Five things we learned as dominant Spain beat blunt Italy side

A dominant Spain side picked up a deserved 1-0 win over Italy in Group B of Euro 2024 to make it two wins from two games.

Riccardo Calafiori put the ball into his own net in the second half to hand Spain victory, who also spurned several other big chances during the game against a blunt Italy side who offered very little going forward.

Here are five talking points from the game…

Dominant Spain

Spain were once again very impressive and have to be considered among the top favourites to win Euro 2024. They dominated Italy with their patient possession play, forcing their opponents to chase down the ball all night long and rarely gave them a glimpse of an opportunity. It really was a joy to behold watching this Spain side move the ball around and work the space to attack, with Man City’s metronome Rodri at the heart of it. They controlled proceedings and eventually got the goal their performance deserved.

Problems for Italy

In case it was not already obvious, this is not the same calibre of Italy team which won the last European Championship by beating England in the final. Luciano Spaletti’s much changed squad really struggled against Spain and were quite obviously the second best team on the pitch. Their plan to sit back and counter did not work, with Italy lacking the quality going forward to actually create the chances on the break. Their opening win against Albania means they are still in a strong position to qualify from the group stage but all the signs suggest they are down the pecking order when it comes to likely winners of the competition.

Confident Cucurella

It had looked like Marc Cucurella’s career was going nowhere at Chelsea following his big money move from Brighton in 2022, but these past few months have seen the full-back rejuvenate himself, working his way back in at Stamford Bridge and then into the Spanish national side. He put in an excellent display at left-back, tenaciously winning the ball back when Spain did lose it and combining well with his winger Nico Williams too. He is starting to look like the Cucurella which prompted Chelsea to spend all that money on him in the first place.

Barcelona are in safe hands

They might have their fair share of problems off the pitch when it comes to the financial picture, but on it Barcelona should feel as though they are in safe hands for the future with Pedri and Lamine Yamal. The Spanish duo showed off their technical ability against Italy and while Pedri will feel he should have done better with his missed chances, both exemplified why they are so highly rated. Yamal at just 16 is a ridiculous talent, and while there is plenty of improvement ahead, time is certainly on his side. That’s not to even mention Gavi, who is missing in this tournament through injury.

Another own goal

Own Goal continues to lead the scoring charts at this summer’s competition, with Riccardo Calafiori’s blunder taking the number at Euro 2024 to five already. Perhaps it is just a big coincidence, but the number of own goals at this tournament has been startling and is certainly helping out teams who, like Spain, struggled to finish their own opportunities.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The Latest

To Top