Italy produced a marvelous display to beat the current holders Spain. With a number European superstars on show, the stage was set for a massive game.
Antonio Conte got his tactics spot on using wing backs in the form of Mattia de Sciglio and Alessandro Florenzi to brilliant effect. They had a back five in defence and a midfield five in attack. Spain had no answer to Italy’s defensive shape and created very little.
Just over the half hour mark, Italy broke the deadlock when Giorgio Chiellini scored the game’s opening goal, tucking home the ball from close range after David de Gea had pushed Eder’s free kick in greasy conditions out in the six yard box.
As Spain pushed for an equaliser. Gerard Pique produced a fine save from Buffon with a few minutes left. The Italian keeper showing once more that age isn’t an issue.The game then became stretched and more gaps appeared all over the pitch.Southampton striker Graziano Pelle sealed victory in injury time, volleying home from eight yards after Matteo Darmian’s pass had deflected into his path causing the Italian fans, players and coaching team to go wild.
You have to feel for Spain’s keeper, De Gea. he was in fabulous form all evening producing save after save to keep the score to a minimum.. He made three world class saves in the first 45 minutes before blocking an effort from Eder in the second half after he had been put clean through by a outrageous flick from Pelle who was a threat all match.