Denmark fans react to the defeat against Germany in the last 16 at Euro 2024Denmark fans react to the defeat against Germany in the last 16 at Euro 2024 (Image: PA)

Euro View – Dan Barnes

From ecstasy to heartbreak, a painful five-minute spell for Denmark highlighted why so many are falling out of love with football.

The fans in Dortmund were stunned to silence when Joachim Andersen found a way past Manuel Neuer, but the goal was chalked off for the tightest of offside calls.

Moments later, Germany were awarded a penalty after an incredibly harsh handball decision went against the same player. Kai Havertz made no mistake from the spot to put the contest in the hosts’ favour.

Footage has since emerged of the disallowed goal and it is probably the tightest call I have seen since the introduction of technology to the sport.

The phrase ‘offside is offside’ was used by many to justify the decision but, to be honest, that has never sat well with me. To disallow a goal like that, the technology has to be 100 per cent accurate and I’m not convinced that is the case.

Moreover, you have to look at the bigger picture and remember why the offside rule was introduced. Andersen certainly wasn’t goal hanging and gained no advantage over the defender, even if his toenail was a couple of millimetres beyond.

As for the handball, what’s the point anymore? There seems to be a lack of common sense from officials and watching these incidents back in slow motion a million times certainly doesn’t help.

Andersen is stood very close when the cross comes in and the ball ever so slightly brushes against his fingers. Snicko technology is brilliant in cricket but for football, it can get in the bin.

I have at least taken some comfort in the number of ex-players also baffled by the decision. Roy Keane, Ian Wright and Robert Huth were among those who voiced their concerns over the current rules during their punditry duties.

Michael Oliver was the man in the middle and unfortunately the constant VAR controversy from the Premier League has been replicated in the Euro games run by English officials.

Nevertheless, Germany got the job done to book their place in the quarter-final. Earlier in the day, Italy had showed how tricky these types of fixtures can be in the knockout rounds.

The Danes can hold their heads high after a brave effort. They were under the cosh in the opening stages and had a VAR decision go in their favour when Nico Scholtterbeck’s header was chalked off, although that seemed a much more straightforward call.

The weather conditions added to the drama when the players were briefly taken off the pitch due to lightning strikes nearby. For a second, I thought Manchester United were playing at home when I saw water streaming down from the roof.

With all that said, it was another tie you couldn’t take your eyes off and this tournament continues to deliver.

Switzerland's Grant Xhaka after the final whistle on Saturday (Image: PA)

Euro View - Marc Iles

ITALY always looked a pale shadow of the team that beat England to win the last Euros – but the scale of their decline has been quite shocking to see.

For the first time I can recall, the Azzurri turned up at a major tournament without a single world class player, and by the time they slumped to defeat against the Swiss in Berlin you could question whether they truly deserved to be in this exalted company at all.

Luciano Spalletti performed miracles at Napoli, he deserves respect, but this was never going to end well. Already missing injured players like Destiny Uodgie, Francesco Acerbi, Giorgio Scalvini and Domenico Berardi, and with habitual winners Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini now retired, this was an empty shell, bereft of any traditional Italian class.

Nether Marco Verratti nor Federico Chiesa showed anything of the form they had in that God-awful cross-continental Euros three years ago, and the supporting cast was shown up for what they are – unspectacular club men.

I agree with Gary Lineker – this is the worst Italy team of my lifetime. Roberto Mancini probably saw this coming when he vacated the manager’s job in a hurry last August.

Take nothing away from the Swiss. I’m writing this well in advance of England’s game against Slovakia but I could foresee them proving a very difficult opponent for either side.

Manuel Akanji has been outstanding and Granit Xhaka is different gravy at the moment after a magnificent season at Bayer Leverkusen. If he can drive his team even deeper he could be a good shout for player of the competition.

Spain aside, is any team passing the ball as well as Switzerland at the moment? Historically they have lacked the firepower and panache to rise above their station as a solid, organised and awkward opposition but now they are looking a different prospect altogether.

Clive Tyldesley has left ITV after more than 30 years as one of their most recognisable voicesClive Tyldesley has left ITV after more than 30 years as one of their most recognisable voices (Image: PA)

TV View – Marc Iles

IN a professional obsessed with soundbites and viral content, how pleasing it was to see Clive Tyldesley bow out as a consummate press box professional on ITV.

Since replacing Brian Moore in 1996, Tyldesley has been the channel most recognisable voice, attending 14 major tournaments and establishing perhaps the best commentary partnership of all time with Scot Ally McCoist.

As the final whistle blew on Saturday night in the Germany v Denmark game there must have been temptation to seize the moment for himself, but no, he concluded with a succinct point about Germany feeling they can win the Euros on home soil and passed back to the studio. You’d have never known the curtain was coming down on such a prestigious chapter in his career.

Why the last 16, though? Did ITV want to avoid any public clamour to see him and McCoist given the final, so tried to head it all off at the pass? It doesn’t feel very respectful and though the man himself is too classy to kick up a stink about it, I am glad to see that messages of support poured in over the weekend, many also condemning the channel’s rather callous actions.

Tyldesley will continue to call games, and I do hope that with even more football being piped into our TV screens in the coming season that his voice is not lost to UK viewers altogether.

I bear no ill-will to Sam Matterface – who I think gets unnecessary stick at times - or any of the younger commentators coming through the system for the terrestrial channels but there really isn’t any substitute for experience. You also cannot replicate the chemistry that Tyldesley and McCoist have as a pairing, so if they are not used on the mic for matches, I suggest some canny podcast producer should take advantage quickly!