Euro 2012: Spain v Italy - Live coverage - The Independent

Euro 2012: Spain v Italy

Minute-by-minute updates from the Euro 2012 final at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev

  • Here are tonight's teams...
    7/1/2012 6:31:30 PM
  • Spain: Casillas; Arbeloa, Ramos, Piqué, Alba; Busquets, Alonso, Xavi; Silva, Fàbregas, Iniesta
    7/1/2012 6:31:43 PM
  • Italy: Buffon; Abate, Bonucci, Barzagli, Chiellini; Marchisio, De Rossi, Pirlo, Montolivo; Cassano, Balotelli
    7/1/2012 6:31:51 PM
  • Spain subs: Valdes, Albiol, Javi Martinez, Juanfran, Pedro, Torres, Negredo, Mata, Llorente, Santi Cazorla, Jesus Navas, Reina
    7/1/2012 6:32:17 PM
  • Italy subs: Sirigu, Maggio, Ogbonna, Thiago Motta, Balzaretti, Di Natale, Giaccherini, Borini, Giovinco, Diamanti, Nocerino, De Sanctis.
    7/1/2012 6:32:26 PM
  • So Spain continue with this 'false striker' strategy. Cesc Fabregas, whose netted twice so far, has that role. Negredo, so useless against Portugal, and Torres are on the bench.
    7/1/2012 6:36:13 PM
  • Balotelli, awesome against Germany, continues in attack for Italy.
    7/1/2012 6:36:33 PM
  • So who will come out on top here in Kiev tonight? Will it be the all conquering Spain, looking to win an unprecedented third straight title having won the Euros in 2008 and then the World Cup in 2010? Or will it be the Italians, so unfancied before the tournament they could be backed at 15/1 before things kicked off.
    7/1/2012 6:38:21 PM
  • The two team met right at the start of this tournament, three weeks ago to the day. The result that afternoon 1-1. Tonight they'll have to be split.
    7/1/2012 6:39:09 PM
  • They've had a short closing ceremony at the Olympic Stadium in Warsaw. That's nearly done and the players are waiting in the tunnel to make their way out.
    7/1/2012 6:39:57 PM
  • Spain have come in for some criticism during the tournament, with the tiki-taka that seduced the world now being called boring. Vincent Del Bosque's decision to at times play without a recognised striker hasn't helped this perception.
    7/1/2012 6:41:03 PM
  • You can read why Xavi won't get bored of winning here...
    7/1/2012 6:42:15 PM
  • Italy - a team stereotyped as defensive, negative and a grinder of results, have won many admirers as the tournament has gone on. The resilience remains but with Mario Balotelli firing and Andrea Pirlo oozing quality every time he's on the ball, this is a great team to watch. Their display against the fancied Germans in the semi-finals was perhaps the performance of the tournament so far.
    7/1/2012 6:43:33 PM
  • You can read The Independent's Sam Wallace on the subject of Italy ushering in a brave new world here...
    7/1/2012 6:44:15 PM
  • That national anthems are done. We'll be off in a moment.
    7/1/2012 6:44:29 PM
  • Let us know what you think by using the comment form above. We'll post the best ones...
    7/1/2012 6:44:39 PM
  • As well as the crown of European Champions being on the line tonight, so is the Golden Boot award. Mario Balotelli shares the lead with four others with three goals. One would put him clear. For Spain, Alonso, Fabregas and Torres all have two.
    7/1/2012 6:45:41 PM
  • 1 min: We're off. Fingers crossed it's a good one...
    7/1/2012 6:47:25 PM
  • 2 min: Balotelli wins an early free-kick and Italy look to get a few players on the ball. Pirlo then tries one of those trademark balls forward. It's cut out.
    7/1/2012 6:48:42 PM
  • 3 min: The ball breaks to Pirlo on the edge of the box. But his effort is far from peerless. Closer to a throw in than the goal.
    7/1/2012 6:49:36 PM
  • 4 min: Silva waltzes through and nearly squares it to Iniesta on the edge of the box. Good start this.
    7/1/2012 6:51:18 PM
  • 6 min: Italy look to find Balotelli with a ball between the two defenders. It's been really effective that ball but not on this occassion as Ramos heads it to safety.
    7/1/2012 6:52:39 PM
  • 7 min: Free kick to Spain far from goal. Ramos slams it but that one will still be going by the time Euro 2016 kicks off.
    7/1/2012 6:53:44 PM
  • 8 min: Iniesta threads it to Alba, who crosses from the byline. It nearly finds Silva deep but Italy clear from a corner. It's swung in but Ramos can only head over.
    7/1/2012 6:54:50 PM
  • 9 min: Spain looking much more adventurous than they did against Portugal. That cross from Alba highlighted the lack of a striker though.
    7/1/2012 6:56:03 PM
  • 11 min: Great run from Iniesta which sees the ball end up with Xavi on the edge of the box. He shoots but it's blocked. Iniesta then has a go but it's blocked again. The third shot makes it's way through. Xavi strikes from the edge of the box but it skims over.
    7/1/2012 6:58:02 PM
  • 12 min: Spain really up for this. Italy need to hold steady for a bit.
    7/1/2012 6:59:04 PM
  • 13 min: Xavi tries to slip it into Silva who was running into the box. It's just behind the Manchester City man.
    7/1/2012 7:00:23 PM
  • GOAL! Silva for Spain!
    7/1/2012 7:00:57 PM
  • 15 min: What was that about holding steady? Amazing through ball from Iniesta finds Fabregas. He gets round Chiellini brilliantly and bangs it back to Silva who heads it in. Fine goal. Great final.
    7/1/2012 7:02:05 PM
  • 17 min: Balotelli wins a free-kick for Italy on the edge of the box. Pirlo, the only player to score directly from a free-kick this tournament, hits the wall.
    7/1/2012 7:03:42 PM
  • David Silva score a header. Wow.
  • 19 min: Dangerous corner from Italy but Ramos is able to head it behind for another. Pirlo swings it in and Chiellini is very nearly on to it ahead of Casillas.
    7/1/2012 7:05:53 PM
  • Pirlo, one of the last players of this generation to play with his shirt tucked into his shorts. Tidy
  • 21 min: Cassano makes it to the byline but he's outmuscled by Pique. Spain are able to break and a mistake from Chiellini, who might be injured, nearly allows Spain in.
    7/1/2012 7:07:44 PM
  • 21 min: Chiellini is going off and is replaced by Balzaretti.
    7/1/2012 7:08:24 PM
  • 23 min: Some good link-up play down the right hand side sees Marchisio able to get a cross in. It's not accurate enough though and Spain get it away.
    7/1/2012 7:10:09 PM
  • 25 min: Fabregas sticking to Pirlo like a plaster when Spain lose the ball. Making it tough. Deep cross from Italy but it's away.
    7/1/2012 7:11:34 PM
  • 26 min: Pique is booked for coming in strong on Cassano.
    7/1/2012 7:12:28 PM
  • 27 min: Balotelli rolls around on the floor but free-kick goes against him. He's up now. Xavi then plays it to Silva on the edge of the box but he's outnumbered.
    7/1/2012 7:13:45 PM
  • 28 min: Balotelli poised to head it in at the back post for Italy but Saint Iker gets there, just, to tip it beyond the Manchester City striker. Better from Italy.
    7/1/2012 7:14:47 PM
  • 29 min: Wonderful ball to Cassano out wide on the left. He dummies it past one then finds space to shoot. It makes it through Spanish legs but Casillas is safely behind the shot.
    7/1/2012 7:16:35 PM
  • 31 min: Needing a goal, Italy will be concerned by the fact Spain have conceded just one all tournament. Although that one was in the match against Italy.
    7/1/2012 7:17:50 PM
  • 32 min: Loose ball from Pirlo which was proceeded by a poor free-kick from the peerless one.
    7/1/2012 7:18:46 PM
  • 33 min: Great strike from Cassano from outside the area. It's going into the bottom right hand corner of the net but Casillas gets there to punch it out.
    7/1/2012 7:20:20 PM
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