Italy U21 2-4 Spain U21: Dazzling Rojita claim another European title

The Spaniards were boosted by Thiago Alcantara's hat trick to win the European U-21 championship in Israel.
Spain's Under-21 national team successfully defended its European championship throne after defeating Italy's Under-21s 4-2 in a footballing masterclass in Tuesday's final.

Captain Thiago Alcantara's hat trick, along with a penalty strike from Isco crowned La Rojita as junior champions of Europe, despite Ciro Immobile and Fabio Borini's attempts to cause an upset in Jerusalem. The scoreline heavily favored the Italians, who were dealt a harsh lesson in possession play.

The Spaniards showed their intent earliest, and it was aptly rewarded when a fine interchange between Isco and Alvaro Morata down the left flank resulted in the Real Madrid striker crossing the ball onto the head of an unmarked Thiago in the box.

But moments later, just when it appeared that Italy were reeling from falling behind so prematurely, a raking pass dropped at the feet of Immobile who delightfully lifted the ball over a hapless David de Gea on the half-volley to level matters on 10 minutes.

It was game on between the giants of the U21 game, yet it was the Spaniards led by Morata - top scorer in the tournament with four goals prior to kickoff - who were more likely to find the back of the net again.

Morata first saw a powerful header denied by the fingertips of Francesco Bardi, before latching onto Thiago's through-ball a split-second later and firing again at the Brescia goalkeeper.

On the half-hour mark, Spain deservedly regained the lead when Koke sent in a lobbed pinpoint pass onto the chest of Thiago, and the Barcelona starlet evaded Luca Caldirola before creeping a low shot over the line.

Eight minutes later, Cristian Tello peeled inside from the left flank but was brought down by Giulio Donati in the box, allowing Thiago the chance to grab his third from the penalty spot through the middle of Bardi's goal.

Spain found a deserving fourth midway through the second half, again from the penalty spot, when Martin Montoya's legs were clipped by Vasco Regini, and it was Isco who was entrusted with the burden of sending Bardi the wrong way.

Italy showed signs of an improvement with time fast becoming a precious commodity, and it managed to salvage some pride with just 10 minutes remaining as Borini scored in his second consecutive match following an intelligent one-two with Lorenzo Insigne, but it was far too little to prevent Spain from achieving more international success.