July 2, 2012
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Spain has won their second straight Euro Championships by defeating Italy 4-0 in the Euro 2012 Finals at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev. Spain has also gone down in history for having the largest winning margin in any Euro Finals, for winning three straight major soccer championships (Euro 2008, World Cup 2010, Euro 2012), and for allowing the least amount of goals in any Euro with one.
David Silva started the scoring in the 14th minute off of a header from a marvellous assist from Cesc Fabregas. Fans had to wait until the 41st minute for the second goal when Jordi Alba split through two defenders to knock a Xavi pass into the net to put Spain up 2-0 at halftime.
Things became real dicey for Italy in the second half after Italy made their third and final substitution of the match in the 56th minute with Thiago Motta. Five minutes later, Motta crumbled into a heap as his hamstring popped. Thus, Italy was stuck playing Spain the rest of the way ten against eleven.
The final two goals came within the last ten minutes of the match after Italy was tired from chasing Spain around the entire second half one man down. Fernando Torres put one into the net in the 84th minute after getting behind the Italian defense. Then, Juan Mata scored in the 88th minute after being substituted into the match one minute earlier when he received an assist from Torres on a two on one breakaway.
Here are the starting lineups from the match. Italy went with the standard 4-4-2, while Spain played a 4-3-3.
Spain -- Goalkeeper: Casillas. Defenders: Jordi Alba, Arbeloa, Sergio Ramos, Pique. Midfielders: Xavi, Xabi Alonso, Busquets. Forwards: Fabregas, David Silva, Iniesta.
Italy -- Goalkeeper: Buffon. Defenders: Abate, Barzagli, Chiellini, Bonucci. Midfielders: Pirlo, Marchiso, Montolivo, De Rossi. Forwards: Balotelli, Cassano.
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