July 01, 2012

Spain Reigns in Euro 2012: Spain trounced Italy 4-0 in the Euro 2012 tournament finals with goals from David Silva, Jordi Alba, Fernando Torres and Juan Mata. Winning its third consecutive major tournament, Spain set a new record by allowing just one goal the entire tournament. Italy had to play a man down after Thiago Motta suffered a hamstring injury, lacking any more substitutions.

posted by rcade to soccer at 04:48 PM - 26 comments

Here's a good history of how "Seven Nation Army" became a sports anthem -- basically credit/blame the Belgians.

posted by holden at 04:50 PM on July 01

I think that started in Euro 2008. Spain hasn't lost a tournament since it adopted that song.

posted by rcade at 04:57 PM on July 01

I was pleasantly surprised to see Spain not fall back into defensive shell mode after that first goal. They really exerted their will today. Casillas made a couple of nice saves early, but wow, Spain was very impressive.

posted by bender at 06:25 PM on July 01

Could they do it on a wet Tuesday in Sunderland? Doubt it.

posted by yerfatma at 09:28 PM on July 01

I thought bringing out the junior national squad at the end was a bit much. :)

posted by grum@work at 09:43 PM on July 01

Italy had some chances to get back into the game but they just couldn't pull it off. Overall a pretty dominating performance from Spain.

posted by insomnyuk at 12:25 AM on July 02

It's a shame Italy only had 10 men for the final 40 minutes - what horrible luck to have your last substitution pull a hamstring (though apparently, it was a known risk).

posted by kokaku at 07:14 AM on July 02

The only real disappointing thing to me was how Spain over-celebrated those last two goals ... against a 10-man team. Reminded me of Kramer on Seinfeld doing karate against children. Not very classy.

posted by scully at 08:41 AM on July 02

grum, I keep expecting to see this kids fall down and then throw up their hands asking for a yellow card ;)

posted by scully at 08:43 AM on July 02

how Spain over-celebrated those last two goals ... against a 10-man team.

In the Euro finals. With all the pressure on them. When a win would cement their place in the all-time lists. Hard for me to imagine an "over-celebration" given those conditions. And if they hadn't celebrated people would be bitching about them being boring and business-like and showing Italy up.

posted by yerfatma at 09:01 AM on July 02

The fourth was scored by Mata, who was making his trounament debut, in the final, and scored with, (almost?), his first touch. Surprisingly he looked quite excited by that.

A decent first half that could have been a bit different depending on where the ball went when Casillas punched a couple shots away, but the Spanish looked pretty ruthless when given a sniff.

Torres winning the golden boot is a bit of a farce after flat track bully performances against Ireland and 10 Italians. Not a great tournament for forwards.

I don't think any European team is going to be favourite to lift a World Cup in South America, but while Xavi is 32, Iniesta is 28, Biscuits is 23, Silva and Navas are 26, Mata and Pedro are 24, Fabregas is 25 and behind them Pique is 25, Ramos is 26, Alba is 23... It's an embarrassment of riches and, injury allowing, it's not going to be a markedly different team in Brazil in 2014.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 09:51 AM on July 02

To me it is like the old American football saying about scoring a TD and acting like you've been there before. Nothing wrong with simply smiling, and walking back to the center circle. Still think it showed a lack of class.

posted by scully at 10:20 AM on July 02

To me it is like the old American football saying about scoring a TD and acting like you've been there before.

Assuming that TD is in the Superbowl and the Superbowl were held every 4 years, involved national teams from all over the world and a good bit of bragging rights for your country. The comparison would also require that US football games usually involved no more than one or two TDs and often ended with none at all. A touchdown in football isn't the direct equivalent of one in futbol.

And it seems to me guys celebrate TDs in the Superbowl.

posted by yerfatma at 10:24 AM on July 02

Not to mention a ~25 million Euro purse for your country.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 10:30 AM on July 02

Casillas loomed large at times, as Mr. Biz noted.

I was delighted to see the work throughs on the first two goals, because the Italians seemed to be doing a good job of marking Iniesta - perhaps overfocusing there, but what else is there to do when there are that many quality players on a side and you have to rank the danger and choose a strategy?

I don't begrudge the Spaniards the late goal celebrations, but I feel badly for Buffon, who had had a good tournament. He had a tired backline and paid the price. Also for Pirlo, who began playing farther back and valiantly tried to limit the damage after Motta went off.

Even Balotelli turned in some competitive defensive moments after the third goal was scored. I'm glad he didn't lose his composure or petulantly walk the match home.

posted by beaverboard at 10:56 AM on July 02

The caption on the image of Torres' son at the outside side netting should read "This is where daddy likes to put the ball!"

Kidding aside, I think Fernando Torres has had (as noted in the Guardian's podcast) a pretty good year for someone who had a pretty bad year. Even though he did not have a great tournament, the way he finished it and the overall stats (And winning the golden boot) has to leave him feeling pretty good about things. While I scoff at those who purport to understand human psychology and causation, I would not be surprised if Torres has a very good season for Chelsea in the coming year. Irrespective of whether he "gets a boost" or additional self-confidence from this, the departure of Drogba will open up opportunities for him and I think the addition of Hazard and the presence of Mata will dictate a style of play that will benefit Torres. I think 15 premier league goals and 20-25 goals in all competitions is certainly within the realm of possibility, a bet many would have taken without hesitation two years ago and that people would have thought ludicrous as recently as 2 months ago.

posted by holden at 10:58 AM on July 02

I didn't have a problem with the celebrations, which by European standards were fairly sedate. I was a little surprised they went for the fourth goal, but hasn't Spain struggled in the past to beat Italy?

posted by rcade at 11:16 AM on July 02

I would not be surprised if Torres has a very good season for Chelsea in the coming year

Was wondering the same thing. Hell of a thing to be a potential come-back story at 28.

posted by yerfatma at 11:24 AM on July 02

I think goals are rare enough in soccer that, unless it is a qualifier or friendly against a seriously overmatched team, there is no such thing as "piling on."

posted by holden at 11:25 AM on July 02

Drogba going but Hulk coming. Hulk smash puny human Torres!

Seriously, can any other country pass like Spain? Not just triangles but tiny tight triangles where at least half the time markers are clogging the space. Also, very happy to see my favorite Spaniard, Andres Iniesta, be named player of the tournament by so many.

posted by billsaysthis at 11:56 AM on July 02

The only celebration that was in any way inappropriate was from Reina. Spain's third choice keeper who has played precisely 45 minutes of football for Spain in the last five seasons (in a friendly against England, in which he let in the goal that sealed an unlikely 1-0 win for England), so has played very little meaningful part in any of their major triumphs, but he was leaping about like he'd saved a decisive penalty.

I'm a Liverpool fan. I think he's awesome. But he looked like an eijit last night.

posted by JJ at 12:46 PM on July 02

Seriously, can any other country pass like Spain?

Nope. They're like those high-speed Japanese robots that never lose at rock-paper-scissors. The way they switch out to keep the triangles going reminds me of baseball players executing a rundown.

posted by rcade at 01:33 PM on July 02

posted by grum@work at 03:21 PM on July 02

scully, this should make you feel better about Spain. If he wasn't already canonized as St. Iker, he should be.

posted by yerfatma at 09:17 PM on July 02

My analogy would be if your team was up 35-0 in the 4th quarter of the Super Bowl and after a touchdown you did an elaborate TD dance and all of the players on the sideline joined you. I still say it showed a lack of class.

posted by scully at 10:49 PM on July 03

thanks for the video, yerfatma. That was classy, so I shouldn't lump them all together. It wasn't their keeper who was celebrating with the subs on the sideline though.

posted by scully at 10:51 PM on July 03

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