Sunday, July 1, 2012

Spain 4 - 0 Italy (full-time)

Many expected Italy to perform way better. many fans also were predicting Italy to win the Euro, but Spain showed that the over-confidence that Italy players showed will be punished. Italy started brightly, when Andrea Pirlo had some space but his shot went wide. Spain responded with a run by David Silva, he entered the box, but before he could shoot Bonucci cleared the danger. Spain had another chance from a free-kick, but Sergio Ramos shot went wide and high. Spain dominated possession early in the match with Italy appearing confused. Xavi could have opened the score, when he linked with Fabregas, but his shot went over the bar, but by just a few centimeters. But the goal was in the air, and it came a few minutes later when Fabregas was given a through ball, entered the box, and with a perfect cross he found the header of David Silva, who headed in the net.

However Italy responded well, when De Rossi arrived a bit late in the box to head the ball, and so Casillas cleared the ball. Casillas is brilliant in the air as every cross that Italy threw he handed them quite brilliantly. Italy were attacking however they had to stay very alert at the back, as Chiellini lost the ball quite easily, but he was showing that he was injured and not fully fit. In fact he was substituted by Balzaretti, who the latter had a quite a good half. Balzaretti made a dangerous cross in the box, but before Balotelli could head the ball, Casillas punched the ball really well. Cassano was presented with a chance but his shot was saved easily by Casillas. Spain then made it 2, when Xavi saw Jordi Alba run, he gave him a perfect through ball, and with a one-on-one on Buffon he slotted the ball in. The final chance of the half came from Montolivo with a shot from distance but Casillas saved the ball.

2nd half

This half should be described as a training session of Spain. Dominated possession and pitch, and Italy were literally chasing shadows. Spain could have added a goal very early in the half with Fabregas, but his shot was weak and ended wide of the post. Italy tried to find a goal, but they could not find an opening. However Italy's hopes were finally shattered when Thiago Motta who entered a few minutes before had a muscle injury, and Italy had to play with 10 players for the final 30 minutes. Pirlo was closed-down immediately, which also was one of the factors why Italy did not have any ideas. Spain did not have any wish to attack, they were happy to pass the ball around, as if one is playing FIFA, Football Manager or PES. Spain had another chance when Pedro and Fabregas linked between them, but the final cross of Fabregas was cleared by Balzaretti. Spain was the only team in the pitch after this. Fabregas was then substituted by Torres, an excellent performance by Cesc. Italy gave their all, and appeared tired. Spain scored 2 in the final 10 minutes, thanks to Fernando Torres, and finally Juan Mata, when he entered the pitch just a minute before. 

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