Euro 2008 Quarters day 1

1. Germany always overperforms in the big tournaments.

2. Portugal continues to play the knockout stage with both hands locked firmly around their throats.

3. Don’t count on quality performances from teams with national coaches who announce their departures for greener pastures during the tournament.

4. Be wary of teams with decent offensive firepower that haven’t really been tested in the back. Yes, this means you, Spain. Schweinsteiger, Podolski and Ballack played absolute hell with the Portuguese back four.

This was the first game that Germany played like the pre-tournament favorites they were. I still don’t think they’ll win the whole thing; Portugal did get two goals back on them and neither the Portuguese attack or midfield is as strong as those possessed by Holland and Spain. But still, it was an impressive performance, especially following three lackluster showings and a second-place finish in the weakest group of the tournament.