SOMMER LOVIN’

Too many headline-worthy moments. Not enough space or time. Let's work backwards, then forwards, shall we? That probably doesn't make sense, but neither does what we witnessed yesterday.
After 75 minutes we were talking up Karim Benzema, his influence back in this French side after six years away, that touch from the Real Madrid forward for the equaliser – did he mean it or not?! – after Hugo Lloris saved a penalty moments earlier.
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We were then sketching Paul Pogba's name into the player of the tournament award after he extended France’s advantage with arguably the goal of the Euros so far (sorry Karim).
But then… as if we hadn’t learned anything from the match before, the Swiss came back.
A 3-1 lead was squandered by the French and it eventually led to a shootout defeat with Kylian Mbappe seeing the crucial kick saved by Yann Sommer. It rounded off a day of drama, a day for the ages, a day of pure knockout football at its finest.

Xhaka was in inspired form for Switzerland

Image credit: Getty Images

And so the Swiss deserve all the credit for sending the world champions packing. Sommer of course for making Mbappe the unlucky fall guy (Pele’s got your back, Kylian) but the team as a whole for defying the odds and giving us an extra ounce of theatre - as if it was needed.

MORATA’S REDEMPTION

Remember that comedic own goal? Yeah, that was yesterday. Unai Simon's miscontrol has been consigned to history as it was just the first of eight goals in Copenhagen on Monday evening.

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It was the stuff of nightmares, and the sort of goal you would see replayed and replayed and replayed if it proved to be your final game of the tournament, and so thankfully Spain turned it around to lead 3-1 and all was done and dusted… until of course Croatia came back.
Little did we know at this point we were set for one of the greatest days of knockout football ever, but come extra time we were treated to some superb narrative, as Simon not only produced a wonder-save from close range, but Alvaro Morata cut the figure of an in-form striker by expertly bringing the ball down before lashing it home.
It was no more than Morata deserved for the stick he has got. It’s more than those who directed abuse at the forward and his family deserve, those who no doubt celebrated his goal yesterday, but we would much prefer the striker to thrive than see those who troll him feel justified for their words.
At this rate it could be Morata’s or Denmark’s Euros – and we can live with that.

AND LOOK WHAT’S NEXT!

Good luck following that, err, *checks notes* Germany, England, Ukraine, and Sweden. Wait. England vs Germany! For a night we almost entirely forget this match was around the corner, we were almost as one celebrating a feast of football as opposed to creating a toxic divide, but – sadly – that good feeling will dissipate as the meeting at Wembley draws ever closer.

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Praying for a night of clean songs from the stands, this should be about nothing more than two nations colliding for the eighth time at a major tournament, and first since the 2010 World Cup.
There have been four friendlies since – one draw, two Germany wins, one for England – but in truth there is nothing to take from previous meetings, nor the group stages really.
England will have confidence from the fact two 1-0 wins over Croatia and Czech Republic looks pretty good right now, but we’re going to throw that old cliché out there, the formbook goes out the window, especially as they face a Germany side who blew cold, then hot, then tepid to reach the knockouts.

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It has the ingredients for a fascinating encounter, perhaps not a thriller, but Monday night has taught us all to expect the unexpected, and for whichever nation that wins, recent results will mean Ukraine or Sweden will not be taken lightly on Saturday – this tournament really is anyone’s.

IN OTHER NEWS

News? Away from the Euros? Suppose there’s Scott Parker swapping Fulham for Bournemouth. It’s a bold move but perhaps the man himself put it best after he was unable to keep Fulham in the Premier League.
Parker told Bournemouth’s website: "I believe this is the perfect fit for both parties. I’m familiar with Bournemouth because of my relationship with Harry Arter. It’s a football club I know well from watching him over the years.
"The ethos, the reputation, the journey and the challenge here is something that’s very exciting for me and my staff.”
A new project, having already guided Fulham to promotion in 2019-20, will be a test of Parker’s mettle, and if he can help a second team return to the Premier League then his credibility will go through the roof. Best o’ luck.

IN THE CHANNELS

It has to be this Swiss fan, right? I mean, it can’t be anything but this Swiss guy, can it? These two shots were a MINUTE APART.
And that, right there, is football.

RETRO CORNER

Could it get more retro? It is exactly 63 years since a 17-year-old Pele won his first World Cup when Brazil beat Sweden 5-2 in the 1958 World Cup final. If you want to watch all seven goals in a minute, enjoy below.

COMING UP

It is of course England vs Germany tonight followed by Sweden vs Ukraine. There’ll be dedicated live blogs for both on Eurosport later, plus of course Wimbledon and the Tour de France. Action. Packed.
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