Euro final: Spain v Italy player ratings - Telegraph
Jul 2, In what became a finals dominated by stats and debate over their worth, there was Match report: Spain make history with Euro victory. Jul 1, Euro Reign of Spain goes on as Italy trail in their stardust the point need only refer to the avalanche of statistics that confirm them as the. UEFA EURO Matches. Spain. Winners: All times CET. Quarter-finals. Final: 1 July Last updated: 05/07/ CET. Quarter-finals · survey.
UEFA Euro 2012 Final
More often than not, it is because their opponents simply cannot get the ball. Italy have played with great charisma throughout this tournament but any hopes of a comeback were extinguished on the hour when Thiago Motta, their third substitute, suffered a hamstring injury.
They had nobody left to bring on and, a man down, were always going to be vulnerable to what followed during those brutal, late stages. Fernando Torres stroked in the third, in the process becoming the first player to score in two European Championship finals, and it was another substitute, Juan Mata, who completed the rout barely a minute after coming on the pitch.
Italy will rue their bad luck but the truth, indisputably, is that Spain had signalled their superiority long before they had the luxury of the extra player. La Roja played with style and panache. Del Bosque's line-up, with no recognised striker, might not appeal to the Eurosauruses out there but the simple truth is the Spanish are too refined, too devoted to the art of possession, to change for anyone. Del Bosque had listened to the criticism, all that stuff about it being a negative tactic, and decided not to budge an inch, and who can blame him?
It was not that Italy were particularly poor; this was just a Spanish team filled with serial champions, all of whom wanted the ball and had the football intelligence to do the right things with it. The paradox is that Italy had plenty of possession, too. Yet Spain had penetration, working those elaborate little passing triangles, then suddenly changing the pace of the game once they saw the openings.
The first goal was a case in point.Spain vs Italy 4-0 Ceremony 01/07/2012 EURO 2012 ON YASSIRLIVE TV
Xavi was involved, almost inevitably. These two alone make it feel faintly preposterous that Spain could ever be condemned for drudgery. Iniesta's pass inside Giorgio Chiellini was weighted beautifully. The ball into Silva arrived at pace and an awkward height but the Manchester City player improvised with a twisting header, angled perfectly into the top corner. By that stage Spain had already established the pattern of controlling play in the middle of the pitch.
Make that scoring, scoring.
UEFA EURO - History - Matches – n3ws.info
Spain had been derided as lacking a penetrative edge, their style described as passenaccio, tiki-taka or tippy-tapas so they simply moved up a gear, playing with far greater tempo, soon seizing the lead. Xavi, inevitably, was involved, finding Iniesta, inevitably.
Xavi could find Iniesta in the Kalahari let alone in Kiev. Iniesta swept a pass of elegance and malevolence behind Giorgio Chiellini, the ball almost winking mockingly at the full-back as it sped past. Fabregas controlled the ball effortlessly with his first touch, his second cutting it back strongly towards Silva. The little gem that Manchester City fans call Merlin scored with a powerful header.
Italy had to scavenge for scraps. Balotelli tried to run through on goal, attempting to outpace Ramos but Casillas was out quickly to clear. Another swirling Pirlo corner produced another punched clearance from Casillas.
Euro final: Spain versus Italy in numbers - BBC Sport
This was absorbing fare for the crowd, although the Olympic Stadium was not full, a reflection on the perfect storm of economic ill-winds, inflated ticket prices and long distances. They had so much to watch. Passing to Xavi, Alba took off like a sprinter, knowing that Xavi would return the compliment.
Alba then finished expertly, sliding the ball past Buffon. Prandelli sent on Antonio Di Natale, who really should have scored but headed over.