Sunday June 10, 2012 Group Stage: Group C Finished Arena Gdansk

Spain 1 - 1 Italy

  • Fábregas 64’
  • Di Natale 60’

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  1. Torres misfires as gutsy Italy hold Spain

    Torres misfires as gutsy Italy hold Spain

    Fernando Torres spurned two golden chances as Italy deservedly held Spain to a 1-1 draw in their Euro 2012 opener at the PGE Arena in Gdansk More

  • Live Commentary

    Time:90'
    • Spain
    • Italy
    • 90+3' There goes the final whistle! A 1-1 draw. An excellent second half. Probably about the right result from the day.
    • 90+2' We are into three minutes of time added on...Alonso just wide of goal there from distance.
    • 90' Alonso drives a free-kick from 35 yards out well over the bar. Story of the day.
    • 89' Motta departs for Italy to be replaced by Antonio Nocerino of Milan.
    • 88' Maggio becomes the seventh booking of the game for a late challenge on Iniesta.
    • 87' Motta plays in Marchisio. Chance to win it for Italy, but his shot is straight at Casillas.
    • 86' Alonso on the run for Spain, but taken out of the match late by Maggio. Into the last three minutes now.
    • 85' Another chance for Torres. Just Buffon to beat, but chips the ball over the keeper and over the bar from the edge of the bar. Real frustration for the Chelsea striker.
    • 84' And Torres joins him in the book for catching De Rossi with an elbow in the neck. That could have been a red card.
    • 83' Busquets booked for a piece of wrestling off the ball with Giovinco.
    • 82' Torres with a space to run in to, but seems to lack any sort of purpose. Gives the ball away and that is a chance gone.
    • 81' Alonso with a late, late lunge on Giovinco. No contact made, but the intent was there.
    • 80' Jordi Alba has also been booked for Spain. He follows three Italian players into the book.
    • 79' Xavi can only the hit top of the wall. Fine piece of Italian defending as the wall jumped together. Italy deserve a point from this match. No doubt about that.
    • 78' Chiellini booked for chopping down Iniesta 25 yards from goal. Now. This. Is. A. Chance.
    • 77' Navas tries to open his box of tricks, but just fails to keep the loose ball under control. Italy granted possession which they quickly lose.
    • 76' Chance for Di Natale from Giovinco's ball. Lovely little ball, but the Udinese forward just failed to direct the ball goalwards. Superb little move.
    • 75' Xavi picks out Busquets unmarked in the opposition box, but Busquets is wide with the header. Puts his head in his hands after that miss. Was a real chance to test Buffon.
    • 74' Brilliant defending by Buffon who actually tackles Torres as he raced clear. Knocks the ball out of play. Italy all over the place at the back.
    • 73' Off goes Fabregas to be replaced by Fernando Torres for Spain.
    • 72' Alba whacks a volley wide of goal after a lovey ball across goal from Navas, who is causing Italy a few problems out on his right flank.
    • 71' Chiellini makes a timely tackle on Navas as Torres prepares to arrive for Spain.
    • 70' Ramos tries an overhead kick in the middle of the Italian box. Guilty of dangerous play and Italy will have the free-kick.
    • 69' This is making for an engrossing end to this contest. Difficult to predict as Navas sees a deflected cross fly behind for a corner.
    • 68' Maggio takes up a good position out wide. Picks out Pirlo, but he overhits the ball and it ends up safely in the arms of Casillas.
    • 67' A booking for Bonucci for a late challenge on Iniesta. Was high and late. Few complaints there.
    • 66' Silva makes way to be replaced by Jesus Navas for Spain with Cassano departing to be replaced by Giovinco for Italy.
    • 65' Italy went to sleep with Giaccherini failing to match the run of Fabregas. That is why they are world champions. A few changes coming up for both teams.
    • 64' GOAL! Fabregas races onto the pass of Silva to hammer the shot beyond Buffon. Spain level at 1-1. Game on now.
    • 63' Iniesta drives a shot at goal, but lacked the direction as the ball makes its way safely into the mitts of Buffon.
    • 62' Udinese forward Di Natale is a wonderful striker. Has shown Balotelli what it is all about only three minutes after arriving on the park.
    • 61' Wonderful move from Italy. Can't say they haven't deserved that moment. Spain staring defeat in the face here.
    • 60' GOAL! Pirlo slips the ball into the path of Di Natale and he slides the shot beyond Casillas as he raced from his line. Brilliant finish and Italy have the lead.
    • 59' De Rossi makes a superb intervention to stop Fabregas from getting on the ball.
    • 58' Di Natale deemed to be offside as he dashed off too soon. Balotelli looking far from happy sitting back on the bench.
    • 57' Cassano hauled back by Arbeloa, but not a booking from the referee, who has been quite lenient today.
    • 56' Balotelli is wheeled off to be replaced by Di Natale.
    • 55' Balotelli again goes beyond Ramos, but the cross lacks enough height to pick out Cassano.
    • 54' Cassano also furious with Balotelli for doing nothing with only Casillas to beat. Spain living dangerously here as Cassano whips a shot well over the bar.
    • 53' Awful play by Balotelli. Truly awful. Glorious chance to score, but took an age and Ramos is back to make the tackle.
    • 52' Italy did not concede a single second half goal in the qualifiers – the only side not to do so. Bit more difficult today one imagines.
    • 51' Fabregas sends Iniesta racing into the box. Iniesta fies a shot wide via the edges of Buffon's gloves. Iniesta the main danger man for Spain. Fine stop by Buffon.
    • 50' Xavi decides he has had enough of the short stuff and opts for the longer game. But his shot flies well wide of goal.
    • 49' Fabregas finds enough room to get a sight of goal. Gives the ball a lash from 25 yards out, but easy for Buffon to make the stop.
    • 48' The Italians playing the pressing game to some effect out there today. Fernando Torres out warming up as Spain fan Manolo the drummer...erm...bangs his drum....
    • 47' Chiellini trips Xavi. Perhaps lucky to avoid a booking there. Only Balotelli in the book so far in this tight affair.
    • 46' No changes at the start off the second half. Off we go then for the second period.
    • 45+1' There goes the whistle for the break! 0-0 between these two teams. All to play for in the second half.
    • 44' Casillas dives to half the header from Motta! Fine save with Spain's defence cut open. Chances at both ends towards the end of the first period.
    • 43' Chance for Iniesta from 12 yards out. Great pass from Xavi, but the finish not quite there. Not sure if he was trying a lob or a shot. Over the bar. And on we go. At 0-0 with a minute left on the clock.
    • 42' Chance for Fabregas from Silva's pass, but fine defending by Bonucci to deny him a free shot at goal. Italy and Spain fans at least enjoying their day out.
    • 41' Not as woeful as the Germany v Portugal first 70 minutes or so last night, but a sense of disapointment that his match has yet to live up to expecatations.
    • 40' Remember we have a LIVE Euro 2012 chat from 5.30pm today. As the tournament gathers haste, Eurosport viewers worldwide will be given the opportunity to pitch their questions to the Netherlands most prolific goal scorer, Patrick Kluivert and Euro '96 winner, Freddie Bobic of Germany. The pair will be casting their expert opinions over today's Group B fixtures as well as answering your questions during this match Click here to put your questions to the Eurosport experts
    • 39' Fabregas challenging Maggio for the loose ball. And he is deemed to be guilty of foul play. The longer this goes, the more evident it becomes that Spain need a focal point for their attacks.
    • 38' Italy are the only side Spain have played more than four times at major tournaments - Euros and World Cups - but never beaten in regular time - drawn three, lost three.
    • 37' Surprise, surprise...Balotelli has been booked for taking out Alba with a late lunge. Typical Mario you might say.
    • 36' Marchisio decides to wallop a volley at goal from 30 yards. Superb technique, but a comfortable height and position for Casillas to make the stop.
    • 35' Balotelli given a talking to be the referee after pumping his fists into the ground. Far from happy with that moment.
    • 34' Cassano fires a shot at goal. Casillas makes the stop. Balotelli and Pique race for the loose ball with Balotelli deemed to have fouled the Spanish defender.
    • 33' Spain have only managed three clean sheets in 21 previous European Championship group stage games.
    • 32' Motta leans on Xavi. Looks a free-kick just outside of the Italy box, but the referee isn't interested. Cassano tries to win the ball from Casillas, but ends up clipping him late.
    • 31' Busquets takes a tumble under pressure from Pirlo. Story of this half so far. Plenty of tackles and sweating, but few chances.
    • 30' Chiellini makes sure Xavi can't get on the end of a cross from Iniesta. Vital he made that intervention before Buffon dives to save the shot by Iniesta.
    • 29' The Mexican Wave tends to be a sign of nothing happening. Nothing much is happening in this match which will suit Italy all day long.
    • 28' Silva dinks a ball into the middle from out wide, but straight into the arms of Buffon as a Mexican Wave breaks out around this stadium.
    • 27' Chiellini pressing Xavi for the ball. Soft decision by the referee to award a free-kick there. Xavi's free-kick comes to nothing.
    • 26' Balotelli deemed to have fouled Arbeloa. Spain on the ball, but Italy have plenty of bodies behind the ball.
    • 25' Pique steps up to play Cassano offside. Solid piece of defending by the Barca man. Spain trying to push up to play a high line.
    • 24' Iniesta takes up a good position in the Italy box, but can only whack the ball straight at a defender.
    • 23' Silva watched by De Rossi. Carries the ball out of play and the Italians survive another hairy moment of Spanish attacking.
    • 22' Spain with plenty of possession, but not really going anywhere with it at the moment. All a bit slow and predicatable.
    • 21' Cassano fires a shot across the face of goal. Balotelli almost in there to finish. Decent move by Italy. Just out of luck.
    • 20' Italy certainly looking a fair bit sharper than in some of their warm-up matches for this tournament. Moving the ball about very easily.
    • 19' Offside flag goes up against Fabregas, who is shaking his head. He didn't agree with that call.
    • 18' Motta needing some treatment. Not sure there was too much in that, but on come the Italian trainers. Spain look like they could do with a striker, it must be said.
    • 17' Spain keeping the ball at the back. Easing themselves up the back at a gentle pace. Motta has gone down after being caught by Arbeloa.
    • 16' Remember we have a LIVE Euro 2012 chat from 5.30pm today. As the tournament gathers haste, Eurosport viewers worldwide will be given the opportunity to pitch their questions to the Netherlands most prolific goal scorer, Patrick Kluivert and Euro '96 winner, Freddie Bobic of Germany. The pair will be casting their expert opinions over today's Group B fixtures as well as answering your questions during this match Click here to put your questions to the Eurosport experts
    • 15' You have to wonder what Torres, Negredo and Llorente are making of all this on the bench as De Rossi blocks a Silva shot.
    • 14' Casillas keeps his eye on the shot by Pirlo after Balotelli had dummied the ball to make the stop. Italy certainly making an encouraging start to the match.
    • 13' Cassano tumbles to the deck after being taken down by Ramos. A free-kick for Spain. 25 yards from goal. What a chance this is.
    • 12' This time Alonso is ideally positioned to clear Pirlo's corner. Spain break to the other goal with some haste, but Silva's shot is weak and straight at Buffon.
    • 11' Balotelli has a go at goal from 30 yards. Flies off a Spanish boot and wide for a corner to the Italians.
    • 10' Pique wins the header from Xavi's corner. Busquets then sets up Silva, who lifts the ball over the bar. Italy working hard to close down space.
    • 9' Silva trying to dart through a few bodies, but De Rossi wins the ball ahead of Fabregas. Spain with their second corner of the afternoon.
    • 8' Pirlo goes short with the ball, but it fails to work out for Italy as Spain read the danger to break up the play. Spaini in possession at the the halfway line.
    • 7' Arbeloa knocks the ball away from Giaccherini and the Italians have a corner.
    • 6' Fabregas heads out the free-kick from Pirlo. Spain on the move, but Chiellini knocks the ball back to Buffon who clears the danger.
    • 5' Alba brings down Maggio as he dashed up a flank and the Italians have a free-kick out wide.
    • 4' La Roja have never scored in three European Championship games against the Azzurri, though Italy themselves have only scored once in these three games combined.
    • 3' Fabregas deployed in the forward areas for Spain in the absence of a striker. Chiellini whacks the ball clear for Italy from a corner.
    • 2' Spain beat the Italians on their way to winning Euro 2008 in the last eight on penalties. Spain on the ball in the opening moments.
    • 1' Spain get the match off and running in Gdansk. Looks like ideal conditions for a game of football.
    • 16.55 Teams out on the pitch. The national anthems blare out. For a team with no strikers, Spain do not look like the are going to settle for a point here. A 4-3-3 formation has been touted. Will be the most fluent 4-3-3 formation you could possible imagine.
    • 16.50 These sides have met six times previously in major international tournaments, with Spain’s only win coming on penalties in Euro 2008. Italy have won three (including a replay in the World Cup 1934) and drawn two of the others.
    • 16.45 Match odds ahead of this match: Spain 5/6, Italy 7/2, Draw 12/5
    • 16.40 Sean Fay takes time out from his drinking schedule with the Irish fans in Eastern Europe to let the world know what has been happening to him. He tried to use a well-known German airline to reach the promised land of beer and vodka in Poland, but found the going a bit tricky. Lord of Gdansk: "Angela Merkel thinks we're at work"
    • 16.35 Tom Adams posts his latest blog for Eurosport from the Ukraine. He has been catching up with the Danish team after their 1-0 win over the Netherlands yesterday. Danes defying group of death
    • 16.30 Remember we have a LIVE Euro 2012 chat from 5.30pm today. As the tournament gathers haste, Eurosport viewers worldwide will be given the opportunity to pitch their questions to the Netherlands most prolific goal scorer, Patrick Kluivert and Euro '96 winner, Freddie Bobic of Germany. The pair will be casting their expert opinions over today's Group B fixtures as well as answering your questions during this match. Click here to put your questions to the Eurosport experts
    • 16.25 Cesare Prandelli (Italy coach): "Spain are very strong but we have beaten them and no team is invincible. I have a team with character, quality and willingness. They will probably have more possession and will cause us problems but when Italy play football as we know we can, we can fully challenge a team like Spain."
    • 16.20 Vicente del Bosque (Spain manager): "We have an aim that no-one has ever achieved before and that is beautiful. We do have a lot of pressure because there is a lot of optimism that surrounds us. But we are accustomed to the pressure because we are defending the title and we are world champions. However, we cannot think that we are out of this world and we are going to win. It would be a huge mistake to have that attitude."
    • 16.15 Italy's main injury concern is at the heart of their defence. With Andrea Barzagli out with a calf injury, midfielder Daniele De Rossi is set to drop in at centre-back alongside Giorgio Chiellini. Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli starts the match up front for the Italians. And will come across City team-mate David Silva, who starts for the Spanish side.
    • 16.10 Spain have come into the tournament without the injured duo of defender Carles Puyol and striker David Villa. Sergio Ramos partners Gerard Pique at centre-back, while manager Vicente del Bosque has left everyone wondering whether he will field Fernando Torres, Fernando Llorente or Alvaro Negredo up front. In the end he opts for NONE. Spain start without a striker, but that doesn't mean they won't go forward. This isn't Scotland trying to get a draw against the Czech Republic playing 4-6-0.
    • 16.05 Teams for today: Spain: Casillas, Arbeloa, Piqué, Ramos, Alba; Busquets, Alonso, Xavi; Silva, Iniesta, Fàbregas////Italy: Buffon, Maggio, Bonucci, Chiellini, De Rossi, Motta, Pirlo, Giaccherini, Marchisio, Cassano, Balotelli
    • 16.00 Good afternoon and welcome to LIVE coverage as Spain begin their bid to defend the European Championship title against Italy in Gdansk. This is the first match from Group C of the tournament with Croatia and Republic of Ireland doing battle later on this evening. But first up is this mouthwatering prospect between two of world football's true heavyweight nations.
  • Summary

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Team Line-up & Ratings

  • Spain

    Manager: Vicente del Bosque

  • Italy

    Manager: Cesare Prandelli

  • Line-up

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