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Played
June 18, 2013 5:00 PM BST
Teddi Malcha Stadium — Yerushalayim (Jerusalem)
Referee:‬ M. Jug‎
Attendance:‬ 29320‎
 
80′ Fabio Borini
 
Thiago Alcántara 38′ (PG)
 
Isco 66′ (PG)
Top of the Match
?
To Be Announced Shortly
Thiago Alcántara
Thiago Alcántara
Spain Under 21
Flop of the Match
?
To Be Announced Shortly

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

The Spaniards coasted to yet another continental title to emulate their elders, as the Azzurini - guilty of two critical mistakes - were no match despite their two-goal haul

By Livio Caferoglu

Thiago Alcántara y España celebran ante Italia, Europeo Sub 21
Getty Images
Spain successfully defended their European Under-21 Championship throne for the second time in succession after they defeated Italy 4-2 in a footballing masterclass in Tuesday's final.

A hat-trick from from captain Thiago Alcantara, along with a lone strike from Isco crowned la Rojita junior champions of Europe, despite Ciro Immobile and Fabio Borini's attempts to cause an upset in Jerusalem, but the scoreline heavily favoured the Italians who were dealt a harsh lesson in the basics of 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 in Jerusalem, a raking pass dropped at the feet of Immobile who delightfully lifted the ball over a hapless David de Gea on the half-volley.

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 kick-off - 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 Novara goalkeeper.

Nonetheless, he was to be the recipient of the honour. The onus switched away from the Castilla hit-man as the first half gradually came to a close, and Koke was the next to test Bardi via Isco's free kick.

The Malaga star's free kick rebounded to the midfielder, but his flick was stopped by Bardi's leg. The end-to-end nature of the opening spells soon returned, and it was Alessandro Florenzi who lifted the ball over his marker and hit a volley that took several bounces before being parried away by De Gea.

But on the half-hour mark, Spain deservedly regained their 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 complete his hat-trick from the penalty spot through the middle of Bardi's goal.

The second half started with a pair of snapshots from Isco and Florenzi to get the juices flowing, but Spain were undeniably on top as they continued to claim the lion's share of possession and dazzle purists with their intricate passing game.

Spain then found a deserving fourth - again from 12 yards out - when Martin Montoya's legs were clipped by Vasco Regini, and it was wantaway No.10 Isco who was entrusted with the burden of sending Bardi the wrong way.

However, Italy did show signs of an improvement with time fast becoming a precious commodity, and they 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.


Italy Under 21

1
Francesco Bardi
Goalkeeper
3.50
26
Giulio Donati
Defender
1.50
3
Luca Caldirola
Defender
71′
1.50
-
2.50
19
Vasco Regini
Defender
65′
2.00
24
Marco Verratti
Midfielder
18′ 76′
1.50
24
2.00
-
Fausto Rossi
Midfielder
3.00
9
Ciro Immobile
Striker
10′ 58′
2.50
24
2.50
31
Fabio Borini
Striker
80′
2.00

Spain Under 21

3.00
1
David de Gea
Goalkeeper
3.50
2
Montoya
Defender
4.00
15
Bartra
Defender
3.00
6
3.00
-
Alberto
Defender
3.50
24
4.00
6
Koke
Midfielder
12′ 31′ 86′
5.00
6
4.50
23
Isco
Midfielder
66′
4.50
20
Tello
Striker
27′ 71′
4.50
21
Morata
Striker
6′ 80′

Substitutes

12
Simone Colombi
Goalkeeper
 - 
1
Nicola Leali
Goalkeeper
 - 
34
 - 
5
 - 
8
Luca Marrone
Midfielder
 - 
91
 - 
8
2.50
-
Marco Crimi
Midfielder
76′ 78′
2.00
11
2.50
22
 - 
-
 - 
43
 - 

Substitutes

 - 
35
Diego Mariño
Goalkeeper
 - 
1
Joel
Goalkeeper
 - 
18
 - 
5
Muniesa
Defender
 - 
32
Álvaro
Defender
 - 
15
2.50
6
Camacho
Midfielder
86′
 - 
8
Pablo Sarabia
Midfielder
2.50
19
Rodrigo
Striker
80′
3.00
19
Muniain
Striker
71′
 - 
26
Álvaro
Striker

Coach/Manager

-
 - 

Coach/Manager

 - 
-
 
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  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Arkadiusz Milik Arkadiusz Milik
Striker
FC Augsburg
9 0
Morata Morata
Striker
Real Madrid
8 1
Marcelo Brozović Marcelo Brozović
Midfielder
Dinamo Zagreb
7 1
Munas Dabbur Munas Dabbur
Striker
Grasshopper
7 0
Emil Atlason Emil Atlason
Striker
7 0