It seems like only a few days ago when the Euros started, but we’re now at the quarter-final stage and the Manchester City boys are still going strong, with 9 blues still in the competition. Let’s take a look at who they face this weekend.
The City trio of Ferran Torres, Aymeric Laporte and Rodri are looking to set up a semi-final clash with either Italy or Belgium, but must first overcome Switzerland, who have been a bit of a surprise in the tournament.
The Swiss knocked out world champions France on penalties after coming back from 3-1 down to end the match 3-3 in normal time. The Swiss proved excellent penalty takers as they beat the French 5-4, with Kylian Mbappe missing the crucial final penalty.
Spain meanwhile, needed extra time to beat Croatia, with City’s Ferran Torres playing his part in their victory. With the score at 1-1, it was his cross that was headed home by Cesar Azpilicueta to give Spain the lead, before Torres himself scored a well-taken goal in the 77th minute to send Spain 3-1 up. Torres was then substituted on 88 minutes with the score at 3-2 and Croatia equalised in injury time.
Rodri came on in minute 102 with the score at 4-3 to Spain, who then scored a 5th to go through to the last 8.
Kevin de Bruyne’s Red Devils are still going strong after beating Portugal 1-0 in the last 16. However, the City midfielder limped off a few minutes into the second half, and may be doubtful for their big clash with Italy, who are managed by former City boss Roberto Mancini. Who are you backing in this one, blues?
No players, but another honourary mention to Bobby Manc, who has guided Italy to the last eight, but needed extra time to squeeze past a stubborn Austria. Bobby’s side rode their luck when Marko Arnautovic has a goal disallowed for offside.
Italy then scored in the 95th and 105th minutes, and while Austria pulled a goal back late on, the Azzuri held on to set up the meeting with Belgium, with the winners facing Spain or Switzerland in the semi-final.
England and Ukraine
At least one City boy will be going home this weekend as Oleksandr Zinchenko’s Ukraine face the City quartet and England in the last eight.
Zinchenko was the inspiration behind Ukraine’s win over Sweden on Tuesday, scoring the opening goal in the 27th minute with a vicious left foot shot that flew into the back of the Swedish goal. Sweden levelled before half time, but Zinchenko’s perfect cross in the last minute of extra time was converted by Artem Dovbyk to send Ukraine through to the quarter final.
And unless you’ve been living in another galaxy for a few days, Ukraine will face England, who finally beat Germany in a knockout stage of a tournament for the first time since 1966. And inevitably, Raheem Sterling was again n the scoresheet.
The City man converted Luke Shaw’s cross to put England in front in the 75th minute, before two future City boys (if the rumours are true) in the shape of Jack Grealish and Harry Kane, combined for the latter to score his first goal of the tournament and give England fans hope that football is coming home…again.
Whoever goes through will face either Denmark or the Czech Republic in the last four. Denmark sent Wales home with their tails firmly between their legs, thrashing the Welsh 4-0, while Nathan Ake’s Netherlands crashed out 2-0 to the Czechs. That’s what happens when you don’t play any City players in your team!
How many blues will be left in the competition by Saturday evening? Will England make their first Euros semi-final since 1996, or will Zinchenko have the final say? Can de Bruyne outwit Mancini? And can Torres lead Spain to glory?