EUROPEAN UNDER-21 CHAMPIONSHIP

Teddi Stadium

Referee: Matej Jug | Attendance: 28000

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Italy U21

  • Ciro Immobile 10'
  • Fabio Borini 79'

2 - 4

FT

Spain U21

  • Thiago Alcantara 6'
  • Thiago Alcantara 31'
  • Thiago Alcantara 38' PEN
  • Isco 66' PEN
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    Anyway, that is all from us today. See you next time.

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    Spain's dominance of world football looks set to continue for some time based on the performances of their younger players over the past few weeks. Scary stuff.

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    This is Spain's fourth European Under-21 Championship win, following their successes in 1986, 1998 and 2011.

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    And how deserved it was, as from kick-off there only ever looked like being one winner. They controlled the game, and they controlled the tournament. The standout team of the competition, by some distance.

  • 94'

    But there goes the final whistle. Spain have retained the European Under-21 Championship.

  • 94'

    Some good work from Borini who storms into the box and wins a corner for his side.

  • 93'

    The invaders have been dealt with, you will be pleased to hear.

  • 92'

    And another!

  • 92'

    Another fan has invaded the pitch!

  • 91'

    Four minutes of injury time to be played.

  • 90'

    Borini picks up the ball on the edge of the box and the space opens up for him to take on another shot. He opts to pass it, however, and soon gives possession away.

  • 89'

    They take it short and after knocking it around a little they soon lose possession to Spain.

  • 88'

    Italy win a free-kick. A chance to get some bodies into the box...

  • 87'

    Insigne swings the corner into the Spain box but he puts too much on it and it sails out for the goal kick.

  • 87'

    Spain looking a little untidy at the back at the minute as they carelessly concede a corner.

  • 86'

    Spain bring on Camacho for Koke.

  • 84'

    Regini has a strike from distance at goal but his effort sails just over. Unlucky.

  • 84'

    Saying that, however, if Italy get one back now, then it will sure make for an interesting final few minutes.

  • 82'

    Surely it is too late for Italy to threaten a comeback? Spain still look very much in control, so I would say it is.

  • 81'

    Spain make another change as Morata makes way for Rodrigo.

  • 80'

    Borini plays a neat one-two with Insigne before rifling a shot home from the edge of the box. He finds the bottom corner, much to the despair of De Gea in goal.

  • 80'

    GOAL FOR ITALY. BORINI.

  • 79'

    Crimi is the next player to go into the book for a late challenge on Martinez.

  • 78'

    Gabbiadini has little on for him as he cuts in from the right so decides to have a pop at goal, but he sends his strike well over the bar.

  • 77'

    Thiago picks out the run of Martinez with a superb ball from a free-kick, but play is stopped as the defender was offside.

  • 76'

    Italy make another change as Crimi comes on for Verratti.

  • 75'

    Panic over as play restarts.

  • 74'

    Play has been stopped as a fan manages to run onto the pitch!

  • 73'

    Spain teasing this Italy defence, knocking it around them with ease on the edge of their box. Isco soon plays in Morata but the striker is unable to lift the ball over Bardi.

  • 72'

    Caldirola picks up a booking for a foul on Morata.

  • 71'

    Spain make a change as Muniain comes on for Tello.

  • 70'

    Borini nearly gets on the end of a fine reverse pass from Gabbiadini into the box but he just fails to bring it under control.

  • 68'

    Spain continue to pile forward. Morata tees up Tello who tries to dart into the box, only to be stopped by the Italy defence.

  • 67'

    This match is surely out of Italy's reach now. Spain in complete control and deserve the three-goal lead.

  • 66'

    Isco steps up confidently to pick out the bottom corner and send Bardi the wrong way. The Malaga man never looked like missing.

  • 66'

    GOAL FOR SPAIN. ISCO.

  • 65'

    Isco this time steps up...

  • 65'

    Regini gets booked for the tackle.

  • 64'

    Spain win another penalty as Montoya is brought down by Regini. A clumsy challenge from the Italian.

  • 63'

    The match has gone a little flat over these past few minutes. That will suit Spain fine.

  • 61'

    Thiago slips in Tello into the box. The winger is one-on-one with Bardi but is unable to beat him as the 'keeper deflects his effort wide. Should have done better.

  • 60'

    Italy are firing plenty of long balls into the Spain box. Their defence are doing very well to stand up tall to the deliveries, though.

  • 59'

    A roll of the dice then from Mangia. How will Italy alter their play as a result of these switches?

  • 58'

    Italy make a couple of changes as Gabbiadini comes on for Immobile, while Saponara also comes on for Florenzi.

  • 57'

    Verratti with another long ball forward, this time looking for the run of Florenzi, but Moreno does well to head clear the danger.

  • 55'

    The next goal is going to prove vital. If Spain get it, then the tie will surely all be over. It Italy can score, though, they will be right back in this game.

  • 54'

    Italy go up the other end through Borini, who fires a long-distance strike at goal, but he blazes his effort well over the bar.

  • 53'

    Tello bursts away from Regini with ease down the right before he picks out Isco in the middle, but the Malaga man can only fire his effort wide of the goal. A let-off for Italy.

  • 52'

    Italy might start regretting some of these missed opportunities soon.

  • 51'

    Immobile latches onto Insigne's ball into the box. His poor touch canons off a defender and into the path of Florenzi, but the Italian can only fire his effort over the bar.

  • 50'

    Spain seeing the ball now and passing it around at the back. Italy are really at their most vulnerable when their opponents are on the ball, tiring them out with their countless passes.

  • 49'

    This is better from Italy. They're putting their opponents under some early pressure and firing plenty of balls into the box.

  • 48'

    Verratti sends in the free-kick and picks out the run of Insigne but the attacker drives his volley over the bar. That was always going to be difficult to keep that shot down.

  • 48'

    Martinez goes into the book for hacking down Immobile.

  • 47'

    Thiago picks up the ball on the edge of the box and shoots, bringing out a top save from Bardi, before Donati gets it clear.

  • 46'

    Tello instantly finds himself in plenty of space down the right and drives forward before hanging in a wayward cross that sails well out of the area.

  • 46'

    Spain get this second half underway...

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    The teams are back onto the pitch. The match is soon about to restart.

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    Thiago Alcantara celebrates during his masterclass.

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    Spain players celebrate taking the lead against Italy.

  • 45'

    And there goes the half-time whistle. Spain on top and deservedly so, thanks to a hat-trick for the superb Thiago. Italy struggling to keep up with their opponents and need to produce something special in the second half if they are to get back into this.

  • 45'

    One minute of injury time to be played...

  • 44'

    Italy trying to be a little more creative with their forays forward, but still struggling to break down the opposition.

  • 43'

    Insigne cuts in from the left wing and decides to have a go at goal, but he sends his curling effort well over the bar.

  • 42'

    Morata has a go but his effort is blocked by the Italy defence. Montoya picks it up and drives a low cross into the box but the defence get it clear. Spain well on top.

  • 40'

    Italy, on the other hand, are struggling to keep hold of the ball for long enough to create an attack. They have looked most dangerous with a long ball forward on the counter.

  • 39'

    Italy leaving themselves with plenty to do now. This could get embarrassing if they are not careful as Spain are playing with so much freedom.

  • 38'

    And Thiago converts, rifling the ball down the middle of the goal. A hat-trick inside 38 minutes for the Barcelona man.

  • 38'

    Thiago steps up for the hat-trick...

  • 37'

    Tello drives into the box and is brought down by a late challenge from Donati. Penalty.

  • 36'

    Verratti picks out Florenzi with a long ball forward but the midfielder is just unable to bring the pass down under control. Unlucky.

  • 34'

    Immobile has a go as he manages to force his way past two Spain defenders and into the box before eventually taking one touch too many, allowing the defence to clear.

  • 33'

    So Italy find themselves behind once again. Can they find another equaliser?

  • 32'

    Caldirola should really have done better there to stop Koke's pass. He was out of position and in no man's land.

  • 31'

    Koke picks out Thiago with a fine pass that opens up the Italy defence completely. The Spain captain swivels his marker and shoots, leaving Bardi with no chance.

  • 31'

    GOAL FOR SPAIN. THIAGO.

  • 30'

    Insigne does well to intercept a poor Thiago pass and the break looks to be on for Italy but the attacker is soon closed down and the move comes to an end.

  • 29'

    Isco slips in Morata with a clever ball. The striker takes a touch before preparing to shoot but Bianchetti is there to make a vital slide tackle.

  • 28'

    Tello has switched to the left wing now. He receives the ball out wide and tries to beat Donati but the defender does well to win the challenge.

  • 26'

    Tello picks up a yellow for a late challenge.

  • 25'

    Spain attack down the other end as space opens up for Morata. He decides to shoot when the pass was the best option, but his effort is blocked by a defender.

  • 24'

    A real chance for Italy as Borini sends the ball forward to Florenzi. The midfielder takes a fine touch to beat his marker before firing an effort at goal, bringing out a top save from De Gea.

  • 23'

    A lovely move from Spain soon comes to an end as Montoya loses the ball in the penalty box. It falls to Bartra but he smashes his long-range effort well over the bar.

  • 22'

    Another wasted long ball forward from Italy. They need to get the ball down and pass it around for a bit.

  • 21'

    Italy struggling to keep the ball when they get it. It often ends up with a pass lumped forward that Immobile struggles to reach. He is going to have to work very hard today.

  • 20'

    Illarramendi is sitting very deep for Spain, allowing Koke and Thiago to get forward at every opportunity.

  • 19'

    Isco takes the free-kick but his effort is poor and hits the wall. The ball soon falls to Tello in space on the right, however, and he sets up Koke in the middle. The Spain man flicks an effort at goal but Bardi is able to make the save and Italy scramble the danger clear.

  • 18'

    Verratti goes into the book for a high challenge on Koke. Free-kick to Spain in a dangerous position.

  • 17'

    Spain happy to pass the ball around until the space opens up for them play a killer pass. With the likes of Thiago on their side that tactic is surely an effective one.

  • 16'

    Morata has looked very dangerous today. Lopetegui was right to bring him into the side.

  • 15'

    Thiago picks out the excellent run from Morata with a fine ball. The striker pours forward before rifling a low effort at goal, but Bardi is able to tip his strike wide.

  • 14'

    Bartra gets on the end of the free-kick and fires a header straight at Bardi. Play is stopped for offside, however.

  • 13'

    Florenzi gives away the foul. A chance for Spain to get some bodies into the box for this free-kick.

  • 12'

    It was Martinez who was caught out by the long ball forward for Immobile's goal. He could have perhaps done better to clear the danger there.

  • 11'

    Koke goes into the book for a late challenge.

  • 10'

    That is the first goal Spain have conceded all tournament. What a match we have set up for us now.

  • 9'

    A fine ball forward from Bianchetti at the back who picks out the run of Immobile. The striker takes a touch before neatly dinking the ball over De Gea.

  • 9'

    GOAL FOR ITALY. IMMOBILE.

  • 8'

    Italy will not be happy to have conceded so early on. Their game plan would have been to soak up the pressure before hitting their opponents on the counter. Now they have to come out and play.

  • 7'

    Italy have got it all to do now then. How will they respond? Spain instantly regaining possession.

  • 6'

    A superb move from Spain as Isco plays in Morata who does superbly to beat his man before firing a fine cross into the box. Thiago arrives unmarked from deep to head home. A very well worked goal.

  • 6'

    GOAL FOR SPAIN. THIAGO.

  • 5'

    Spain really probing Italy's defence from the off and making them work hard. They are keeping calm at the moment though.

  • 4'

    Illarramendi sends the corner into the box but Italy do well to clear and counter up the other end. Insigne drives forward but is soon tackled and the ball goes off for the throw. Spain will have to watch out for their opponents on the break today.

  • 3'

    Isco plays in Morata down the left who bursts forward and beats a man before doing well to win the corner.

  • 2'

    Spain enjoying possession as they always do. Tello picks the ball up on the right and tries to beat Regini but the defender stands up strong and makes the challenge.

  • 1'

    But the Italians instantly lose it as a long ball forward goes off for a throw inside six seconds. Not the best of starts.

  • 1'

    Italy get the first half of this final underway...

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    The two sides are out onto the pitch for the national anthems. We are just moments away from kick-off...

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    Italy and Spain have met twice in the final before, with Spain coming out on top in 1986 and Italy in 1996.

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    Italy also have a chance of making history today: A win against Spain and they will become the first side to win the tournament six times.

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    Reigning champions Spain have made it to today's final without having conceded a single goal. If they manage to retain their title without conceding in the process, then they will become the first side to complete five successive clean sheets in one finals competition.

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    Morata is given just his second start of the tournament. His four goals from four games was just too hard for Spain coach Julen Lopetegui to ignore.

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    Italy are unchanged from the side that defeated Netherlands in the semi-final. Spain, meanwhile, make one change to the side that saw off Norway in the last four, with the in-form Alvaro Morata coming in for Rodrigo.

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    SPAIN: De Gea, Montoya, Bartra, Inigo Martínez, Moreno, Koke, Illarramendi, Thiago, Tello, Isco, Morata.

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    ITALY: Bardi, Donati, Caldirola, Bianchetti, Regini, Florenzi, Verratti, Rossi, Insigne, Immobile, Borini.

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    Join us later for live commentary of the European Under-21 Championship final between Italy and Spain. Kick-off is at 1700GMT.

COMPLETE TEAM CLOSE X
Goal Shot Video
  •  
  • Shots (on goal)

  • tackles

  • Fouls

  • possession

  • Italy U21

  • 8(2)

  • -

  • 18

  • 40%

    60%

  • Spain U21

  • 11(6)

  • -

  • 12

Match Stats

  • Italy U21
  • Spain U21
8(2) Shots (on goal) 11(6)
18 Fouls 12
4 Corner kicks 3
2 Offsides 4
40% Time of Possession 60%
4 Yellow Cards 3
0 Red Cards 0
4 Saves 1
Comments

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