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A brace from Xabi Alonso, with his second goal coming from the penalty spot, propelled Spain into the semi-finals of Euro 2012 with a comfortable 2-0 victory against France, their first ever against this opposition in a competitive match environment. Spain dominated the contest pretty much from start to finish, and manager Laurent Blanc is sure to be asked hard questions about his bold changes in the starting line-up which backfired miserably. The Spaniards seem well on their way to creating history (3 straight major championships) after yet another comfortable victory.
Iker Casillas â€“ 7.0: The Spanish Captain was rarely tested, but stood tall whenever put into action. It is difficult to suddenly make a stop when untested for a long time, but the Real Madrid star made it look easy on his way to another clean sheet.
Alvaro Arbeloa â€“ 7.0: The defender put in a decent performance, frequently helping out in attack. However, the Real Madrid man offers far less than his club and country teammate Sergio Ramos in the right back position and was frequently needed help to compete against the skillful Franck Ribery.
Gerard Pique â€“ 7.0: Pique had a good enough outing and seemed comfortable against a rather disappointing Benzema. His partnership with Ramos has looked solid apart from some crosses into the box in the absence of the experienced Carles Puyol.
Sergio Ramos â€“ 7.0: The Real Madrid star performed well in his makeshift role as a central defender once again, easily keeping out the France attackers. Thought to be a possible weak-link in the absence of Puyol, Ramos clearly showed he's more than a decent cover-up.
Jordi Alba â€“ 9.0: The youngster was a relative unknown compared to the big names in the Spanish team coming into the tournament. However, his bursts of pace forward accompanied with excellent tackling were clearly there for all to see, and he capped a magnificent performance with the assist for the first goal.
Xavi Hernandez â€“ 8.0: It was another excellent game from the pass-master in the centre of midfield. He helped the Spaniards dominate the game and win a deserved semi-final place.
Sergio Busquets â€“ 7.0: The Barcelona man played his part, helping out on defence whilst providing the ball to Xavi and Xabi Alonso to carry forward.
Xabi Alonso â€“ 9.0: The midfielder was playing in his 100th international game for Spain and capped his impressive performance with a well taken brace, the first a powerful header and the other from the penalty spot. He controlled the midfield with Xavi as they made a decent France side look rather average.
David Silva â€“ 8.0: The Manchester City man put in his usual shift, troubling the French from the right wing with his skillful play.
Cesc Fabregas â€“ 6.0: The former Arsenal midfielder was average in his makeshift role as the lone striker. In for Torres, he could not find the back of the net, but still did enough to perhaps keep his place for the next game.
Andres Iniesta â€“ 7.0: The Barcelona midfielder was his usual troublesome self, but was often blocked off when played through on goal.
Pedro Rodriguez â€“ 8.0: The substitute was menacing in his cameo, often holding onto the ball and running past defenders. He helped his team get the late penalty to kill off the game.
Fernando Torres- 5.0: The Cheslea forward was rather disappointing off the bench, often being caught offside and failed to get to the end of a few telling passes/crosses.
Santi Cazorla - 6.0: The substitute could not make much of an impact, in his limited time on the pitch.
Hugo Lloris â€“ 8.0: He was undoubtedly the best player on the pitch for Les Bleus, as he helped keep his side in the game. He rushed off his line to deny Fabregas getting to the end of a brilliant Xavi pass which was the highlight of his performance.
Anthony Reveillere â€“ 5.0: The player was handed his first start of the Championships but was not up to the mark, making a clumsy late challenge to concede the penalty for Spain's second.
Adil Rami â€“ 7.0: The central defender did well to not allow Spain to get past him through the centre. He was one of the few French players who looked ready for the quarter-finals.
Laurent Koscielny â€“ 8.0: The Arsenal defender did well in Mexes' place at the centre of defence. His partnership with Rami was solid for most of the game, and he stepped up well and got in some useful blocks.
Gael Clichy â€“ 6.0: The Manchester City left-back was caught napping and failed to get back to mark Xabi Alonso for the first goal. He did try and get forward, but he was troubled by Silva's skill and failed to deliver defensively.
Mathieu Debuchy â€“ 5.0: The 26 year old was easily pushed aside by Jordi Alba in the build-up to the first goal and also lost possession many times offensively for the French. He was played out of position, and it showed.
Yohan Cabaye â€“ 7.0: Cabaye returned to the team after injury, but simply did not have enough quality to compete against the likes of Xavi and Xabi Alonso in midfield.
Yann M'Vila â€“ 6.0: He was supposed to be that player to break the Spanish passing in the defensive midfield role. However he was rather average and could not prevent the Reds from dominating.
Florent Malouda â€“ 7.0: The left-footed midfielder made his way into the squad in place of surprise exclusion Samir Nasri. He did cause a little trouble at the start of the second half, but gradually faded out of the game.
Franck Ribery - 7.0: The Bayern Munich winger seemed to be the lone ranger in attack for France, frequently making telling runs down the flanks and getting past defenders. He was clearly the danger man and always seemed to have more than one player to cover him.
Karim Benzema â€“ 6.0: A key player for the French before the tournament, the Real Madrid striker was the major flop for his side, ending the Championships goalless.
Samir Nasri â€“ 6.0: Having started the tournament with a bang, he ended it with a whimper. The Man City player lost out on his starting berth to Malouda and failed to impress after coming on as a substitute.
Jeremy Menez â€“ 5.0: The impressive winger was sent out as an attacking change to bring France back into the game. However he could not make any significant contribution and even let out his frustration on the referee for which he was booked.
Olivier Giroud - 5.0: The Montpellier striker was sent on to partner Karim Benzema up top. But, he did nothing of note, winning no headers and completing no passes.
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