Five classic Italy v Spain clashes

PHOTO: theguardian.com

PHOTO: theguardian.com

Four years after routing Italy 4-0 to win the the Euro 2012 title, Spain meet them again in the last 16 of Euro 2016 on Monday. Here are five classic Italy-Spain clashes:

Italy 2 Spain 1

World Cup quarter-final, July 9, 1994

Italians will forever remember the 1994 World Cup for Roberto Baggio’s stunning penalty miss in the final over Brazil.

Yet it was an 88th minute winner from the ‘Divine Ponytail’ that helped the Azzurri overcome a stubborn Spanish side in a lively quarter-final in Boston.

Dino Baggio’s 25-yard piledriver gave Arrigo Sacchi’s men a 25th minute lead, only for Atletico Madrid midfielder Jose Luis Caminero to level just before the hour.

Spain were livid when Mauro Tassotti’s vicious elbow that left now Barcelona coach Luis Enrique bloodied and prone in the penalty area went unpunished before Baggio ran on to a cross to round Zubizaretta and beat the Spanish legend with a crisp finish from a tight angle.

Spain 0 Italy 0 (Spain win 4-2 on penalties)

Euro 2008 quarter-final, June 22, 2008

On a humid night in Vienna, Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas was the hero for Luis Aragones’s men as Italy maintained their tradition of coming up short from the penalty spot.

Spain had shaded a mouthwatering quarter-final clash in regulation time against the then World Cup champions as Marcos Senna hit the post in the final stages.

In the shootout, Casillas saved from Daniele De Rossi and Antonio Di Natale.

Cesc Fabregas then made no mistake against Gianluigi Buffon to send Spain in the semis and on their way to ending a 44-wait to be crowned kings of Europe.

Spain 1 Italy 1

Euro 2012 group stages, June 10, 2012

Although still at the group stages, this was an eagerly-awaited fixture between a desperate Italy side and the defending champions.

Italy were given a 61st minute lead in Gdansk by Di Natale.

But a slick Spain rescued a share of the spoils shortly after when Fabregas finished off a move of lightning-quick passes from Andres Iniesta and David Silva to fire first-time past Buffon.

Spain 4 Italy 0

Euro 2012 final, July 1, 2012

Italy had upset pre-tournament predictions to book a place in the final with Spain after a pair of Mario Balotelli goals in a 2-1 semi-final win over Germany.

But the fairytale campaign enjoyed by Cesare Prandelli’s men went awry before half-time.

Making amends for their 1-1 draw with Italy in the group stages, Silva, with a rare header, and Jordi Alba, scoring his first Spain goal, gave Vicente del Bosque’s men a two-goal lead at the break.

Italy struggled to respond and Torres and Juan Mata added two more Spain goals inside the final six minutes to hand La Roja an unprecedented hat-trick of major tournament wins.

Spain 0 Italy 0 (Spain win 7-6 on penalties)

Confederations Cup semi-final, June 27, 2013

In the searing heat of Fortaleza neither side could find the breakthrough as Italy midfielder Emanuele Giaccherini hit the post, while at the other end Buffon tipped Xavi Hernandez’s long-range effort onto the woodwork.

It went to penalties, and after both sides hit the net six times apiece, Italian defender Leonardo Bonucci blasted over.

Jesus Navas stepped up to beat Buffon and send Spain in to the final, where they succumbed 3-0 to Brazil.

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