The Euro 2012 final in Kiev became the day which saw Spain creating history and doing what no other international team has ever achieved. They managed to win their third consecutive major tournament in a row. It all started back in the 2008 Euros when Spain defeated Germany 1-0 thanks to a Fernando Torres goal. This win proved to be a breakthrough for the the Spaniards as two years later they lifted the world cup in Johannesburg, beating Holland in another tense match. However this year Spain were finding out the side effects of being such a successful team. As we were all so used to Spain being our entertainers the drop in performance levels got the critics going straight away. The fans were accusing them of being ‘boring’ and ‘conservative’ whilst others decided to support other teams. However the final in Kiev silenced us all.
Spain were to face Italy who possessed an in form Mario Balotelli. The Manchester City forward had scored both Italy’s goals in their semi-final against Germany leaving to become the figure head of the Italian attack. However he didn’t really get a chance to affect the game early on as Spain dominated and packed the midfield leaving no room for the likes of Pirlo and Balotelli to operate. It was therefore no surprise when Spain took the lead through David Silva, who headed home from Fabregas’s cross. The ruthless reds continued in this fashion before scoring again on the 41st minute. This time it was the young left back Jordi Alba who sprinted on to iniesta’s precision pass before slotting the ball past the veteran keeper Ganluigi Buffon. Half time – an Italian disaster!
Italy needed to go for it in the second half and therefore they needed to bring on all three of their substitutions to have any chance of impacting the game. It would have worked if it wasn’t for the wasteful Antonio Di Natale who missed two good chances. The 34 year old scored 80 goals in three seasons for the Italian side Udinese and therefore you would have bet your house on him at least taking one of those chances. Subsequently, things went from bad to worst when two important players went off injured meaning Italy had to play the remainder of the game with a man less. This left bags of space which was exploited brilliantly by Torres and Juan Mata sealing the victory for the ruthless matadors. The strong rivalry between Catalonia and Madrid was briefly put to one side as the two sets of players and supporters partied long into the night together.
by Lorenzo Webster