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        Spain wasteful but deserved winners against Italy

        Spain wasteful but deserved winners against Italy

        2024/06/20 22:12

        Spain clinched top spot in Group B with a 1-0 victory over defending champions Italy in Gelsenkirchen in a result that really flattered the Italians after 90+ minutes of La Roja dominance and enterprise. 


        ESP XI: Unai Simon; Dani Carvajal, Le Normand, Laporte, Cucurella; Pedri, Rodri, Fabian Ruiz; Lamine Yamal, Alvaro Morata*, Nico Williams

        ESP SUBS: David Raya, Alex Remiro, Dani Vivian, Nacho, Jesus Navas, Alex Grimaldo, Martin Zubimendi, Mikel Merino, Fermin Lopez, Alex Baena, Dani Olmo, Mikel Oyarzabal, Ferran Torres, Ayoze Perez, Joselu

        ITA XI: Donnarumma*; Di Lorenzo, Bastoni, Calafiori, Dimarco; Frattesi, Jorginho, Barella; Chiesa, Scamacca, Pellegrini

        ITA SUBS: Meret, Vicario, Gatti, Buongiorno, Mancini, Darmian, Cambiaso, Bellanova, Cristante, Fagioli, Folorunsho, El Shaarawy, Zaccagni, Raspadori, Retegui

        Action: Unlike the previous games on Friday in Group C, Group B’s clash between Spain and Italy had a fast start and one in which the Spanish should have taken an early lead.

        Some excellent play by Nico Williams down the left-hand side allowed him to make room for a cross, which landed perfectly on the head of Pedri but his header on goal from around six yards was tipped over the bar by Gianluigi Donnarumma.

        Spain then missed another glaring opportunity when Alvaro Morata, leading a counter attack, whipped a fierce ball into the box for Nico Williams but the Athletic Club winger could only glance wide of the upright from a similar area to Pedri’s effort.

        Spain continued to dominate the first-half with Fabian Ruiz and Rodri both having long-range efforts but they had a tendency to over play on the edge of the area, despite the magnificence of Lamine Yamal. Italy crawled into the half-time interval with only the occasional flurry forward on the counter their saving grace from the opening 45 minutes. 

        Spain, though, despite the Italians getting a breather, were back at it from the off in the second-half and were much the better of the two sides with Pedri missing yet another sitter early on in the half when he side footed wide from Marc Cucurella’s cut back.

        Nico Williams continued to torment Giovanni Di Lorenzo, though, and that is how the Spanish opener came. His excellent play saw him put a teasing ball across the box with Donnarumma pushing out but it hit defender Riccardo Calafiori and trickled into the Italian net.



        Spain then began to put their foot down and had two chances to make it 2-0 when Alvaro Morata hammered from distance, saved by Donnarumma, and then Andrea Cambiaso had to clear off the line when Robin Le Normand met the resultant corner. 

        The two Spanish wingers, Lamine Yamal and Nico Williams, continued to impress with the former having a long-distance curling effort going just wide before the latter rattled the cross-bar from a similar distance. 

        Italy put some sustained pressure on the Spanish defence at last but the Azzurri struggled to create anything clear-cut with half chances and set-pieces being their biggest threats. 

        Then, with Italy beginning to gamble and push on, former Newcastle United attacker Ayoze Perez had two excellent opportunities to seal the three points but both were saved by Donnarumma to preserve the 1-0 score-line. 

        Man of the Match: Nico Williams. Lamine Yamal deserves a shout but Nico Williams was utterly superb throughout the game and tormented what became a tired Italian defence.

        Big picture: Spain, thanks to UEFA’s head-to-head rule being their first tiebreaker, have now won Group B and will be able to play a rotated side in their final group stage game against Albania. Italy, on the other hand, could still slip out of the top two or even three. If Albania do beat Spain in the final game then Croatia beating Italy would see the Azzurri finish bottom of their group. 

        Expected goals: Spain (2.26) 1-0 (0.18) Italy




        ’55 | GOAL: Calafiori [og] (1-0)






        Would you like to comment? Just register!!
        2024-06-20 23h51m by lhalliday_bart
        As a football fan, I am beyond excited for Spain's 1-0 victory over Italy in Group B. The dominance and enterprise displayed by La Roja was truly impressive. Congrats, Spain!
        2024-06-20 23h37m by sparkerfield
        Wow, what a game! Spain deserved that win, they were on fire against Italy. Can't wait to see them dominate in the knockout stages!
        2024-06-20 23h25m by jgibsonson
        As a die-hard fan of Spain, I am extremely disappointed with Italy's performance. They were completely outplayed by La Roja and didn't deserve to even come close to a victory.
        2024-06-20 22h50m by mfosterfield
        Wow, what a game! As a fan of the Spanish team, I couldn't be more thrilled with this win. The anticipation leading up to the goal was intense, and the execution was flawless. Italy put up a fight, but let's be real, Spain owned this match.
        classic matches
        U Thursday, 20 June 2024 - 20:00
        Slavko Vinčić
        Riccardo Calafiori 55' (o.g.)
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