As part of LastWordOnSports’ Euro 2016 coverage, we are tracking Arsenal players’ performances in France. After Petr Cech and Tomas Rosicky’s Czech Republic were eliminated, the remaining Arsenal players seeking Euros glory are:
- France: Oliver Giroud, Laurent Koscielny
- Wales: Aaron Ramsey
- Germany: Mesut Özil
- Poland: Wojciech Szczesny
Arsenal at Euro 2016:
Xhaka Misses A Penalty As Switzerland Bow Out Too Early
Poland advanced into the quarter finals after winning a penalty shoot-out 5-4 against Xhaka’s Switzerland. Jakub Blaszczykowski’s first half goal was cancelled out by Xherdan Shaqiri‘s excellent overhead finish, dragging the game into extra time. Granit Xhaka played another fine game but his penalty miss in the shoot-out overshadowed an otherwise typical Xhaka display. Grzegorz Krychowiak‘s penalty sent Poland through to the quarters, much to Xhaka’s dismay.
Wojciech Sczcesny meanwhile, was an unused substitute with former Gunner Lukasz Fabianski retaining his place in goal. His national team face Portugal on Thursday.
Ramsey Impresses In Welsh Win
Wales’ historic Euros journey continued after a 1-0 win over Northern Ireland. An inspired Aaron Ramsey played the full game, providing clinical crosses, passes and was the heartbeat of the Welsh midfield. He almost broke the deadlock with a strike off Sam Vokes‘ header but was chalked off for offside. With one goal and two assists to his name, Ramsey will be a key player against Belgium.
Giroud Helps Send Ireland Home
Oliver Giroud played his part in sending Ireland home with 2-1 win over the Irish in Lyon. Giroud’s knocked-down header gave Antoine Griezmann the space to score his second goal before coming off for André-Pierre Gignac in 73rd minute. Together with Giroud, Laurent Koscielny won all eight of his duels and almost equalised for France with a wide header. Both players will face dark horses Iceland on Sunday 3rd July.
Özil’s Germany Advance After 3-0 Win
Despite Mesut Özil missing a first half penalty, Germany strolled into the quarter finals with a convincing 3-0 win over Slovakia. The Turkish born midfielder played 90 minutes and was involved in the build up for Mario Gomez‘ strike before half time. While his spot kick was saved by Matus Kozacik, Özil had a quietly effective game in Germany’s midfield, playing as a Number 10 in between Thomas Muller and Julian Draxler. Özil’s quest for Euros glory will continue against a strong Italian outfit.
Bellerin Disappointed As Spain Fail To Retain Euros Trophy
Hector Bellerin was unused substitute in a 2-0 loss against Italy. In a repeat of the Euro 2012 final, Italy’s early pressure paid off after Giorgio Chiellini pounced on a loose ball, giving the Italians the lead after 30 minutes. Spain continued to seek an equaliser with chances from Andres Iniesta and Gerard Pique forcing veteran Gianluigi Buffon into making vital saves. Buffon’s resilience however paid off as Southampton FC’s Graziano Pelle struck in added time to sink the Spanish Armada.
Wilshere’s England Fall Short of Advancing
For the second time this week, England opted to leave two European organisations after a 2-1 loss against Iceland. Jack Wilshere appeared as a second half replacement for Eric Dier yet failed to create a real impression in a struggling England side. A noteworthy highlight was his lofted pass finding Harry Kane’s head but the Spurs’ forward however tamely struck the ball. While the FA seek a new manager to replace Roy Hodgson, Wilshere will be seeking further play time under his successor.