This article is produced in partnership with Upday
After Denmark and Italy, the Czech Republic and Belgium reached the quarter-finals of Euro 2021 by winning against the Netherlands and Portugal.
Two matches are scheduled for Monday: Croatia-Spain and France-Switzerland.
What happened yesterday
It was the first sensation of this Euro.
After a well-mastered first round (3 wins against Ukraine, Austria and North Macedonia, 8 goals scored, 2 conceded), the Netherlands were surprised by the Czech Republic (2-0).
Already very criticized before the competition because of his system with five defenders, Frank de Boer has never managed to find the solution in his coaching after the exclusion in the second half of Matthijs de Ligt (55th).
This failure will not remain without consequences for him.
Solidarity and opportunists, the Czechs took the opportunity to dive twice (Tomas Holes 68th, Patrik Schick 80th) and achieve a huge blow.
Saturday in Baku (Azerbaijan), they will face Denmark for a place in the last four.
💘 # NED 🆚 #CZE # EURO2020 pic.twitter.com/Keki3vDNEy
- Czech Football National Team (@ceskarepre_eng) June 27, 2021
Germany, France, Belgium: for the defense of their title, the Portuguese will not have been spared on their way, marked out by some of the biggest favorites to the final victory in this European championship. A real obstacle course, which ended in the heaviness of La Cartuja in Seville. Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal tried everything but was beaten by a realistic Belgium (1-0), who continued their journey in the tournament but lost Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard to injury. First in their group with three wins in three games - against Russia, Denmark and Finland - the Red Devils managed to make the necessary qualitative leap forward against the toughest opponent they have had to face. until then. Thanks to a big strike from Thorgan Hazard (42nd), they join Italy in the quarterfinals,Friday in Munich (Germany).
23 - Portugal recorded 23 shots against Belgium, the highest tally for a team in a game in # EURO2020 without scoring.
#POR #BELPOR # EURO2020 pic.twitter.com/cz8101ewO5
- OptaJohan (@OptaJohan) June 27, 2021
The program of the day
Croatia-Spain (6 p.m., BeIN Sports 1)
After having timidly started their tournament against Sweden (0-0) and Poland (1-1), Spain obtained its first victory and its qualification for the knockout stages with a crash, against poor Slovakia (0-5 ), equaling the record for the greatest success in the final phase of a Euro.
The selection of Aymeric Laporte, scorer during this great success and at ease in the defense of La Roja (holder at each meeting), will have to continue its momentum when it receives Croatia, vice-world champion .
Second in their group behind England, Luka Modrić's teammates will not be easy opponents, they who also remain on a comfortable success against Scotland (3-1).
By scoring a superb goal during this meeting, from an outside of which he has the secret, the Real Madrid midfielder has proved that he is still an essential link in the heart of the Croatian game, and that he will be the player to watch.
The winner of this meeting will face France or Switzerland in the quarter-finals in St. Petersburg on July 2.
France-Switzerland (9 p.m., TF1 and BeIN Sports 1)
Serious things start for the Blues? Not really, since the France team already had a lot to do to get rid of a group of death with Portugal and Germany in particular. But first of its group, the band of Didier Deschamps is now entering its phase with direct elimination, where the slightest error is not forgiving. Switzerland even seems an affordable opponent for the Habs, reigning world champions and who have acquired in this terribly raised Pool F some certainties.
That of having a Karim Benzema finally confident, he who scored against Portugal (2-2) a liberating double, or being able to count on a Paul Pogba boss size in the middle.
But be careful not to think you have already arrived against these Swiss, third in Group A behind Italy and Wales, but who have some strengths to show.
Its star Xherdan Shaqiri, two goals against Turkey on the last day (3-1), will try in particular to exploit the French faults in a defensive sector not the most serene in the group stage.
The player who made us vibrate: Tomas Holes (Czech Republic)
Czech Tomas Holes, scorer against the Netherlands on June 27, 2021. REUTERS / Bernadett Szabo BERNADETT SZABO
An opportunist goal and an assist for Patrik Schick.
Very present defensively, Czech midfielder Tomas Holes was also decisive by being involved in his team's two goals against the Dutch, scoring his second goal in 12 caps.
At 27, the Slavia Prague player has always played in the Czech Premier League.
The sentence to remember
“It's great to qualify for the quarterfinals, no one would have believed we could do it against a team like the Netherlands.
We may not be big stars like the Dutch, but today we showed great team spirit, we fought, and that's what made the difference.
Forward to the four goals in the competition
after the feat achieved by the Czech Republic against the Netherlands.
🇨🇿 Patrik Schick at EURO 2020 = ⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️ # EURO2020 pic.twitter.com/EQFQMDFMd5
- UEFA EURO 2020 (@ EURO2020) June 27, 2021
The blue point
Like Saturday, the workforce of Didier Deschamps worked this Sunday with a three-way defense during a final opposition before the round of 16 against Switzerland, in front of more than 25,000 spectators in Bucharest (Romania). In this National Arena, between two rain showers, the Blues made a 10 against 10 with an axial defense made up of Varane, Lenglet and Kimpembe. While Pavard was in the right piston position, a left piston was missing due to the number of players available. In all likelihood, Lucas Hernandez, although adapted, will not start the meeting. Clément Lenglet, who has not yet played in this Euro, will therefore start in the axis. "It is an option that can be taken or not," Didier Deschamps told a press conference. What I did in the fall was a different option. The choice I makeit is to be the most dangerous for the adversary ”. This choice should therefore be 3-5-2.
The stadium of tomorrow's match (9 p.m. on TF1) 🇫🇷🇨🇭 #FRASUI #FiersdetreBleus pic.twitter.com/9UfNwqG4Mg
- French team ⭐⭐ (@equipedefrance) June 27, 2021
On the other hand, the coach of the Blues announced the withdrawal of three players: Lucas Digne, Jules Koundé (ischios) and Marcus Thuram (adductors).
The packages will continue their recovery work indoors, especially for Digne and Thuram.
Finally, it means that Thomas Lemar, victim of a big blow to the shin last Thursday, is totally recovered.
The left-handed midfielder has no more pain and will be on the scoresheet against the Swiss.
Read the journal des Bleus here.
The tactical moment: Guy Stéphan deciphers the forces of Switzerland
Didier Deschamps' assistant returned, in a video on the French Federation's website, to the first round of the Blues and analyzed the Swiss game before the round of 16 in Bucharest.
“It is organized in 3-4-1-2.
There are a lot of players there who play in Germany.
Among the players to watch are also Freuler who plays at Atalanta Bergamo, Captain Xhaka who is at Arsenal and of course the attacking trident, Shaqiri, Seferovic and Embolo.
It's a team that bases its game on anticipation, it likes to play high on the opponent.
She also performs well in quick attacks. "
For the deputy of the Blues, “Switzerland, which is 13th in the Fifa ranking and is used to major competitions, is one of the good European teams”.
We tell you the beautiful story of the Chiesa, Italian scorers from father to son.
Entered late in the match, Federico Chiesa released Italy on Saturday in overtime against Austria (2-1).
His dad, Enrico, had already been a scorer in a Euro in 1996. A scenario which constitutes a first in the history of this competition.
“I realized that there was football and a competition when I heard people screaming in the street.
This explains why we were alone on the terrace of this usually crowded bar.
"If the atmosphere should go up a notch in France with the round of 16 match of the Blues on Monday, some French people live very far from the madness of the Euro, if not interested at all.
They tell us how they live this period.