Spain retains title with 4-0 thrashing of Italy-A A +A
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
THE greatest football team ever assembled? Is this a preview of things to come for Spain? The reigning titlists captured their third straight major football tournament with a 4-0 victory over Italy whose amazing run in the tournament has been cut short by the defending champions.
David Silva scored the first goal for Spain in the 14th minute to set the tone early. Defender Jordi Alba scored a run late in the first half to catapult Spain to a 2-0 insurmountable lead which caught the Italians off guard and desperate.
Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta controlled the midfield for Spain which put too much pressure for counterpart Andrea Pirlo. With Spain’s ball control and accurate passes setting the offense, the Italians were caught playing deeper in their territory. Compounding to their woes was the injury of Thiago Motta, the third substitute for Italy who left the game with more than 28 minutes left to play.
The Spanish side saw blood when their opponent was down to ten men. Coach Vicente del Bosque was brilliant in his substitution, fielding Fernando Torres and Juan Mata who both scored late in the match for the 4-0 rout.
Xavi and Iniesta dominated Pirlo in the midfield which deflated Italy’s offense. Pirlo is the mastermind in the middle for Italy and was completely outplayed by Xavi in their head to head duel.
Mario Balotelli was nowhere to be found in Italy’s offense, as the Spanish defense would not give him any room. Gerard Pique and Sergio Ramos did their assignments very well.
In defeat, Italy bowed out in style and made a lot of believers in their style of play. There’s nothing to be ashamed in this performance.
With history cemented, Spain is not done yet. They are setting their eyes on defending their World Cup title in Brazil come 2014. W is scary about this team is that most of the players are in their middle 20s and priming up for more glory.
Who will stop the Spanish conquistadores then? Well, we have two years to see. (Jun-jun Carballo)
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on July 03, 2012.