Spain vs Italy, Euro 2012: Open Thread

Spain vs Italy: Noon ET
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Spain against Italy is one of the classic battles in world soccer. Both teams have had their fair share of glory including World Cup trophies, and both Mediterranean countries hate to lose to each other. Thus, the stage is set for an intriguing clash between Spain and Italy in Euro 2012.

Before, during and after today’s game, post your rants, raves, questions and observations in the comments section below.

33 thoughts on “Spain vs Italy, Euro 2012: Open Thread”

  1. Very interesting lineups by both sides. Italy start with both Balotelli and Cassano upfront while Spain don’t start with a striker, no Torres or Llorente. I guess Silva will play like a striker.

    Let’s hope we get a cracker of a game.

  2. Wow…from 4-2-4 in the 60’s, to 4-3-3 in the 70s, to 4-4-2 in the 80s, to the more recent 3-5-2, 4-5-1 and variations thereof, we are now seeing a 4-6-0 formation, by the defending World and European Champions, with Torres, Llorente and Negredo on the bench..

    Barcelona practically played w/ no strikers in the spring after Villa got injured in the winter (and it cost them, imo).

    But, wow. Let’s see how it plays out and if Barca (Spain, I mean), can make this work.

  3. I must say Balotelli is being targeted by the ref. Some of the calls against him were very questionable to say the least. But Balotelli’s attitude doesn’t help the matter either.

  4. This ref is garbage, ballotelli gets clipped in the penalty area and gets told one more and you get a card, dirty fab blatant yellow card challenge doesn’t get anything. I knud ballotelli has been a wingnut but seriously, the quality of the officials is just poor. Ballotelli should not be on a yellow.

    1. Looks like Spain would need a lot of help from the ref to win this one. Apparently Italy didn’t read the script.

  5. I expect Llorente to come on for either Fabregas or Silva. Spain will make adjustments while we may have already seen the best of Italy. Italy has more confidence but Motta should have finished that header. Should be a fascinating 2nd half.

  6. Quick response by the Spaniards. Pirlo and Silva with master class through balls for the goals.

    There’s gotta be at least one more goal in this game. I hope they don’t play safe and go for the 1:1…

  7. Torres Torres Torres, why??? For the second miss, he had a man running on the empty goal to his right…Spain are playing more like the Spain of old in the 2nd…credit to Italia for taking the game to them. Good stuff!

  8. Torres looks slow and low on confidence. Italy did better than I thought they would, overall, 1-1 about right I’d say.

  9. This espn “analyst” team is just terrible, ballack is just wallpaper paste offering zero insight, lalas is just lala and rossi is hungover. Bob lee holding it together with twine. ITV just a little better

  10. Seriously Rossi is terrible. At least Ballack and Lalas sound competent. Bring back Roberto Martinex and Ruud Gullit please. As usual, Bob Lee has to hold everything together.

  11. I thought Italy were the better team throughout the match as they forced Casillas into making some fine saves; Buffon had to make more saves in the second half but Casillas had to make more saves throughout the match. Good match, but I thought the quality of the pitch was rather poor. Very dry and slow. Despite the poor pitch, Spain still passed the ball beautifully as usual. You have to give them credit, because Spanish pitches are dryer and less green than British pitches and yet there still able to work their magic on such pitches, especially the Barcelona players.

    As far as the “analysts” are concerned, I don’t think Alexi Lalas has any business talking about European football. His arrogance and his face just make me wanna punch him! He only played one year in Italy and one year in Ecuador. Ballack is pretty dry but at least he has some pedigree as a former player in European football. He competed for major honors in his time as a Leverkusen and Chelsea player and as a German international. he must be getting paid loads to put up with Lalas. If they want an American presence talking about the Euros, why not bring Brad Friedel or Tim Howard?

    Kasey Keller has disappointed me so far. I thought that his time in England would make him speak about the sport on a more eloquent level than the average American, like Brad Friedel does, but he talks no better than an average American talking about soccer. He doesn’t sound any more intelligent than Lalas, which is a shame because he spent so many years in England and Europe plying his trade.

    1. Tim Howard is occupied by World Cup qualification matches right now, but I agree, I wouldn’t mind seeing Friedel with some insights. Problem might be that he has worked with Fox broadcasts in the pasts, so might have some contractual issue jumping over to the ESPN setup. It’s a shame that all we get is Lalas.

  12. I’ve stopped watching the ESPN pre-game show and halftime show as Lalas and company are truly awful. Lalas has no business talking about soccer, period. Ballack maybe good in german but he is too boring and sometimes doesn’t understand the question he’s asked.

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