What’s more, yesterday, the better team won by playing simple, direct football (Czech Republic) against the Dutch who tried to flick and walk the ball into the net."mike griggs replied: Raving about the Czechs and the Croats for their performances rightly so, but didn’t England beat them both comfortably?177

      More replies (4)

    • A

      Comment posted by AdBadH, at 00:09 29 Jun

      What a good day for football.542

      • T

        Reply posted by The Spin Doctor, at 00:38 29 Jun

        "What a good day for football."The Spin Doctor replied: I just hope about 22 hours from now you don’t have to post ‘What a bad day for football’.342

      More replies (1)

    • M

      Comment posted by Meadowender, at 00:15 29 Jun

      All three teams from the group of death go out in the first knock out round then6213

      • J

        Reply posted by J3YB, at 00:20 29 Jun

        "All three teams from the group of death go out in the first knock out round then"J3YB replied: Let’s hope so!3314

      More replies (3)

    • Z

      Comment posted by Zac, at 01:04 29 Jun

      The four teams proved that if you pass the ball forward instead of sideways or back you can score goals. England take note.492

      • F

        Reply posted by Footy_fan, at 07:58 29 Jun

        "The four teams proved that if you pass the ball forward instead of sideways or back you can score goals. England take note."Footy_fan replied: England took the note but Southgate will forget to carry it on the bus.134

      More replies (6)

    • F

      Comment posted by Foxes, at 00:07 29 Jun

      For a neutral, you don’t get much better than today… unreal entertainment… well done to Murray too6321

      • L

        Reply posted by Lets Agree To Disagree, at 00:22 29 Jun

        "For a neutral, you don’t get much better than today… unreal entertainment… well done to Murray too"Lets Agree To Disagree replied: For the England Germany game, it’s a case of hope for the best, prepare for the worst. Both in terms of entertainment and final result.600

      More replies (5)

    • H

      Comment posted by Hobiecat, at 00:06 29 Jun

      Great evening of entertainment, and probably the right result in each game. The quarters are looking tasty too!341

      • D

        Reply posted by danceposa, at 14:17 29 Jun

        "Great evening of entertainment, and probably the right result in each game. The quarters are looking tasty too!"danceposa replied: tasty? OMG. A Gary fan no doubt. Talk Eenglish all of you please. Whats wrong with “looking forward to the quarter finals” ? This constant search to find new words or ways is pathetic .Bring back a commentator and no pundits whatsoever!!!26

      More replies (1)

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