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Italy versus Spain Euro Cup football recap | Print |  E-mail
Written by Larry Aiello   
Monday, 11 June 2012 01:21

Italy and Spain, two heavyweights in the soccer world fail to disappoint

The battle of the two previous World Cup Champions did not disappoint.  Italy came out with a 3-5-2 formation for the game, while Spain, came out with a formation that did not feature a striker.  I'm not sure what the reasoning was with that strategy, but that's what they came out with.

You can tell a couple of time close to the net that the Spaniards were trying to think too much about their tactics, and they probably could have put one in the net.

They just tried to pass it one too many times.  And then the Italian defense would clamp down, and get it out into the midfield.  Perhaps if the Spanish had true strikers playing it may worked more to their favor.

Andrea Pirlo had a great game, he was feeding Antonio Cassano a few times and they were able to attack the goal, especially in the first half.  It was good to see Cassano play, especially after the health issues with his heart, as his status has been doubtful leading into the championship.

Italy looked like the better team in the first half.

In the second half, Spain started attacking the net more often, and actually looked like the better team.  Their passing and ball control was crisp, and they actually controlled the time of possession for most of the match.

Italy had their chances to win this match.  Mario Balotelli made a nice juke on Sergio Ramos, and had a breakaway towards the net, but he was lackadaisical and waited for the right moment, which gave Ramos enough time to come back and make the tackle.  Balotelli had a chance to take a shot on goal, and it may have even resulted in a rebound.

After that play, Italian coach Prandelli substituted Balotelli for Antonio Di Natale, the most valuable player for the Italian league in 2010.  He did not disappoint as he got a feed from Pirlo and was able to beat Spanish goalkeeper Casillas and drive the ball into the corner post.

Right after the goal, I'm not sure if the Italians wanted to get in a defensive-clamp down mode, but Spain countered a few minutes later with a beautiful passing display that ended with a goal from Fabregas.

Di Natale would have another chance with a nice feed from Sebastian Giovinco, but wasn't able to get it in the net.

It turned out to be an exciting game, with a lot of momentum changes going back and forth.  
I think in the first half, they referees were letting the guys play, and probably should have called a couple more yellow cards.  In the second half they started calling it a little tighter.

Next up for Italy will be Croatia, which beat Ireland earlier today.




0 #2 Larry 2012-06-28 22:50
Hi Jake,

Yes, I agree, they both help each other, it's a good tandem.

0 #1 Jake 2012-06-28 20:16
Pirlo did have a great game, but I think a lot of it has to do the assistance of Cassano. If he had to do it all on his own the outcome might not have been so cheerful.

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