Football

Spain claim historic win

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Silva opened the scoring for Spain. (©GettyImages)
Silva opened the scoring for Spain. (©GettyImages).

Spain's position as the greatest side ever witnessed in international football can no longer be questioned after La Roja claimed an historic third consecutive tournament triumph with victory over Italy in the final of Euro 2012.

The Spaniards claimed their first crown in 44 years when they won the European Championships in 2008 and followed that with success in South Africa two years later to secure their first ever World Cup.

They can now boast to have won three out of the last three competitions, with a comprehensive win over a tired Italy ensuring Vicente Del Bosque's side are etched into the footballing tapestry for all eternity.

David Silva gave Spain the lead inside the first quarter of an hour and the result never looked in doubt from thereon in as Jordi Alba doubled the advantage four minutes before the interval.

Fernando Torres stole in late on to ensure even further history was made by becoming the only player to score in consecutive finals and Juan Mata netted on his first appearance of the tournament to complete a nigh on perfect evening in Kiev for Spain.

Accusations of boring football have followed Spain around during their time in Ukraine and Poland, but there was no evidence of this against Italy as Del Bosque's men deployed their tika-tika style to perfection.

The opener was vintage Spain, with Cesc Fabregas - starting at the summit of a packed midfield - being found expertly by Andres Iniesta on 14 minutes before standing up a cross for Silva to add the finishing touch with an uncharacteristic header to complete a fine move.

Not to be outdone by his Barcelona teammate, Xavi combined wonderfully with Jordi Alba to create the second; piercing the Italian defence with a trademark through ball, which Alba busted a gut to latch onto and slide past Buffon.

Spain's dominance was aided by a lacklustre performance from Italy, who clearly displayed the effects of three games in seven days following their victories over England and Germany respectively.

Over exertion in recent days was even more evident in the second half when Thiago Motta, who had replaced Riccardo Montolivo only moments earlier, suffered a hamstring injury which left Italy with only ten men on the pitch, having used up their allocation of substitutes.

Despite their man advantage, Spain were not prepared to go for the juggular but rather attempt to pass the Italians into submission, although possession statistics failed to tell the entire story.

Torres added a third late on when he cooly finished after another killer pass from Xavi, while the Chelsea striker turned provider for his clubmate Mata to leave Italy facing the heaviest defeat in European Championship finals.

Topics:
Internationals
Football
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