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L. Insigne (68)
Italy v Spain Live Commentary,
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Shots Off Target
Shots On Target
For the 14th time, a game between these two great nations ends in a draw, and it's one that both sides will have few complaints about. Italy were arguably the better of the two teams and looked the most dangerous when pushing forward, but Spain did well to fight back in the second half and equalised just a minute or so after falling behind, despite it looking as if Morata was a yard or so offside in the build-up. From then onwards, the hosts kept pushing as they tried to find a way back in front, but, despite impressive performances from the likes of Insigne and Zaza thanks to positive changes by Conte, they were unable to find a way past De Gea, who did wonderfully well to keep his side in the game with several excellent saves.
FULL-TIME: ITALY 1-1 SPAIN
Zaza breaks down the left wing on a great run before cutting into the Spain penalty area, where he takes on and beats Pique before seeing the ball poked out of play for a corner. It's curled towards the striker, who is waiting patiently at the near post, but the visitors do well to deal with the danger before thumping the ball up towards the halfway line.
The fourth official has indicated that there will be three minutes of added time.
And the second is Parolo, who is replaced by Jorginho for the final few minutes.
L. De Silvestri
Italy have made their final two alterations of the night. The first player to make way is Florenzi, who is replaced by De Silvestri.
Vital interception by Pique! Antontelli breaks into the left-hand side of the Spain penalty area and skips past Alba with ease before trying to tee up Insigne with a dangerous low pass across the face of goal, but the Barcelona centre-back is just about able to stick a foot in the way to stop it from finding the Napoli forward, who was in a great position in front of goal and looked ready to shoot.
Spain have made a late change, Alcacer coming on to replace Morata up front.
Almost a chance for Morata! Silva picks up the ball deep down the right flank and immediately chips a dangerous cross into the heart of the Italy penalty area, but the Juventus striker is unable to make contact with the ball, despite the almighty stretch that he does in an attempt to do so.
Azpilicueta bursts down the right wing before cutting a pass back to Fabregas, who then immediately pokes the ball into the feet of Morata. The striker takes a couple of touches before trying to beat Buffon with an audacious and cheeky chip from the edge of the box, but the veteran goalkeeper reads the flight of the ball well and is easily able to cut out the danger with a comfortable save.
Zaza, who has looked sharp since coming on to the pitch, does well to get down the left flank before trying to swing a cross into the Spain penalty area, but it's completely mishit and sails well wide of the goal and out of play for a goal-kick. Both sides seem to have taken their foot off the pedal slightly as they aim to avoid falling behind late on.
The referee is forced into bringing out the yellow card once again, and this time it's for Fabregas after a high boot from him caught Zaza in the ankle as the two battled for the ball in the middle of the pitch.
Meanwhile, Giaccherini has made way for Antonelli for Italy.
Spain have made a late substitution, with Alba coming on to replace Juanfran for the final 10 minutes.
Super save by De Gea! Bernardeschi cuts inside from the right wing and heads towards the Spain penalty area before teeing up Insigne, who takes a quick touch and looks up before trying to beat the goalkeeper with a beautiful chipped effort. It looks set to find the top of the net, but the Manchester United man does wonderfully well to tip the effort over the top of the crossbar.
After spending what feels like an age eyeing up his target, Insigne eventually steps up and curls a strike round the wall of white shirts camped in front of him. However, it's all sent round the far post, meaning that De Gea is easily able to watch it sail comfortably wide of the goal, which he had well covered.
A Spain attacking move breaks down, allowing Italy to quickly fire forward on a brilliant counter-attack. Zaza charges through the middle of the pitch to reach a loose ball before being beaten to it by Pique, but the centre-back ends up clearing the pass with his hand, resulting in a yellow card for the Barcelona defender and a free-kick for the hosts not far outside of the penalty area.
After firing his side back into the game, Aduriz immediately makes his way off the pitch to be replaced by Silva.
GOAL! Yes it does! Fabregas chips a lovely cross into the middle of the penalty area, where it finds Morata, who rises high and forces Buffon into making a save with his downward header. The Italy goalkeeper's stop is poor, however, and he ends up spilling the ball straight to Aduriz, who comfortably blasts it into the back of the net from close range to pick up his first ever international goal.
A clumsy and cynical challenge by Parolo results in a yellow card for the midfielder and a free-kick for Spain in an incredibly dangerous position just 30 yards away from the Italy goal. Could this result in a golden chance on goal for the visitors?
Assist Emanuele Giaccherini
GOAL! Italy have taken the lead! Once again, the hosts break forward on a swift counter-attack after Spain lose the ball in a dangerous position. They fly into the visitors' half of the pitch before Florenzi tees up Giaccherini, who immediately swings a low cross into the penalty area, where it finds Insigne. The Napoli forward is completely unmarked in front of goal and, as a result, is easily able to poke a strike past De Gea and into the back of the net. That's the first goal that the visitors have conceded in 692 minutes.
The game has turned into a slightly scrappy affair over the past few minutes, with both sides failing to keep hold of the ball in the middle of the pitch. Italy have certainly been the better of the two, however, and their quick counter-attacks are continually causing problems for Spain, who look sluggish at both ends.
Another great save by De Gea! Insigne, who has made a big impact since coming on to the pitch, causes Spain all sorts of problems with his pace as he flies through the middle of the pitch and towards the visitors' penalty area. He then plays a lovely pass over to Florenzi on the right-hand side of the box, but the Roma midfielder's low strike is pushed away by a strong one-handed stop from the Manchester United goalkeeper.
Meanwhile, Isco has come on to take the place of Thiago for Spain.
Meanwhile, Candreva, who has arguably been one of Italy's best players tonight, is replaced by Bernardeschi, who comes on to make his debut for the senior side.
Italy have made a double substitution with half an hour left to play. The first player to make way is Pelle, who is replaced by Zaza.
And now Bonucci goes close! The resulting set-piece is curled into the heart of the penalty area, where it finds the big centre-back, but his towering header is slightly off target and ends up bouncing just wide of the far post.
Great opportunity for Italy! Spain lose possession in the middle of the pitch and are immediately put under pressure by a swift Italy counter-attack. Giaccherini bursts towards the edge of the visitors' penalty area before cutting the ball over to Insigne, who takes a quick touch before unleashing a curling, 25-yard shot that De Gea does well to push out for a corner with a strong diving save.
Juanfran has pushed further up the pitch in an attempt to get more into the game, and he's doing just that. He links up well with Koke and cuts inside towards the right-hand side of the penalty area before firing a low pass across the face of goal, but it misses Aduriz by a yard or so before bouncing out to the left flank.
A half-hearted Spain attacking move breaks down and Candreva immediately tries to kick-start an Italy counter-attack by flying through the middle of the pitch, but he quickly finds himself closed down by white shirts and is forced to spin and work the ball all the way back into his own half of the pitch due to good defending by Azpilicueta in particular.
Spain patiently pass the ball around in the middle of the pitch before Thiago tries to dart towards the Italy penalty area, but he's quickly closed down by Parolo and is eventually barged to the ground by the midfielder, resulting in a free-kick for the visitors that they take swiftly and send short.
That will be Eder's last contribution to the game, as he makes way for Insigne in Italy's first change of the evening.
Great play by Eder! The Inter striker picks up the ball in a pocket of space in the middle of the pitch and immediately flies towards the Spain penalty area on a brilliant run. He heads into the box and is looks to shoot, but just as he's about to he's dispossessed by a brilliant tackle by Juanfran. The Brazil-born forward doesn't give up, however, and quickly wins back possession for flinging a looping cross into penalty area, but it ends up flying just a few inches over the head of Pelle.
Juanfran, who performed slightly conservatively in the first half, pushes deep down the right wing before sending two dangerous crosses into the middle of the Italy box. They're both dealt with well by Bonucci, however, before Morata tries to muscle his way past Astori, but the defender comes out on top before poking the ball out for a corner.
And the second is Koke, who takes the place of Mata.
Spain have made two substitutions during the half-time break. The first player to come on is Nacho, who replaces Ramos.
And we're underway once again!
The two teams are making their way back out onto the pitch ahead of the start of the second half.
As expected, it's been a rather tentative affair thus far, with neither side in too much of a hurry to commit men forward. However, Italy will no doubt be the more pleased of the two after coming closest to opening the scoring. Candreva has looked particularly dangerous when drifting out to the right, whilst Pelle has been using his height and strength well inside the penalty area, which has caused a few problems for Ramos and Pique. Nonetheless, De Gea has only had to make one decent save, whilst at the other end of the pitch Aduriz and Morata have found it incredibly difficult to cause the hosts' back line any real issues.
HALF-TIME: ITALY 0-0 SPAIN
Spain continue to patiently work the ball around in the middle of the pitch before Motta brings Fabregas crashing to the ground with the most un-friendly of sliding challenges, leaving the referee with no choice but to show him a yellow card before blowing his whistle for half-time.
Spain are seeing a lot more of the ball now, and they seem to be in the mood to push forward further. However, they seem to be lacking that cutting edge in the final third, and as a result it's been a relatively comfortable first half for the Italy back three, who, bar a few nervy moments when in possession, have been largely solid.
Aduriz drifts out to the left flank and picks up the ball before winning his side a corner. It's taken short and worked over to Mata before the midfielder swings a beautiful cross into the penalty area, but it ends up missing the head of Morata by the narrowest of margins before bouncing out to the right wing, where it finds Juanfran. The right-back's first touch is poor, however, and Motta takes advantage of the heavy touch to win the ball back for the hosts.
Once again, a long pass is fired up towards Pelle, who brings the ball down well on the edge of the Italy penalty area before quickly teeing up Eder. The Inter striker is left in a pocket of space just outside of the box and quickly fires a thumping volley towards goal, but it's sent too near to De Gea and, as a result, it's easily stopped by the Manchester United goalkeeper.
Aduriz goes close! Sloppy play by Italy gifts the ball to Morata, who immediately flies down the left wing and cuts inside before threading a lovely through-ball into the hosts' penalty area. It slides past two defenders before rolling over to the Athletic Bilbao striker at the far post, but, despite his best efforts, he ends up missing the ball by the narrowest of margins.
Spain patiently work the ball around in the middle of the pitch before Juanfran tries to launch a lofted pass over the top of the Italy defence and into the path of Aduriz, but Astori reads the flight of the ball well and is there to cut out the danger on the edge of the penalty area at the vital moment.
Thiago picks up the ball near the halfway line and immediately fires a lofted pass over to Juanfran, who does well to dart down the right wing to meet it. However, Giaccherini is there and immediately dispossesses the full-back before he can send a cross in to the Italy penalty area, bringing an end to a promising attack for the visitors.
It's been a tentative opening half an hour from Spain, who spent the majority of the game defending and, on the rare occasions that they are in possession, look slow on the ball. As a result, Italy have been on the front foot and look the most likely to score first.
Almost a chance for Florenzi! A lofted pass from the halfway line flies over the Spain defence and into the penalty area, where Pelle charges the loose ball down before knocking it back to the edge of the box. It finds the Roma midfielder, who immediately whips a curling cross just over the top of the crossbar, but just as it sails out of play the linesman's flag is raised due to the Southampton striker just about being unable to keep the ball in play.
San Jose charges into Motta and brings the midfielder crashing to the ground with a hefty challenge, resulting in a free-kick for Italy in a dangerous position midway inside the Spain half of the pitch. It's poorly hit, however, and deflects off a white shirt before sailing safely into the hands of De Gea in the middle of the box.
After sitting deep inside their own half of the pitch for the majority of the game thus far, Spain are finally able to push forward on a decent attack down the left wing. Morata is eventually able to carve out a bit of space for himself before swinging a bouncing cross into the heart of the Italy box, but it's underhit and is easily dealt with by Bonucci.
Giaccherini goes close! Pelle holds up the ball brilliantly and takes two Spain players out of the game before knocking a lovely pass over to Candreva, who then charges down the right flank. The winger heads to the byline before launching a looping cross over to the on-loan Bologna midfielder, but his first-time volley takes a deflection off the back of Mata that sends it flying out of play for a corner, which fails to result in a chance on goal.
Great play by Italy! The hosts have started to play more direct over the past few minutes, and Pelle has been working well as a target man. A lofted pass is flung into his chest before he spins and finds Florenzi in acres of space on the right-hand side of the Spain penalty area, but the Roma midfielder's attempted cross-cum-shot is poorly hit and rolls straight into the hands of De Gea in the middle of the goal.
Man down! Del Bosque has been the more animated of the two managers so far, resulting in him camping himself right next to the edge of the pitch. As he tries to bark instructions to his players he's accidently clattered into by the linesman, sending him crashing to the floor. Luckily he's able to get to his feet and laugh off the incident before sharing a hug with the official.
Almost a great opportunity for Pelle! Candreva, who has definitely been Italy's most impressive player thus far, once again flies down the right flank on a determined run before swinging a dangerous cross into the Spain box. It bounces past both Pique and Ramos before finding the Southampton striker at the back post, but he hesitates slightly and, as a result, fails to make contact with the ball.
The resulting corner is flung into the heart of the penalty area, where it's half dealt with by the Spain defence but can only be cleared as far as Candreva. The midfielder then tries to test De Gea with another long-range effort, but this time his shot ends up comfortably clearing the top of the crossbar.
Chance for Candreva! After a relatively cautious start to the game from both sides, Italy finally add a bit of speed into an attacking move, and it causes Spain problems as a result. The Lazio midfielder picks up the ball in the middle of the pitch and drives forward before unleashing a rocket of a shot from 30 yards out, but De Gea does well to get down and tip it round the post with a strong diving save.
A half-hearted Italy attacking move breaks down just inside the Spain half of the pitch, and the visitors immediately try to push forward on a quick counter-attack. However, they immediately slow the pace of the move before sending the ball back to Ramos, who then launches a lofted pass over the head of Morata and straight into the hands of Buffon.
Morata is tripped over by Parolo in the middle of the pitch, resulting in a free-kick for Spain midway inside the Italy half of the pitch. Fabregas steps up and tries to send a deep cross over to the far post, but it's completely overhit and ends up sailing over everybody inside the penalty area before bouncing harmlessly out of play for a goal-kick.
Candreva darts down the right flank and puts in a good defensive shift to win back the ball for Italy. It's worked over to Parolo, who then tries to set up Giaccherini with a quick, chipped pass over to the left wing, but the latter's first touch is poor and the ball ends up rolling out for a throw-in as a result.
Spain patiently work the ball around in the middle of the pitch before Fabregas sends a lofted pass up towards the edge of the Italy penalty area, where it finds Morata. The striker brings it down well before trying to spin and shoot, but just as he's about to do so the linesman's flag is rightly raised for offside.
Vital interception by Ramos! A lovely pass down the right wing finds Candreva, who gets behind Azpilicueta with ease before curling a wonderful low cross towards the near post. It almost finds Pelle, who busts a gut to try and meet the ball, but the Real Madrid defender is just about able to poke it out of play for a corner before the pass can find the striker.
Spain quickly win possession in the middle of the pitch before Morata charges down the left flank and wins the visitors a corner. It's taken quickly and sent short before being worked over to Azpilicueta, who then chips a lofted pass into the Fabregas. The Chelsea midfielder's first touch is poor but slightly sloppy defending by Candreva allows him to win back the ball on the left-hand side of the penalty area. However, he can only poke it into the hands of Buffon before being able to get a shot away.
And we're off! Italy get us underway, attacking from left to right.
The two sides are making their way out onto the pitch, with just a few minutes to go until kick-off.
Meanwhile, Spain boss Vicente del Bosque has made nine alterations to the side that featured in the victory against England, with only Gerard Pique and Cesc Fabregas retaining their places in a heavily altered line-up that features a rare start for in-form striker Aritz Aduriz, whose only previous appearance for the national team came way back in October 2010.
Antonio Conte has decided to make five changes to the Italy side that started the 2-2 draw against Romania in their last friendly, with Davide Astori, Thiago Motta, Marco Parolo, Emanuele Giaccherini and Antonio Candreva coming into the starting line-up to replace Andrea Barzagli, Giorgio Chiellini, Claudio Marchisio, Roberto Soriano and Stephan El Shaarawy.
Spain substitutes: Casillas, Bartra, Koke, Rico, Silva, Isco, Alba, Gaspar, Nacho, Pedro, Roberto, Alcacer.
Spain XI (4-4-2): De Gea; Juanfran, Pique, Ramos, Azpilicueta; San Jose, Fabregas, Thiago, Mata; Morata, Aduriz.
Italy substitutes: Sirigu, Ranocchia, Acerbi, Bernardeschi, Bonaventura, Jorginho, Antonelli, De Silvestri, Insigne, Perin, Montolivo, Soriano, El Shaarawy, Okaka, Zaza.
Italy XI (3-4-3): Buffon; Darmian, Bonucci, Astori; Florenzi, Motta, Parolo, Giaccherini; Candreva, Pelle, Eder.
There’s just over 15 minutes left to go until kick-off, so let’s have a look at how the two teams will be lining up evening…
As for Spain, they may not be quite as strong as they were four years ago but they are nonetheless another of the favourites to go far in France. Despite suffering an early scare when they were beaten by Slovakia in their second game, qualification for Euro 2016 proved to be a wonderful occasion for La Roja, who bounced back by winning all of their remaining eight games without conceding a single goal. As a result, they comfortably finished top of their group with 27 points and 23 goals, the third highest of any side. Vicente del Bosque’s men then went on to beat England 2-0 in their only post-qualifying friendly thus far, meaning that they have lost just one of their last nine clashes heading into back-to-back contests against Italy and Romania, two games that will test their resilience in very different ways.
Tonight’s game brings together the two sides that contested the last European Championship final four years ago, and with less than three months left to go until the kick-off of the latest edition, it’s crunch time for both as they aim to end their pre-tournament preparation on a high. Italy were thumped 4-0 by Spain on that fateful night in Kiev, and this evening they will be looking to exact revenge on a team that they have struggled against in recent years. Since a Roberto Baggio double led them to a quarter-final victory in the 1994 World Cup, the Azzurri have won just one of the 10 meetings between the two, with three of the last four all ending in wins for their opponents. However, Antonio Conte’s men impressed during qualifying for Euro 2016 - resulting in them finishing unbeaten at the top of their group - and are hotly tipped to go far in the competition thanks to a plethora of impressive performances since suffering a disappointing World Cup campaign. Their status as one of the favourites will no doubt be tested tonight and on Tuesday against Germany, with both games set to be tough battles for the four-time world champions.
Good evening and welcome to our live text commentary of today’s international friendly between Italy and Spain at the Stadio Friuli.