Euro 2012 Upcoming Match Predictions

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Euro Cup 2012 Highlights: Balotelli Shows Who’s Boss Italy Shocks Germany

Italian fans gloated about their 2-1 win against Germany in the Euro 2012 semi-final on Thursday, saying they hoped it would help Prime Minister Mario Monti who is locked in a standoff with German Chancellor Angela Merkel over the euro zone's future.
"This shows Germany who's in charge," said Andrea Arces, 20, a student from southern Italy who joined thousands of Italian fans celebrating and waving flags in Rome's Piazza del Popolo.
"Italy is a strong country and this is how we fight back."
Two stunning first half-goals by forward Mario Balotelli steered Italy to victory over favourites Germany and into the final of the European soccer championship where they will meet Spain on Sunday in Kiev.
Supporters in Rome's squares and parks lit coloured flares, chanted in unison and shouted "Grazie Balotelli" after the final whistle blew, and car horns were beeping well into the night.
Monti also faces a showdown with Germany at a two-day European Union summit in Brussels and has promised to press hard for emergency action to lower soaring Italian borrowing costs, a proposal that Merkel has rebuffed so far.
As they grapple with the effects of a German-led European austerity drive that has led to higher taxes, pension reform and spending cuts in the euro zone's third largest economy, Italians have become increasingly embittered.
While Germany's economy has powered ahead of its peers, Italy's has fallen deep into recession in 2012 as rising unemployment and stagnant wage growth fuels a slump in domestic demand.
But the Azzurri's victory over Germany, who were missing their "lucky charm" Merkel in the crowd of the Warsaw stadium, has at least given Italians one thing to smile about.

"This game shows that Italy is good at something," said 19 -year-old student Martina Capo, who was draped in an Italian flag. "There are many things that are positive about Italy and this is one of them," she said.

Others feared the match might reinforce Germany's cool stance towards Italy's proposals.
"They're never going to give us any euro bonds after that," said 44-year-old Paolo Brusca, who watched the game in a park in Rome with his father.

EURO 2012: Germany vs Italy Timeline

90+4' - That's full-time at National Stadium Warsaw. The final score is 1-2.
90+4' - Mats Hummels (Germany) has received a first yellow card.
90+2' - Goal! Germany now trail just 1-2 thanks to a penalty from Mesut Ozil.
90+1' - The ref points to the spot, it's a penalty for Germany.
90' - Stephane Lannoy will wait an extra 4 minutes before blowing the whistle to end the Second half.
90' - In Warsaw Germany attack through Mesut Ozil. The finish is off target, however.
90' - At National Stadium Warsaw Toni Kroos (Germany) takes a corner from the Left.
89' - Italy's Thiago Motta has been booked in Warsaw.
86' - Germany's Toni Kroos breaks free at National Stadium Warsaw. But the strike goes wide of the post.
86' - In Warsaw Bastian Schweinsteiger for Germany takes a corner from the Right-hand flag.
85' - Stephane Lannoy blows against Italy's Antonio Di Natale for offside.
85' - Corner awarded to Germany.
84' - Stephane Lannoy has awarded Germany a corner. Bastian Schweinsteiger takes the kick from the Right .
84' - Daniele De Rossi (Italy) has received a yellow card from Stephane Lannoy.
83' - Germany drive forward and Philipp Lahm gets in a shot. Without netting, however.
83' - In Warsaw Toni Kroos for Germany takes a corner from the Left-hand flag.
83' - Italy drive forward but Federico Balzaretti is judged offside.
82' - Antonio Di Natale for Italy gets in a strike but fails to hit the target.
81' - Italy are pushing forward but Alessandro Diamanti's finish is wide of the goal.
80' - Toni Kroos of Germany gets in a strike, but is off target.
77' - Mats Hummels's header is off-target for Germany.
77' - At National Stadium Warsaw Mesut Ozil (Germany) takes a corner from the Left.
75' - Italy's Claudio Marchisio misses with an attempt on goal.
71' - Germany make their Third substitution with Thomas Muller replacing Jerome Boateng.
70' - Stephane Lannoy has blown to resume play in Warsaw.
70' - Mario Balotelli (Italy) does not seem to be able to continue. He is replaced by Antonio Di Natale.
68' - The match at National Stadium Warsaw has been interrupted briefly for a check on Mario Balotelli, who is down injured.
67' - Italy are pushing forward but Claudio Marchisio's finish is wide of the goal.
64' - Thiago Motta is on a sub for Riccardo Montolivo for Italy.
62' - Corner awarded to Germany.
62' - Marco Reus for Germany drives towards goal at National Stadium Warsaw. But the finish is unsuccessful.
61' - Leonardo Bonucci (Italy) gets a yellow card.
60' - Italy's Mario Balotelli gets his shot away but it misses the target.
58' - Alessandro Diamanti is on a sub for Antonio Cassano for Italy.
56' - Stephane Lannoy has awarded Germany a corner. Toni Kroos takes the kick from the Left .
49' - Germany are coming forward and Philipp Lahm gets in a strike, it misses the target, however.
48' - Marco Reus gets his shot on target but fails to score for Germany.
46' - Joachim Low (Germany) is making a Second substitution, with Marco Reus replacing Lukas Podolski.
46' - Germany make their First substitution with Miroslav Klose replacing Mario Gomez.
46' - Stephane Lannoy blows to start the second-half. Germany with the kick-off.
45+1' - The first-half has come to a close in Warsaw.
45' - Germany have been awarded a corner by Stephane Lannoy. Toni Kroos steps up to take it.
45' - Antonio Cassano has recovered and rejoins the match in Warsaw.
44' - The match in Warsaw is underway once more.
43' - The match has been stopped briefly for attention to the injured Antonio Cassano.
37' - Mario Balotelli for Italy has been booked by Stephane Lannoy and receives a first yellow card.
36' - Riccardo Montolivo instrumental with a fine assist.
36' - It's now 0-2 in Warsaw as Mario Balotelli scores for Italy.
35' - Corner awarded to Germany.
35' - In Warsaw Germany drive forward through Sami Khedira. His shot is on target but it's saved.
33' - At National Stadium Warsaw Toni Kroos (Germany) takes a corner from the Left.
30' - Toni Kroos of Germany gets in a strike, but is off target.
27' - Germany's Mesut Ozil gets in a shot on goal at National Stadium Warsaw. But the effort is unsuccessful.
25' - Germany surge into the attack at National Stadium Warsaw but Mario Gomez’s header is off-target.
20' - Great play from Antonio Cassano to set up the goal.
20' - Italy move into a 0-1 lead through a Mario Balotelli header.
18' - In Warsaw Italy drive forward through Antonio Cassano. His shot is on target but it's saved.
17' - Italy push forward through Riccardo Montolivo, whose finish on goal is saved.
13' - Germany's Toni Kroos gets in a shot on goal at National Stadium Warsaw. But the effort is unsuccessful.
13' - In Warsaw Mesut Ozil for Germany takes a corner from the Right-hand flag.
11' - Mario Gomez for Germany is whistled offside.
9' - Andrea Pirlo (Italy) is given an opening but the shot is blocked by a defender.
6' - Stephane Lannoy has awarded Germany a corner. Mesut Ozil takes the kick from the Right .
5' - Sami Khedira for Germany drives towards goal at National Stadium Warsaw. But the finish is unsuccessful.
5' - Germany have been awarded a corner by Stephane Lannoy. Toni Kroos steps up to take it.
1' - The match has started, with Italy kicking-off.

Original Source:Euro Cup 2012 Highlights Germany vs Italy
 
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ihate

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Euro 2012 Finals Preview: Spain vs Italy Predictions

The Euro Cup 2012 has come to an end with the last 2 teams standing. Spain’s Boss Vicente del Bosque is expected to have a fully-fit squad for the Euro 2012 final showdown with Italy.
The 61-year-old`s biggest selection dilemma is likely to be over whether to field a recognised striker after Alvaro Negredo`s anonymous performance in the semi-final win over Portugal.
With Fernando Torres seemingly out of favour, and with Fernando Llorente yet to make an appearance at the tournament, Cesc Fabregas could be restored to a `false nine` role up front alongside Andres Iniesta and David Silva.
Italy defender Ignazio Abate, who missed the semi-final win over Germany with a muscle injury, is likely to return to fitness in time for the final, while fellow full-back Christian Maggio is also available after serving a one-match ban.
Coach Cesare Prandelli may persist with the same formation that served him well against the Germans rather than revert to the unorthodox 3-5-2 line-up used in the opening match against Spain.
AC Milan-bound Riccardo Montolivo is likely to keep his place in the team ahead of Thiago Motta after an assured performance in the semi-final.

Spain Preview

Spain are bidding to become the first team in history to win three successive major tournaments (Euro 2008, World Cup 2010 and Euro 2012) and the first to retain the Henri Delaunay trophy.
La Roja are contesting their fourth European Championship final (1964, 1984, 2008 and 2012). They have lost just one (1984).
Vicente del Bosque`s side are 19 competitive games without defeat and have won their last nine knockout matches at major tournaments without conceding a goal.
However, the Iberian outfit have not registered a competitive win over Italy in nearly a century (with their penalty shoot-out success in the quarter-final of Euro 2008 classed as a draw). Their record in 11 previous meetings is W1, D5, L5, with the sole victory coming in the sides` first ever encounter at the 1920 Olympic games.

Italy Preview

The Italians are competing in their third European Championship final (1968, 2000, 2012). They have won just one (1968).
The Azzurri are facing Spain for the 31st time, with their record in prior encounters reading W10, D12, L8. The sides` most recent meeting was in their opening match in this tournament, which finished as a 1-1 draw.
Italy have won just two of their last eight matches in regulation time, but are yet to lose a competitive fixture under Cesare Prandelli.

Spain vs Italy Predictions: Spain 2-1

This very well could be the most consistent match Italy's Balotelli has played for a five-game stretch. Despite his two great goals in the semifinal against Germany, particularly his second goal, he coupled a moment of brilliance with a moment of stupidity by taking his jersey off and receiving a yellow card. If a hot-tempered Balotelli picks up an early booking, he could just as easily be a detriment to his team with an untimely sending off in the championship game. Thus, these erratic moments need to be kept to a minimum. In a single-elimination game, anything can (and will) happen. For the most part, Germans midfielders Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira were frustrated by the Italian midfielders in the last semifinal. However, the Spanish boast the best arsenal of midfielders in the world and, seeing that Fernando Torres’ role in the title game remains up in the air, Xavi Hernandez or Cesc Fabregas might be called upon for but one flash ofwonder. Spain wins 1-0 to capture an unprecedented third consecutive major championship.


Original Source:Euro Cup 2012 Finals Italy vs Spain
 

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Euro Cup 2012 Highlights: Spain Makes A Statement 4-0 Victory Over Italy

Spain took a few minutes at the end of its breathtaking Euro 2012 triumph to prove it is human, after spending the previous 90 showing why, in soccer terms at least, it is anything but.

A 4-0 victory over Italy on Sunday clinched an unprecedented third straight major tournament success for the majestic Spanish, many of whom brought their young children onto the field at the final whistle to celebrate with them. It was a touching gesture and spawned lovely scenes of childlike exuberance, with the kids hugging and playing excitedly with their delighted fathers.

Fernando Torres enjoys Spain's celebration with his kids Nora and Leo. (Getty Images)Yet for the previous couple of hours, those smiling adult faces in red uniforms had shown sporting ruthlessness of the highest order to silence a growing band of critics with a display of soccer magnificence.

All the accusations of boring play were washed away at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev as Italy, having shown so much spirit and resilience in reaching the final, were simply picked apart with a thousand cuts.

Just as it had all tournament long, Spain controlled the ball, dominated midfield and strung together pass after pass. This time, though, the old attacking intent was in place again after seemingly disappearing during the early part of the tournament.

David Silva got the first goal after only 14 minutes. His header came at the end of an outstanding move that saw Cesc Fabregas cut the ball back from the touchline for a goal of technical excellence. From that point on, it was all one-way traffic.

Spain's second goal was perhaps even better. Left back Jordi Alba charged nearly the full length of the field to collect a pinpoint pass and deliver a cool-headed finish.

When an injury to Italy’s Thiago Motta forced him from the field – after his side had already used all three allocated substitutes – Spain was able to run riot even more. Late replacements Fernando Torres and Juan Mata both got on the scoresheet to cap off a spectacular display and send the discussions of "greatest team ever" into overdrive.

Comparing teams from different generations is always a fool's errand, but this Spain side fully deserves its place at the very forefront of the conversation. It is incredible to think that its success at Euro 2008 ended a drought of 46 years since the nation’s previous major success. Now it has a pair of Euro titles with a World Cup sandwiched in between.

International soccer has never been more deep or diverse, but Spain makes the opposition look second-rate, seemingly at will. In 10 straight knockout games in tournaments, the Spanish have not conceded a single goal and yielded just one in its six matches at Euro 2012.

And to think that people had started to doubt them. Going into the competition, it was felt that the supposed rift between the rival players of Real Madrid and Barcelona would be destructive. Speculation also focused on Spain's dwindling motivation after so much former glory.

Not so. Silva, Manchester City's star playmaker, was the only player not from Madrid or Barca to start the final for Spain. Moreover, this was as seamless a blend of teamwork as you could ever wish to see.

Some key members of the team, such as goalkeeper Iker Casillas and midfield general Xavi, are not getting any younger, and a few fresh legs might be needed for the World Cup in 2014. But this is not a team that is weakening with age or one that is even close to the end of its road. No, it is one that has figured out the blueprint for winning on the biggest stages of all and is enjoying putting it in place.

The 1-0 wins over Germany in the Euro 2008 and the Netherlands at the World Cup were wars of attrition – fierce battles that had to be survived not seized. Sunday's victory, instead, was a festival – a celebration of a truly great team and a dynasty that shows no sign of ending.

EURO 2012: Spain vs Italy Timeline

90+3' - The second-half is over. The match ends 4-0.
90+2' - Sergio Ramos for Spain drives towards goal at Olimpiysky National Sports Complex. But the finish is unsuccessful.
90' - 3 minutes of injury time will be added to the Second half.
88' - Spain take a comfortable 4-0 lead thanks to Mata.
88' - Fernando Torres instrumental with a fine assist.
87' - Italy's Mario Balotelli has run offside.
86' - Vicente del Bosque (Spain) is making a Third substitution, with Mata replacing Andres Iniesta.
84' - That's a fine assist from Xavi.
84' - Goal! Fernando Torres extends Spain's lead to 3-0.
83' - Spain's Alvaro Arbeloa is whistled for offside at Olimpiysky National Sports Complex.
81' - Pedro of Spain gets in a strike, but is off target.
81' - In Kiev Xavi for Spain takes a corner from the Left-hand flag.
79' - Spain drive forward but Pedro is judged offside.
77' - Pedro Proenca has awarded Spain a corner. Xavi takes the kick from the Left .
76' - Andres Iniesta (Spain) gets in a strike but the shot is blocked by a defender.
75' - Fernando Torres is replacing Cesc Fabregas for Spain at Olimpiysky National Sports Complex.
72' - Pedro Proenca blows against Italy's Antonio Di Natale for offside.
62' - Play has been resumed.
61' - Pedro Proenca waits before resuming play because Thiago Motta for Italy is still down.
59' - Vicente del Bosque is making the team's First substitution at Olimpiysky National Sports Complex with Pedro replacing David Silva.
58' - Italy's Mario Balotelli misses with an attempt on goal.
56' - Thiago Motta is on a sub for Riccardo Montolivo for Italy.
55' - Antonio Di Natale for Italy is whistled offside.
51' - Italy's Antonio Di Natale gets in a shot on goal at Olimpiysky National Sports Complex. But the effort is unsuccessful.
48' - In Kiev Spain drive forward through Cesc Fabregas. His shot is on target but it's saved.
47' - Spain's Cesc Fabregas gets his shot away but it misses the target.
46' - Italy surge into the attack at Olimpiysky National Sports Complex but Antonio Di Natale’s header is off-target.
46' - Italy make their Second substitution with Antonio Di Natale replacing Antonio Cassano.
46' - The second-half has just kicked-off.
45+1' - The first-half has ended.
45' - David Silva gets his shot on target but fails to score for Spain.
45' - Andrea Barzagli (Italy) has received a yellow card from Pedro Proenca.
44' - Italy's Riccardo Montolivo is on target but unsuccessful.
41' - Great play from Xavi to set up the goal.
41' - Goal! Spain extend their lead to 2-0 through Jordi Alba.
39' - Italy's Mario Balotelli breaks free at Olimpiysky National Sports Complex. But the strike goes wide of the post.
35' - David Silva of Spain is pulled up for offside.
33' - Antonio Cassano of Italy smashes in a shot on target. The keeper saves, though.
30' - Italy are pushing forward but Andrea Pirlo's finish is wide of the goal.
29' - Italy drive forward and Antonio Cassano gets in a shot. Without netting, however.
25' - Gerard Pique (Spain) has been booked and must now be careful not to get a second yellow card.
21' - Federico Balzaretti is on a sub for Giorgio Chiellini for Italy.
18' - At Olimpiysky National Sports Complex Andrea Pirlo (Italy) takes a corner from the Left.
18' - In Kiev Andrea Pirlo for Italy takes a corner from the Right-hand flag.
16' - Corner awarded to Italy.
16' - Important block from the Spain defence as Andrea Pirlo fires in a strike for Italy.
14' - Cesc Fabregas with an assist there.
14' - David Silva heads in to make it 1-0 at Olimpiysky National Sports Complex.
10' - Xavi for Spain gets in a strike but fails to hit the target.
10' - Spain drive upfield and Andres Iniesta gets in a shot. The strike is blocked by a Italy defender.
10' - Spain push forward at Olimpiysky National Sports Complex and Xavi gets in a strike. This is blocked, however, by a determined Italy defence.
7' - Sergio Ramos's header is off-target for Spain.
7' - Spain have been awarded a corner by Pedro Proenca. Xavi steps up to take it.
6' - Spain are coming forward and Sergio Ramos gets in a strike, it misses the target, however.
2' - In Kiev Italy attack through Andrea Pirlo. The finish is off target, however.
1' - The match has started.


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