The Italians are through to the quarter-final stage of the Euro 2016 championship after beating Spain 2-0 at Stade De France to break the 5-year jinx they have had against the defending champions, who interestingly beat them in the final to win the last edition.
Italy outplayed the defending champions holding on to possession more than Spain as ball possession went 53%-47% in favour of the Italians. The possession however yielded result in the first half, when Giorgio Chiellini’s strike in the 33rd minutes, put the Azurri’s in the driver’s seat. They held on to the lead till half-time.
Sergio Ramos, Gerard Pique all made frantic efforts to get an equalizer for their side in the second half, but Gianluigi Buffon was equal to the task in all situations, denying them goal-bound shots and further making things worse for Spain.
Despite being ahead with one goal lead, the Italians attacked and assumed to be under pressure, leading to coach Conte’s decision to angrily hit the ball away with his leg when the ball came to the touch-line and was warned by the referee.
After several efforts made by both sides in the second half, Graziano Pelle struck within the six-yard box in injury time to seal victory for the Italians, putting the scoreline at 2-0 and giving them an opportunity to get their pound of flesh from Spain who defeated them in their last edition.
The defeat marked the end of Spain’s reign in Euro championship, creating an opportunity for Italy to have a date with Germany in the quarter-final stage of the championship.
A total of six yellow cards was given, with both teams getting three each.
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