Spain played Italy – preparation for the Round of 16

Spain played Italy – preparation for the Round of 16

(Spain – Italy 1-0) Spain controlled the match from start to finish, but needed help to get the ball into the goal.

-There is no one better than us. We respect all opponents and must continue to work with the same conviction. “We have high expectations if we continue in the same way,” says Luis de la Fuente, coach of the Spanish national team.

But it took an own goal to beat Italy's star goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma. He made eight saves, but was unable to do anything about Riccardo Calafiore's own goal.

However, the goal was well deserved. After the match, the shot statistics reached twenty to four in favor of Spain. Italy never came close to equalising.

-We were never able to close the rooms and they created bigger problems for us than the result suggests. Luciano Spalletti, coach of the Italian national team, said that there was no point in beautifying the performance.

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Hangeland is wide
Hangeland is wide

Former national team captain and now player developer for the men's national team.

The 1-0 win means Spain is ready for the round of 16.

– A show of strength, summarized by Brede Hangeland in the TV 2 studio.

– Considering the quality of the opposition, this is EC's most impressive performance to date, writes renowned football writer Rafael Honigstein in X.

According to statistics service Opta, Italy's four suspensions are their fewest in a European Championship or World Cup match since 1980.

Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville was also impressed by the Spaniards, but believes the three-time European champions still have a lot to do in front of goal.

– They were not merciless in the past championship. Will he continue here and cost them in the end? “They should score more goals with the way they play football,” Neville says.

Good game: The Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper stood in the way of several great Spanish chances. Photo: Andrea Alexandru/AP/NTB

Especially in the first half, the level difference was huge. Hangeland referred to it as “a bit of a masterstroke”.

On the left side, 21-year-old Neco Williams wreaked havoc with Italian full-back Giovanni Di Lorenzo.

-Di Lorenzo is going to have nightmares about Neco Williams tonight. It was absolutely massive. He ended up humiliating him that way, says Hangeland as one of the many duels was shown on television.

Sky Sports pundit Roy Keane also praised the youngster.

– He was the best player on the field. “He showed strength and his behavior was excellent,” says Ken.

Hills: Neco Williams has had a great start to the tournament. Photograph: Piroschka van de Woo/Reuters/NTB

Italy conceded the quickest goal in European Union history when Albania scored after 23 seconds in their first group stage match on Saturday. Against Spain, Spalletti's men were about to receive another early cold shower.

Half a minute later, Pedri had a great chance – without any pressure at all – but Donnarumma held on and made a powerful save.

Williams, Morata, Pedri and Fabian Ruiz all had great chances to send Spain in front but were unable to overcome Donnarumma.

Calafiore's own goal was the only goal of the match. Neco Williams shot the ball inside the penalty area, where it passed several players, before Italy's knee stopped the ball in his goal.

Spain leads Group B with six points. Italy ranks second with three points. Albania and Croatia occupy third and fourth places with one point each.

Albania, Spain, Croatia and Italy will meet in the final match of the group stage on Monday, June 24. Spain will have to do without Manchester City star Rodri in that match. He received a second yellow card and must serve his suspension.

Graphics: Sofascore.com

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Najuma Ojukwu

Najuma Ojukwu

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