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You are here: Football Euros Euro 2016: Italy battle past Spain to book Germany Quarter-final date

Euro 2016: Italy battle past Spain to book Germany Quarter-final date

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Italy set up a quarter-final date with Germany at Euro 2016 after ousting the reigning European Champions Spain 2-0 in a last 16 clash in Paris.

The Azzurri, who were embarrassed 4-0 in the Final of Euro 2012 gained a small measure of revenge for that defeat by picking up a hard earned win in the penultimate game of the round.

A 33rd minute goal off the knee of Giorgio Chiellini after David de Gea had produced a couple of half-saves to deny Italy put the Azzurri in the drivers' seat, and their water tight defence proved too good for the Spanish midfield to break down, snuffing out chance after chance.

Veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon was required at the very end to make a world class save to deny Barcelona defender Gerard Pique from point blank range after the 29 year old centre back had sneaked into a scoring position to meet a ball played over the top.

Instead of drawing level though Spain found themselves out of the tournament seconds later as Italy quite literally went up the other end and scored with Southampton striker Graziano Pelle smashing home from close range after substitute Matteo Darmian's cross was deflected his way after a fantastic switch of play from left to right saw the Manchester United defender in acres of space in an advanced position.

The win was very much deserved for Italy, who were strong on the ball, and played their style of football to perfection, denying Spain time and space on the ball, and closing down the master craftsmen in the Spanish line-up everytime they got into an advanced position.

Italy will have their work cut for them in the quarter-finals when they take on Germany on Saturday, 2nd July.

Teams:

Italy: Buffon, Chiellini, Bonucci, Barzagli, Florenzi, De Sciglio, De Rossi, Giaccherini, Parolo, Eder, Pelle

Spain: De Gea, Alba, Ramos, Pique, Juanfran, Busquets, Fabregas, Iniesta, Silva, Nolita, Morata

Final Score: Italy 2-0 Spain (Chiellini 33', Pellè 90'+1)