Flashback: Fabregas downs Italy in Euro 2008 penalties

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The Euro 2012 final between Spain and Italy will be the second time they have met in this tournament.

The Group C encounter was an enthralling affair that turned into one of the highest quality matches of the tournament, with Cesc Fabregas cancelling out Antonio di Natale’s opener.

It was four years ago at Euro 2008 when the sides last met in a competitive match, though this time was in the quarter-final stage.

Matches between these two nations tend to be tight affairs and the clash at Ernst Happel Stadion in Vienna was no different.

Goalless throughout, the game was not the most exciting and it took the drama of a penalty shoot-out to decide who would go through.

After Daniele di Rossi and Daniel Guiza had missed, Di Natale was the key man to crack under the pressure and, as with the semi-final win over Portugal this week, it was down to Fabregas to take the final and deciding penalty.

The Barcelona midfielder showed his mettle on Wednesday and it was no different four years ago, as he calmly sent Gianluigi Buffon the wrong way and his side into a semi-final with Russia.

Spain ended Euro 2008 as champions and they will be hoping for the same in Kyiv tomorrow night.

Relive that dramatic evening in Austria in the video here.

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Francesc Fabregas

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