Title holders Spain were knocked out of the European championship by an inspired Italian side. Italy proved their tactical dominance early in the game with a 3-5-2 formation making it hard for the Spain’s fearsome midfield boasting of players such as Inestia, Fabregas, Silva, to get hold of the ball.
The Italians played out from the back, inviting the opposition forward and then utilising the space between the midfield and defense to great effect. David de Gea did brilliantly to keep out a Pelle header headed for the bottom corner. Spain created very little in the final third with the likes of Morata and Nolito hardly influencing the game. In contrast, Italy though having lesser possession, passed the ball about with purpose, picking out gaps and exploiting the space afforded to them. Chiellini opened the scoring for the Azzuri when de Gea spilled a free-kick from Eder into open play and the ball somehow found its way into the path of the defender.
The Spanish goalkeeper made a couple of important saves keeping Spain in the game. Spain tried to find an opening in the second half but to little effect. Buffon made a couple of important saves from Ineista and Pique at the end to deny Spain an equaliser. With Spain throwing a lot of players forward in search of a goal, Pelle scored a volley at the end of an Italian break to end Spain’s further participation in the tournament.