Saturday, June 23, 2012

Spain ironically leapfrogs past France

A dominant Spanish side hollered “Bon voyage!" at their neighbors to the north after crushing the French foes 2-nil. Don’t let the score line fool you, however…it should have been 5. The French looked sluggish from the start, and the continual battering ram of Spanish attacks bashed France’s defense and ultimately its Euro Cup aspirations. Much of the event looked less a soccer match and more a reenactment of the Reconquista, as the Spaniards slashed away at the horde of Moorish defenders, Karim Benzema and Samir Nasri among them. France had a 15-minute stretch at the start of the second half where they looked somewhat threatening, but the side lacked the finishing touch that the absent great Thierry Henry had for so long provided. Spain's Xabi Alonso netted both goals, the first a powerful header off a precise Jordi Alba floater and the second an irrefutably deserved penalty. As Spain now turns to their neighbors to the west in the battle of Iberia, they can take comfort in the fact that the vast majority of their squad hails from two clubs, Barcelona and Real Madrid, while the Portuguese players are far less accustomed to each other’s play. Ronaldo, however, will pose a far greater threat than Karim Benzema, or as the world now knows him, Benzemalo.

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