Euro U21 Championship final: Italy v Spain

Live text commentary as Spain retain their title after defeating Italy in the final of the European Under-21 Championship final in Israel.

18 June 2013 Last updated at 18:26 GMT

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As it happened

  1. 1925: 

    That's a wrap on the Euro final then - join Marc Higginson tomorrow for more Confederation Cup gold. See you later.

  2. 1919: 

    Don't forget that F-Day day is almost here.

    Next season's football fixtures are released tomorrow at 0900 BST. You can get the full club-by-club breakdown and league details on the BBC Sport website, naturally.

  3. 1915: 

    The celebrations continue for Spain who are currently dancing around the trophy.

  4. 1909: 

    Anthony Amodeo: Spain U21s win Euros, but no Spanish club made it to the UCL final. Can they win in Brazil next year relying on youngsters?

  5. 1907: 

    Thiago hoists the trophy above his head to trigger a load of golden glitter and of course, Queen.

    Every band in the world must be kicking themselves every time they hear 'We are the Champions'. Guaranteed royalties at every sporting event...

  6. 1903: 

    Here come Spain up the steps to collect their medals, this could be the first of a few for some of this squad...

  7. 1901: 

    Ilya Kleyner: Actually, at the Russia v Brazil friendly at Stamford Bridge recently, one steward really had some pace!! The protestor managed about five seconds and even Neymar looked impressed.

    Ishi: Dominance of Spain! World Cup, European Champions now also Under 21s champions! The future's bright.

    David Beale: It's suddenly occurred to me that Spain are rather good at this football lark.

  8. 1859: 

    Spain form a guard of honour as Italy go up to collect their losers' medals. Lorenzo Insigne looks distraught. Shattered.

  9. 1857:  
    Joey Barton, Footballer

    "Final over. Best team won. Spanish football in rude health. The rest playing catch up internationally. #dominant"

  10. 1854: 

    It's an all-too familiar sight for world football as Spain celebrate winning a major tournament. They're getting all too used to this. And I can't see it stopping any time soon.

  12. 1854: 
    FULL-TIME- Italy U21 2-4 Spain U21
  13. 1853: 
    CLOSE!- Italy U21 2-4 Spain U21

    Fabio Borini has had a decent second half as he barges his way through a challenge and into the area but he can't get a shot off this time. Game over.

  14. 1851: 
    Italy U21 2-4 Spain U21

    Not for the first time tonight we have some spectators on the pitch running riot and it takes a good minute or so to round them up. Have you ever seen a steward with genuine pace? Me neither. It's hard to sprint in a tabard though.

  15. 1847: 

    Richard Powell: Will be fitting to see Platini hand over the trophy to Thiago as he appears to be a player very much from the same mould.

  16. 1842: 
    FINAL FIVE- Italy U21 2-4 Spain U21

    Italian left-back Vasco Regini keeps the faith, he slaloms down the left and plays a neat one-two to create an avenue on the Spanish goal, it all opens up for him momentarily but he leans back and thumps his right-footed shot well over the top. That right foot is for standing only.

  17. 1839: 
    Italy U21 2-4 Spain U21

    Fabio Borini's instant reaction to scoring that goal was to get the ball out of the net and wave his team-mates back. He still believes that they can rescue this one..

  18. 1837: 
    GOAL- Italy U21 2-4 Spain U21 - Fabio Borini (80 mins)

    Where has this come from? Liverpool striker Fabio Borini breathes a bit of life into Italy with a cracking goal, swapping passes with Lorenzo Insigne 25 yards out and then cracking a low shot across David de Gea and into the net. Lovely goal.

  19. 1831: 
    GREAT SAVE!- Italy U21 1-4 Spain U21

    Inter Milan keeper Francesco Bardi has done himself no harm with his display today, despite conceding four. He makes another sprawling save to shut out Alvaro Morata after more wizardry on the edge of the box from Isco.

  20. 1830: 
    Italy U21 1-4 Spain U21
    Lorenzo Insigne

    We are into the last 20 minutes in Israel and Italy are in damage limitation mode. Spain make a few changes as Athletic Bilbao winger Iker Muniain comes on.

  21. 1829: 

    Capital R: Question is, will Isco be able to cut it on a cold, wet night away to Stoke?? I think so!

    Light of the world: That was a "perfect hat-trick" from Thiago...1st goal - Head; 2nd Goal - Left Foot & 3rd (Pen) - Right Foot!

  22. 1825: 
    Italy U21 1-4 Spain U21
    Italy U21 coach Devis Mangia

    I'm not sure Italy could even say they have done anything wrong tonight, they've given it a go but like Uruguay in the Confederations Cup at the weekend, they've been outclassed.

  23. 1823: 
    GOAL- Italy U21 1-4 Spain U21 - Isco (pen 66mins)

    Regular U21 penalty taker Isco steps up and cool as you like passes the ball into the net. Four is about par for the course for Spain these days...

  24. 1822: 

    Right-back Marvellous Marvin Montoya breaks into the box, he cuts inside Vasco Regini - who cleans him out for the clearest of clear penalties. Will Thiago bag a fourth or hand this one over?

  25. 1821: 

    James Phillips: Isco and Thiago will take the headlines from the tournament but Illarramendi been Spain's unsung hero, classy player

    Oliver Naylor: Thiago and Strootman for the price of Isco would have United set in midfield for at least 10 years. Both top talent.

    Houphanne: Thiago is too good for u21 football. Still unconvinced by him when he plays against the big boys

  26. 1819: 
    GREAT SAVE!- Italy U21 1-3 Spain U21

    More great stuff from Thiago as he picks a way through Italy with a touch of class, it frees Cristian Tello to make his way into the box but his finish lacks conviction and it's an easy save from Francesco Bardi.

  27. 1816: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Italy U21 1-3 Spain U21

    Maybe this is their route back into the game though, a double change as Alessandro Florenzi and Ciro Immobile are replaced by Riccardo Saponara and Manolo Gabbiadini.

  28. 1815: 
    Italy U21 1-3 Spain U21
    Spain play Italy in the U21 final

    Death by a thousand passes for Italy at the moment as they just can't get on the ball at all. We are approaching the hour mark and it's hard to see any way back for the Italians.

  29. 1811: 
    CLOSE!- Italy U21 1-3 Spain U21

    Tiki-taka, tiki-taka, tiki-taka - boom! Spain turn on the gas and within a matter of seconds they are in on goal. Cristian Tello bursts clear down the right before picking out Isco arriving at pace in the middle, he connects well with his shot and it slides just past the far corner.

  30. 1811: 

    Oli Kearey: I've been raving about Thiago for years! Such a classy player, got a talented brother too...

    David Durrant: I hate Man United fans that say they need 'the best player' of a tournament. You don't need them, your team won the league!

    Charlie Horne: Worrying just how many of these U21 Spanish players would walk into a full 11 in any other country!

  31. 1809: 
    CLOSE!- Italy U21 1-3 Spain U21

    Spain continue from where they left off, popping the ball around at will.

    Here's a real chance for Italy though, as Alessandro Florenzi fires over from 10 yards.

  32. 1805: 
    GREAT SAVE!- Italy U21 1-3 Spain U21

    Thiago wants a fourth straight from kick-off but his low shot is beaten clear by Francesco Bardi in the Italy goal.

  33. 1803: 
    KICK-OFF- Italy U21 1-3 Spain U21

    Thiago gets the second half running...

  34. 1802: 
    Italy U21 1-3 Spain U21

    The players are back out on the pitch then - can Italy find any way back?

  35. 1756: 
  36. 1752: 

    World number two Andy Murray: Just watching euro U21 final, Thiago just pumped in a hat trick within 40 minutes...That's naughty

  37. 1752: 

    A few of you have tweeted in hoping to see Thiago in the Premier League next season, and Catalan newspaper Sport is today leading with the midfielder telling Barca he wants to leave…

  38. 1747: 
    Italy U21 1-3 Spain U21

    What a 45 minutes for Barca midfielder Thiago. The 22-year-old has scored a 32-minute treble and has his side well on the way to retaining their European Championship. No wonder he's beaming as he leaves the pitch.

  39. 1747: 
    HALF-TIME- Italy U21 1-3 Spain U21
  40. 1745: 

    Jason Birnie: As a United fan I'd love to see Thiago at Old Trafford next season. Cracking player, just what we need. Moyes, sign him up!


    Ewhuiihdwilfhwref S: Will anyone be stopping Spain from winning the next 3-4 world cups? I don't think so

    Toby Foot: The current Spain team are invincible, and it appears to be in the blood of the Spanish, their U 21's are in fine form.

    Mike Hansen: embarrassing how technically sound they are compared to England's players full stop...@ any level

  41. 1744: 
    Italy U21 1-3 Spain U21

    Lorenzo Insigne does have a crack for Italy but it's more in hope than expectation and fizzes high and wide from 30 yards. That was never troubling David de Gea, whose save at 1-1 looks crucial now.

  42. 1741: 
    Italy U21 1-3 Spain U21

    Five minutes until half-time then and Italy's pressing game is starting to show signs of fatigue. Coach Devis Mangia is crying out for the interval now.

  43. 1738: 
    GOAL- Italy U21 1-3 Spain U21 - Thiago (pen 38 mins)

    It's a hat-trick for Spain captain Thiago as he slots his penalty right down the middle, with keeper Francesco Bardi getting a foot to it but only kicking it into the roof of the net. Is there any way back for Italy already?

  44. 1737: 
    PENALTY TO SPAIN- Italy U21 1-2 Spain U21

    Cristian Tello gets away down the left and takes on Giulio Donati, the right-back slides in and catches him and it's a penno. Thiago tells Isco that he's having this one...

  45. 1736: 

    George Elliman: It's embarrassing seeing just how much more technically sound these players are compared to the England #Under21s

    Femi: Do Barca really want to lose Thiago to Manchester United ???

    Samuel Olawale: Spain are something else

  46. 1735: 
    Italy U21 1-2 Spain U21
    Thiago in action for Spain

    Neil in Manchester [see 1619] may be right - perhaps Spain captain Thiago is the the man to watch this evening...

  47. 1731: 
    GOAL- Italy U21 1-2 Spain U21 - Thiago (31 mins)

    Ooohhhh, what a pass from Koke! Spotter's badge to the Atletico Madrid man as he lofts a perfectly weighted pass over the top, he has Italy defender Luca Caldirola desperately backpedalling but he can't reach it, Thiago brings it down on his chest and rifles a low shot right through goalkeeper Francesco Bardi. Two for Thiago, two for Spain.

  48. 1727: 
    YELLOW CARD- Italy U21 1-1 Spain U21

    Cristian Tello is the latest man to go into the book for leaving his foot in after a challenge, and it's gone a bit niggly in midfield. Marco Verratti is walking the tightrope after that early booking, with the Italy man already on his last warning after a few late nicks in the middle. Do not get sent off...

  49. 1725: 
    GREAT SAVE!- Italy U21 1-1 Spain U21

    Italy go direct again and they almost score a brilliant second! Fabio Borini unlocks the defence with a lofted pass over the top, Roma winger Alessandro Florenzi gets clear after a Gazza-style chip over the defender's head, but unlike Gascoigne on that sun-kissed Wembley afternoon Florenzi doesn't lash his shot into the net. Instead, David de Gea palms it away.

  50. 1723: 
    Italy U21 1-1 Spain U21

    Lorenzo Insigne has been one of Italy's best players in Israel but he has the bench concerned as he limps out of a tackle on the left wing, wincing with pain. The Napoli man is still out there but he's not right.

  51. 1720: 
    Ciro Immobile

    Mike Bird: Has a rather ironic name, Signor Immobile, considering the excellent movement for that goal.

    Matt Dawson: Italy's scorer can't be that 'Immobile' or else he wouldn't have been able to score that!

    Shane Lees: Had England scored that goal we'd now be criticising them for playing long ball

  52. 1719: 
    CLOSE!- Italy U21 1-1 Spain U21

    ...Isco hits the free-kick into the wall but the ball is played out wide and Spain are in again. Cristian Tello picks out Koke arriving and his backheel is well kept out by a combination of goalkeeper and defender.

  53. 1719: 
    YELLOW CARD- Italy U21 1-1 Spain U21

    Italian midfielder Marco Verratti goes into the book early doors as he catches Koke in the face with a high boot. The PSG man is not happy but it's a free-kick on the edge of the box and Isco fancies it...

  54. 1717: 
    GREAT SAVE!- Italy U21 1-1 Spain U21
    Spain's Koke (left) and Italy's Alessandro Florenzi

    Spain are soon back in their stride though as Thiago frees Alvaro Morata with a defence-splitting pass, the striker gets his shot off first time but it's a simple enough stop for Francesco Bardi who smothers the ball at the second attempt. Both sides getting in behind the defence at will so far though in a very open first 15 minutes.

  55. 1715: 
    Italy U21 1-1 Spain U21

    Ciro Immobile's pace is causing concern in the Spanish backline as he almost gets in on the end of another long ball over the top. Italy are going direct but to good effect thus far.

  56. 1713: 

    Andrew Reid: Thiago - sign him up Moyes!

    Jeremy Cooper: Re Jamie Matthews 1705: Spain U21s, obviously!

  57. 1710: 
    GOAL- Italy U21 1-1 Spain U21 - Ciro Immobile (10 mins)

    Plan B was obviously to equalise immediately as Italy score with their first attack! Centre-half Matteo Bianchetti floats a raking 60-yard pass forwards. Genoa striker Ciro Immobile kills it with one superb touch before lifting the ball over David de Gea with a fine second. Brilliant goal, brilliant final!

  58. 1710: 
    Italy U21 0-1 Spain U21

    The defending there wasn't too clever from Italy but the way Spain manipulate the ball in tight areas around the penalty area has left them chasing shadows already. If the gameplan was to keep it tight then coach Devis Mangia is already reaching for Plan B.

  59. 1707: 
    GOAL- Italy U21 0-1 Spain U21 - Thiago (6 mins)

    Brilliant, brilliant Spain. They make it look so easy as Isco pops a pass into Alvaro Morata on the corner of the box, the Real Madrid striker turns and beats two men for pace and stands up a perfect cross for Barcelona midfielder Thiago to arrive on and plant home a header. What a start and Italy have it all to do.

  60. 1706: 
    Italy U21 0-0 Spain U21

    Alvaro Morata's confidence is sky-high right now and he tries an audacious effort on the bounce which flies wide.

  61. 1705: 

    Jamie Matthews: Who would win in a match between England senior team and Spain u-21's? Would be interesting!

  62. 1704: 
    Italy U21 0-0 Spain U21

    Spain make the bright start, Isco dropping deep to start play down the left and Alvaro Morata winning a corner which Italy see out.

  63. 1700: 
    KICK-OFF- Italy U21 0-0 Spain U21

    Here we go then, Italy get us rolling!

  64. 1658: 

    That's a comprehensive victory to Italy in the national anthem stakes.

  65. 1656: 

    Emanuele in London: Forza Azzurrini , let's bring home the 6th title!

  66. 1654: 
    Italy U21 v Spain U21

    Here we go then, the 19th Under-21 Euro final is about to get under way as the players emerge from the tunnel in Jerusalem. Calm heads needed.

  67. 1653:  
    Former Tottenham manager David Pleat on BBC Radio 5 live:

    "The whole set up needs looking at. Stuart Pearce's hands are tied, some of his best players, Phil Jones, Kyle Walker, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, didn't go to the tournament. The barometer of our standing in world football is the national team.

    "In the past, experienced coaches like Dave Sexton and Ron Greenwood mentored a young coach. They need that, a young coach with a very experienced man alongside him. I think it's a two-man job. They know within the system, someone who they can identify as an ambitious and inventive coach who they can fast track through. [Referring to Glenn Hoddle] I don't think they should go back to someone who has coached the national team."

  68. 1652: 

    F-Day day is almost here.

    Next season's football fixtures are released tomorrow at 0900 BST. You can get the full club-by-club breakdown and league details on the BBC Sport website, naturally.

    Everyone has to play everyone else twice - it doesn't really matter when - but for some reason we football fans get terribly excited about learning just when those games are going to take place.

  69. 1648: 
    LINE-UPS- Italy U21 v Spain U21

    Italy U21: Bardi, Donati, Bianchetti, Caldirola, Regini, Florenzi, Rossi, Verratti, Insigne, Borini, Immobile. Subs: Colombi, Biraghi, Capuano, Marrone, Gabbiadini, Destro, Sansone, Bertolacci, Paloschi, Saponara, Crimi, Leali.

    Spain U21: De Gea, Montoya, Bartra, Martinez, Moreno, Koke, Illarramendi, Thiago, Tello, Morata, Isco. Subs: Marino, Nacho, Rodrigo, Camacho, Muniesa, Alvaro, Sarabia, Muniain, Carvajal, Vazquez, Robles.

    Referee: Matej Jug (Slovenia)

  70. 1648: 

    Chelsea and Spain midfielder Juan Mata: Good luck to Spain u21s in the final! Time to go #allin!

  71. 1645:  
    Former Tottenham manager David Pleat on BBC Radio 5 live:

    "England had great difficulty. We were poor against Norway when we expected a result after defeat by Italy. The only goal we scored was a set play and the last game against Israel, we showed little passion, so it was very disappointing results wise. The German, Spanish and Dutch Under-21 players are playing in their top league, our boys aren't; they are being denied the opportunity to play at the highest level and that's partly because of the influx of foreign players in the league."

  72. 1644: 
    WHAT THE MANAGERS SAY- Italy U21 v Spain U21
    Julen Lopetegui

    Julen Lopetegui, Spain coach:

    "Italy are a very difficult team to play against, they have good defensive qualities. They are also a physical side with good tactics. We are continuing to work as a team but each individual is also very important.

    "Isco is one of the players who does not play as an individual but operates as part of a team. I am happy he's in good form and he will help the team. We will be one united team in the final. Italy do not only defend, they can attack too. They have attacking qualities and they create chances. They have a lot of strong defensive players but they have good attacking players as well.

    Italy are a good team but we still have our quality and we are playing well. The final is in our hands."

  73. 1642: 
    WHAT THE MANAGERS SAY- Italy U21 v Spain U21
    Devis Mangia

    Devis Mangia, Italy coach:

    "Spain have a great team and I don't mind if they are favourites.

    "I looked into the eyes of my players yesterday and no one is satisfied with just reaching the final. The players will all contribute and do their best. There is no doubt about this in my mind, you just need to look at us to see the desire.

    Italy have a chance to win because in the past in different competitions the less favoured team has won. Perfection does not exist in football."

  74. 1639: 
    Italy U21 v Spain U21

    It looks a glorious evening in Jerusalem as both sets of players go through their pre-match exercises at the marvellously-named Teddy Stadium.

    These sides met in the final in 1986 - where Gianluca Vialli and Roberto Mancini played up front for Italy - and also in 1996. Both sides won one each of those finals.

  75. 1636: 

    Federico, in London on text: So much for the supposed German dominance in football, Spain-Italy Euro final last year, and Euro Under-21 final this year!

    Allan in London on text: Re 1600: surely, Spain's "Under-21 side aren't too Xavi." Arf arf.

  76. 1634: 
    Italy U21 v Spain U21

    As Kofi points out there, this is a repeat of last summer's Euro 2012 final where Spain romped to a 4-0 win. This is not the full Spain side of course but they do play in exactly the same pattern and manner as their older compatriots. If Italy's youngsters find a way to stop them tonight then the rest of the footballing world will all like to know the secret...

  77. 1631: 

    Frederick: Re Neil (1609): Isco definitely is the standout player. But I guess the fact he might join City has something to do with that response.

    Kofi Quansah: Euro 2012 final all over again. Spain to win like senior side did last year. 4-0

  78. 1630: 
    ROUTE TO THE FINAL- Italy U21 v Spain U21

    Spain left it late to beat Russia in their opener in Group B, with that man Alvaro Morata netting the only goal with eight minutes to spare.

    It was deja vu in game two as Morata steered in at the near post to beat Germany 1-0 in game two before Morata scored from the start in a 3-0 defeat of the Dutch in game three.

    It was 3-0 again in the semi-finals as well as Norway were swamped.

  79. 1626: 
    ROUTE TO THE FINAL- Italy U21 v Spain U21

    Italy started their campaign with that 1-0 win over England, before rounding out Group A with a 4-0 defeat of hosts Israel and a 1-1 draw with Norway.

    That saw them top the group and put them in the semi-final against the Netherlands. Fabio Borini's goal was enough to secure a place in this evening's final in Jerusalem.

  80. 1620: 

    Spain start as favourites then but Italy are no mugs, as England can testify after watching the Azurri inflict the first of their three defeats in Israel back on 5 June.

    Napoli winger Lorenzo Insigne scored the winner that night with a fine free-kick and it is he, along with PSG playmaker Marco Verratti, who have caught my eye thus far.

  81. 1619: 

    Neil, Manchester on text via 81111: Re: 1606. Undoubtedly the standout player? No doubt Isco has been impressive but Thiago has been sensational. As a United fan I've got every finger and toe crossed in the hope he signs this summer. Brilliant player.

  82. 1617: 

    So let's kick-off today's debate with who you think the FA should appoint as the next England Under-21 manager. Gareth Southgate, Glenn Hoddle and Steve McClaren have all been linked with the job - or do we need a radical overhaul?

    Let me know who you think should take the job on by popping your name on a text in to 81111 (UK Only) or tweeting us at #bbcfootball.

    I'm also keen to hear who your player of the U21 tournament has been and whether Italy can stop Spain in their tracks this evening. Fire away.

  83. 1613: 
    Stuart Pearce

    After three defeats and three less than classic performances, it is perhaps no surprise that England have decided to part ways with coach Stuart Pearce.

    Pearce had been in charge of the Under-21s since 2007 and led the Young Lions to four tournaments but his contract will not be renewed.

    The news was confirmed an hour or so ago with FA chairman David Bernstein saying: "I'd like to thank Stuart Pearce for his hard work. Nobody can doubt his commitment to the job throughout his time as U21 coach.

    "He has done extremely well in qualifying for finals tournaments, but after the disappointment of the past two tournaments, we believe it is time to change coach."

  84. 1610: 
    BREAKING TEAM NEWS- Italy U21 v Spain U21

    Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea starts for Spain and equals the record of 27 appearances at this level. Isco and Alvaro Morata both start.

    Italy hand a start to Liverpool striker Fabio Borini.

  85. 1606: 

    The standout player at this year's finals in Israel has undoubtedly been Spain's Malaga midfielder Isco.


    The 21-year-old is reportedly a transfer target of both Real Madrid and Manchester City this summer, and it's easy to see why. Operating from the left, he's been a right box of tricks and has even put team-mate Alvaro Morata in the shade.

    Morata has scored in each game so far despite being left on the bench most of the time.

  86. 1600: 

    Xavi to Iniesta to Xavi to Fabregas to Busquets to Xavi to Iniesta to Pedro to Xavi...

    As any of you who watched Spain's senior side monopolise possession in their Confederations Cup win over Uruguay can testify, there is plenty of life in the Spanish dog yet.

    But just in case Xavi and co start to think about international retirement in the near future, Spanish fans can rest easy as their Under-21 side aren't too shabby.

    They have blitzed the competition in Israel to reach this afternoon's final. Can Italy stop them?

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Euro U21 Championship results

18 Jun 2013 23:59 UK