Prague: Czech media on Saturday slammed the performance of the national football team after their crushing 4-1 loss to Russia on the opening day of the European championships in Poland.
DNES, the largest Czech broadsheet daily, ran a front-page picture of devastated Czech captain Tomas Rosicky on the pitch in the western city of Wroclaw.
"A dark football evening," it added. "The Czechs collapsed and lost 4-1," the paper said, calling the loss "cruel but deserved".
The daily's sports pundit said the Czechs -- semi-finalists in the competition four years ago in Portugal -- have forgotten everything they had relied upon for the past nine months.
"It was as if they told the Russian bear: here you are -- eat us!" he wrote.
The Lidove Noviny broadsheet plastered its pages of disappointed Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech leaving the pitch.
"Like whipped dogs," it said in its assessment of the game, which it described as "a humiliation".
"What a trashing!" agreed the Blesk tabloid on its front page, likening the team to the two clumsy cartoon characters that the Czechs had picked as team mascots.
"The 4-1 trashing was quite merciful, given the performance," Blesk said.
But it added that all was not lost, as the Czechs face Greece on June 12 and co-hosts Poland on June 16.
"Two wins mean we'll advance -- and Czechs can work hard when they're in trouble," the newspaper said.
The Czechs lie bottom of Group A after Poland drew 1-1 with Greece at the National Stadium in Warsaw.
Greece were surprise winners of the tournament in 2004 and beat the Czechs in the semi-finals.