How Spain overcame Italy at Euro 2024 on Thursday

Meetings between Spain and Italy rarely disappoint and this one was no exception — even if it was an own goal that decided the contest.

Spain manager Luis de la Fuente described Thursday’s Euro 2024 Group B match as a “European Clasico” in the build-up, and his players certainly came out motivated to impress.

They completely dominated the first half, and Italy only went in level at half-time thanks to several key saves from goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.

After the break, Spain’s luck changed and they finally found the goal they’d been pushing for when Italy defender Riccardo Calafiori turned into his own net after Donnarumma palmed out an Alvaro Morata header.

Defending champions Italy tried to respond but, in truth, the margin of defeat might have been greater — especially if Athletic Bilbao winger Nico Williams’ stunning curling strike from outside the box had gone in with 20 minutes to play. Instead, it hit the bar.

Victory sees Spain progress to the knockout stage as group winners, while for Italy it’s all to play for against Croatia on Monday.

Below, The Athletic’s Dermot Corrigan, Mark Carey and James Horncastle take us through the talking points of a pulsating encounter in Gelsenkirchen…

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