Thursday, June 28, 2012

Spain 0-0 Portugal (4-2 PK, Spain Wins)


Spain knocked out Iberian rivals Portugal 4-2 on penalties after they played out a 0-0 draw in the first semi-final of Euro 2012, as Joao Moutinho and Bruno Alves missed.

Match Summary

  • Man of the Match: Jordi Alba. The Spanish full-back was indefatigable and provided a constant outlet on the left flank, especially when the defending champions were under the cosh. As the game went on he got stronger and stronger. Andres Iniesta should have really scored from his cut-back in extra-time following yet another marauding run forward.

  • Portugal verdict: From the first whistle the Portuguese midfield harried and hustled Spain and when in possession their plan to hit balls early down the flanks for speedsters Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani worked a treat. They appeared to run out of steam a little in the second-half, more gaps appeared and Spain saw more of the ball. Fatigue really set in during extra-time and while they still posed a threat on the break, the tenacity of their defending unsurprisingly waned.

  • Spain verdict: Struggled to impose their trademark passing and pressing game early on and a lack of playing time for striker Alvaro Negredo proved problematic as he failed to read the flicks and tricks of his team-mates. Spain found their rhythm in the second-half as Xavi got a grip of the game and wore down Portugal, who lost their initial zest. Exerted more dominance in extra-time, with Andres Iniesta forcing a great save from Rui Patricio. They turned the screw as time ticked away and probably deserved to win.

  • Could do better: Alvaro Negredo. Having played just one minute of Euro 2012 prior to this semi-final it was somewhat of a surprise that Vincente del Bosque decide to start the striker. It was less of a surprise when the Sevilla man was hauled off after just 54 minutes having failed to make any telling contribution. He appeared to be playing a different game to his team-mates.

  • Stat attack: There was just one shot on target in the first half, the joint-fewest in a game at Euro 2012, and only two on target in the whole 90 minutes - both from Spain.

Earlier, Cristiano Ronaldo had missed a good chance to put Portugal through in the last minute of normal time while Portugal keeper Rui Patricio made superb saves to deny Jesus Navas and Andres Iniesta in extra-time.

The Spaniards had started better, and ought to have gone ahead from their first chance in the ninth minute when Manuel Negredo pulled the ball back for Alvaro Arbeloa to fire over the bar from the edge of the box.

Andres Iniesta blazed over from long range a minute later, but Portugal threatened in the 13th minute through Ronaldo, who beat Gerard Pique down the left before crossing towards Nani, with Iker Casillas jumping to make a crucial interception.

Paulo Bento's men had clearly wrested the upper hand, suffocating the Spanish midfield and worrying their opponents through the persistent threat of Ronaldo and Nani up front. But Spain still almost contrived the grab the lead against the run of play in the 29th minute, when Xavi's clever ball found Iniesta on the edge of the box, who rolled the ball onto his right foot before floating a shot inches over Rui Patricio's goal.

Within two minutes, Portugal had responded with an even better chance, Joao Moutinho's persistence paying off on the edge of the box as he set free Ronaldo to drill a low shot just wide of Casillas left hand post. Portugal's control continued into the second half, with Nani almost picking out the head of Hugo Almeida from a dangerous right wing cross, and it proved enough for Vicente Del Bosque, who replaced Negredo with Fabregas up front.

Almeida wasted a good chance in the 58th minute when he fired ambitiously over the Spanish bar instead of picking out Ronaldo or Nani, who were unmarked to his left and right respectively. Belatedly, Spain started to show signs of stirring, Xabi drilling a shot straight at Patricio from long range, but despite beginning to edge possession, chances continued to be few and far between.

Ronaldo, still terrorizing the Spanish defenders at every opportunity, fired a free-kick just over from 30 yards, but a game that had started brightly drifted into a dull spell in which neither side could serve up much of a threat.
Then came a glorious chance for Ronaldo in the last minute of normal time, when a Portuguese counter-attack saw Raul Meireles feed the Real Madrid man who fired over the bar from the left side of the box. The introduction of Pedro lent some urgency to the Spanish attack in extra-time, and his run set up a chance for Iniesta in the seventh minute of the extra half hour, but his low shot was blocked in the box.

The Portuguese were plainly tiring, and Spain had an even better chance in the 104th minute, when Jordi Alba's cross found Iniesta in front of goal but Patricio managed to flap his shot wide from six yards. Sergio Ramos slammed a long-range free-kick just over the bar before the end of the first period of extra-time, and Ramos was soon in critical action at the other end when cutting out a Fabio Coentrao ball meant for Ronaldo.

Substitute Jesus Navas was next to get the chance to break the deadlock in the 22nd minute of extra-time, picking up a ball from Arbeloa in the box and hitting a shot which Patricio did well to save down low. As Spain kept pressing, Pedro briefly burst clear before being caught by Fabio Coentrao, but by then there was a certain inevitability about a match that promised much but offered little heading to penalties.

Alonso had the first spot-kick saved by Patricio but Casillas evened things up by saving the first Portuguese penalty from Moutinho. Iniesta, Pepe, Pique, Nani and Sergio Ramos (who calmly copied Andrea Pirlo's 'Panenka' style spot-kick) all put away their penalties before Alves - who had inadvertently stepped up for the previous penalty which was eventually converted by Nani - hit the bar, leaving Fabregas to put Spain through.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Spain vs Portugal @ 20:45

Spain and Portugal square off against each other tonight in the semi-finals of Euro 2012.

Holders Spain find neighbours Portugal barring their path to a third successive major final when the teams square off in the first UEFA EURO 2012 semi-final in Donetsk.

• Not since West Germany in the 1970s has a European team achieved a hat-trick of successive final appearances but Spain are just one win away from matching that feat after their triumphs at UEFA EURO 2008 and the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Vicente del Bosque's men have a more significant piece of history in their sights, though, as they bid to become the first team to retain the Henri Delaunay Cup.

• Portugal will have other ideas as they look to return to the final, eight years after their 2004 defeat by Greece. Still seeking their first major trophy, they suffered elimination by Spain in the last 16 of the 2010 World Cup but emphatically triumphed in the team's most recent meeting and now have the perfect opportunity for revenge against opponents they knocked out of UEFA EURO 2004.

Head-to-head record

• The Iberian rivals first met in Madrid in December 1921, Spain prevailing 3-1. They have largely held the upper hand ever since, with a record against Portugal of P34 W15 D12 L7 F70 A43.
• Spain enjoyed an emphatic victory against their neighbours in 1934 World Cup qualifying, winning 9-0 in Madrid prior to a 2-1 success in Lisbon. That nine-goal reverse remains Portugal's second heaviest defeat.
• Portugal were also undone by Spain in 1950 World Cup qualifying, succumbing 5-1 away before a 2-2 home draw.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Valencia Frormula 1

Qualifying is King Only four times has Formula 1 visited Valencia and three of those races have been won by the pole sitter. With wide forgiving run off areas retirements are low. Infact last years race provided the most finishes ever in a grand prix, 24, or to put it another way, all of them. This means that the man at the front on Saturday is most likely to be the man on the top step of the podium come Sunday. So if nothing elsexpect a nail biting qualifying.

 Read more.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Euro 2012 Spain vs France

Spain have never beaten France in a competitive fixture. Their most painful defeats by Les Bleus came in the UEFA European Championship final of 1984 and the quarter-finals in 2000, when Laurent Blanc was in the France team.

France were the last side to eliminate Spain from a major international tournament – the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Spain have lost only one of 38 competitive fixtures since then – against Switzerland at the 2010 World Cup – and won 36 of them.

France lost their own 23-match unbeaten run when they suffered a 2-0 reverse against Sweden on matchday three, meaning they finished second in Group D with four points. Spain topped Group C with seven.

 Philippe Mexès serves a one-match suspension; Jérémy Ménez and Mathieu Debuchy are a booking away from a ban, as are Spain's Álvaro Arbeloa, Jordi Alba, Fernando Torres, Xabi Alonso and Javi Martínez.

Spain vs France

Spain looks to cook this French rooster.
Spain meets France in the quarter finales of the Euro 2012.Spain enters as the leader in Group C while France was 2nd in Group D behind England who will play Italy on Sunday.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Jamie Oliver's Philosophy on His Program 30 Minute Meals

This is a great cooking series. I have made several of the recipes and I can attest to the fact that they are worth trying.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Café Sant Jaume

Café Sant Jaume is one of the more charming cafés in all of Valencia. Set in a very shaded corner of the city's historic center it provides a natural respite while making the usual tourist pilgrimages.

View Larger Map

Calle de Caballeros, 51,
46001 Valencia, Spain
+34 963 91 24 01

Monday, June 18, 2012

This Week at Cinestudio d'Or

Cinestudio d'Or ... because there are people who don't like football!

Calle Almnirante Cadarso 31

ADIÓS A LA REINA del 18 al 24 de junio 17:15h. y 21:05h.

TAKE SHELTER del 18 al 24 de junio 19:00h. y 22:50h.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


Another great day trip from Valencia is the great castle in Xàtiva. It was the birthplace of the pope Alexander VI of the famous Borgia family, which is now the subject of a new TV series called The Borgias.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Sagunto Is Worth the Short Trip

Sagunto is a short and inexpensive train ride north of Valencia. The village is famous for its ancient mountain-top fortress as well as the old Roman theater.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Spain vs Ireland @ 20:45

I have the feeling that nothing is going to be easy for the Spanish national team in the Euro 2012.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Definitive Recipe for Paella Valenciana

This is the best video that I have ever come across for paella made in the the strictest, most traditional manner possible. All of the ingredients are fresh and beautiful. The addition of artichokes and snails is also a wonderful touch. Hats off for this video. Chapeau.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Three Rules to Improve Football

 After watching the first round of matches in the Euro 2012 I thought that I would scribble down a few thoughts on what I think would improve this great game.

1)      Eliminate Diving. 

Basically a form of cheating that has crept so far into the sport that reasonable people shrug their shoulders and say, “It’s part of the game.” Part of the game? That’s like saying cancer is a part of your body. If you want to ruin a perfectly beautiful game then sit back and continue to allow this horrible behavior that has become—for some—a team strategy. Faking an injury should be punished with immediate expulsion.

2)       Keep Time.

The clock in football has become an absolute joke. If you aren’t going to respect the fact that the game is divided into two, 45 minute halves then why bother with a watch? I propose that there be not a second of injury time. When the clock hits the 45 minute mark the game should be over unless the ball is sailing towards the goal. If a player is injured then he should either walk it off like an athlete or they should haul him of the pitch. The game should never stop except for penalties.

 The Sweden-Ukraine match was a good example of the need for sanity in time-keeping. They tacked on three minutes of injury time at the end and then it ended up being almost five minutes. Even the injury time is a joke.

 3)      Off-Sides and Goals Should Be Monitored Electronically.

Period. I doubt that I have ever watched a match that didn’t have at least one horrible off-sides call. Denying a team a goal because a referee was asleep at the wheel is completely unacceptable. The human eye is incapable of watching two separate points simultaneously. On television they already accurately call off-sides electronically so it would be easy enough to implement during games.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Eurocopa 2012 Group D Games Today

Eurocopa 2012 matches today with France and England fighting it out at 18:00 and then Ukraine vs Sweden at 20:45.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Eurocopa 2012 Group C Games Today

Eurocopa 2012 Group C matches today with Spain and Italy facing off at 18:00 and then Ireland and Croatia at 20:45.

Can Spain win another Eurcopa? If they do win I think this will be the squad's greatest victory to date.  Unfortunately, Mario Balotelli will be available for Italy's Euro 2012 opener against Spain after scoring a hat-trick in training in Poland on Tuesday.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Eurocopa 2012 Group B Games Today

Today Group B games between The Netherlands Vs Denmark at 18:00 and then Germany vs Portugal at 20:45.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Eurocopa 2012

The long wait is finally over. The UEFA Eurocopa kicks off today with A Group match between host country Poland vs Greece at 18:00 and then Russia vs the Czech Republic at 20:45.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

How to Get More People to Ride Bikes

If you want to learn how to make a city bike-friendly, visit Holland. We have to learn that the bicycle isn't a toy; it's the most efficient means of transportation even invented.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Cinestudio d'Or

Hoy martes es el día del espectador, por 2,5€ puedes ver las 2 pelis: LA INVENCIÓN DE HUGO + THE ARTIST, y si no puedes hoy, el miércoles, jueves y viernes puedes verlas por 3€ ( 2,5 con C.Jove ) y el sábado y domingo por 4€

Today you can see two movies for only 2.5 euros at Cinestudio d'Or.  The Invention of Hugo and the Oscar-winning film The Artist are playing.

The Beaches of Spain

Lots of coastline, lots of beaches, and great weather. What are you waiting for?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Monasterio de San Miguel de los Reyes

 This is sort of a well-kept secret in Valencia as it lies on the very edge of the city. An easy bike ride from the center or take one of the buses listed below.

Avenida de la Constitución, 284 46019 VALENCIA
Phone 96 387 4000 - Fax 96 387 4037

Bus: 11, 16 and 36. Tramway T6
Visiting times (on previous phone appointment):
Tuesdays: at 10, 11 and 12; Saturdays and Sundays at 12 and 13.

View Larger Map

VIDEO: how does Globexs work?