Tuesday June 27 2017
On This Day: Italy 2-0 Spain

On this day 12 months ago, Italy beat Spain 2-0 to advance to the quarter-finals at Euro 2016.

The Under-21 side face the Spanish at the Under-21 European Championships tonight, and the Azzurrini can take inspiration from the senior side’s exploits last year.

Italy hadn’t beaten Spain at a major tournament since 1994, and had been heavily beaten by La Roja in the final of Euro 2012.

Antonio Conte’s side showed no fear of the back-to-back European champions though, immediately going on the offensive in the Saint-Denis rain.

Graziano Pellè and Marco Parolo both went close for the Azzurri, before Giorgio Chiellini put them ahead just after the half-hour mark.

David De Gea could only parry Eder’s powerful free-kick, and Emanuele Giaccherini was quick-thinking as he laid the ball across the box for the Juventus defender to tap it in.

Giaccherini almost scored himself on the stroke of half-time, but De Gea clawed his curling effort out after Daniele De Rossi had nutmegged Andres Iniesta.

It took until 70 minutes for the Spanish to have their first genuine chance, substitute Aritz Aduriz firing wide after the ball fell to him in the box.

With 89 minutes on the clock, Gigi Buffon preserved the lead with a stunning point blank save on Gerard Pique’s volley, before a classic sucker punch from the Azzurri.

Lorenzo Insigne picked out Matteo Darmian with a fantastic crossfield pass, and the Manchester United full-back’s cross was deflected into the path of Pellè.

The Southampton striker made no mistake, volleying the ball past De Gea to send Italy to the last eight.