It was expected to be a mouthwatering clash when two footballing giants Italy and Spain collided against each other and sure did the match live up to its billing. They were seen engaged in a neck to neck battle and played some great football to play out a 1-1 draw.
Both the teams had some great names from the world of football and few of them lived up to it whereas someone could not.
Here are some of the hits and flops of the match:
Iker Cassilas: He is the best goalkeeper of the world and he showed it why. After not being tested much in the first half, he made some good saves for the defending champions in the second half. He did let one slip past him but barring that he made some nice saves to keep the affairs under control.
Andres Iniesta: The Barcelona playmaker could not do much in the first half, but things looked different after the changed of ends. He started to create more opportunities and put the Italian defence under great pressure whenever he made a run.
Xavi Hernandez: Along with Iniesta he gave Italy some very tense moments. Both of these players who know their game so well, tried creating pressure and Xavi played the kind of football he always does. He was the man who acted as a link between defence and midfield and formed an integral part of many moves.
Cesc Fabregas: Fabregas had a normal first half and did not put much pressure on to Azurri’s defence but in the second half he started to move more swiftly threatening the Italian defence and eventually did score the equalizing goal for Spain.
Alvaro Arbeloa: The Real Madrid defender had a very bad game. He could not live up to his reputation and made mistakes which saw the Italian forwards often getting better than him.
Fernando Torres: He did not start the match but came off as a replacement for Fabregas. As soon as Torres came on the pitch he got opportunities to score goals but the Chelsea striker failed and even though it was hard to contain him, his finishing let him down in the match.
Gianluigi Buffon: He proved that why is he rated so high when it comes to goalkeeping in World football. After a comfortable first half, he was tested in the second half and he did make lot of saves to ensure they do not end up on a losing side.
Daniele de Rossi: He was not seen in his usual position and played at the centre back position. Rossi who is a defensive midfielder did not look perturbed by it and had a great game. He made lot of clearances and stood firm in his new position.
Andrea Pirlo: He was the man who dictated terms for Italy in the midfield. He was immaculate with his passing, gave some nice through balls and was also the creator of their goal. He had continuous influence in the match but in the later part seemed to tire out.
Antonio de Natale: He was the lone goal scorer for the team and scored after receiving a great pass from Pirlo. He did not play the full match and whatever time he was on the field, he kept on threatening the Spanish defenders.
Mario Balotelli: Lot was expected from this Manchester City striker but he could not live up to it. He could not contribute much to the team’s cause and was taken off by Italy’s coach 56th minutes after he was cautioned with a yellow card.
Indian Sports News Network