Italy put in a dominant performance as they beat the defending champions Spain 2-0 in Paris on Monday and set up a quarter-final tie against Germany at Euro 2016.
Giorgio Chiellini seventh worldwide goal and a late strike by Graziano Pelle help the Italians booked a quater- final date with world champions Germany.
Spain’s shootout win over the Italians at Euro 2008 was the first time La Furia Roja had beaten the Azzurri at a major tournament, and they have been a bit of a bogey team for the 2006 FIFA World Cup winners since.
Italy went straight up the other end and punished Spain’s lack of cutting edge, as a well-worked counterattack resulted in Pelle firing home the goal to end Spain’s chances of progression. We fought in the second half but didn’t have luck.
He said: “We lost our World Cup opener against Switzerland in 2010 but we hardly changed anything afterwards”. We must give our all in every game. We played with the same players and in the same way, because it was the way we’d played that had got us there in the first place, and we weren’t going to rip up our plans because of one defeat to Switzerland.
“Right from the outset I’ve said we mustn’t go away with any recriminations of any kind”. With Fabreas, Iniesta, Busquets in the middle we expect a typical Spanish style of play.
Spain coach Vicente del Bosque highlighted the vast improvement in Morata’s consistency over the past two years to establish himself as Spain’s number one striker and earn a move back to European champions Madrid. They don’t play great football but they are strong in the air, very physical and they were unsafe.
With few impressing, the original lot will come back to try and find the level they did against Belgium.
“Spanish football has a great structure and we’ve been working for many years on it”.
“If the opposition then prove to be better than us we’ll be the first to applaud them”.
Spain also won their first two group games and lost their last one.
Antonio Conte’s side produced a tactical masterclass that completely blunted Spain’s fluidity – and earned a measure of revenge for their 4-0 defeat in the Euro 2012 final – as goals from Giorgio Chiellini and Graziano Pelle late on secured a quarter-final against Germany.
The Spain keeper was made to work again soon after when he turned an overhead kick by Emanuele Giaccherini on to the post.
Veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon felt tiredness played its part when Spain dispatched Italy to lift the trophy last time around.
Eder’s powerful effort was parried by De Gea only as far as Giaccherini and he nudged the ball into Chiellini’s path to bundle home.