Spain have thrashed Italy 4-0 in the Euro 2012 final in Kiev to retain their title, becoming the first European team in history to win three major international tournaments in a row.
It took Vicente del Bosque’s charges just 14 minutes to put their noses in front. David Silva scored with an accurate header, guiding a crisp Cesc Fabregas cross from the byline into the net after Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon was drawn to his near post.
The Italians then had a couple of good set-piece opportunities to equalize. But Spain’s captain Iker Casillas didn’t give them a chance, twice tipping crosses to safety, as Daniele De Rossi and then Mario Balotelli seemed poised to head goalwards.
When the Italian assault abated, the Spaniards took full control of the game and put the final result almost beyond doubt in the 41st minute courtesy of Jordi Alba. The defender raced clear to meet a Xavi Hernandez pass and sent the ball past Buffon.
Italy’s situation worsened early in the second half after their last substitute Thiago Motta injured his thigh just a few moments after getting onto the pitch. The midfielder couldn’t continue, meaning the Italians were down to 10 men.
The reigning World and European champions couldn’t but capitalize on their opponents’ misfortune and substitute Fernando Torres made it 3-0 with seven minutes left. The Chelsea striker scored in his second consecutive Euro final and booked his team’s place in football history. Torres was not finished yet though, and his pass gave Chelsea team-mate Juan Mata, who had only just come on as substitute, an easy opportunity, making the final score 4-0.
Meanwhile, Vicente del Bosque becomes the first-ever coach to guide teams to success in the World and European Championships, as well as the Champions League.
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