Saturday, June 19, 2004
  Italy-Sweden half-time
Well, the personnel may change but the wounded innocent expression on the face of Italian defenders remains the same. (Hello, Panucci...) You gotta love em...

Fantastically intriguing game of football, especially after this afternoon's unspeakable tediothon. (Not that this was Denmark's fault - congratulations to them for despatching the Bulgarian dullards, although I suppose after the Sweden thrashing, a measure of caution was er understandable).

I don't think this is over yet. There's no question that the refreshingly positive Italy - you have to pinch yourself to remind yourself that this is a team managed by Trappatoni - have dominated the game so far, with Panucci, Zambrotta and Del Pierro especially impressive.

But the Swedes are not out of it. Ljunberg has looked the player I've half forgotten he could be after a disappointing last few months at Arsenal. Ibrahimovic is a threat, and Larsson will have at least one gilt-edged chance in the second half.

Question: why was Jon Champion so incredulous about people in Sweden believing that they can win the tournament? Why ever not?

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