UKRAINE 2-1 NORTH MACEDONIA
- Goals: Andriy Yarmolenko (€8.5m), Roman Yaremchuk (€7.1m) | Ezgjan Alioski (€4.5m)
- Assists: Oleksandr Karavaev (€5.0m), Yarmolenko
- Penalties won: Ruslan Malinovskyi (€7.0m) | Goran Pandev (€6.5m)
- Penalties missed: Malinovskyi | Alioski
- Penalties saved: Georgi Bushchan (€4.5m) | Stole Dimitrievski (€4.5m)
West Ham attacker Andriy Yarmolenko (€8.5m) was the star of the Fantasy show during Ukraine’s win against North Macedonia.
Classed as a midfielder in the official EURO 2020 game, Yarmolenko lined up on the right-hand side of Ukraine’s attack.
A goal and an assist in the first half will have delighted anyone who had been brave enough to try Yarmolenko out for the captain’s armband against a poor North Macedonia defence.
He notched up his second and third attacking return of the tournament – having scored a wondergoal against the Netherlands – with the latter an assist for striker Roman Yaremchuk (€7.1m).
The forward, who also netted against the Dutch, was one of several players who rose in price on Wednesday. Surprisingly, both players were subbed off in the 70th minute.
Meanwhile, Oleksandr Zinchenko (€5.5m), who is classed as a defender, played something close to a number 10 role for his country and had the ‘pre-assist’ for Yaremchuk’s goal but did not notch any returns of his own.
And Zinchenko’s clean sheet was wiped out to boot, with Leeds United left-back Ezgjan Alioski (€4.5m) missing a 56th-minute penalty but volleying in the rebound.
But all three Ukraine players are set to be on the Fantasy radar ahead of a Matchday 3 clash with Austria, where Andriy Shevchenko’s men will be seeking a result to advance in the competition having lost to Holland in round 1.
“We could have scored more. We need to look at how many chances we create and how we play in attack. I think Ukraine were very good in attack today, I was pleased to see this kind of performance. But the most important thing is that we reacted [after conceding] with the desire to score more and earned this win.” – Andriy Shevchenko
Yarmolenko’s goal came from a first-half corner which was beautifully flicked on by Karavaev, allowing the Hammers man to finish from an angle at the back post.
Zinchenko soon found his captain on the right wing, with Yarmolenko’s first-time pass allowing Yaremchuk to beat the North Macedonia offside trap before sliding home.
Alioski’s rebounded spot-kick effort early in the second half gave his team a foothold in the game, with the Ukraine under serious pressure after dominating the first period.
Malinovskyi had the chance to wrap the game up from the penalty spot late on but failed to convert, much to the chagrin of owners and Matchday 2 investors.
Ukraine XI (4-3-3): Buschan; Mykolenko, Matviyenko, Zabarnyi, Karavaev; Zinchenko, Stepanenko, Shaparenko (Sydorchuk 77′); Malinovskyi (Sobol 90+2′), Yaremchuk (Besedin 69′) Yarmolenko (Tsygankov 69′).
North Macedonia (3-4-1-2): Dimitrevski; Musliu, Velkovski (Trickovski 85′), Ristovski; Alioski, Spirovski (Churlinov 46′), Ademi (Ristevski 85′), Nikolov (Trajkovski 46′); Bardi (Avramovski 77′); Elmas, Pandev.
Zinchenko (17) took up an advanced midfield position
Despite North Macedonia’s second-half resurgence, Zinchenko’s advanced position must put the defender in the Matchday 3 conversation. Only Malinovskyi (16) received more passes in the final third than the Man City man and Yarmolenko (both 15).
Players sorted by total shots
Malinovskyi (6) also bettered Yarmolenko (5) for total attempts, though the latter had twice the amount of efforts in the box (4) and big chances (2) arguably handing him the superior points potential for Matchday 3. Yaremchuk, meanwhile, scored with his only shot of the game.
DENMARK 1-2 BELGIUM
- Goals: Yussuf Poulsen (€8.0m) | Thorgan Hazard (€8.0m), Kevin De Bruyne (€10.5m)
- Assists: Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (€5.5m) | De Bruyne, Eden Hazard (€10.0m)
Kevin De Bruyne (€10.5m) turned this game on its head after emerging from the bench at half time and thrusting himself into the EURO Fantasy spotlight.
The Manchester City midfielder showed no ill effects from his recent facial injury, immediately putting Belgium on the front foot through skill and endeavour.
An assist and a goal will have marked out the EURO 2020 Fantasy game’s joint-most expensive midfielder ahead of a Matchday 3 clash with Finland.
While Belgium have now qualified, Roberto Martinez may see fit to give De Bruyne further minutes on Monday night ahead of the knockout stages.
Yussuf Poulsen (€8.0m) opened the scoring after just two minutes as Denmark capitalised on a poor pass from the redrafted Jason Denayer (€4.5m).
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (€5.5m) intercepted Denayer’s attempt to play out from the back before feeding Poulsen, who fired a lovely finish into the bottom corner of Thibaut Courtois‘ (€6.0m) net.
Despite not adding to their tally, Denmark’s high-energy game caught Belgium cold in the first 45 minutes in serious Copenhagen heat.
“It’s been a while since we’ve last been put to the test like this. The first half the players seemed shell shocked but they have the experience to turn a game around.” – Roberto Martinez
But De Bruyne’s half-time introduction paid instant dividends for Martinez, as he harried Denmark’s midfield from an advanced position.
He then began the move that led to Belgium’s equaliser, setting Lukaku in behind the left-hand side of the Danish defence.
The striker returned the ball to De Bruyne, who sent two defenders flying with a shimmy before playing a square pass across the goal for the onrushing Thorgan Hazard (€8.0m), who could make no mistake.
Lukaku again caused havoc for the Denmark backline for Belgium’s second, leading them on a merry chase down the right before feeding the ball into Thorgan Hazard at the edge of the box.
He touched the ball to brother Eden, who laid it on for De Bruyne to rifle past Kasper Schmeichel (€5.0m) from outside the area.
“The Danes surprised us with the system they played in and in the first half, we were unrecognizable. We were always one step behind, it seemed. But then De Bruyne, (Axel) Witsel and Eden Hazard came on which just changed the game. They bring extra quality, we don’t have to tiptoe around that.” – Jan Vertonghen
Denmark almost equalised with four minutes of normal time remaining as Martin Braithwaite‘s (€7.5m) header skimmed the top of the Belgium crossbar.
Kasper Hjulmand’s charges can still qualify with a win against Russia, putting their assets on the Matchday 3 menu. Joakim Maehle (€4.5m) might be the pick of the bunch, whether he plays at left-back or in a wing-back role.
“We can take a lot with us from this match. Now we’ll close this one. I’m already thinking about the Russians. We are not finished in this tournament and we’ll do everything we can to beat the Russians.” – Kasper Hjulmand
Martinez, meanwhile, kept his cards close to his chest when asked if younger players such as Jeremy Doku (€7.0m) could earn minutes in Matchday 3:
“Let us first celebrate (getting through) and then we can talk about Finland.”
Denmark XI (3-5-2): Schmeichel; Vestergaard (Olsen 83′), Kjaer, Christensen; Maehle, Delaney (Jensen 72′), Hojbjerg, Damsgaard (Cornelius 72′), Wass (Stryger 61′); Braithwaite, Poulsen (Norgaard 61′).
Belgium XI (3-4-3): Courtois; Vertonghen, Denayer, Alderweireld; T Hazard (Vermaelen 90+3), Dendoncker (Witsel 58′), Tielemans, Meunier; Carrasco (E Hazard 58′), Lukaku, Mertens (De Bruyne 46′).
Team attacking stats
Denmark might count themselves unlucky not to have grabbed an equaliser after a period of late pressure. The Danes racked up 15 efforts in the box, totalling an expected goals (xG) figure of 1.99.
Players sorted by total attempts
Seven of those 15 shots inside the area were fired off by Braithwaite, who could be an outside punt for Denmark’s must-win clash with Russia.
De Bruyne put on a second-half creative masterclass
Maehle created the joint-most chances in the game (4), while De Bruyne’s two big chances created could not be matched by any other player.
NETHERLANDS 2-0 AUSTRIA
- Goals: Memphis Depay (€10.0m), Denzel Dumfries (€5.5m)
- Assists: Donyell Malen (€6.0m)
- Penalty won: Dumfries
Denzel Dumfries (€5.5m) scored his second goal in as many EURO 2020 games to near ensure a price rise in Matchday 3.
The right wing-back raced into the box from distance to tap home after substitute Donyell Malen (€6.0m) was set free by Memphis Depay (€10.0m) behind a high Austria line.
Dumfries had already won the early penalty which put Holland ahead and added a clean sheet to net a huge 14-point haul.
While Matchday 3 pits the Netherlands against North Macedonia, arguably their easiest Group C match on paper, the fact that Frank de Boer’s men have now qualified for the second round could result in some rotation.
A wild tackle from David Alaba (€5.5m) on the marauding Dumfries handed Depay a penalty kick after 11 minutes, with the 22%-owned forward making no mistake from the spot.
Weghorst was set through in the 40th minute by a Van Aanholt pass, deciding to cut the ball across goal rather than shooting.
The big striker’s pass found Depay in space but the Lyon forward managed to balloon his effort over the bar from yards out.
Moments later, Van Aanholt’s cutback laid Gini Wijnaldum (€8.0m) up for a shot in the box but the ex-Liverpool man could only hit it straight at Andreas Ulmer (€4.5m).
Wijnaldum then turned provider for Depay, who also smacked a shot straight at an Austrian defender from just outside the box.
After 60 minutes a Weghorst knockdown from a Depay corner saw efforts from Stefan de Vrij (€5.5m) and Matthijs de Ligt (€5.5m) beaten away by the Austria backline.
Malen soon entered the fray and not long after his introduction, the forward’s lung-bursting run ended in Dumfries’ goal which wrapped the game up for De Boer’s men.
Netherlands XI (3-5-2): Stekelenburg; Blind (Ake 64′), De Ligt, De Vrij; Van Aanholt (Wijndal 64′), F De Jong, Wijnaldum, De Roon (Gravenberch 73′), Dumfries; Depay (L De Jong 81′), Weghorst (Malen 64′).
Austria XI (3-5-2): Bachmann; Dragovic (Lienhart 83′), Alaba, Hinteregger; Ulmer, Laimer (Grillitsch 61′), X Schlager (Onisiwo 83′), Baumgartner, Lainer; Sabitzer, Gregoritsch (Kaladjdzic 61′).
Players sorted by touches in the final third
Despite managing just 11 final-third touches – compared to a whopping 51 in Matchday 1 – Dumfries made one count in particular with his second goal in two games, in, despite the big score, a slightly more reserved display.
The top shooters from Netherlands v Austria
Depay had plenty of shots (6) and efforts inside the box (4) but only hit the target with his penalty in a night of wayward shooting. He could be another big name to miss out on Matchday 3 but anyone willing to take the risk on him starting against North Macedonia’s porous defence could be richly rewarded based on these numbers.
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