Spain and  Italy

Spain cruises into knockout stages of Euro 2024 with resounding victory over Italy

After a mesmerizing display against the reigning champions Italy in Gelsenkirchen, Spain guaranteed their place in the round of 16.

Due to an own goal by Riccardo Calafiori in the second half, they narrowly prevailed despite creating innumerable chances and being completely dominant.

Alvaro Morata's flick-on was prodded in by the unfortunate Calafiori's knee after goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma had kept it out for over an hour.

Italy, who were clearly second best despite contributing to an exciting football match, did not respond.

With two of Europe's most powerful teams facing off in the group stage, expectations were high, and the match delivered with a thrilling first half.

While Italy narrowly managed to keep Spain at bay, the Spanish provided the majority of the game-changing plays, displaying stunning ball control, intensity, and invention.

They were fortunate to have Donnarumma on their side since he made three spectacular stops, the first of which was a header from Pedri in the opening two minutes, and the other two were from Fabian Ruiz and Morata.

Spain's Nico Williams had a golden opportunity to score when his header went wide and then hit the crossbar, but he and 16-year-old wonder Lamine Yamal played with great freedom and eventually curled an effort that went barely wide.

Italy failed to step up their game after the first half, which resulted in just three touches inside the penalty area and no shots on goal.

Spain breezed into the last 16 with two wins from two matches, without conceding a goal, despite brief counterattacks that threatened, as they continued to pile up chances. Pedri and Morata came close again.

It is not out of the question that Italy may advance. On Monday, they'll face Croatia, a team that has been in the top three at the last two World Cups; Spain, meanwhile, will face Albania.



Source: BBC

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