Manchester City players continue to impress at the Euro’s, with several stand-out performances so far.
We start with Belgium and a Kevin de Bruyne inspired victory over Denmark which sent the Red Devils through to the next stage. Trailing 1-0 at half time, Belgium brought on the City talisman to make his first appearance since suffering a fractured nose and eye socket sustained in the Champions League Final.
And within 9 minutes, the Belgian had set up Thorgan Hazard for the equaliser. Romelu Lukaku charged forward and squared for de Bruyne, who took two Danish players out of the equation with his first touch, before placing a perfect pass the Hazard to score.
Then with 20 minutes remaining, the City man finished off an incredible Belgium move from the edge of the penalty area, then showed his class by playing down the celebrations out of respect for Christian Eriksen, who collapsed in Denmark’s first game at the same end of the pitch.
Oleksandr Zinchenko’s Ukraine moved to the brink of group qualification after a 2-1 win over debutants North Macedonia. The City man played the full 90 minutes of the match, and victory over Austria in their final group match will see Zinchenko’s team thorugh.
Nathan Ake came on as a second half substitute for The Netherlands, who beat Austria 2-0 to book their place in the last 16. Ake came on in the 64th minute, replacing Danny Blind as the Dutch continued to look ominous at this year’s tournament.
Friday saw England take centre stage, and John Stones, Phil Foden and Raheem Sterling all starting with Kyle Walker dropping to the bench. Foden showed some excellent touches but was strangely substituted midway through the second half. Sterling showed some good skill running at the Scottish defence but the Three Lions couldn’t smash the blue wall, and now need a draw against the Czech Republic to guarantee qualification.
Saturday saw Spain in action before a tasty clash between Portugal and Germany and City fans wondering to which players their loyalty should lie.
City were represented for Spain by Aymeric Laporte and Rodrigo, who both started the match while Ferran Torres joined the action early in the second half.
Spain took the lead in the first half, but Poland drew level 9 minutes into the second half. Torres came on in the 61st minute but couldn’t find the goal that would give Spain their first win of the Euro’s, and qualification for them will rest on them beating Slovakia in the final group match.
Onto Group F and current holders Portugal up against the German machine, which featured Ruben Dias and Bernardo Silva for Portugal and Ilkay Gundogan for Germany.
And it was Silva’s superb ball over the German defence that released Diogo Jota, and the Liverpool striker squared for Ronaldo to open the scoring.
Silva was everywhere for Portugal, but Germany hit back after their defeat to France to lead 2-1 at the break. A surprise substitution at half time saw Silva leave the action for Renato Sanchez, however Gundogan’s Germany went on to score twice more, before Jota pulled a goal back. Gundo then left the field in the 73rd minute.
And finally, an honorary mention goes to former City boss Roberto Mancini, who guided his Italy side to two successive victories in Group A. The Italians had dispatched Turkey then Switzerland to qualify, and face Wales in their final group match.