Everyone was expecting Spain to storm through the group stages as they are World and former European Champions but they put in quite a disappointing performance which was definitely not to their standard. They faced an Italy side that didn’t qualify for the World Cup in 2010, but had their triumph recently in the 2006 World Cup. With possibly the strongest squad in Europe (by a mile) in which they have strength in depth in all areas, you’d expect them, on paper to breeze past Italy in this opening game.
The thing is, I think Spain thought they has already won the game so they played a side that ‘mocked’ Italy, they played 6 midfielders and did not play a single striker whilst £50 million flop and Fernando Llorente sat on the bench wondering why they were not picked. Another thing that could have been vital to them making mistakes would be the fact that they had Piqué and Sergio Ramos playing together. People reading this will probably be thinking that I’m off my head because on paper there two of the best centre-backs in the world, buy they will be weak simply because one plays or Real Madrid and the other plays for their fiercest rival Barcelona, This could cause serious communication problems between them in vital positions of the park and it could damage them severely unless they work together well like they are good friends and play with each other week-in week-out.
The first half consisted of little chances and many people would say that they were happy to see the first half through. The best chance came to a Andreas Pirlo free kick which was parried by the brilliant Iker Casillas. When the half time whistle was blown (to everyone’s relief) it was Italy looking the stronger of the teams going into the break. Then FINALLY there was a goal… to Italy with Di Natale pouncing on a great pass from Andreas Pirlo right on the hour-mark. Italy were ecstatic as every other team would be if you were winning against the World Champions. But the lead didn’t last long, due to a great reverse-pass by David Silva it led to Cesc Fabregas slotting home 4 minutes later with a very neat finish.
After that goal had gone in it was then time for a change. It looked promising as it looked that they were going to bring on a striker. it was Fernando Torres (Llorente must have been left red-faced with this clown coming on ahead of him!). But saying that, when Torres came on, he surprisingly livened up the game, on one of his first touches he was through on goal but it was the failure of his first-touch that lead Captain Gianluigi Buffon to pick up the ball with no problem (Same ol’ Torres!). The a couple of minutes later there was another chance for the Chelsea striker to score again, but he decided to stop running and try to lob Buffon, which was a big mistake because it went seemingly over the bar. Not the first time he’s done that now is it? Then after a stunning second half the game came to close with neither team being able to win the game and it ended with a score line of 1-1.
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