The Back of the Net team give their unique take on the opening game of Euro 2012 - Poland 1-1 Greece
The opening match of the European Championships of 2012 completely failed to live up to its billing, as Poland and Greece played out a 1-1 draw that was characterised by a dearth of highly-anticipated timewasting and a complete lack of unwatchably negative anti-football.
The game was hotly tipped as one to watch by killjoys and insomniacs, mindful of PolandÃ¢ÂÂs memorably average squad and GreeceÃ¢ÂÂs dazzling reputation in the eyes of expert masochists.
But instead, viewers were served up two goals, two red cards and a missed penalty, leaving many feeling theyÃ¢ÂÂd been misled by the pre-match billing.
Ã¢ÂÂAnyone who expected us to play an ugly but effective style will be disappointed,Ã¢ÂÂ said GreeceÃ¢ÂÂs manager, Fernando Santos. Ã¢ÂÂAnd that includes me.aÃ¢ÂÂ
SantosÃ¢ÂÂs sentiments were echoed by his Polish counterpart, Franciszek Smuda. Ã¢ÂÂAnyone who watched Poland at Euro 2008 knows what weÃ¢ÂÂre capable of, namely disjointed, uninspiring dross,Ã¢ÂÂ he said. Ã¢ÂÂDid you see us at the last World Cup? Of course not, we werenÃ¢ÂÂt there. We won three games in qualifying, and two of those were against San Marino.Ã¢ÂÂ
Robert LewandowskiÃ¢ÂÂs 17th-minute goal came as a surprise to no-one, except those whoÃ¢ÂÂd previously seen Poland play, and Dimitris SalpigidisÃ¢ÂÂs 51st minute equaliser was a slap in the face for everyone who thought Greece could only threaten from set-plays.
Mindful of having let their audience down, the Poles were in contrite mood after the match.
Ã¢ÂÂI have to say, one performance like this is not a reflection of our true quality,Ã¢ÂÂ Smuda told FourFourTwo.com. Ã¢ÂÂIÃ¢ÂÂm confident that things will return to normal against Russia on Tuesday.Ã¢ÂÂ
Erratic Spanish referee Carlos Velasco Carballo was also praised for making a potentially dire game more entertaining, and consequently looks set to be appointed to EnglandÃ¢ÂÂs clash with Ukraine.
Editor's note: this isn't a serious accusation and all quotes are fictionalised. But you knew that, because you're not stupid.
More from Back of the Net
During the Euros, Back of the Net will tweet live during the match.
Follow the commentary at http://twitter.com/backofthenetFFT
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.