Spain trounces Italy 4-0 in Euro final to take third straight major title
Goals from David Silva and Jordi Alba in the first half gave Spain a convincing lead. Fernando Torres and fellow substitute Juan Mata added goals in the last six minutes.
Italy’s task was tough enough with 11 players, and it became impossible with just 10 after the 64th minute. All its substitutes were used when midfielder Thiago Motta, who had only been on the pitch for seven minutes, was taken off due to injury.
The victory lifted Spain to a record third straight major title, after winning Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup. The hat trick of titles is an unprecedented feat for a European team, as is successfully defending the championship.
Spain even allowed Italy the majority of first-half possession, yet its trademark quick passing game was lethal when required.
Spain captain Iker Casillas was outstanding in keeping Italy’s attack at bay for his 10th consecutive clean sheet in tournament knockout matches.
The victory was the most comprehensive in a European Championship final, beating West Germany’s 3-0 win over the Soviet Union in 1972.
It was also a perfect response to Spain’s critics, who said the world and European champion had become boring.
Possession was kept with endless back-and-forth passes to deny opponents the ball and stifle games, not win them, the detractors said.
But Spain answered by playing its best and slickest football at Euro 2012 when most was at stake.