Euro 2008 finally came to life on Monday night, with Holland destroying current World Champions Italy 3-0 – and Liverpool’s Dirk Kuyt was influential in the victory, assisting two goals.
Kuyt became the first Liverpool player in action during this European Championship, starting in his new position of right side of an attacking three behind one forward. Typically Kuyt worked tirelessly for the team both defensively and going forward.
After the Dutch had taken the lead through Ruud Van Nistelrooy’s dubiously offside goal, Kuyt headed back across goal for Wesley Sneider to score the second following a flowing counter attacking move. Similarly in the second half the Dutch broke away again with Kuyt on the end of the move only for his shot to be saved by Gigi Buffon, but Kuyt didn’t give the ball up and crossed for Gio van Bronckorst to head home a third. It was ‘total football’ indeed.
‘œFrom the start it was a top match for us because they’re world champions and a very tough side,’ Kuyt told ITV. ‘œWe’ve given it everything we’ve got and it’s a great result, but it’s the first match and there are another two tough ones to come.”
‘œI think it [the second goal] was the best goal so far ‘“ it was a great clearance from Gio, he kept running, I was with him, it was a great cross and Wesley had a great finish. It was a great goal.
‘œFor the third, I was trying to score but it was a bit difficult. I was tired as well. The second time I saw Gio and he put in a brilliant cross for the first goal so he deserved the goal.’
Earlier in the day France had been held to a bore draw against Romania, meaning Holland now lead the ‘group of death’ after 1 match each. They face France on Friday night next.
Meanwhile, Spain get into action on Tuesday evening (5pm) against Russia – Fernando Torres is expected to be the only one to start of the four Liverpool players in the Spanish squad.