Euro 2008 QF4 LiveBlog: Spain 0(4)-0(2) Italy
|QUARTER-FINAL 4||June 22nd, 2045 CET, Vienna (Austria)|
PENALTIES – SPAIN WINS.
Spain 4 (Villa, Cazorla, Senna, Fabregas HIT, Guiza Saved)
Italy 2 (Grosso, Camorenesi HIT, Di Natale and De Rossi Saved.)
FABREGAS BURIES IT. Italy is out. Spain are in the semis. For the first time in 88 years, Spain has beaten Italy in a major tournament. What a finish.
Di Natale SAVED
Guiza SAVED by Buffon.
Casillas saves De Rossi’s pen – FIRST SAVE – Italy down.
Second pen: Grosso … Casillas goes the right way, but its GOOD.
First penalty: Villa against Buffon, and its GOOD.
120′: Great chance for Villa to slot it away in the last minute. And that’s the story of the game. So close. So far. It’s penalties.
You have to think that a penalty shootout is half of a defeat for Spain. Not only have they had all the best chances, but they face a machine in Gianluigi Buffon. Not that Casillas is any slouch, but on recent form, Buffon has all the edge.
118′: Ramos and Silva combine for a decent takeaway on defense, but the midfield gives it up again. It looks very much like pens for us. Again. The lottery is almost on.
117′: Silva passes out to no one. Was that a shot? I have to believe it was a pass in, but either way, it was poor.
115′: I know this is getting tiresome to read, but another nice Spanish move breaks down against the Italian wall. Then, it’s ended completely with a waste of a long pass to no one.
114′: Andy Gray not holding back on his opinions of Herbert Fandel or Di Natale.
112′: Ball given up cheaply by Fabregas, then won back by Silva. A nice move ends in a DUMB card for dissent on Cazorla.
110′: Another near chance for Spain. Another one left wanting. Possession doesn’t win games … VILLA has a chance … Buffon comes straight at him, and its out for a corner. Ramos has a chance at it, but his header is wide. May have been a foul on Ramos anyway.
109′: Zambrotta called .. for something, I suppose. For once I agree with Gray … not at all sure what.
108′: Del Piero is on for Aquilani. Not a lot from him tonight, and fresh legs from Del Piero will be welcome. That’s it for subs.
108′: Sergio Ramos puts a boot to Camo’s back. Free kick chance for Italy.
Thanks for staying with me, kids. I know the Azzurri fans miss Chris, (and the haters might miss Laurie a bit) …
The last 15 minutes is about to kick off. Will it be spot kicks?
105′: Casillas does very well to catch a dangerous ball in from Di Natale’s free kick. Fabregas on the other end has a free kick of his own, but takes it horribly to the foot of a defender in white.
104′: Guiza puts a ball straight through the legs of his defender, but its well beyond Villa’s reach, and its another goal kick.
Italy still has a sub, Spain has none.
101′: Puyol is down hard, looks like it might be an ankle issue, but he’s up. Spain so far is the ultimate example of sound and fury signifying nothing. There have been shockingly few shots of fans in the stands, and you go to that guy? Come on ESPN. Throw us a bone.
100′: Well offside is Fabregas there. A yard at the least.
99′: Cute little ball from Cesc, after he falls down (all on his own) in the box, but nothing doing for Spain. On the counter, Toni has a bit of room, but Casillas takes it.
97′: Great ball in to Silva, and he utterly wastes it. The Spanish look the more likely to score, but you can’t discount the Italians stealing one at the death. And penalties? Who knows.
96′: Another corner for Italy. Toni tries a very tricky turning header, but it’s off the top of the netting. That would have been a brilliant header, but not a high percentage shot.
95′: Marchena gets a touch on the ball in to Toni, and Di Natale gets another chance. Wow … Casillas pushes it over, but it was right at him. Corner for Italy.
94′: Cesc is called for a kick to the bottom of an Italian boot.
93′: Silva goes JUST wide. He isn’t afraid of the shot, I’ll give him that. He might just have one in him tonight … but he better hurry.
91′: Already another free kick chance for Spain. Silva is the man for it, and Guiza is ready. There’s a tangle in the box, but the kick goes over the fracas and safely out.
We’re back on for another half hour.
FULL TIME: We’re headed to YET ANOTHER extra time. Three in a row. Hard on the bloggers – who’s thinking of the bloggers?
90′ + 2: Ramos finally ends what could have been the mistake of the tournament there for Spain. We’re on borrowed time here. VILLA HAS A CHANCE …. nothing. Well defended.
90′: Wow. According to Andy Gray, the whistle should only be blown in case of a head injury. I’m a Scot too, Andy … but damn.
We’re in the 90th now. Stoppage time separates us from a third straight extra-time quarterfinal.
89′: Zambrotta gets mugged, and it’s Villa with another chance. But it’s defended extremely well, and cleared.
87′: Oh, a great chance for Spain. Villa sends it in to Guiza, who plays some volleyball. What a handball from Guiza. Maradona wouldn’t even have gotten away with that one.
86′: Another ball wasted as Guiza is handed nothing at all to work with. Maybe Torres at his best gets to that ball, but not Guiza on his first touch.
84′: Torres looks to have given up on a ball there, and lets it roll out. He looks dejected, bad bad news for Spain. But he’s off now. Guiza is on for Nando. Wow.
83′: Chiellini stops David Villa in the box. Looks completely legal from here. Luca Toni has a chance, but he really steals it from Grosso by trying for a quite ridiculous overhead … ouch.
82′: Di Natale sends a ball in to Toni, with about as much accuracy as most of Ambrosini’s. Toni has not had the best service to choose from tonight.
81′: Spain has all of the ball, but what have they done with it? Buffon ALMOST pays for a rare, rare mistake, as the ball trickles from his hand right to the post. Wow.
79′: Torres taken down by Ambrosini. The Italian defense is incredible, but they have definitely given up some set piece opportunities. Senna goes for goal, but Buffon punches away.
78′: Torres makes a nice move to win another corner. No help at all from the rest of Spain.
77′: Camo fouls Fabregas, who takes a quick long free kick to the center, but it’s a corner only. Cesc puts it in again, and Ramos mugs his own teammate to put a ball straight to Buffon. Poor choice from Ramos, but it may have been hard for him to see that.
75′: Torres’ ball out to Cesc is a bit long, but he gets to it and centers, to a field of white shirts. Spain retains the ball though, for one more attack, but nothing doing.
74′: Cassano is off, and it’s Di Natale on for him. Italian fans have to like that change right now.
73′: The Spanish NEED to stop being so impatient at goal. Those balls are never, ever going to beat Buffon. Work it in and build a move – don’t just blindly shoot.
71′: Villa falls way too easily. Good on the ref for not going for that. There’s been a bit on both ends. Torres gets away with a playful little slap, basically what Buffon did at the handshake.
70′: Luca Toni buries that if he’s on form. As hard as it was, between two defenders … he really has lost his compass a bit.
69′: Off the wall, and there’s a corner for Spain. Cesc’s corner is straight to the head of an Italian defender, and the move is over.
68′: Another free kick to Spain. Villa is taken down – not a great spot, a bit far, but it could be a good chance for a volley. 29 meters.
67′: You have to give Toni credit. I’m not saying he dives, but he does know how to embellish with the best. But its up to the refs to catch that, and these refs would be hard pressed to catch a cold.
66′: Damn you Andry Gray. You ESPN guys stole our No Country for Old Men pun. You can check – it was ours first.
65′: Italy goes on the attack, and Aquilani gets his first good look. He goes for a long shot from outside the box, but it’s wide, and Casillas would have been on that one regardless.
64′: Puyol looks to be back in form today. Fabregas on the other hand needs to know that balls in can’t float forever, or there will be a defender eventually below them.
62′: The Spanish are the opposite – playing a numbers game here. The more shots you take, the more might have a chance at going in. But they’re taking most of them from way too far out to beat the defense, much less Gigi Buffon.
61′: Wow .. unbelievable stuff there back and forth. A few shots at the Spanish box, and it ends in a great save from Iker Casillas’ foot. That was the kind of move that Italy has to finish – they won’t make more than a few per game, and they depend on some kind of efficiency at them.
59′: Cazorla on for Iniesta, and its Cesc Fabregas on for Xavi. Interesting there. A whole new central midfield for Spain. 30th cap for Cesc.
58′: Villa wins a corner, but no more. Xavi’s corner is well placed, but Buffon punches. David Silva takes the rebound, and he has no problem with hunger tonight … accuracy is an entirely different matter.
57′: Toni flicks to Perrota, but it’s not his best flick ever, and Casillas gathers easily. On the counter, Torres has a great look, but the bullet of a pass to his head is just too much for him. Camoranesi is on for Italy.
55′: Torres gets a golden chance, as his man slips and he tries to get the ball in … but once again, Italian central defending is there. Villa is blocked off well.
54′: Villa is on the ball again … now Iniesta. The Italian central defense just solidifies when the danger men are close.
53′: Cassano’s move is broken up very calmly by Ramos, who starts the counter. Villa’s pass goes to a lucky fan, way wide.
52′: Cassano could have started a great chance there, but his pass trickles out long. That was two of the problems for Italy right there: Cassano to Ambrosini.
51′: Grosso gets a great ball in, but Toni is JUST offside. Only just. He always looks likely to get on one of those per game, but just hasn’t found his yet.
49′: Luca Toni goes down hard from a soft foul. The counter features a very poor clearance from Italy, and Silva is a bit hesitant, wasting the chance that he’s been given.
48′: Torres turns well and gives it up to Iniesta, who would have a great look at goal from there. Bad touch from Andres and its over.
46′: Torres has the first chance t a run, but Ambrosini handles him. You have to think that Ambro is headed off not too far into this half – he doesn’t seem to be on his best day.
46′: We have kickoff once again, and it’s 45 … maybe … until we have an answer.
HALFTIME: No real shockers here. Spain has made the better moves, but amounted to nothing. Italy have been relatively calm. The refs have made a few mistakes. Nothing new for anyone really. Still 0-0 here in Vienna.
45′: Things may be getting a bit testy out there now. I like the odds that one of our commenters gave on a fight and a red.
43′: Iniesta takes another shot after maybe the best passing move for Spain, but it’s wide again. Target practice has not gone well so far for Spain.
42′: A clear foul for Spain missed by the ref here. It was not a penalty, because it was not in the box. But it was a foul.
40′: Sergio Ramos heads it clear after the corner finds no one in the middle. The Italians have started to look a bit dangerous here before the half. That attack comes to nothing as communication breaks down a bit. The Spanish are in no hurry to counter, something that will not serve them. Giving the Italians a chance to set up in defense will lead to a long, long night for any attacking side.
39′: Andy Gray apparently believes that Italy should attack exactly like Spain has, and not do what always serves them. Ridiculous. First Italian corner.
38′: Torres gets around Zambrotta, and has his first bit of style of the day. Silva cleans up the remains, and has a decent look at the far post. If it was on target, Buffon was beat, but it was not that.
37′: The Spanish seem content to shoot from 35 yards. Senna takes it, for some reason, and it’s not trouble at all. Off target, again.
36′: Sergio Ramos, once again, has a defensive header float straight to an Italian attacker. Cassano has a try with his head, but it travels about a foot before hitting another head, and this one clears.
35′: Silva’s first touch is a little shaky, but he rebounds and centers the ball. The Italian center backs are on it, and its back and forth for a second until Iniesta takes a shot from far out. It’s well, well high.
33′: The Spanish are yet to have made a real move to break down Italy. Xavi takes a shot of his own, and its a corner. It’s long from Xavi, no one there to get to it.
32′: Silva takes a shot at Buffon’s left, but Gigi falls on it. Looked like it may be headed wide anyway.
31′: Ambrosini sees yellow as he takes out Senna. He got some ball but he got a bit of man as well.
30′: Some comedy touches right now from the Spanish. First Senna then Puyol give the Italians much more from the move than they should have gotten. On the counter, Silva gets it to Torres, but pretty well offside.
28′: Grosso and Iniesta tangle a bit in the Italian box. 50-50 there I think. De Rossi feeds a ball in to Luca Toni, and its offside.
27′: Toni almost had a great chance there, as the poor backpass went straight past him. Puyol took it away, and good thing for the Spanish.
27′: Sergio Ramos, as he tends to do, gives up an unnecessary foul.
26′: An Italian clearance goes almost past the Spanish goal. Villa has a chance at the counter, but is covered well by Chiellini. Capdevilla has a horror first touch to give up a stupid throwin.
25′: Villa goes for it, but Buffon falls on it pretty simply. Well taken, but well handled too.
24′: Free kick in a good spot, as De Rossi takes out Villa. 25 meters, just left of the circle.
23′: Silva sends a ball into the top of the box, where three Italian defenders have only themselves to argue with as to who will clear it. Grosso wins.
22′: The Italians look to be starting something here, but Zambrotta sends it right to Casillas. The second effort sees another Ambrosini ball go off target.
21′: Things are heating up a bit now. Ambrosini goes for it again, trying to pick out Toni, but this one is well off, and Casillas picks it out.
20′: Villa tries to catch Buffon napping from about halfway out … goes wide, and couldn’t have troubled him much anyway.
19′: Ambrosini gets the first real chance at goal, getting a great ball in to Perrota, whose header doesn’t have nearly enough to beat Iker Casillas.
17′: Ambrosini fouls Villa in the box. The Italians have been a bit lucky there to get away without a call. Oh … Torres’ move down the left is scary for the Italian defense, but he lobs well high.
15′: De Rossi got away with one there. Pulled on Torres’ shirt in the box, but no call. Not a penalty to me, at all, but risky play from De Rossi.
15′: 15 minutes in, it’s been slow building here. Anyone surprised?
14′: De Rossi and Zambrotta are up on the attack, but the Spanish defense repels well, and the counter comes to nothing as the ball trickles away for an Italian reset. Iniesta gets the other end of a call this time, as Ambrosini fouls him, again, quite softly. Or was it an offside? Regardless, free kick Spain.
12′: Villa gets a promising long ball, and could have had a one on one. As good as Buffon is, they don’t want him one on one with Villa too many times. This time, he can’t bring it down, though.
11′: Iniesta draws the first yellow of the match, and it looks a little soft. Certainly a foul, but to my mind a soft card.
10′: Nothing terribly flowing from either side just yet. The Italians are back to defend, but Cassano takes it quickly and tries for a promising counter run, but Torres stops him with a foul.
Zidane and Arsene Wenger are in the crowd, with fairly easily guessed loyalties in this one.
8′: Every move for Spain has been down the left, straight at Zambrotta. Silva goes for a shot, but its deflected and Buffon hardly needs to be interested in it.
7′: Puyol brings down Toni, and sets up a bit of a dangerous free kick. De Rossi’s free kick was just a bit high, and Iker Casillas was all over it.
6′ : Capdevilla moves down the left, gets it in to Xavi and Senna, and the long ball is way off. It goes out harmlessly for an Italian goal kick.
5′: Fabio Grosso is more than equal to Iniesta’s attack, and on the counter, it’s David Villa that gets in the tackle to slow things down.
4′: Sergio Ramos twice heads the ball straight to the Italian midfield, but Puyol settles things down a bit, and brings it back to Casillas.
3′ : Cassano downed by Senna. Long free kick for Italy at midfield.
2′: Zambrotta gets his first foul, and the Spanish are able to reset. Spanish moves down the left have looked a little weak the first few times, but you wonder if they’ve looked at Zambrotta as the weak spot in the Italian back four at right back.
1′: We’re underway in Vienna. Will Spain be able to break the 88-year curse? Or will it be Italy again?
Gotta love Buffon. The two keeper/captains meet in the middle, and for Iker Casillas, it’s a handshake, but Buffon adds in an affectionate little pat on the face.
And now on to the Marcha Real. The Spanish team doesn’t look to be singing. Neither is the president. Huh. I know there’s no words, but you’d like to see a chant or something. Oh well.
The Italian national anthem is underway, and the Azzurri hopeful are pumped. One particular Italy fan looks a bit like Carles Puyol. I wonder if he feels at all conflicted here.
The next picture puzzle:
15 mins to kickoff – Both teams going two up front, so hopefully we should expect some goals in Vienna.
Another picture puzzle for you. Which player is this?
-30 mins to kick off.
Incredible keepers at either end today. Probably the best two in the world. But who’s the best, Iker Casillas or Gigi Buffon? Vote and let us know:
-45′ : Hey look, fancy this. Real news. We have the starting elevens.
Spain: Casillas, Marchena, Capdevila, Ramos, Puyol, Iniesta, Xavi, Senna, Silva, Torres, Villa.
Italy: Buffon, Panucci, Grosso, Chiellini, Zambrotta, De Rossi, Ambrosini, Cassano, Perrotta, Aquilani, Toni.
Also, don’t forget to get your score predictions down in the comments. I have to admit I’m not at all sure about this one, and I’m going to say a third straight match decided by penalties, and Spain with the penalty win. But that’s a shot in the dark. What’s yours?
Okay, as with the other quarterfinals, we’ll be biding our time until there’s some real news with a bit of fun in the form of picture puzzles. Here’s a quick one to get you started. Pick the player from today’s lineup:
-1:15′ : Welcome to the liveblog of the last quarterfinal at Euro 2008, Spain vs. Italy. Follow along as we get ready for the game, and please leave your comments below.
Matteo – whether it was the fall or the response, I think everyone’s agreeing it was a dive. The card was warranted.
‘Anyways fouling an opposing player and not getting called by the ref doesnt make you a cheater.’
Isn’t that like saying “diving is fine, if you don’t get caught”? That’s a pretty messed up policy if you ask me.
And grosso dived, yes there was contact, because grosso jumped into the defender’s space then dived over him. Not because the defender crashed into him. He made it happen, so that’s a dive.
And I never said Italy was the only team that dives. Lotsa teams dive, all the time. Although italy is likely the most successful with their diving.
Hey I admitted that. Villa dove a number of times this match. I also spotted toni diving at least twice this match. But again, toni wasn’t actually fouled in the box this entire match, while villa actually was.
I never said diving if fine if you dont get caught. I said that if you foul someone, but the ref didnt call it, then its the ref’s fault and it doesnt make you a cheater. Cause you were talking about someone stepping on someone’s foot. How do you change fouling into diving?
Posted from Canada
The only problem I have is you saying that Italy dives and “cheats” You make it sound like only Italy dives. But I still don’t understand what you mean when you say they cheat.
Posted from Canada
Very simple: diving IS fouling. It’s not allowed, so it’s a foul. To say that if you foul someone you didn’t “cheat” because the ref didn’t see it is messed up. You broke the rules, you just haven’t been caught.
If Italy cheats cause they sometimes dont get called when they foul someone, or because they dive, then ALL TEAMS CHEAT!
Posted from Canada
Im saying you should be upset at the ref if he doesnt catch a foul, not the team. Fouling is part of the game, that’s what free kicks are for. its not cheating. cheating is fixing games or stuff like that.
Posted from Canada
I’ve got to say, I agree with Matteo on this one. Not getting called for a foul isn’t cheating. Tell me one player on Earth that walks up to the ref and says “No, I fouled him, and I deserve to be punished.”
I never denied that, but this is the blog post about THIS match. So I find your “it happens to all teams” a bit weak as a discussion point for villa not getting his penalty because the ref somehow didn’t call the foul a foul.
All I’m saying is that if there is a foul on a player yet there ref doesnt call it, then at the end of the game, you can’t say that team are a bunch of cheaters. That’s just stupid.
Posted from Canada
I’m pretty sure most killers don’t turn themselves in and go “I killed this person in cold blood, pls put me in jail”. Doesn’t mean they didn’t do the crime and deserve the time.
IMO cheaters are cheaters, no matter how “accepted” it is.
Also, I don’t think your attitudes are helping in getting them to implement video support for such rulings, if ever.
AFAIK, you’re the person that used the term cheating before I did. I didn’t call them cheaters. However, by definition, a cheater is someone who broke the rules, and someone who fouls is somehow who broke the rules.
I didn’t think the foot thing on Villa was deserving of a penalty shot. If it happened outside the box or in the midfield, then yeah, the ref would have called it a foul. But its common knowledge that, while defending, you can get away with much more while in the penalty box then in the midfield. I’ve been playing soccer all my life and I’ve even did ref training, that was not a penalty at all, not even close. I would never give that a penalty shot.
Posted from Canada
One rule is that you’re not allowed to touch the ball with your hands. If the ball is kicked at your hand or if you touch it by mistake, does that make you a cheater? Your definition of cheating needs to change man.
Posted from Canada
Pretty sure that rule only goes for intentional hands.
And btw, I find it very weird that you’d defend grosso’s dive by saying there was “contact”, even though it was grosso that made that contact. Yet, when someone steps on villa’s foot inside the box as he was attacking, causing him to go down, it’s suddenly not worth a penalty. Sorry, I’m not buying, that was definitely a foul.
the australian player dropped in front of Grosso, of course he is going to run into him and make contact. He was denied a clear path to the goal. Villa was surrounded by italian players and had to where to go, that also counts when making a call for a penalty. In the end, you’re entitled to think it was a penalty, I disagree. And even if it were a foul, all teams get calls for them and against them. Italy has had calls gone their way but they’ve also had many go against them recently. World cup 2002 is a great example of that. The only thing I wanted to get across to you is that all teams are guilty of diving and “cheating” if you even want to call it that. To say that only Italy dives and that’s the only reason why they advance in major tournaments is so wrong. They do so cause they have a great team with a lot of great players and they know how to play great football. Anyways, it was great debating this with you. Later guys!
Posted from Canada
Grosso hopped into the defender’s space without even bothering to go right where he kicked the ball. Oh and being “surrounded” doesn’t matter at all, because if that’s the reason he didn’t get his penalty, anyone can stomp on feet whenever they have an attacker “surrounded” in the box. That’s a horrible policy to implement, and I’m betting it will never see the daylight in any official rulebook. Ref made a mistake, that’s all.
Finally, you get it. The ref made the mistake. It’s not Italy’s fault at all.
Posted from Canada
They’re linked, the only way the ref could even make a mistake is if someone fouled someone first. So whoever stepped on villa’s foot was at fault. But anyway, no point in discussing this as you said.
The ref had a pretty crappy match all ’round, and everyone, everywhere dives. It’s become part of the game, unfortunately. Players get a light kick in the ankle and grab their faces, a love tap makes guys roll around as if they’d been shot. Messy.
But as a Barca lover, I’m over the moon with this one. Casillas is the best keeper in the world right now, even though he was part of the side that ripped my heart out last season.
But Italy fans, take heart….Russia should take care of Spain. One thing for sure is that the match will be a LOT more open.
Posted from United States
I wish all teams would just quit diving. As a Spanish-American fan of this beautiful game, this is the one thing that is just lost on me. Big guys like Luca Toni have no business crying out in pain when his leg gets scratched. In the U.S. players like this would be booed off the field, but in futbol is it for some reason accepted.
Posted from United States
It’s a myth that it doesn’t happen in American sports..ever watch a basketball game?
oh please. sports in the US isn’t exempt from unfair play and cheating.
Posted from United States
I completley was disgusted at the way the game went. I could blame 100 people but i blame that idiot DOPEADONI for not putting Del PIPA at half time and making him take the kick earlier. Cassano had a horrible game, but don’t put him on the spot cause the whole team played like crap. Especially Ambrsoini, are you kidding me, how the hell did this guy get even a spot, theres so many other players in Italy that could have been put in his place. Many of our players are done. We need a new Italy and a new manager who will be able to make the necessary changes. We have the olympics and confed cup now.
As for spain, they could have outpossessed us and outshot us but they didnt get a goal. Those mediocore calls that didn’t go there way isnt a execuse. The spanish could have capitalized 100 times and thanks to our great leader Buffon, they couldn’t finish the job til the PK’S. The spanish will have a hard task to a determined Russian team.
And if you want me to compare Our national team to theres. I would be here forever. They are flops in all national competitions. They have no history and there players will never get along. I could see Puyol shitting out Catalan during the national anthem. There is no unity in Spain,and i completley doubt theyll ever win anything. I dont consider a team that has players like that underachievers but flops. Only teams like Italy and Germany have history in Europe. When Spain win 4 world cups, then maybe i will see them as worthy but right now they just went thru a hard road block. GO RUSKISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS
Posted from United States
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