The 10 Best Moments from Day Five of Euro 2012


1. Tipster of the day

On a day of unpredictable action, our Russian and Polish experts fancied both teams to score in Warsaw at 1.80. A round of applause for James Appell and Ryan Hubbard!

2. Shock of the day

As anyone who has watched a football match on ITV during the last year will know, Roy Keane harbours a deep and holistic contempt for all existence outside of his own body. Watching him on punditry duty, being prompted by the Toby Jug-esque Adrian Chiles, feels like dirty voyeurism into the life of a man for whom a mere smile would represent an admission of defeat to the forces of evil.

How unexpected, then, to see the former Ireland midfielder having to stifle a giggle following a (fairly routine) Gareth Southgate joke. One explanation for this would be that Keane, like a snake in the grass, is merely lulling Southgate into a false sense of security; that this was all part of the puppet master's plan. Upon second viewing, however, the laugh appears to be a genuine one. Women and children to the lifeboats! The ice caps are melting.

3. Player of the day

With Russia winning 1-0 and his side struggling to convert possession into end product, Poland captain Jakub Błaszczykowski must have been fearing the worst. A loss last night would have left the co-hosts on the brink of elimination. Luckily, the man known as Kuba stepped up to the plate in some style. Cutting in from the right wing, he ran onto Ludovic Obraniak's delicate pass before slamming an unstoppable effort into the top corner of the net. It was a goal of breathtaking beauty, and sent the Warsaw crowd into understandable rapture. Poland still need to win their final game against the Czech Republic to progress, but they will enter that clash with some confidence, having battled back against a strong Russian outfit.

4. Deterrent of the day

Sadly, day five of Euro 2012 was tainted by scenes of fan violence in Warsaw. But nobody was going to engage in any nonsense inside the National Stadium with these guys about.

5. Fumble of the day

Petr Cech enjoyed an excellent season at Chelsea, playing a key role in their FA Cup and Champions League victories. His error against Greece yesterday, however, was a howler of the highest order. With the Czech Republic cruising at 2-0, Cech fumbled a routine catch, allowing the predatory Fanis Gekas to put the Greeks back in contention. The error was reminiscent of Cech's clanger against Turkey in Euro 2008, which cost his side a place in the knockout stage. He will be thankful, then, that his side clung on to record a 2-1 win in Wroclaw.

6. Failed quarterback of the day

Part of the Greek old guard that triumphed at Euro 2004, Kostas Katsouranis has been heralded for his reliable distribution and dogged marking in front of the back four. Selected at centre-back against the Czech Republic due to Sokratis' suspension and an injury to Avraam Papadopoulos, Katsouranis could have been expected to be the starting point of Greek attacks, initiating moves from his withdrawn position.

It was unfortunate for Greece (and the neutral), then, the 32-year-old spent the match slamming aimless long-balls in the vague direction of Georgios Samaras and Dimitris Salpigidis, two players with the combined heading ability of an otter. Even when the more robust Kostas Mitroglou entered the fray, Katsouranis repeatedly managed to misplace his passes. There's nothing wrong with playing long-ball football, but playing it this badly is tantamount to suicide at this level.

7. Provocative flag of the day

Way to annoy your hosts, Russian fans!

8. Justified strop of the day

Poland coach Franciszek Smuda's decision to withdraw Ludovic Obraniak with just seconds left on the clock against Russia was fairly nonsensical. A dead-ball expert, Obraniak was preparing to whip a ball into the Russian penalty area when his number came up. Obraniak didn't hide his anger, arguing with Smuda and kicking a (presumably imaginary) bottle on the touchline.

9. Willing runner of the day

Czech winger Václav Pilař will not have impressed many with his end product - he has a deeply frustrating habit of dribbling the ball straight out of play - but his hard-running style gives his side some much needed balance. Tomas Rosicky likes to drift to the left to make the play, but requires space in which to operate. Pilař draws defenders to him down the flank, leaving Rosicky with more time to pick his passes. It was pleasing to see the youngster rewarded with the second goal in Wroclaw.

10. Meme of the day