It’s a great shame that following the group stage the tournament’s entertainment level plummeted to near World Cup 2010 levels, and penalties – often described as a cruel way to settle a game – have been providing the thrills that normal game time has been lacking. Such was the case with this game as a fairly dull game ended in a victory for Spain on penalties.
With a lack of excitement during the game, and airtime to fill, did the commentators step up to the mark with intelligent and fascinating insight? No – of course they didn’t. The BBC commentary was its usual mixture of lazy and baffling rubbish, with Martin Keown bemoaning Spain having too many passers in their team, as though it’s never worked out for them. Keown will go to the grave insisting that Spain struggled because they didn’t play with a recognised striker (despite starting Negredo), when in reality Portugal were just very good at nullifying Spain’s threat.
Who’d have thought that pressing more talented opposition would be more effective than sitting back and letting them play? Although, they were apparently so busy coming up with a tactical plan they forgot to practise penalties.
As mentioned above, Martin Keown’s commentary was pretty dire; but the performace of his broadcasting partner, Steve Wilson, was just as bad. Throughout the game, Wilson treated the audience to comments that I’m sure sounded thoughtful and intelligent in his head, but in reality sounded like they’d been written by a lonely teenager attempting poetry. Actor Nick Frost’s response to one such comment pretty much summed up the feelings of the audience.
Portugal 0(2) - (4)0 Spain (Spain win on pens)
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