Full Time | Match 31
Kiev Olympic Stadium, Ukraine
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Kiev Olympic Stadium, Kiev, Ukraine
* Local time based on your geographic location.
4 - 0
That's it then for Euro 2012. Spain are European Champions
Spain were simply too good. They cut through Italy with ease.
Spain are jubilent as Champions of Europe once more. Italy are gutted. Contrasting emotions.
FULL TIME Spain 4-0 Italy
Xavi hits it long to Torres who rolls it back across to Ramos. He attempts a cheeky flick, saved easily by Buffon
One final chance for Spain? Pirlo fouls Arbeloa. Free-kick for Spain.
Three minutes added-time...
Spain are now the first team to score four or more in a European Championship final.
GOAL Spain 4-0 Italy Mata adds a fourth! Fernando Torres makes it, slid through by Busquets. Torres plays the ball inside and Mata rolls the ball home.
Balotelli is penalised for being offside once more. Spain return to keeping the ball.
Mata's first appearance at Euro 2012 now. Llorente is yet to figure, though.
Juan Mata replaces Iniesta
That was entirely deserved. Italy have been torn apart.
GOAL Spain 3-0 Italy Torres once more settles a final Too easy for Spain. Xaci slides a perfect pass behind Bonucci and Torres finishes coolly with his first touch.
Spain now looking to boost that possession count now. The newspapers have their reports written.
Not much. The ball is hoofed clear by De Rossi. Ten minutes of Italian pain remaining.
Spain have another corner, what can they do here?
WHAT A MISS! Pedro misses from six yards, after Iniesta and Alba combine to give him an open shot at goal. Was offside though.
Ramos tumbles on the left-hand edge of the area. Would be a penalty, except for the fact he tumbled under little pressure. Correctly not given.
Iniesta has the ball on a string now. Wins a corner this time, but his turn, pass and move was delightful
Fabregas off; Torres on
Spain's players all want a piece of the action. Sergio Ramos charges forward, as does his namesake Sergio Busquets.
At the other end, Fabregas turns down the chance to shoot as he chips a cross towards Iniesta. Headed away.
Xabi Alonso fouls Mario Balotelli. Italy lose the ball quickly though. This final is dying a slow death.
Spain in command. This must be so frustrating for the Italians.
Spain quite happy to go back to Casillas in order to keep the ball. The keeper springs a counter, though, with Pedro almost picking out Cesc at the far-post.
Spain's full-backs are always the out-ball now. Xavi is tracking Pirlo at all times.
It is tough to watch. Spain have so much time in possession. Italy, the opposite. Forced into mistakes as soon as they win it back.
All too open in midfield now. Got to think that's it for Italy's challenge.
Italy have a free-kick from the left. Whipped in to the back-post by Pirlo towards Bonucci, who tumbles. Free-kick given the other way.
Thiago Motta is carried off then. Italy are a man short.
Thiago Motta has torn his hamstring it seems. Italy may well be down to 10 men...
All eleven Spain players now play for either Real Madrid or Barcelona
Pedro replaces the goalscorer Silva
Taken by Pirlo. Punched away by Casillas though. Play continues, but comes to an abrupt end when Balotelli fires wildly over.
Chance for Italy to cross from the right. Di Natale fouled by Sergio Ramos. Free-kick.
Thiago Motta replaces Montolivo
Now Pirlo looks to lift in a pass to Di Natale, just overhit. Casillas claims.
That is terrible. Just as Italy look to form an attack, Di Natale is caught yards offside on the right wing. What is he doing?
Spain continue to dominate possession. Iniesta almost slips Fabregas through this time.
SAVE In the left channel, Di Natale fires a low shot at goal, but Casillas gets down brilliantly to save. He really has to score there.
STAT ATTACK Xavi is the first player ever to assist goals in two European Championship finals.
Wonderful stuff from Spain. Italy are on the ropes at the moment.
HANDBALL? Pique wins a header from the corner and it is on target, clearly blocked by the raised hand of Bonucci
Fabregas skips past two in the area and almost slips the ball past Buffon. Lovely skill.
Cesc has Buffon worried for a moment. The midfielder turned striker gets a snapshot away, not far wide of the post.
CHANCE Abate crosses delightfully and picks out Di Natale, who heads just over the bar. Difficult, but should hit the target.
Di Natale for Cassano
Almost time for the second-half then. Is there any hope for Italy?
STAT ATTACK No team has lost at Euro 2012 when leading at half-time, 14 wins and three draws.
The two goals have come from two outstanding passes. First, Iniesta, second, Xavi.
Dale Johnson's STAT: No team has ever led the Euro Final by 2 goals and lost. Italy has never come back from a 2-goal deficit at the Euros to win or draw.
Too good from the Spanish, who have twice torn Italy to shreds. Italy have had their moments, but carrying little threat in attack.
HALF TIME Spain 2-0 Italy
One minute added-time...
Silva has the opportunity to shoot again from the edge of the box, straight at Buffon this time.
Barzagli cynically stops Iniesta as Spain rush forward on the counter. Knew exactly what he was doing.
Montolivo fires at goal from 25 yards for Italia, punched away by Casillas.
Spain are two goals ahead. Is it all over for Italy before half-time?
GOAL Spain 2-0 Italy Alba doubles the lead!!! Spain counter quickly and tear through Italy. Xavi slips through the ball to the barnstorming full-back who slots home calmly.
This from Dale Johnson - Spain have 240 attempted and completed 203 with 84.6% completion. Italy have 203 attempted with 166 completed, 81.8%
David Silva has his defender squared up at the edge of the box and can attack him on either side. A poor touch loses the ball.
First glimpse of Balotelli firing at goal. A lovely one-two with Montolivo and Balotelli hammers over from 30 yards.
Italy pushing forward again and they force Jordi Alba into a terrible pass to concede a throw-in.
Italy have had 53% possession so far. The lowest total Spain have had this tournament so far.
Spain playing the ball in and around the Italian box, but not able to get a shot away. Offside eventually given against Silva.
Italy at times are over anxious to break quickly, as too many passes go astray. De Rossi at fault this time.
Spain back in possession, but they are being chased down at every opportunity.
Casillas forced into a good save. Cassano drives low from 20 yards, palmed away well.
Abate is in behind Jordi Alba again, Pirlo's lofted pass is overhit, though. Goal-kick.
Italy have had the best of the quarter of an hour since the goal. Retaining the ball again now.
Doesn't work, though. Xavi is dispossessed in midfield and the ball is spread to Cassano on the left. Cassano drives infield and shoots, straight at Casillas through Pique's legs.
Spain trying to quash this Italian resistance by keeping the ball.
EXCELLENT KEEPING! Casillas just extends a glove to stop Balzaretti's cross reaching Balotelli at the far post.
Pique for slicing through Cassano. Poor tackle.
Silva heads at goal
De Rossi frees Abate on the right, but his cross is too far for everybody. Silva clears.
STAT: In 31 previous games at the European Championships, Italy have never scored more than two goals in a single match.
Immediately Balzaretti thinks that he has won a corner, but it is signalled a goal-kick. He was unlucky to miss out on this tournament.
Balzaretti replaces Chiellini
Chiellini is having trouble at left-back. Spain are exploiting that channel and now it seems that he may be feeling the hamstring that kept him out against England.
Good response from Italy since the goal. Pique this time steals the ball from Cassano.
Another corner from the left, this time punched away by Casillas. Abate wastes the chance to put the ball back into the area.
Another Pirlo corner, this time from the right, causes problems. Barzagli heads onwards and Ramos flicks the ball behind.
Pirlo's free-kick hits the wall and runs for a corner. Swung in from the left and Casillas just gets a hand on the ball.
Immediate chance to hit back with a free-kick for Italy. Balotelli tripped by Arbeloa.
GOAL Spain 1-0 Italy Silva strikes first!!! - Absolutely nothing Italy can do about that. Xavi, to Iniesta, fine through ball to Fabregas, crossed to Silva who heads home.
Possession back with Spain...
Montolivo goes flying to ground under pressure from Ramos. Referee waves play-on, then brins the game to a halt to allow treatment.
CLOSE Spain work the ball towards the box and have a couple of shots easily blocked, the ball eventually falls kindly for Xavi, though, and he shoots narrowly over from 20 yards.
Spain continue to play the ball around. They aren't making it past half-way though.
Spain enjoying a long spell of possession. Italy hassling and harrying.
Spain play in Jordi Alba on the left-flank. He chips into the box, but there is noone there. It almost reaches David Silva beyond the far-post, but Chiellini plays the ball out for a corner. Cleared.
At the other end, Ramos fires a free-kick from 35 yards well over the bar.
Little signs of tension between Ramos and Balotelli. Ramos clatters the Italian this time.
The ball was neatly played by Spain towards the Italy box, Marchisio, though, was in quickly.
Roars from the crowd as Sergio Ramos is clattered by Balotelli. Play continues though.
Pirlo mishits a shot! Cassano bundles through several challenges and the ball bounces out to Pirlo, but fired well wide.
Iniesta looks to create an early chance for Fabregas to run at the defence, well read by Bonucci.
Snapshot of the closing ceremony, which has just been completed
Festivities completed and it's time for the main event. Espana v Italia (or Spain v Italy) live from Kiev.
Inspired vocals from Buffon once more. He is as close to tone-death as you will find.
It's anthem time now. Italy's to be sung first, with gusto, Spain's of course is without words.
Here they come!!!
This is a bit farcical... Players waiting in tunnel, still, for ceremony to conclude
The teams are in the tunnel, waiting for the end of the ceremony. Pirlo looking very relaxed. Others, a bit more intense.
The ceremony is well underway, meaning we are getting closer and closer to kick-off. The tension is mounting in Kiev.
Could this be the final where a new world superstar is born. Mario Balotelli has threatened to burst onto the big time for 2-3 years, now after a brilliant performance in the semi-final, he has a massive opportunity.
Almost time for the closing ceremony. Join Dale Johnson for the live blog here
Interesting stat from @DaleJohnsonESPN: Just three of Italy's side tonight played in continental club competitions this season.
We are forty minutes from kick-off now. Modern greats Spain against traditional giants Italy. Both teams have a chance to write another chapter in their nations' great histories.
One change apiece then. Spain bring back Fabregas for Negredo, whilt Abate replaces Balzaretti for Italy.
italy: Buffon; Abate, Bonucci, Barzagli, Chiellini; Pirlo, Marchisio, De Rossi, Montolivo; Balotelli, Cassano.
SPAIN: Casillas; Arbeloa, Pique, Ramos, Alba; Busquets, Alonso, Xavi, Iniesta, Silva; Fabregas.
Final preparations are taking place at the Olympic Stadium
While Soccernet's Jon Carter previews the final here and looks at the key battles ahead here
Richard Jolly takes a tactical glance at the two sides ahead of the big match - Read
Ahead of the final, Miguel Delaney takes a look at the 'Pass Masters' - Read
Tonight in the Olympic Stadium, Kiev, Spain will take on Italy in the final of Euro 2012. Will Spain win a third major tournament in succession, or will Italy deny them that honour?