Tag Archives: instinct

Liverpool want Georgios Samaras from Celtic

Liverpool plot 5m swoop for Samaras after hjs Champions League heroics

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UPDATED:

12:18 GMT, 8 December 2012

Liverpool are planning to make a 5million swoop for Celtic striker Georgios Samaras.

The Greece international has impressed during the Scottish side's run to the last 16 of the Champions League, scoring against Barcelona, Benfica and Spartak Moscow.

And Anfield boss Brendan Rodgers sees him as the solution to his attacking problems, with only Luis Suarez proving potent up front.

Target: Georgios Samaras is wanted by Liverpool in a 5m deal

Target: Georgios Samaras is wanted by Liverpool in a 5m deal

Samaras had a spell with Manchester City earlier in his career but scored just 12 goals in 65 appearances.

He is under contract at Celtic until 2014 but is eager to prove himself in the Premier League, according to The Sun.

Rodgers is also expected to launch a January bid for Chelsea frontman Daniel Sturridge.

The ex-Swansea boss is so stretched for strikers that Jonjo Shelvey will lead the line against West Ham tomorrow.

Leading the line: Jonjo Shelvey will be Liverpool's main attacking option

Leading the line: Jonjo Shelvey will be Liverpool's main attacking option

Rodgers has been a huge advocate
of the 20-year-old since he became Liverpool manager and is adamant that
his side have enough threat to cope with the enforced absence of
Suarez.

‘I saw an
interesting stat that we have had 15 different goalscorers this season,’
said Rodgers, who will also be able to call on Steven Gerrard after he
missed the midweek trip to Italy with sickness.

‘We
are only three goalscorers behind the record for the club in a season,
which is 18. There are goals there. Jonjo is an attack-minded player, he
has an instinct for a goal, and we have worked that way before.’

Jonjo Shelvey to play up front for Liverpool

He's not quite Messi but Shelvey set for 'false nine' role as Suarez serves ban

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UPDATED:

08:54 GMT, 8 December 2012

Liverpool’s lack of striking options will be starkly illustrated tomorrow when midfielder Jonjo Shelvey assumes the role reserved for Luis Suarez.

The Uruguayan, who is the joint leading scorer in the Barclays Premier League, is banned for the trip to West Ham, while his normal replacement Fabio Borini remains out with a foot injury.

It means Brendan Rodgers will deploy Shelvey as a ‘false nine’ at Upton Park but the manager is not concerned it will be detrimental to his side’s hopes of winning.

Big chance: Jonjo Shelvey will spearhead Liverpool's attack against West Ham

Big chance: Jonjo Shelvey will spearhead Liverpool's attack against West Ham

Rodgers has been a huge advocate of the 20-year-old since he became Liverpool manager and is adamant that his side have enough threat to cope with the enforced absence of Suarez.

‘I saw an interesting stat that we have had 15 different goalscorers this season,’ said Rodgers, who will also be able to call on Steven Gerrard after he missed the midweek trip to Italy with sickness.

‘We are only three goalscorers behind the record for the club in a season, which is 18. There are goals there. Jonjo is an attack-minded player, he has an instinct for a goal, and we have worked that way before.’

Banned: Luis Suarez will miss Liverpool's clash with West Ham

Banned: Luis Suarez will miss Liverpool's clash with West Ham

Shelvey, who comes from a family of West Ham supporters, spent a short period at the club’s Academy when he was 12 but ended up leaving over the way he felt they treated his brother, George, who had also been on their books.

A naturally confident character, Shelvey – who made his England senior debut against San Marino in October – is looking forward to the challenge.

‘I am excited about it,’ said Shelvey. ‘I supported West Ham as a boy but it is not easy to fill the boots of a player like Luis Suarez. I will just give it my best shot. I played against Young Boys in that role and I did all right. It is the same in any successful team. The goals have got to come from all over.’

Zlatan Ibrahimovic"s mental agility was the real skill – Martin Samuel

Mental agility was the real skill as Ibrahimovic stunned England with that fourth goal

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UPDATED:

22:55 GMT, 15 November 2012

It isn’t the kick. It’s the thought that precedes it. That is what makes Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s incredible fourth goal against England a thing of beauty.

Anyone can make the shot. Well, not anyone, obviously. There are several billion people who would end up in traction if they even thought about it too hard, but for a professional footballer, certainly one of elite standard, the most fantastically ambitious manoeuvres do occasionally come off.

Trevor Sinclair scored a goal for QPR against Barnsley in the FA Cup in 1997 that he can probably still dine out on today. Think Nayim from the halfway line. It happens.

Beauty: Zlatan Ibrahimovic scores his fourth goal against England

Beauty: Zlatan Ibrahimovic scores his fourth goal against England

So a player with Ibrahimovic’s breathtaking technical range — and there is probably no better striker of a ball on the volley — can be blessed with the perfect moment in which execution, instinct, timing and a helpful pinch of luck combine to produce something quite stunning.

What sets Ibrahimovic’s goal apart, however, is the intelligence that inspires it. His athleticism, his balance, his control, his skill, all would be meaningless if he had not worked out that England goalkeeper Joe Hart was about to make a big mistake. The assist is in Ibrahimovic’s mind.

/11/15/article-2233678-16082054000005DC-990_468x286.jpg” width=”468″ height=”286″ alt=”Pure delight: Ibrahimovic led Sweden to victory over England ” class=”blkBorder” />

Pure delight: Ibrahimovic led Sweden to victory over England

Slowed down, the shot looks more precise than it could have been. We have seen similar attempts before. It could have gone in, it could have missed by inches, it could have come to rest on the roof, Ibrahimovic no more knew the outcome in that split second than you or I.

He waits until the ball is in the net before he starts celebrating because he has no clue where it will land when it leaves his foot (although his outstanding technique gives him a superior chance of pulling it off).

Good fortune plays no part in the build-up, however. That is about one man, in a split second, assessing a situation quicker than any player around him. It is, for that reason and quite a few more, a simply brilliant goal: spectacular in thought as much as in action.

Leaving out Monty Panesar is big mistake – Nasser Hussain

Daily Dossier: Missing Monty is England's achilles in Ahmedabad

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UPDATED:

21:14 GMT, 15 November 2012

It is not being wise after the event to say that the pitch in Ahmedabad looked like a two-spinner surface and that England misread the conditions.

They should have played Monty Panesar in this first Test.

England put a lot of faith in statistics and they know seamers have fared better than spinners against Indian batsmen in India in modern times. It would not have gone unnoticed by England either that they have not won any of the seven Tests Panesar and Graeme Swann have played together.

Missing link: Monty was on the sidelines when he should have been playing

Missing link: Monty was on the sidelines when he should have been playing

Yet there are times when you have to trust your gut instinct. England should have looked down at the pitch. /11/15/article-2233589-160603EF000005DC-858_468x364.jpg” width=”468″ height=”364″ alt=”Face the music: Cook's team have made a patchy start to the first Test” class=”blkBorder” />

Face the music: Cook's team have made a patchy start to the first Test

Gareth Bale insists he did not dive to win a penalty against Scotland

Bale insists he did not dive to win a penalty for Wales against Scotland

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UPDATED:

21:41 GMT, 13 October 2012

Gareth Bale hit back at claims he dived to win the penalty which sparked Wales’s second-half fightback against Scotland.

Bale, who scored twice in the dramatic 2-1 win in Cardiff, went down under a challenge from Shaun Maloney when there appeared to be minimal contact before Bale clipped his own heels.

But the 23-year-old put the blame at the door of the Wigan wideman, who conceded after the ‘Battle of Britain’ showdown that he was at fault.

Flashpoint: Bale trips over but claims he was clipped by Maloney

Flashpoint: Bale trips over but claims he was clipped by Maloney

Tottenham ace Bale said: ‘Somebody clipped me and I went over. It was a simple penalty and it was nice to get up and slot it away.’

After James Morrison’s 27th-minute opener, Scotland looked set to claim three points before referee Florian Meyer pointed to the spot.

Bale’s Wales team-mate Joe Allen said: ‘My instinct was that it was a penalty. It was a difficult decision, but it looked like his ankle was clipped.’

Spot on: Bale scores the resulting penalty

Spot on: Bale scores the resulting penalty

There was no doubt over Bale’s 88th-minute wonder goal in this all-action Group A contest. It eases the mounting pressure on Wales boss Chris Coleman, who says Bale will go on to join such Welsh greats as John Charles, Ian Rush and Ryan Giggs.

‘It’s not a case of can Gareth be like them, he will be,’ said Coleman.
But Wales are without suspended Aaron Ramsey on Tuesday in Croatia.

Joe Cole says Liverpool lack cutting edge

We lack a cutting edge, admits Liverpool's Cole after goalless draw against Stoke

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UPDATED:

14:36 GMT, 8 October 2012

Joe Cole admits Liverpool have to rectify their poor goalscoring form if they are to claw their way back up the Premier League table.

Cole, who returned as a substitute in the 0-0 draw with Stoke on Sunday for the first time since injuring his hamstring on the opening day of the season, conceded that Liverpool lacked a killer instinct.

Brendan Rodgers' side remain in 14th place in the table, without a win at home this season, and having scored nine goals in seven games, five of which came against strugglers Norwich.

Back in action: Cole returned from a hamstring injury on Sunday

Back in action: Cole returned from a hamstring injury on Sunday

The Reds hit the woodwork three times against Stoke, but it was the outside of the upright each time rather than a close call, and they were chances squandered rather than a case of bad luck.

'There was a bit of frustration in the dressing room after the Stoke game,' Cole told www.liverpoolfc.com.

'We felt we should have won the game with the chances we had.

'The only criticism of us that I would have was that we didn't stick the ball in the back of the net. We just lacked that final bit. We have two weeks now to work on it and we're looking forward.'

The midfielder insisted that there were elements from the goalless draw that should hearten the Liverpool players and supporters.

He added: 'There's a lot to work on but we have got to take the positives out of it. We didn't get beat and we kept a clean sheet, which was important as we haven't kept one for a long time. Now we just need to kick on.

'I know a lot of the lads are now away on international duty, but we have got two weeks to keep going, keep working on things, getting in and around the box and picking the right pass.

Goalless: Liverpool could not break Stoke's resistance at Anfield

Goalless: Liverpool could not break Stoke's resistance at Anfield

'Hopefully we can get three points at home to Reading and then we can go to Goodison (Park to face Everton) and get a result.'

He also praised Liverpool's teenage stars Suso, Raheem Sterling and Andre Wisdom for coming through a gruelling encounter with Stoke's large and physical players.

'It was important for the young boys and I thought they were really good again,' he said. 'I think you've got to match Stoke .They're strong lads and they like to compete.

'Personally, it was brilliant to get back. You're always nervous with hamstring injuries in terms of the first time you come back in. But I felt good and I have two weeks now to work hard and get back up to a high level of fitness.'

Arsenal 0 Sunderland 0 – match report

Arsenal 0 Sunderland 0: Life after RVP proves hard to bear as Gunners draw blank

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UPDATED:

16:05 GMT, 18 August 2012

Arsenal started life after Robin van Persie with a frustrating goalless draw against Sunderland at the Emirates Stadium.

The Holland striker – whose 30 goals had dragged the Gunners into third place last season – yesterday completed a 24million move to Manchester United, having made it clear earlier in the summer he would not be signing a new deal.

Arsene Wenger's side, boasting summer signings Lukas Podolski, the German striker, and impressive Spain midfielder Santi Cazorla in the starting XI, enjoyed plenty of possession, but lacked a killer instinct in the final third.

No way through: Arsenal dominated possession but were unable to force their way past Sunderland

No way through: Arsenal dominated possession but were unable to force their way past Sunderland

MATCH FACTS

ARSENAL: Szczesny, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Diaby, Arteta, Cazorla, Walcott, Gervinho, Podolski. Subs not used: Mannone, Andre Santos, Giroud, Ramsey, Djourou, Coquelin, Arshavin.

SUNDERLAND: Mignolet, Gardner, Cuellar, O’Shea, Richardson, Larsson, Colback, Cattermole, McClean, Sessegnon, Campbell. Subs not used: Westwood, Wickham, Kilgallon, Meyler, Bramble, Saha, Elmohamady.

Referee: Chris Foy (Merseyside)

Check out all the latest, stats, facts and table from the Premier League

When a clear opening eventually came
their way late in the second half, substitute Olivier Giroud, who netted
21 goals for Montpellier last season, fired wide.

While there were plenty of positives
to take from the workrate of his side, manager Arsene Wenger will know
there must be an improvement in conversion rate if Arsenal are to
challenge over the course of the season.

New skipper Thomas Vermaelen received
a warm welcome from the returning Arsenal faithful, along with summer
signings Cazorla and Podolski in the starting line-up.

It was a lively start by the hosts, but Sunderland remained dangerous on the counter through Stephane Sessegnon.

Bright start: Lukas Podolski put in a solid hour-long shift up front for his new club

Bright start: Lukas Podolski put in a solid hour-long shift up front for his new club

On six minutes, the Arsenal defence
was opened up as James McClean slipped into the penalty area, but his
shot was blocked smartly by Wojciech Szczesny.

Spain international Cazorla, signed
from Malaga, almost made himself an instant hero when he charged
forwards and unleashed a 20-yard effort which Black Cats keeper Simon
Mignolet beat away.

Sunderland created another decent
opening when the ball was worked to Jack Colback at the edge of the
Arsenal area, but his low effort was straight at the keeper.

Attacking threat: The likes of Abou Diaby, Gervinho and Santi Cazorla all banged on the Sunderland door

Attacking threat: The likes of Abou Diaby, Gervinho and Santi Cazorla all banged on the Sunderland door

Attacking threat: The likes of Abou Diaby, Gervinho and Santi Cazorla all banged on the Sunderland door

Attacking threat: The likes of Abou Diaby, Gervinho and Santi Cazorla all banged on the Sunderland door

Gervinho skipped away down the left
and rode a couple of tackles before cutting the ball back across goal,
only for Cazorla to drill it wide.

Arsenal continued to press Sunderland deeper as Abou Diaby's low, 20-yard effort was touched around the post.

The visitors, however, set up with two banks of four and were hard to break down.

Sunderland also looked to get forwards themselves, with the best success again coming down the left flank though Sessegnon.

Running man: Theo Walcott was a thorn in the side of the visitors' defence for the most part

Running man: Theo Walcott was a thorn in the side of the visitors' defence for the most part

Arsenal finally pulled some passes
together as Theo Walcott was played into the right and his cutback to
the near post was hacked behind before Podolski could get there.

The second half opened the same
pattern, with the hosts were left frustrated by some stern defending as
much as their own poor choice of final pass.

Old friends: Sebastian Larsson, formerly of Arsenal, tried his best to give Sunderland a presence in attack

Old friends: Sebastian Larsson, formerly of Arsenal, tried his best to give Sunderland a presence in attack

On 57 minutes, Kieran Richardson
upended Walcott some 25 yards out. Podolski took the free-kick, but the
German's effort flew just over.

As the hour mark passed, Sessegnon was replaced by Louis Saha, signed on a free transfer after he left Tottenham.

The Gunners also made a change when Giroud came on for his debut, Podolski making way.

Wenger then aimed to inject some
fresh ideas into midfield as Wales captain Aaron Ramsey – part of the
Team GB Olympic squad this summer – came on for the hard-working Diaby.

Don't forget us: Jack Colback was at the heart of the good things being done by the Mackems

Don't forget us: Jack Colback was at the heart of the good things being done by the Mackems

Don't forget us: Jack Colback was at the heart of the good things being done by the Mackems

Sunderland continued to sit back, but
Arsenal failed to make the most of their possession heading into the
final 15 minutes, when Walcott was replaced by Andrey Arshavin, the
Russian whose future remains uncertain following a loan spell at former
club Zenit St Petersburg last season.

With nine minutes left, Cazorla
played in Giroud, but the French striker, so clinical in Ligue 1 last
season, fired wide from 10 yards.

Arsenal pressed in search of a winner
during four minutes of stoppage time, but had to be content with just a
point – which was greeted by boos from some home supporters.

Euro 2012: Cesare Prandelli bemoans Italy"s fitness and finishing while Slaven Bilic savages referee Howard Webb

Prandelli bemoans Italy's fitness and finishing while Bilic savages ref Webb

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UPDATED:

19:48 GMT, 14 June 2012

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has questioned his players' lack of a killer instinct and their fitness levels in the wake of another draw in Euro 2012.

The 1-1 draw with Croatia leaves Italy knowing they have to beat the Republic of Ireland on Monday if they are to stand a chance of reaching the quarter-finals.

Prandelli denied being angry with the result, stating: 'Of course you are a bit bitter because when a side plays football, creates a lot of goalscoring chances, they need to put a game to bed, to kill off the game.

'You need to be more clinical in front of goal, show more determination when you get in their half and get near their goal.

Lacking finishing power: Cesare Prandelli bemoaned Italy's profligacy

Lacking finishing power: Cesare Prandelli bemoaned Italy's profligacy

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'If you can't win the game, you don't kill it off then you are going to have regrets.

'Football is unique in that you can have one cross and it can ruin everything you have built up over the game, so of course there is a lot of regret.

'But we're still convinced we can get through. Mathematically we are not out of it. We need to play well, but we have wasted an opportunity here.'

Prandelli also dismissed suggestions his team lacked character and instead countered that fitness was to blame for their second-half performance.

'I don't think we lack character in any way shape or form. I'm not entirely convinced by this,' said Prandelli.

Vexed: Mario Balotelli was substituted for Antonio Di Natale for the second game in succession

Vexed: Mario Balotelli was substituted for Antonio Di Natale for the second game in succession

'But we do struggle, there is a drop in our level at the 60th minute. In terms of the two games, at that stage of the game we lack fresh legs.

'We need to rest up after this, we need to see how we manage our energy levels.'

It has been suggested, given Spain, Croatia and Italy could all finish on five points, the former two could engineer a 2-2 draw to guarantee a last-eight place and freeze out Italy given UEFA's qualifying criteria.

A dismissive Prandelli said: 'I'm not thinking like this. I'm thinking all the games are fair and everyone is playing for the win.'

Explaining his side's second-half turnaround, Croatia coach Slaven Bilic said: 'It's always difficult playing against big teams. There was a lot of pressure on us in the first half, we didn't play well and we know we can do much better.

Mobbed: Croatia goalscorer Mario Mandzukic takes the plaudits after the final whistle

Mobbed: Croatia goalscorer Mario Mandzukic takes the plaudits after the final whistle

'We changed things around for the second half and we dominated, we were the better team. We then just waited for our chance and in the end we were close to victory. We showed character, we were strong.'

Bilic declined to look ahead to the next game with Spain, simply saying: 'All I will say is that I'm very optimistic for the next match. I'm really satisfied we've four points from the two games. It could be even better but four points is optimal, realistic and now we have a real chance to go through.'

Bilic, meanwhile, has severely criticised referee Howard Webb, in particular believing the Englishman failed to spot a penalty when Nikica Jelavic went down in the area under a first-half challenge from Giorgio Chiellini.

Venting his anger: Slaven Bilic and Howard Webb exchange opinions after the final whistle

Venting his anger: Slaven Bilic and Howard Webb exchange opinions after the final whistle

Bilic said: 'I don't agree with coaches who don't comment on referees. This is very important for my job. I'm sure that was a clear penalty on Jelavic, and the referee was not good.

'Then there was a foul before the Italy free-kick (from which Pirlo scored). The referee was really not… I didn't like his performance. I think he was a referee who helped the Italian team a lot.

'I'm just someone commenting, I'm not going to talk about revenge, but was the referee good No, he was not good for the Croatian team.'

Holland 1 Germany 2: Mario Gomez strikes twice

Holland 1 Germany 2: Glorious Gomez goals leave Dutch on brink of Euro exit

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UPDATED:

21:04 GMT, 13 June 2012

Mario Gomez's superb first-half double put Germany on the verge of the UEFA Euro 2012 knockout stages while Holland's hopes of reaching the last eight now hang by a thread.

Gomez, who had scored the winner in Germany's opening win over Portugal, opened the scoring in the 24th minute and added his second in the 38th before Robin van Persie reduced the deficit 17 minutes from time.

The result means Germany need just a point from their final Group B game against Denmark to guarantee progression, while Holland need to beat Portugal and hope for both a Germany win and a swing in goal difference.

Balletic: Mario Gomez's superb spin and finish put Germany into the lead

Balletic: Mario Gomez's superb spin and finish put Germany into the lead

Congrats: Mesut Ozil with Gomez

Congrats: Mesut Ozil with Gomez

MATCH FACTS

Holland: Stekelenburg, Van Der Wiel, Heitinga, Mathijsen, Willems, Nigel De Jong, Van Bommel (Van der Vaart 46), Robben (Kuyt 83), Sneijder, Afellay (Huntelaar 46), Van Persie.

Subs Not Used: Vorm, Bouma, Vlaar, Schaars, Strootman, Luuk De Jong,
Narsingh, Boulahrouz, Krul.

Booked: Nigel De Jong, Willems.

Goals: Van Persie 73.

Germany: Neuer, Boateng, Hummels, Badstuber, Lahm, Khedira, Schweinsteiger, Muller (Bender 90), Ozil (Kroos 81), Podolski, Gomez (Klose 72).

Subs Not Used: Wiese, Gundogan, Schmelzer, Howedes, Schurrle, Mertesacker, Gotze, Reus, Zieler.

Booked: Boateng.

Goals: Gomez 24, 38.

Att: 38,633.

Ref: Jonas Eriksson (Sweden).

Bert van Marwijk's men had shaded the opening exchanges, with Van Persie shooting straight at Manuel Neuer as he sought to atone for a series of missed chances in the Dutch defeat to Denmark.

Mesut Ozil responded for Germany with a ninth minute volley which struck the base of Maarten Stekelenburg's left-hand post before the ball was gathered by the grateful Dutch keeper.

Arsenal ace Van Persie was looking lively but still lacking killer instinct, and another opportunity went begging when Ibrahim Afellay's cross towards the striker was crucially intercepted by Mats Hummels.

Gomez put Germany ahead in the 24th minute with an excellent finish after Bastian Schweinsteiger's through-ball cut the Dutch defence in two. Gomez turned and fired the opener low to Stekelenburg's right.

Arjen Robben slammed a long-range effort straight at Neuer as Dutch frustration began to tell, although they were secure in the knowledge they could not face elimination due to Portugal's earlier win over Denmark.

It was just as well, as the Germans continued to exploit glaring weaknesses in the Dutch defence, particularly down the right flank, and Holger Badstuber should have made it 2-0 in the 37th minute when he headed straight at Stekelenburg from point-blank range.,

But one minute later Germany did have their second from another move originating on the right, Schweinsteiger playing in Gomez who looked up and slammed an unstoppable shot across the keeper from a tight angle.

Not much consolation: Robin van Persie pulled one back

Not much consolation: Robin van Persie pulled one back

Tip top save: Maarten Stekelenburg in action

Tip top save: Maarten Stekelenburg in action

Lovin' it: Germany enjoyed going 2-0 up

Lovin' it: Germany enjoyed going 2-0 up

Germany almost made it 3-0 on the
stroke of half-time when Schweinsteiger's free-kick struck Robben and
looked set to loop into the top corner only to be brilliantly tipped
over by Stekelenburg.

Van Marwijk introduced both Klaus-Jan
Huntelaar and Rafael van der Vaart at the break but the Germans
continued to press, with Hummels denied by Stekelenburg twice in a
matter of seconds seven minutes after the re-start.

With the Dutch forced to push forward
they also had chances with Robben seeing his drive deflected over by
Philipp Lahm, then Robben crossing from the left to Van Persie whose
powerful low drive was well saved by Neuer.

Grudge match: Marc van Bommel (left) in pain after a tackle from Thomas Mueller

Grudge match: Marc van Bommel (left) in pain after a tackle from Thomas Mueller

Changes: Bert van Marwijk made some bold decisions at the break

Changes: Bert van Marwijk made some bold decisions at the break

Shhhh: Van Persie celebrates his strike - but it could not help Holland salvage a point

Shhhh: Van Persie celebrates his strike – but it could not help Holland salvage a point

Holland came even closer to reducing
the deficit in the 62nd minute when Wesley Sneijder left fly from
outside the box and saw his drive flash inches wide of Neuer's left-hand
post with the keeper beaten.

Another Schneijder effort was blocked
in the box by Jerome Boateng with a suspicion of handball, before the
Dutch pressure paid off with Van Persie finally breaking his Euro 2012
deadlock in style.

Take that: Gomez lashes in the second goal

Take that: Gomez lashes in the second goal

Smug: Mats Hummels smirks while Dutch players are in disarray

Smug: Mats Hummels smirks while Dutch players are in disarray

The striker turned and drifted across
from the left flank before drilling a brilliant finish past Neuer from
the edge of the box to give his side hope with 17 minutes of the match
still to play.

The Dutch were suddenly dominant, with
Van Persie having a penalty appeal waved away before Robben expressed
his frustration at being substituted by exiting the pitch on the far
side of the field in front of the Dutch fans.

But their push for an equaliser was
almost undone in the 89th minute when Stekelenburg made a mighty hash of
a back-pass and almost presented German substitute Miroslav Klose with
the simplest of chances to wrap things up.

Creator: Bastian Schweinsteiger fashioned both of Gomez's goals

Creator: Bastian Schweinsteiger fashioned both of Gomez's goals

Leeds 8 Wigan 50: Tomkins shines as shadow Warriors batter Rhinos

Leeds 8 Wigan 50: Tomkins shines as shadow Warriors batter Rhinos

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UPDATED:

22:48 GMT, 1 June 2012

Shaun Wane sent a chilling warning to the rest of Super League after this one-sided rout, insisting Wigan will get better.

His side were missing six first-team
forwards but still thrashed their opponents and Wane said: ‘We haven’t
peaked yet. I don’t want to sound arrogant or big headed, but if I’m
speaking from my heart we haven’t got that killer instinct yet —but it
will come.’

Wig wham: Liam Farrell is congratulated on his try by Sam Tomkins (left) and Josh Charnley (centre)

Wig wham: Liam Farrell is congratulated on his try by Sam Tomkins (left) and Josh Charnley (centre)

He added: ‘Under the circumstances it was as good as we’ve been this season. To come to a tough place like this with our kids in and get that result, it’s a great effort.

‘Every now and then you get a special bond in your team and we’ve got it now. They need to enjoy it and embrace it, because it doesn’t come around all that often.’

Sam Tomkins stole the show in front of watching friend Rio Ferdinand, but this was a complete Wigan display. For Leeds, things look worryingly bleak and they now sit seventh in the table.

Tryn time: Wigan Warriors' Liam Farrell goes over to score

Tryn time: Wigan Warriors' Liam Farrell goes over to score

Leeds Rhinos boss Brian McDermott said:
‘Wigan were on fire. They’ve done that to a few good teams recently.
They were very, very good. We don’t want to be on the end of this, but
at times you have to go through it. When we’ve been asked to play at a
certain level of skill and intensity, we haven’t come up with the
goods.’

The Warriors led from the third minute, Jeff Lima crashing on to Michael
McIlorum’s short pass, and Leeds simply had no response.

Searing breaks from Tomkins then laid on tries for Liam Farrell and
George Carmont, with Sean O’Loughlin and Thomas Leuluai also crossing as
the visitors established a 26-4 half-time lead.

It is only 12 days
since McDermott admitted he was ‘panicking’ over his side’s plight, and
this defeat raised more uncomfortable questions as well as boos from the
Headingley faithful.

Few answers were forthcoming after the interval, with Josh Charnley, Anthony Gelling, Leuluai and Brett Finch also scoring.
Ryan Hall’s double did nothing for Leeds’ respectability.