Spain defeated Italy in Group B with a score of 1-0 to enter the 1/8 round of Euro 2024

Spain became the second team, after host Germany, to advance to the 1/8 round of Euro 2024 by defeating reigning champion Italy 1-0 in the second round of Group B. Spain also secured first place in the group with six points, three more than Italy and a better head-to-head record. Meanwhile, Albania and Croatia each have one point.

Spain defeats Italy to advance to the 1/8 round of Euro 2024

At Veltins Arena, the only goal of the match for Spain against Italy was scored in the 55th minute. After a series of passes, the ball was deflected to the left wing for Nico Williams to dribble past Di Lorenzo and cross inside. The ball brushed off Alvaro Morata’s head and slipped through the fingers of goalkeeper Donnarumma before hitting Ricardo Calafiori’s knee and going into the net.

Before the match, Italy was very confident, having only lost to Spain once in 10 Euro and World Cup matches, most recently in the Euro 2012 final with a score of 0-4. Coach Spaletti kept the same lineup that came from behind to beat Albania 2-1 in the opening round, while De la Fuente chose central defender Aymeric Laporte to replace Nacho.

However, after the whistle, Spain completely dominated the match thanks to a trio of midfielders who were good at controlling the ball – Rodri, Pedri, and Fabian Ruiz. On the wings, Nico Williams and Lamine Yamal used their skills and speed to continually torment Di Lorenzo and Dimarco. In contrast, Italy struggled to counterattack and had to resort to long balls, but to no avail.

In this situation, Donnarumma had to work hard continuously. In the second minute, he used his left hand to push away a close-range header from Pedri, and then almost conceded in the 10th minute in a similar situation when Nico Williams sent the ball just wide of the right post. At the 24th minute, the goalkeeper used his foot to block a close-range shot from the left corner by Morata. A minute later, Donnarumma continued to make a beautiful save to stop a 118 km/h lob into the top left corner by Fabian Ruiz.

Spain’s superior performance forced Spaletti to make changes at the start of the second half. Bryan Cristante and Andrea Cambiaso took turns replacing Jorginho and Frattesi, but without effect. Cristante received a yellow card just 21 seconds after stepping on Rodri’s foot. The Italian midfielder was fortunate to avoid a red card but became the fastest substitute to receive a penalty card in Euro history since 1980.

Spain continued to dominate the match. In the 52nd minute, Pedri missed another close-range shot opportunity after a left-wing overlap and cross from Williams and Marc Cucurella. However, Coach De la Fuente’s pupils didn’t have to regret for long, as the goal came just three minutes later.

In the remaining time, Spain had more opportunities to double the lead. In the 61st minute, Lamine Yamal came very close to setting a record as the youngest player to score in the Euro, but his left-footed shot from just outside the box into the top left corner missed the post. Nine minutes later, Nico Williams did the same on the opposite left wing but hit the crossbar. Towards the end of the match, substitute forward Ayoze Perez had two more chances in injury time, but couldn’t beat Donnarumma.

With a 1-0 victory, Spain defeated Italy three times in a row for the first time, after 2-1 victories in the UEFA Nations League. Meanwhile, Italy saw their 10-match unbeaten streak at the Euro (seven wins, three draws) broken, dating back to a 0-1 loss to Ireland in 2016.

Despite the loss, Italy’s chances of progressing remain unaffected. In the final round, Coach Spaletti’s team only needs to draw with Croatia to secure second place in Group B, regardless of whether Albania beats Spain, due to a better head-to-head record.

Starting Lineup

Spain: Unai Simon, Dani Cavajal, Robin Le Normand, Aymeric Laporte, Marc Cucurella, Rodri, Pedri, Fabian Ruiz, Lamine Yamal, Nico Williams, Alvaro Morata

Italy: Gianluigi Donnarumma, Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Alessandro Bastoni, Ricardo Calafiori, Federico Dimarco, Davide Frattesi, Jorginho, Nicolo Barella, Federico Chiesa, Gianluca Scamacca, Lorenzo Pellegrini.

⚽️ UEFA Euro 1960 to 2021 with 16 tournaments and 10 national champions

⏩ Germany won the Euro 3 times (1972 – 1980 – 1996)

⏩ Spain won the Euro 3 times (1964 – 2008 – 2012)

⏩ France won the Euro 2 times (1984 – 2000)

⏩ Italy won the Euro 2 times (1968 – 2020)

⏩ Soviet Union won the Euro once in 1960

⏩ Czechoslovakia won the Euro once in 1976

⏩ Netherlands won the Euro once in 1988

⏩ Denmark won the Euro once in 1992

⏩ Greece won the Euro once in 2004

⏩ Portugal won the Euro once in 2016

With the participation of the strongest European teams according to the FIFA ranking on February 15, 2024 such as France (2nd) – England (3rd) – Belgium (4th) – Netherlands (6th) – Portugal (7th) – Spain (8th) – Italy (9th) – Croatia (10th) and bright stars like Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappé, Harry Kane, Romelu Lukaku to promising young talents, Euro 2024 promises to deliver top-level and dramatic matches.

EURO 2024 will take place in Germany from June 14 to July 14, 2024 in 10 cities in Germany with 24 participating teams. The teams are divided into 6 groups to select the first and second teams in each group, and the 4 third-placed teams with the best performance to get a ticket to the knock-out round. The opening match is scheduled for June 14 between host Germany and Scotland.

⚽️ Detailed EURO 2024 match groups:

⚽️ Group A: Germany, Scotland, Hungary, Switzerland

⚽️ Group B: Spain, Croatia, Italy, Albania

⚽️ Group C: England, Denmark, Serbia, Slovenia

⚽️ Group D: Poland, France, Netherlands, Austria

⚽️ Group E: Slovakia, Romania, Belgium, Ukraine

⚽️ Group F: Portugal, Turkey, Czech Republic, Georgia

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