Spain 2 - 0 France
Spain waltzed past a feeble France side in Donetsk to set up a Euro 2012 semi-final meeting with Portugal.
Xabi Alonso, on his 100th appearance for his country, headed in a Jordi Alba cross after 20 minutes.
France struggled to make a mark and only conjured a rare threat when right-back Mathieu Debuchy headed a Franck Ribery cross over.
Spain comfortably saw out a one-sided game and sealed the win with a 91st-minute Alonso penalty.
"You've got to say Spain look after the ball very, very well. They always do enough, they are the best team football-wise in the world. France can take a lot from this tournament. They've done OK."
Much had been expected of a game between two of Europe's heavyweights, but it proved a mismatch as Spain easily dispatched a France side lacking intensity and invention.
Victory gave Spain their first win over France in a competitive game and kept them on course for a third successive tournament triumph to follow Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup.
Les Bleus had looked distinctly unconvincing in their final group match against Sweden in a defeat that had caused unrest in their camp, but this was supposed to be a new chapter. Instead, it was the same old story as they fielded a defensive line-up and conceded ground and possession to their opponents.
For their part, Spain had chosen not to play a recognised striker, replacing forward Fernando Torres with midfielder Cesc Fabregas, who had a strong early claim for a penalty.
The Barcelona man, running on to a lofted Alonso pass, looked set to run through on goal before he was brought down by a clumsy Gael Clichy challenge but referee Nicola Rizzoli waved away the appeals.
Spain, though, quickly went up a gear, Iniesta guiding a pass wide to overlapping left-back Jordi Alba who left Debuchy trailing before crossing to the far post where Alonso headed back across the keeper and into the net.
The forward forays of Alba and right-back Alvaro Arbeloa were causing France problems, while Andres Iniesta and Xavi's pressing and probing did likewise from the the centre of midfield.
For the French, midfielder Yohan Cabaye had a well struck free-kick tipped over by Iker Casillas but a side clearly set up to catch Spain on the counter-attack mustered precious few opportunities to do so.
Laurent Blanc's men improved marginally in the second half and Debuchy headed over a rare chance, but Spain's ability to hold possession with their metronomic passing style repeatedly drew the sting from France's attacks.
France did not look like they had either the belief or ability to equalise, a malaise epitomised by disappointing striker Karim Benzema, whose Euro 2012 campaign ended without his managing a goal.
As the game went into injury time, Anthony Reveillere brought down Spain substitute Pedro to concede a penalty that Alonso drove in to complete France's miserable evening.
Live text and stats
Saturday, 23 June 2012
|Home Team||Score||Away Team||Time|
- 01 Casillas
- 03 Pique
- 15 Ramos yellow card
- 17 Arbeloa
- 18 Alba
- 06 Iniesta (Cazorla 84)
- 08 Xavi
- 10 Fabregas (Torres 67)
- 14 Alonso
- 16 Busquets
- 21 Silva (Pedrito 65)
- 01 Lloris
- 02 Debuchy (Menez 64 yellow card)
- 04 Rami
- 13 Reveillere
- 21 Koscielny
- 22 Clichy
- 06 Cabaye yellow card
- 15 Malouda (Nasri 64)
- 17 M'Vila (Giroud 79)
- 07 Ribery
- 10 Benzema
- Spain 53%
- France 47%
Attempts on target
- Spain 5
- France 1
Attempts off target
- Spain 5
- France 4
- Spain 7
- France 3
- Spain 6
- France 12
- Final Result
- Full Time
- 90:00+4:03 The final whistle goes and the game is over.
- 90:00+3:34 Fernando Torres takes a shot. Blocked by Anthony Reveillere. Hernandez Xavi takes a short corner.
- 90:00+0:31 Rodriguez Pedro provided the assist for the goal.
- 90:00+0:31 GOAL - Xabi Alonso:Spain 2 - 0 France Penalty taken right-footed by Xabi Alonso and scored. Spain 2-0 France.
- 89:33 Penalty awarded for an unfair challenge on Rodriguez Pedro by Anthony Reveillere.
- 88:23 Olivier Giroud concedes a free kick for a foul on Garcia Sergio Ramos. Garcia Sergio Ramos takes the free kick.
- Correction - 87:11 Corner taken by Franck Ribery from the left by-line, Headed effort from deep inside the area by Adil Rami misses to the left of the goal.
- 87:11 Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Franck Ribery.
- 85:47 Olivier Giroud is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Free kick taken by Garcia Sergio Ramos.
- 83:20 Substitution (Spain) makes a substitution, with Gonzalez Santi Cazorla coming on for Andres Iniesta.
- 82:15 The ball is crossed by Gael Clichy, Iker Casillas makes a comfortable save.
- 79:19 The assistant referee flags for offside against Fernando Torres. Hugo Lloris restarts play with the free kick.
- 78:46 Olivier Giroud gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Alvaro Arbeloa. Xabi Alonso takes the free kick.
- 78:16 Substitution Yann M'Vila leaves the field to be replaced by Olivier Giroud.
- 76:12 Hernandez Xavi decides to take the corner short.
- 75:16 Iker Casillas takes the direct free kick.
- 75:16 Booking Jeremy Menez receives a caution for dissent.
- 75:11 Jeremy Menez challenges Ramos Jordi Alba unfairly and gives away a free kick.
- 70:57 The official flags Fernando Torres offside. Indirect free kick taken by Laurent Koscielny.
- 70:21 Fernando Torres is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Indirect free kick taken by Hugo Lloris.
- 70:05 The ball is swung over by Franck Ribery, save by Iker Casillas.
- 68:48 The ball is swung over by Rodriguez Pedro, clearance by Laurent Koscielny. Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Hernandez Xavi, clearance by Anthony Reveillere.
- 68:17 Hernandez Xavi takes a shot. Adil Rami gets a block in.
- 67:30 Jeremy Menez gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ramos Jordi Alba. Direct free kick taken by Garcia Sergio Ramos.
- 66:02 Substitution Francesc Fabregas goes off and Fernando Torres comes on.
- 65:14 Hernandez Xavi takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line to the near post.
- 64:19 Substitution Rodriguez Pedro joins the action as a substitute, replacing David Silva.
- 63:58 Substitution Samir Nasri comes on in place of Florent Malouda.
- 63:43 Substitution Mathieu Debuchy goes off and Jeremy Menez comes on.
- 63:21 Shot from long distance by Karim Benzema misses to the right of the goal.
- 60:53 Gael Clichy produces a cross, clearance made by Garcia Sergio Ramos. Yohan Cabaye sends in a cross, clearance made by Gerard Pique.
- 59:45 The ball is delivered by Franck Ribery, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Mathieu Debuchy goes harmlessly over the crossbar.
- 58:24 A cross is delivered by Francesc Fabregas, Anthony Reveillere manages to make a clearance.
- 57:11 Inswinging corner taken by Franck Ribery from the left by-line, clearance by Alvaro Arbeloa.
- 56:53 The ball is crossed by Anthony Reveillere.
- 56:40 David Silva challenges Franck Ribery unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Franck Ribery.
- 52:50 Mathieu Debuchy gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ramos Jordi Alba. Garcia Sergio Ramos takes the free kick.
- 50:53 The ball is crossed by Francesc Fabregas, Laurent Koscielny makes a clearance. Shot from long range by Xabi Alonso misses to the right of the goal.
- 49:21 Ramos Jordi Alba fouled by Mathieu Debuchy, the ref awards a free kick. Iker Casillas takes the direct free kick.
- 45:50 Karim Benzema challenges Alvaro Arbeloa unfairly and gives away a free kick. David Silva restarts play with the free kick.
- 45:01 The referee blows his whistle to start the second half.
- Half Time
- 45:00+1:01 The referee calls an end to the first half.
- 43:36 Mathieu Debuchy gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ramos Jordi Alba. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Hernandez Xavi from left channel, comfortable save by Hugo Lloris.
- 41:30 Hernandez Xavi takes the free kick.
- 41:30 Booking Yohan Cabaye booked for unsporting behaviour.
- 41:25 Yohan Cabaye gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Sergio Busquets.
- 40:01 Outswinging corner taken by Hernandez Xavi from the right by-line, clearance by Laurent Koscielny. Franck Ribery fouled by Alvaro Arbeloa, the ref awards a free kick. Gael Clichy takes the direct free kick.
- 37:24 Effort on goal by Andres Iniesta from 12 yards. Blocked by Laurent Koscielny. Hernandez Xavi takes the outswinging corner, Headed effort on goal by Gerard Pique from just inside the box goes harmlessly over the goal.
- 36:15 Centre by Franck Ribery, Garcia Sergio Ramos manages to make a clearance.
- 35:46 Hernandez Xavi challenges Yann M'Vila unfairly and gives away a free kick. Yann M'Vila restarts play with the free kick.
- 34:37 Free kick awarded for a foul by Florent Malouda on Francesc Fabregas. Xabi Alonso takes the free kick.
- 32:43 The ball is swung over by Franck Ribery, save made by Iker Casillas.
- 32:25 The ball is delivered by Florent Malouda, Garcia Sergio Ramos makes a clearance.
- 32:07 The ball is delivered by Florent Malouda, clearance by Xabi Alonso.
- 30:19 Shot on goal comes in from Yohan Cabaye from the free kick, Iker Casillas makes a save. Inswinging corner taken by Franck Ribery from the left by-line, save by Iker Casillas.
- 30:19 Booking The referee cautions Garcia Sergio Ramos for unsporting behaviour.
- 30:16 Garcia Sergio Ramos concedes a free kick for a foul on Karim Benzema.
- 28:26 Andres Iniesta takes a shot. Adil Rami gets a block in. Outswinging corner taken by Hernandez Xavi from the right by-line played to the near post, Header from deep inside the area by Francesc Fabregas goes over the bar.
- 24:56 Foul by Xabi Alonso on Karim Benzema, free kick awarded. Karim Benzema shoots direct from the free kick.
- 24:18 The referee blows for offside against Alvaro Arbeloa. Indirect free kick taken by Hugo Lloris.
- 23:21 Free kick awarded for a foul by Adil Rami on Francesc Fabregas. Direct free kick taken by Xabi Alonso.
- 22:54 A cross is delivered by Mathieu Debuchy, blocked by Xabi Alonso. Centre by Mathieu Debuchy.
- Correction - 19:28 Effort on goal by Hernandez Xavi from just outside the penalty area goes harmlessly over the target.
- 19:28 Hernandez Xavi takes a shot from just outside the penalty area which clears the crossbar.
- 18:17 Ramos Jordi Alba provided the assist for the goal.
- 18:17 GOAL - Xabi Alonso:Spain 1 - 0 France Xabi Alonso grabs a headed goal from deep inside the penalty area. Spain 1-0 France.
- 18:16 Ramos Jordi Alba crosses the ball,
- Correction - 16:30 The assistant referee signals for offside against Francesc Fabregas. Laurent Koscielny takes the free kick.
- 16:30 The offside flag is raised against Francesc Fabregas. Laurent Koscielny restarts play with the free kick.
- 13:23 Alvaro Arbeloa sends in a cross.
- 12:13 Adil Rami fouled by Hernandez Xavi, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Adil Rami.
- 10:12 The ball is swung over by Alvaro Arbeloa, comfortable save by Hugo Lloris.
- 7:19 Shot by Xabi Alonso. Hugo Lloris makes a comfortable save.
- 0:00 The game begins.
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