- European Championship Finals
- 1 July 2012, 7:45pm
- Kiev Olympic Stadium
FULL TIME: SPAIN COMPLETE AN UNPRECEDENTED TREBLE! Two-time Euro winners and World Cup winners on the trot! We've watched another masterclass from possibly the greatest ever side. Italy have enhanced their reputation no end through the tournament but tonight they had no answers - and Torres ended up with the Golden Boot!
90+2 mins: Torres feeds Ramos at the near post who looks to flick past Buffon but he makes the save!
90 mins: There's three minutes added on for Spain to make it five, or Italy to avoid this becoming embarrassing.
88 mins: IT'S A ROUT! MATA MAKES IT FOUR! Torres is picked out in the box, Buffon comes to block, he unselfishly squares it to the fellow sub and Chelsea team-mate who passes into an empty net from ten yards! Torres will get the Golden Boot as, like Mario Gomez he has three goals and an assist, but he's played fewer minutes!
87 mins: Third and final sub for Spain, Mata coming on for Iniesta.
84 mins: TOLD YOU SO! TORRES WRAPS IT UP! He's picked out in the box by Xavi on the run and just rolls the ball coolly past Buffon into the far corner! He's joint top scorer and the first ever player to score in two Euro finals!
83 mins: Flag's up against Arbeloa after more passing, passing, passing from Spain.
78 mins: Spain break with pace, it's played cross-field to Alba who squares for Pedro but he sidefoots hopelessly wide from six yards! The offside flag's up to spare his blushes a touch.
76 mins: Spain are bringing on a bona fide striker! Fabregas makes way for Torres. Got a feeling he'll bag one here against an Italy side running on fumes.
74 mins: Abate heads clear from Fabregas' dinked cross from the right, just taking it away from Xavi in the six-yard box.
73 mins: Alonso goes over the ball on Balotelli who goes down in a heap. No booking, though we saw Pique booked for less in the first half.
70 mins: Alba bids to play a one-two with Iniesta but Abate reads it well and mops up on the edge of the box. Spain are coasting and Italy are limited to hit-and-hope balls.
67 mins: Alonso finds Arbeloa down the right and Balzaretti blocks the cross. Whisper it - he also seems to be struggling at the mo!
65 mins: Bonucci's down in the box clutching his face amid subdued penalty claims by Italy. Nothing doing. No time for theatrics, they've got to get on with it.
62 mins: Motta's off on a stretcher, doubt we'll see him coming back on and the ten men of Italy have a mountain to climb.
61 mins: This could be curtains for Italy as Motta, who has only been on for five minutes, goes down clutching his hamstring.
59 mins: First sub for Spain sees a none-too-chuffed Silva make way for the fresh legs of Pedro.
58 mins: Ramos gives a free-kick away down the right, Pirlo bends it in, Casillas flaps it away and Balotelli rasps a shot off target.
57 mins: Third and final change for Italy as Montolivo makes way for Motta.
55 mins: Pirlo's been kept fairly quiet so far but a peach of a ball over the top to Di Natale is overcooked a smidge and Casillas claims.
52 mins: Casillas saves brilliantly from Di Natale's close-range shot down the left from eight yards! His dinked follow-up is tame and Casillas saves somewhat easier second time round.
50 mins: Handball shouts against Bonucci from Ramos' flying header in the box but the ref's not interested, deeming it accidental.
48 mins: Sublime by Fabregas, beating Balzaretti not once but twice down the right of the box before he treads on the ball, Buffon bundling it away.
47 mins: Di Natale heads inches over with his first touch of the ball! He gets on the end of a right-wing cross power powers it just off target from six yards.
46 mins: Italy get the second half under way playing left to right with one change to report, Cassano making way for Di Natale.
HALF TIME: The world and European champions lead going into the break, and deservedly so. Interminable passing was capped by Silva's close-range header after good work by Fabregas, and Alba's brilliant run and finish. I'm not even going to entertain the 'are Spain boring?' debate, but send in your thoughts on the game so far via my name above.
45 mins: There's one minute added on as the free-kick is cleared, before Buffon saves comfortably from Silva's long-ranger.
44 mins: Barzagli takes one for the team, bringing down Iniesta as he was about to sweep a ball into the box from the left.
41 mins: ALBA DOUBLES THE LEAD! That's the best run and through ball you could wish to see. Alba's tearing through the middle, I'm sat watching it screaming "GIVE IT! GIVE IT!" and Xavi does just that, on a plate. He takes it in his stride and shoots low past Buffon. Just brilliant.
39 mins: Balotelli honks one over from 20 yards. He's working hard but chances are always going to be few and far between against Spain.
37 mins: Alba's shoddy ball across the back gives Italy a needless throw, but Balotelli gives the ball away and Spain can break.
36 mins: Iniesta picks out Silva in the box after 20-odd passes but the flag's up for offside. Spain's movement is sumptuous and unrelenting, as you'd expect.
33 mins: Powerful strike by Cassano from 22 yards it beaten away by Casillas! Best shot of the match so far, he really got his laces through it.
31 mins: Pirlo's ball over the top to Abate is just over-hit and despite stretching can't keep it in down the right.
29 mins: Decent opening blown by Italy! Cassano's picked out on the left of the box, he leaves his marker on his backside and shoots between two sets of legs but it's straight at Casillas! He had two in the box screaming for it.
28 mins: Xavi picks out Silva with a lovely ball on the edge of the box but Bonucci gets a foot it and Italy bring it away with Barzagli. Casillas reads the ball in from Balzaretti well and just takes it off the head of Balotelli four yards out!
25 mins: First booking of the night goes to Pique, sliding in on Cassano and not getting much of the man, but too much for the Portuguese ref's liking.
21 mins: Early injury problem for Italy as Chiellini seems to have taken a knock, limping off to be replaced by Balzaretti.
Andy, Ramsgate"is pedro the ref spanish?" That would be a little unsporting Andy! He's Portuguese.
20 mins: Cassano is held up by Pique in the box before Alba leands a hand a brings it away. It's played up to Iniesta in the box before Pirlo pulls a fine tackle out of the bag to deny him.
18 mins: Italy win a couple of quick corners, the second from the near side just missing a rampaging Chiellini as Casillas fists clear.
16 mins: Balotelli leaves a 22-yard free-kick to Pirlo who clips the wall for a corner. Casillas gets fingertips to the ball in before it glances off a flying De Rossi's back for a goal-kick.
14 mins: SILVA GIVES SPAIN THE LEAD! Great work by Fabregas to get round his marker to the line down the right, clipping a ball back for Silva to head high into the net from six yards!
11 mins: Another interminable Spain build-up eventually sees Xavi having a shot blocked. Spain keep the pressure on though before Xavi once again chances his arm from the edge of the box and it's over the bar by inches with Buffon grasping at thin air!
8 mins: Spain win a corner on the near side which Xavi swings in, Ramos has a free run at the ball but bullets his header over the bar from ten yards.
6 mins: Free-kick to Spain 40 yards out but it looked a fine tackle by De Rossi on Xavi. Ramos has a pop direct but Buffon is the least concerned person in the ground.
4 mins: Cassano bids to weave his way through three red shirts down the left but Spain nick it and bring it away. Silva eventually looks for Iniesta but Marchisio gets a foot in.
Si de Rossa, Rome: "come on Italia"
2 mins: First shot in anger, but certainly not on target, is from Pirlo who shanks one way off beam from just outside the box.
0 mins: Spain, looking to become the first ever team to retain the trophy, get us under way playing left to right, usual iconic 'home' kits all round.
Johnnie in Devon: "i reckon its a desmond! Spain 2 up then chuck it away...hope so.be good to end with a cracker...2-2 wud be good with 2 top keepers in penalty shootout!"
1943: Time for the Spain anthem, one of the few national in the world to have no official lyrics. Not a fan. Now for the last woeful countdown, then kick-off!
1941: The teams are out, and for the last time we're treated to Fratelli d'Italia, the greatest anthem of all. Usual arguments against this via the box on the right.
1938: Bets on - phew! Spain HT Italy FT, Italy HT Spain FT, Spain 3-0 and Balotelli last scorer. Two quid on each, eight quid down the gurgler. You?
1933: The crowd is currently being treated to the closing ceremony. Can't see it myself as the Beeb aren't bothered with it, and I'm not even entertaining the thought of watching it on ITV (if it's even on). It all sounds a bit Tim Burton in the background.
1853: Buenas noches mis amigos, buonasera amici miei, and welcome to Orange's live commentary on the Euro 2012 final in Kiev's Olympic Stadium. Some breaking team news is that Spain return to a starting XI with no recognised striker as they make one change with Cesc Fabregas coming in for Alvaro Negredo, while Italy right-back Ignazio Abate is fit so returns to their defence in place of Federico Balzaretti. Keep your predictions coming via th ebvoxes on the right, I'll endeavour to weave the best ones in!
Jamie, Hull: "Ive put 5 quid on fabregas 1-0 at 22-1 and 5 quid on motolivo 1-0 at 125-1 i won 400 pound on the germany v italy game so im hoping my luck continues"
Ross, Edinburgh: "Most of my bets are on a spain win, but a cheeky wee side bet for pirlo to be only scorer in a one nil win at 110/1 was too hard to resist"
Dave, Melksham: "As a complete neutral because of how well england played i would go for a goal feast so 2 all and italy winning on penalties with mario the winner if he stays on the pitch lol"
Spain, who lifted the World Cup in South Africa in 2010, are defending the title of European champions they claimed four years ago and can become the first nation to retain the Henri Delaunay Trophy.
Italy's last major tournament success came in the 2006 World Cup in Germany, a competition they have won four times, but they have secured European glory on just one previous occasion, back in 1968.
Sunday's showdown will be a repeat of the opening game of Group C in Gdansk on 10th June, when Antonio Di Natale stepped off the bench to give Italy the lead just after the hour mark only for Cesc Fabregas to grab a swift leveller for Vicente del Bosque's side.
The head-to-head record of the two nations makes for interesting reading, as from 30 meetings in both competitive and friendly action Italy have won 10, Spain eight, with 12 matches drawn.
Spain coach Vincent del Bosque has to decide whether to stick with Alvaro Negredo or revert back to the now famous 4-6-0 formation, which would would see Cesc Fabregas in the intriguing false nine position.
Christian Maggio is available to Italy boss Prandelli after missing the victory over Germany through suspension, while fellow defender Ignazio Abate will come back into contention for selection following his absence from the last four success due to muscle fatigue.
- European Championship Finals
- 1 July 2012, 7:45pm
- Kiev Olympic Stadium
Spain made history in Kiev after beating Italy 4-0 in Sunday's Euro 2012 final to become the first side to win three consecutive tournaments.
Vicente Del Bosque's all-conquering champions defended their European crown on Sunday night after a ruthless display in the Olympic Stadium.
Spain flew out of the traps against Cesare Prandelli's Italian outfit, who fell behind after just 14 minutes when Andres Iniesta and Cesc Fabregas combined brilliantly to set up David Silva, who steered an angled header past Gianluigi Buffon from close range.
The Spaniards managed to keep Italian playmaker Andrea Pirlo on the back foot and bossed proceedings despite playing without a recognised striker.
But a second goal didn't arrive until the 41st minute, when Xavi's threaded throughball released his new club team-mate Jordi Alba, who calmy clipped a left-footed dink past Buffon to break Italy's hearts and resolve.
The second half was played at a canter but Spain turned on the style in the dying stages, with Chelsea duo Fernando Torres and Juan Mata climbing off the bench to beat Buffon with clinical finishes on 84 and 88 minutes.
Full report to follow...