On day one of the round of 16 – a day that looks like the distant past but was actually Saturday – Denmark swept Wales and Italy edged Austria. On Day 2, the Czech Republic stunned the Netherlands in the first real shock of Euro 2020, and Belgium beat Portugal in the tournament’s first heavyweight encounter.
What followed on Day 3 could – to a large extent – be presented as a natural continuation of it all, as if the tournament had been built in this direction, in the same way that Shakespeare’s works are a natural extension. from the accounting records of the city of Ur, or how the miracle of human life is a natural extension of the anaerobic reproduction of single-celled organisms.
Perhaps the best way to put it is this: twenty minutes after the start of the first game of the day, Spain’s encounter with Croatia, the prodigiously gifted Spanish midfielder Pedri scored an own goal. – through no fault of his own – just inside his own half. Eight hours later, it was far from the most remarkable thing that happened.