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Riccardo Calafiori 54' (pp)

Spain 1-0 Italy summary: score, goals, highlights | UEFA Euro 2024

Spain won Group B with a game to spare by beating Italy in style in Gelsenkirchen, as Riccardo Calafiori’s second-half own goal gave La Roja their second victory.

Spain beat Italy thanks to Calafiori OG

Thanks so much for your company and please share your thoughts on the game, tournament or anything else in the comments section.

We'll be back soon with more live coverage so until then, goodbye...


Spain impress and comfortably progress

Just as the 3-0 scoreline against Croatia in the opening game somewhat flattered Spain, this 1-0 victory-thanks-to-an-own-goal does not tell the story. It could have been an embarrassing night for the Italians.

Luis de la Fuente has developed a potent squad, the substitutions today suggesting they have lots to offer when given a chance. And now that the team has secured a place in the last 16, as group winners, there can be several opportunities for rotation in the third match against Albania.

Rodri, Pedri, Williams, Yamal

Where do I begin? Rodri was his usual solid self. The press from across the entire team was cohesive and with purpose. Then there were the attacking stars.

Pedri oozes class and pops up all over the midfield to collect and create, finding gaps where the opposition least expects. The flanks were worked effectively by the exciting talents of Williams and Yamal. It can't be fun defending against them. Both work so hard for the team, then drift into space to ensure they get the ball where they can make something happen. Morata through the middle always asks questions of the defence, and kept them occupied throughout.

But what struck me most, and I mentioned the William Cowper poem in my halftime musings, was the attacking variety that this Spanish team possess. How the only goal came from an Italian player is baffling. Three or four were inches off and should've have been scored. The same number were stopped by Donnarumma, who was his side's best player.

Italy are a decent side and could have nicked a point, which would have been a travesty on the balance of play. Spain may well have picked up a few new admirers, and the bookies will no doubt reassess their own predictions for this tournament.


Spain into last 16

The Spanish players made their nation proud tonight. From the Basque Country to Andalusia, and everywhere in between and around.


Catch them if you can

Lamine Yamal was tough to handle and many will now be reassessing Spain as a real contender for this year's competition.



Goals: Calafiori 54'


Peep, peep, peeeeep!

No he couldn't! The whistle blows and Spain book their place in the round of 16 with a game to spare.


The referee is playing well past the four minutes and Italy create a couple of half chances in that time.

The final one sees Donnarumma forward for the latest of late corners. Could he?


Again Donnarumma stops Perez. This really could have been five or more. Italy can thank their gloved hero for keeping it respectable.


Brilliant play from Perez, dribbling all the way until he can see the whites of Donnarumma's eyes. He goes low, but the PSG man reads it well and gets down to block. It breaks kindly and is cleared.


We'll have four additional minutes here.


For the first time in the game, Spain are looking a little vulnerable, and Italy will smell that. A few failed clearances from La Roja could have caused trouble, but they escape, then draw a couple of soft fouls to calm things down.


Ooohh! A flicked on Raspadori corner had a few Spanish hearts skipping a beat. Simon had it in hand, though


Despite Spain getting the majority of the plaudits, we're into the final 10 minutes and Italy are still in this. They're starting to push even more people forward in the hope that they can nick a goal before the final whistle.

We've seen enough games over the years to know that's the sort of thing that can very easily transpire.


Baena does really well to carry the ball forward with purpose and feeds Perez whose effort is blocked away. The resultant corner finds Laporte at the back post but he can't get over it enough and heads over.

The flow of the game continues in one direction, while Italy are hitting long diagonals hoping to make something happen.


Big changes for Spain with the front three getting a complete refresh: Ferran Torres, Mikel Oyarzabal and Ayoze Perez have a hard act to follow.


What cannot be understated is the confidence that seems to be running through De La Fuente's team, some of whom are still rather young - looking especially at you Lamine!

They're all so prepared to take a pass, even when under pressure, and many happy to go at the opposition, rather than just play around them.


Williams gets wood

CLANG! Williams, arguably the best player on the pitch this evening, is at it again, facing up his marker, looking to go outside then dropping a shoulder and cutting in.

That creates a moment of space and, from the corner of the penalty area he bends in a powerful and controlled shot which fires back off the face of the crossbar at the far corner. So, so close to a peach of a goal.


Another attack from Italy is a little too weak, just falling apart at the point it needs to kick in. They don't look like they have much to offer at the moment and may need some fortune to get back into this.


Immediately after me calling out Italy, Cristante plays a teasing ball across the Spanish six-yard box between defenders and Unai Simon... but no white shirts in sight. Decent chance out of almost nothing.


Italy struggling to cope and the earlier 'chasing' I talked about could be starting to count. Spalletti makes two more changes (Retegui and Zaccagni on for Chiesa and Scamacca) as he hopes to freshen up legs and ideas.


Italy have stepped up their attacking ambitions, understandably, and get a few more players forward to support a counter. Cambiaso tries to make something happen but it fizzles out and we head back up the other end.


Yamal is just inches away from a goal that would be in the conversation for best of the week. A curling left-foot attempt after cutting in from the right, and the PSG keeper was worried.


More pressure from Spain. They don't appear to want to rest on this lead.

Morata tries his luck from distance with a stinging shot that Donnarumma does well to punch up and over. Then Le Normand rises at the back post and headers goalwards only for it to be blocked and booted clear.


Calafiori OG


Own goal give Spain the lead

When those in red can't do it, leave it to the tournament's current top scorer: Own Goal.

It was the unfortunate Calafiori who was moving towards his own goal and knocked the cross in.


Pedri misses clear chance

Incredible! Best chance of the game, and it falls to Pedri.

Williams lays it into the left channel for Cucurella who reaches the byline and cuts it back to the Barça man who fires wide. He falls to the turf in as much disbelief as the rest of us.


Yamal continues on the dead-ball delivery and has three opportunities in quick succession: a free kick and two corners. All of them are met first by an Italian head and cleared, but Spain just keep getting the ball back and look for their next route in.


Seconds into the half and we're stopped. Rodri is down and his grimace suggests this could be a bad one. He is a player Spain do not want to be without.

Oh well, my career as a body gesture reader ain't going far. He's back up and running.


The second half begins

Two changes at the break (both for Italy) as Spain get us going. Will Italy have more to offer?

(check line-ups tab above for all subs info)


The players are done talking and heading back out onto the field.


Spain - Italy half-time musings

One of the quotes ahead of the game was about Spain using intelligence along with their passion for the shirt. And I think it's fair to say that's exactly what we've seen thus far.

La Roja has had very talented players over the years, and have won top titles with them, but even those teams were criticised by some for too much passing with little regular threat on goal. Scoring one and playing keep-ball for the rest of the game was a tactic that often worked well for them.

This side, however, appear to be growing in stature with the best of both worlds: possession yes, but always with a view to building towards the opposition's net.

When William Cowper's wrote in 1785 that “variety is the very spice of life, that gives it all its flavor,” he may well have been waxing about De La Fuente's current group. With the solidity of the likes of Rodri holding everything together, and then the exciting play of Fabián, Yamal, Williams and Pedri, the concern for the opposition comes from all over and in numerous styles.


Spain dominant, Italy survive

This photo sums up Spain's first half. Chances they have had. A couple could have been taken. The others were well stopped by either a defensive foot or a Donnarumma glove.




Peeeep!! Nothing more to add and the whistle blows.

Very different team talks about to take place.


Two added minutes


It's taken us to the moment the added-time electronic board is raised for Italy to have a real go at Simon's goal, and even then it wasn't going to worry many in red.

It's a decent counter attack and Chiesa is the one with the chance to strike from wide of the goal on the right. It flies high and even wider, not troubling the Bilbao keeper.


Still no goals but Spain keep pushing. The latest is a shot from distance from Fabián (he fancies that tonight) but Donnarumma gets himself well behind it and catches.

Variation is the name of the game for De La Fuente's men.


Morata almost in on goal after lovely work from Pedri. Calafiori slides in and stops the final pass making it through. The Italians are chasing a lot of the ball, and shadows, which could come into play later in this game.



The Williams show

Nico Williams of Spain gets at Italy's Giovanni di Lorenzo.


Nico Williams is loving this. He does brilliantly to win back a nothing ball crossed out to him on the left. Then as Italy double up on him and a simple pass to a teammate seems obvious, he spins on the ball and skips between the two white shirts.

A deliberate leg trips him up and hands Spain an opportunity to deliver. Nothing comes of it.


The Italians are working really hard but just can't get any real foothold on this game.

There are some signs that if they can pick out the right long pass then the counter could be effective, but the momentum is with Spain, and but for Donnarumma's quality they'd already be at least one up.


More excellent passing in the final third for La Roja. It's worked across the pitch, out to Yamal, Italy defence (made up of almost all the team) struggling to know what to do. The teenager looks up and fires it across to Rodri via Pedri, and the Man City stalwart strikes first time.

It looked to be going in but a defender gets a great block and it's cleared once again.


Fabián close

Boom! Fabián Ruiz shows the Italians that this Spain isn't all about walking the ball into the net.

From well outside the area he lets fly... Donnarumma tipping over the bar. Great stuff!


Lamine has been busy but getting plenty of attention from Pellegrini and Dimarco so unable to make many inroads.

But he's just decided to get right through the middle, coming in off the right, and skips passed four desperate defenders before feeding Morata whose final effort is well blocked by Donnarumma.


Di Lorenzo can't be enjoying facing up Williams right now. As well as being very willing to run at/around/through him, the Spanish forward is also drifting all over the place, making it hard for anyone to really pick him up.


Spain continue to do their keep-ball thing but this team isn't like some of those of the past. There's much more appetite to get the ball forward, and with the offensive threats they have, goals will come.


Spain controlling things nicely here although don't want to get caught on the break which is clearly Italy's tactic in these opening minutes. Some tough knocks going in too.


Silly Donnarumma. Gets his name taken by the ref after running 40 yards to have a big moan. He's better than that, although may just be feeling the pressure.


Italy yet to show their teeth in an attacking sense, and Spalletti will be concerned with those crosses finding unmarked Spaniards in front of goal.

As I say that the Italians almost get in behind but it's just as quickly tidied up.


Nico just wide

What a chance for Spain again, this time Williams getting himself into the middle to get onto another delicious cross in from the left. Morata with it.

He glanced it wide when the goal was gaping. That was even easier than the earlier Pedri chance.


We're back underway and Pellegrini is ok to continue.


I've just rewatched the earlier Pedri chance and it's definitely a very decent reaction tip-over from the Italian stopper. That said, it was right above him, and the Barça man will know how could have picked an emptier spot.


We have a brief stop in play as Pellegrini gets some treatment after a Pedri boot caught him above the ankle. Looked a sore one, but was accidental from the young Spaniard.


Spain have certainly started like one of the nation's famous high speed trains, and Williams is causing all sorts of bother out on the left. Expect him to get plenty of the ball in these early stages.


Pedri denied

Just a couple of minutes into this clash and Pedri has a header right in front of goal tipped over by Donnarumma. Great work from Williams on the left to make the space and deliver perfectly.


The Italians immediately hit it down the right wing but Spain are quick to regain possession and get several touches in across the players.


Peeeeep! Spain vs Italy is go

Italy, all in white, get the game rolling.


Friends dressed up

Let's see if these two are still smiling in a couple of hours.


Spain's starting XI and subs

A reminder of the teams and potential substitutes.


Right, anthems out the way (the Spanish king is in the stadium and seemed very proud of the fans' efforts) so it's now time for the main business of the evening. Game time!

Why does the Spanish anthem have no lyrics and what other countries have only music in their anthem?

What no words? Here's a little explainer about why Spain's anthem is hummed along to.


Il Canto degli Italiani belted out

Fratelli d'Italia, 
L'Italia s'è desta; 
Dell'elmo di Scipio 
S'è cinta la testa. 
Dov'è la Vittoria? 
Le porga la chioma; 
Ché schiava di Roma 
Iddio la creò.


The teams come out and it's to a tremendous noise from the 60-plus thousand in the stadium. Italy's anthem will be first up.


10 mins till kick-off

Spain vs Italy. Just saying it has me excited. And the players are now in the tunnel awaiting the green light to come out.


Who is Slavko Vincic, referee for Spain - Italy?

Did you know that today's referee, Slavko Vincic, was arrested by police in Bosnia and Herzegovina a few years ago for his alleged involvement in a drugs and prostitution ring.

At that time he was detained in a cabin in Bijeljina where the authorities discovered nine women, 26 men and a cache of weapons and cocaine.

As you can imagine, given that he's still involved here, he was not in too much trouble, just linked.


Transfer talk: Liverpool, Arsenal linked with Williams

For any Reds fans out there, and a few others, you may want to keep an eye on one of those aforementioned dangermen.

Spain's Nico Williams is said to be a target for Liverpool along with Arsenal, Newcastle and Aston Villa.

Then again, most rumours don't tend to materialise so...

(From L) Spain's midfielder #16 Rodri, Spain's defender #24 Marc Cucurella, Spain's forward #07 Alvaro Morata and Spain's defender #14 Aymeric Laporte warm up ahead of the UEFA Euro 2024 Group B football match between Spain and Italy at the Arena AufSchalke in Gelsenkirchen on June 20, 2024. (Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA / AFP)


Spain warming up

Spain's Rodri, Cucurella, Morata and Laporte go through their paces.


Dangermen Nico and Lamine

Nico Williams and Lamine Yamal are very dangerous players, but we need to defend as a team and utilize our strengths effectively when we have the ball.

We also have enough quality to pose a threat to them.

Matteo Di Lorenzo, Italy

Spain's passion and intelligence

It's always special when you're preparing to play against Italy.

With all those World Cup titles… and they are the current European champions. One of the key things we've emphasized in training this week is that the heart must be in sync and in harmony with the brain.

In other words: we need to be passionate but also smart.

Pablo Amo, Assistant coach, Spain

Spain vs Italy: head-to-head

As I mentioned earlier, these two nations have met 11 times across the European Championships and World Cups. In total, however, they have met 40 times.

The record across those games sits at 13 wins for Spain and 11 for Italy. The other 16 were tied.

Today's 41st encounter is around half an hour away.


Spain in Euro 24 qualifying

The Spanish team were relentless through their qualifying campaign for this tournament, winning seven and losing just one to top the group.

That loss came in Scotland when the Tartan Army sang their drunken hearts out to support their heroes in a 2-0 victory. Spain returned that scoreline in Sevilla when the two nations met again. Both progressed to these finals.

Euro 2024: what happens if there is a tie in the group stage? Tie-breaking criteria

Given there are just four teams in each group, the chances of teams finishing on the same points at the end of this stage is very probable. That's why UEFA have defined exactly how teams will be separated.

Making it more complicated is that as well as the top two teams from each group progressing to the round of 16, so too do the four 'best' third-placed teams.

Don't worry if you're confused, a few days ago I pulled this little explainer together. Oh, and it even allows for potential penalty shootouts in the group stage!


Starting XI: Italy

Donnarumma; Di Lorenzo, Bastoni, Calafiori, Dimarco; Jorginho, Barella; Chiesa, Frattesi, Pellegrini; Scamacca

No changes from Spalletti.


Starting XI: Spain

Unai Simón; Carvajal, Le Normand, Laporte, Cucurella; Pedri, Rodri, Fabián Ruiz; Lamine Yamal, Morata, Nico Williams

Only one change from De La Fuente: Laporte comes in for Nacho.


What is the most played game across Euros/World Cup?

Now why on earth would I be asking you that question? Of course the answer is Spain vs Italy. These two have met in the continental and global competitions no less than 10 times, this being the 11th.

Eight of those are in the Euros – the last one being the semi-finals in London in 2021, which was decided on penalties after a 1-1 draw – with the other three in the World Cup.

Anticipation is growing and team news is in...


A fitting venue

The AufSchalke Arena in Gelsenkirchen plays host to this clash. It is the home stadium of FC Schalke and has a capacity of over 62,000.


Luciano Spalletti: scuffing up Armani suits

After winning Serie A with Napoli, Luciano Spalletti will want to become a national hero by taking Italy to another championship. The Azzurri are of course here to defend the title they won in Wembley three years ago. Speaking to the press, the coach explained the philosophy.

"We are dressed in Giorgio Armani and Giorgio Armani is world famous. So, we go there with the same suit, try and be true to our identity and play the same way.

"But, of course, we need to show the same desire as our opposition to test ourselves against one of the best footballing philosophies in world football.

"Once we are off the pitch, we need to make sure we have no regrets. We need to try and play our own game in our best clothes, but we are willing to scuff up our suit if required."


Luis de la Fuente: Spain-Italy mirror

Spain's coach Luis de la Fuente has been speaking ahead of this game about the likeness between the two teams.

"They're very similar to us, they have changed coach and they have young players. They are very competitive.

"It's almost like we're looking in a mirror actually. We are a growing, developing team which is working on cohesion and consistency and so are they. I think it will be a very high quality match."

We do too, Luis, so don't let us down.


Group B: as it stands

As you can see here, Spain and Italy are looking in a good place for progression to the knockout phase and would both likely take a draw in this one.

Spain weren't as dominant over Croatia as the 3-0 scoreline suggests but the team has several exciting scoring options. Italy were also made to work hard against Albaniawho scored the quickest ever Euros goal in that game – and were delighted to take the W.

A draw between the other two has helped shape the standings in favour of the Spaniards and Italians.


The Euro ball

The most valuable insight I can give you into UEFA's ball for the 2024 competition is that it's perfectly spherical.

One year, I'm convinced they'll try and change that too!

When is Spain - Italy? Times, how to watch on TV and stream online | Euro 2024

I occasionally get asked from readers if there is any way that they can watch the action live while reading my accompanying chat. And for anyone pondering that today, my answer is "you sure can!"

Check out the handy TV and streaming guide that our Roddy pulled together for you and get your screens lined up.


Spain vs Italy live: welcome

Hello and thanks for joining me for our latest live coverage of the 2024 UEFA European Championships, Spain vs Italy.

It's fair to say that this is arguably the biggest clash of the tournament so far with former World Cup winners Spain and Italy battling it out for top spot in Group B.

Both teams already have a win on the board and know that another three points here this evening will guarantee them a spot in the round of 16. More on the standings and plenty more to come so let's get the build-up going...