Saturday June 23, 2012 Quarter-final Finished Donbass Arena

Spain 2 - 0 France

  • Alonso 19’, 90’ (pen.)

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  1. Centurion Alonso sends Spain into semis

    Centurion Alonso sends Spain into semis

    Xabi Alonso scored twice on his 100th appearance for Spain as they progressed to the Euro 2012 semi-finals with a 2-0 win over France. More

  • Live Commentary

    • Spain
    • France
    • - Was that the worst game of the tournament so far? Let me know your thoughts on Spain's victory on Twitter. Follow Tom Adams on Twitter!
    • 90+4' FULL TIME. Spain win 2-0 thanks to two goals from Xabi Alonso on his 100th cap. France were very disappointing and it is Spain who go through to face Portugal in the semi-finals.
    • 90+3' Torres twists and turns in the box as he tries to add a third goal but Koscielny stands firm to block. He has had a good game for France tonight.
    • 90+1' GOAL! Spain 2-0 France! Xabi Alonso takes it and slots the ball to the left as Lloris dives to the right! Game over.
    • 90' Penalty to Spain! Cazorla plays in Pedro and after pulling out a stepover he is kicked to the ground by Reveillere!
    • 88' Nasri has a late corner and Rami heads back across goal, but Koscielny can't keep the ball in play as he stretches at the back post.
    • 86' This game is meandering to a rather insipid conclusion I am afraid. This has probably been the worst game of the tournament so far and France have surrendered here. It's been a terrible performance from them.
    • 84' Spain make a change as Santi Cazorla replaces Iniesta.
    • 82' France need to have more urgency here, the game is slipping away from them quickly.
    • 80' Torres gets on the end of a pass from Alba but is ruled offside as he sees his effort blocked by Lloris. That looked a very tight decision.
    • 79' Here is Giroud and he comes on for defensive midfielder M'Vila as France throw caution to the wind.
    • 78' Arsenal fans, we are now going to see Olivier Giroud, who is set to sign for the Gunners after this tournament.
    • 76' Menez is booked for dissent and that rules him out of the semi-final should France progress. What a silly boy.
    • 75' Spain have passed up the chance to kill France off and could now feel the pressure with just 15 minutes remaining. This game is far from finished.
    • 74' Spain have had 59 per cent possession so far tonight. It feels like more though.
    • 72' France threaten! Excellent work from Ribery as he races onto a fine pass from M'Vila, gets to the byline and pulls the ball back. Casillas throws out his left arm to prevent the ball from finding Menez and then quickly smothers as the midfielder looks to pick up any scraps.
    • 70' Now Alba chips a pass through for Pedro, who gets in behind Reveillere and only a slide from Koscielny prevents Torres from tapping in at the near post.
    • 69' Xavi takes a neat touch 35 yards from goal and spins before seeing a decent volley blocked by Koscielny in the France defence.
    • 68' So Spain now have a focal point to their attack, while France have more of an attacking outlook. This could result in a more eventful game.
    • 67' Xavi takes the corner and the ball bounces through to Ramos at the back post. Spain now make their second change as Torres comes on for Fabregas.
    • 66' Alba almost finds Fabregas with a fine low cross into the centre but Rami clears before the Barcelona man can get on the end of it.
    • 65' Spain counter with a change of their own as Pedro replaces Silva, who hasn't been quite at his best tonight.
    • 65' A double change for France as Nasri and Menez come on for Malouda and Debuchy.
    • 64' Benzema slashes a shot well over the bar. That is a poor attempt by the striker.
    • 63' France are readying Nasri and Menez on the sidelines.
    • 62' Fabregas races onto a pass through the centre and almost takes the ball wide of Lloris. However, the keeper had raced off his line quickly and intervenes. Fine goalkeeping.
    • 61' Suddenly France look lively again as they pour into the Spain box but Del Bosque's side shut the door and manage to clear.
    • 60' France go close! France actually have a chance! Ribery with the cross and Debuchy gets his head to the ball in the centre of the box, sending it just over the bar.
    • 59' Clichy suddenly injects pace down the left and plays a square pass for Ribery but the midfielder fails to get control of the ball as Ramos comes across to hoof it clear.
    • 59' Fabregas finds himself onside to the right of the box but his low cross for Iniesta is cleared by Reveillere. Again Spain fail to find a cutting edge in the box.
    • 57' Silva and Ribery battle enthusiastically for the ball and the referee judges that the Spain midfielder has fouled his France counterpart. France take it quickly but can't carve out a chance.
    • 56' Stat from Opta: "France have beaten Spain at two European Championship finals (one draw) and have gone on to win the title on both occasions (1984 2-0 in the final, 2000 2-1 in the quarter-final)."
    • 55' It depends on what you want from your football match but I think there are some who will complain that Spain are a bit boring if the match continues in this vein. Many made exactly that complaint at the World Cup. Not that they will be concerned of course.
    • 54' France have been much improved in this second half - Blanc must have had a gentle word. They have looked more sprightly and have shown much more intent.
    • 53' Nice from France as the ball is worked to Benzema and he finds Ribery with a clever pass. However, Ramos senses danger and races across to stick his boot in. Excellent defending.
    • 52' Alonso suddenly sees space open up for him after poking the ball forward with his first touch but his lashed effort soars off target. Worth a go.
    • 50' Brilliant from Benzema. He juggles the ball near the touchline before turning to find space and play in Debuchy. However, the right back takes a heavy touch and then brings down his man to give away a free kick.
    • 49' Silva does well to cut out a France pass down the line but then cedes possession straight back with a rather indulgent flick that lands nowhere near a Spain shirt.
    • 48' Ribery plays a ball down the line for Malouda but Pique comes across to snuff out the danger.
    • 47' No changes from either side, but surely France will have to call on Samir Nasri, Hatem Ben Arfa or Jeremy Menez if they continue to struggle.
    • 46' KICK OFF!
    • - Let me know what you made of that first half by getting in contact on Twitter. Follow Tom Adams on Twitter!
    • 45+1' HALF TIME. Alonso's header has Spain in control against France, who have offered little going forward. A bit of a sterile game so far.
    • 45+1' We will have one added minute.
    • 45' Xavi curls in a free kick from the left wing but sends the ball flying into the grateful arms of Lloris in the France goal.
    • 44' A nice intricate passing move from Spain in the final third but Fabregas's pass for Silva just has too much on it. Spain have dominated as you would expect, but they do lack a certain something in the final third with Fabregas in attack.
    • 42' Cabaye goes into the book when his trailing leg catches the standing leg of Sergio Busquets late. A messy challenge.
    • 41' Stat from Opta: "Iker Casillas already has six clean sheets at European Championship finals to his name (level with Italy's Dino Zoff); only Edwin van der Sar (nine) has more."
    • 39' This time Spain hit Pique from the set-piece but his header from 12 yards out soars over the bar. He found himself in too much space though.
    • 38' A lovely ball from Fabregas as he receives a pass from Iniesta and flicks the ball over the defence for his team-mate, whose shot is deflected out for a corner.
    • 37' France are gradually improving though they remain hasty when in possession and are yet to really trouble Casillas. Spain's fluency has decreased a touch, though they have never looked anything but in total control.
    • 36' Alba is caught late by Benzema as he clears down the line and the two players have a little chat, forcing the referee to blow his whistle and calm them down.
    • 34' Ribery tries a clever square pass but can't pick out Benzema inside the box. He throws up his arms in frustration. France need to make the most of the chances they manage to create tonight.
    • 33' Ribery delivers the corner and Casillas drops the ball 10 yards out, the keeper looking relieved when he is able to drop to the ground and smother the ball.
    • 32' Cabaye is given responsibility this time and he forces Casillas into a smart save with a curling effort that was destined for the top corner.
    • 31' Ramos goes into the book for blocking off Madrid team-mate Benzema after the Frenchman knocked the ball to the side of him. A free kick in a good position for France...
    • 30' Spain hit Fabregas from the corner - he is the big man up front after all - but under pressure he can't steer his header on target.
    • 29' Spain break with intent and Fabregas loses his man with a nice touch before sliding in Iniesta. The midfielder shoots first time but his effort is deflected behind for a corner.
    • 28' Spain look very comfortable and if the game continues to pan out like this then I think Blanc will come under heavy fire for his decision to sit back and invite pressure.
    • 26' Alonso, who will miss the semi-finals with a booking tonight, clatters into Benzema to give away a free kick 35 yards from goal. The striker shoots and lifts the ball high over the bar.
    • 25' Stat from Opta: "Over their last 25 fixtures at Euros and World Cups, the only side able to score more than a single goal against Spain were France (3-1 in the 2006 World Cup)."
    • 24' Silva attempts to find a red shirt with a cut-back before France string together a nice passing move for once at the other end. Neither team manage to get a shot away though.
    • 22' The Spain fans mark each pass with "ole". Confidence is flowing through the reigning champions now. France surrendered any initiative with their formation and now have a lot to do.
    • 21' There have now been 20 headed goals out of a total of 68 - a record ratio for the European Championship.
    • 20' Spain look for a quick second but Xavi gets under his volley and thumps the ball high into the stands. France are set up to contain Spain but now they have to come out.
    • 19' GOAL! Spain 1-0 France! Xabi Alonso heads home on his 100th appearance for his country! Iniesta plays in Alba and Debuchy slips, allowing the Valencia man to put in a deep cross to the back post where Alonso powers a header back across goal.
    • 18' Xavi pings a pass out for Arbeloa, who so often tonight has been the outlet for the Spain attack. Who can he target with a cross though? Spain's army of midfielders are all tiny.
    • 16' To be honest this hasn't exactly been a thriller. France's set-up has seen to that.
    • 15' Yann M'Vila tries to inject some urgency into France's build-up play with a cute pass forward for Karim Benzema, who is lurking to the left of the box. However, his pass is too strong for the striker to control.
    • 14' Silva shapes to dart into the box before playing the ball into the channel to find Arbeloa. He panics and pulls a shot across the box. That's not who you want getting on the end of the ball in the box really, is it?
    • 13' Stat from Opta: "Spain have won just one of their nine previous European Championship or World Cup quarter-finals outright (v Paraguay in World Cup 2010) – four of those ended in penalty shootouts, with Spain winning just once this way (Euro 2008)."
    • 12' France really are standing off quite alarmingly. Spain are taking advantage by playing the ball around in front of the box and across the width of the pitch.
    • 11' Fabregas spreads the ball wide to Arbeloa and he whips in a cross that Lloris comes off his line to grab. France haven't exactly been overwhelmed yet but it is Spain doing all the pressing.
    • 9' Lovely skills from Ribery as he drags the ball back and gets away from Alvaro Arbeloa. Spain recover though and hassle him out of possession.
    • 8' On his 100th cap, Alonso tries to score a trademark goal when attempting to float a shot over Lloris from 45 yards. However, the France captain is alert and catches the shot.
    • 7' There have only been two penalties at these finals and though Fabregas's claim was a bit weak, some referees may have given it.
    • 6' Andres Iniesta tries to slip a pass through a crowd of players to Fabregas but sees Rami cut his attempt out. Alonso then picks out Fabregas, who goes to ground under contact from Gael Clichy in the box. There was contact and he wants a penalty, but it was a 50-50 incident.
    • 5' No patience from France as Lloris snatches at a clearance and punts the ball out of play. You won't get very far against Spain if you give the ball away that easily.
    • 4' Franck Ribery and Florent Malouda combine well down the left but Spain, in typical fashion, soon crowd them out and win possession back. Xabi Alonso tries to pick out Cesc Fabregas over the top but gets too much on it.
    • 3' Jordi Alba looks to burst into space down the left but Adil Rami comes across to boot the ball out for a throw. Safety first: that is France's raison d'être tonight.
    • 2' Spain are already knocking the ball about with a hypnotic rhythm. France are sitting very deep so far.
    • 1' KICK OFF!
    • 19.45 The teams emerge at the Donbass Arena and the French national anthem fills the air. It's a stirring sound. Now we are treated to the Spanish. No words, but plenty of emotion. It's shaping up to be a decent atmosphere.
    • 19.40 Portugal reached the last four courtesy of a 1-0 win over Czech Republic - with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring with a header - while Germany progressed with an entertaining 4-2 win over Greece last night. I fancy Spain tonight, especially given the way France are set up, but it could be close. Neither side has been at their best in the tournament so far so if one steps up a notch, it could give them the edge.
    • 19.35 I had the pleasure of getting to six games during the group stage on behalf of Eurosport. I am back in England now but I'll still be tweeting happily away about Euro 2012 and all things football. Follow Tom Adams on Twitter!
    • 19.30 Right, some stats for you: Xabi Alonso wins his 100th cap for Spain tonight. Since losing 0-1 vs Switzerland at the 2010 World Cup, Spain have won 16 of 17 competitive games (one draw vs Italy). Spain have never won a competitive game against France (L5 D1).
    • 19.25 Today is the final day when previous bookings come into effect, so just for your reference, here are the players who will miss the semi-final if they are shown a yellow card: for France, Debuchy and Menez; for Spain: Alba, Alonso, Torres and Martinez.
    • 19.20 There is of course no mystery about the way Spain will approach this game. Their tiki-taka is now firmly ingrained on the football consciousness, with Xavi the grand architect of the possession game. Andy Mitten spoke to him recently. Mitten: Xavi still Spain's pass master
    • 19.15 Arsene Wenger has pinpointed this as the game of the round and interestingly he says Spain are still not at the level they were when winning the World Cup two years ago or Euro 2008. Wenger: Spain still mentally suspect
    • 19.10 The biggest call on either side looks to be Blanc dropping Nasri - a player who perhaps more than any other has symbolised this new France side since the horror of the 2010 World Cup. He was very influential against England in the opening game but has paid the price for that defeat to Sweden, being sacrificed so France can have a more pragmatic outlook. There's only one striker on the pitch tonight: Karim Benzema, and he hasn't scored in 17 shots at Euro 2012.
    • 19.05 So an intriguing tactical battle awaits, then. Spain are back into their strikerless formation - which hasn't been hugely convincing so far it must be said - while France have surrendered any pretence at being proactive, with Debuchy and Reveillere doubling up on Iniesta. It's a shame in some respects as France surely do have the creative talent to trouble Spain, if only they had been bold enough to unleash it.
    • 19.00 France make four changes from the side that lost 2-0 to Sweden to lose top spot in Group D to England. The first is enforced as Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny replaces the suspended Philippe Mexes. However, Laurent Blanc has also adopted a very negative approach, bringing Anthony Reveillere into right-back and pushing Mathieu Debuchy forward, with Florent Malouda and Yohan Cabaye also coming in. Samir Nasri, Hatem Ben Arfa and Alou Diarra are dropped.
    • 18.55 Vicente del Bosque makes one change as he reverts to the 4-6-0 formation that brought a 1-1 draw with Italy in Spain's opening game. Fernando Torres started the following games against Ireland and Croatia but makes way for Cesc Fabregas, who performs in the false nine role again. It's quite something that Spain continue this experiment at this stage of a major tournament.
    • 18.50 TEAMS: Spain: Casillas, Arbeloa, Pique, Ramos, Alba, Busquets, Alonso, Xavi, Silva, Fabregas, Iniesta. /// France: Lloris, Reveillere, Rami, Koscielny, Clichy, Debuchy, M'Vila, Cabaye, Malouda, Ribery, Benzema.
    • 18.45 Hello and welcome to our live commentary on the third Euro 2012 quarter-final between Spain and France in Donetsk. Which side will go through to face Portugal in the last four? Stick around to find out.
  • Summary

    • No live comments for this game

Team Line-up & Ratings

  • Spain

    Manager: Vicente del Bosque

  • France

    Manager: Laurent Blanc

  • Line-up

  • Rate Players

    Rate Players

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    • Player Y! Users Expert My Rating
      7.2 6
      6 6
      6.2 7
      Yellow Card 6.4 7
      6.6 7
      6.1 7
      6.7 7
      Goals ×2 7.8 8
      Substitution Out65′ 6.3 6
      Substitution Out84′ 6.9 7
      Substitution Out67′ 6.2 6
      Substitution In67′ 6.4 6
      Substitution In84′ 5.6 6
      Substitution In65′ 6.5 7
    • Player Y! Users Expert My Rating
      6.3 7
      3.7 5
      4.1 6
      5.2 7
      4.1 5
      Substitution Out79′ 4 6
      Yellow Card 4.9 6
      Substitution Out65′ 3.6 5
      Substitution Out64′ 3.6 6
      5.4 6
      4 5
      Substitution In64′ Yellow Card 3.8 6
      Substitution In65′ 3.4 5
      Substitution In79′ 3.8 6

Comment 316 - 336 of 336

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  1. cristiano beter than xavi ???

    From Oliver Cesar, on Mon 25 Jun 8:41
  2. it was alonso night

    From Oliver Cesar, on Mon 25 Jun 8:39
  3. #365 - Chris: "This match reminded me of­ Spain-Germany in the 2010­ World Cup semifinal. Germany­ looked just as poor as­ France did today (even after­ destroying England and­ Argentina). That's what­ Spain does to everybody­ now. It seems that nobody­ wants to open up and attack­ them... I fully expect­ Portugal to sit deep, park the­ bus and hope for a­ lucky goal too. Spain matches­ would be more exciting­ to watch if other teams dared­ attacking them, instead­ of playing like cowards." THIS.

    From Mike, on Sun 24 Jun 15:30
  4. If Ben arfa didn't act like a brat he could've­ played a key role in this French team. This team still­ has potential but could've done better at this­ tournament. France will be one to watch out for in the­ next world cup as I don't see their team changing­ much and they will only get better. They should go with­ a 4-2-3-1 formation and stick with it in my opinion,­ they have more than enough flair players in their­ attacking roles to cause teams problems.

    From Benny, on Sun 24 Jun 15:15
  5. WOODAT: Getting your information from Maradona is like­ getting it from Wikipedia. If you want to know what­ real footballers views are, ask Pele (a pedigree in­ football), a man who works hard to earned his­ reputation not someone that relied on coke to see him­ through 90mins of football.

    From LEGENDARY, on Sun 24 Jun 13:45
  6. What makes you think all the winnings portuguese has­ been getting, they've not been getting help from­ ref inorder to protect Ronaldo's position as 2nd­ best in the world? Get over it....I dare Porugal to­ come out and play against Spain and see if they­ won't go home 6-0 or more. If they sit down and­ park the bus, that will also force Spain to keep­ falling. You can't eat your cake and have it. ­ It's high time FIFA/UEFA starts kicking teams out­ of tournament for parking the bus. That will bring­ legitamacy into the game in regards to being a champ.

    From LEGENDARY, on Sun 24 Jun 13:35
  7. Comment hidden due to its low rating. Show

    IF THE REFEREE LETS THE GAME FLOW FREELY, PORTUGAL,­ C.RONALDO AND CO WILL EAT THE SPANISH ALIVE. Those­ little useless pointless spanish passes mean nothing to­ an attacking Portugal !!! UNLESS OF COURSE THE­ REFEREE... "BLOWS THE WHISTLE EVERY TIME PORTUGAL­ IS ATTACKING...." UNLESS OF COURSE THE­ "...REFEREE'S DECISIONS ARE ALL IN FAVOUR OF­ THE SPANISH" UNLESS THE REFEREE PULLS OUT YELLOW­ AND RED CARDS EVERY TIME A PORTUGUESE LAYER SNEEZES,­ LOL unless the referee has been instructed to help­ Spain... If that does not happen and the referee is­ UNbiased Portugal will eat Spain alive. ---BY THE WAY­ those quote above were Maradonas's right after the­ Portugal Spain match in the WC 2010. There is a video­ of that press conference in You Tube entitles­ "Maradona comments Spain vs Portugal [WC 2010] and­ talks about Cristiano Ronaldo" -- Just copy and­ paste and yoiu will see that more and more people­ including Maradonna believe fixing goes on in football.­ LET THE GAME FLOW NATURALLY, UEFA, AND PORTUGAL WILL­ MUNCH SPAIN 5-0 !!

    From Woodat, on Sun 24 Jun 11:27
  8. Comment hidden due to its low rating. Show

    The second spanish goal was absolute genius... scored­ by the referee ! Let's see Spain play Portugal....­ LET'S HOPE UEFA's REFEREE DOES NOT INTERFERE­ because this time the world is watching and the world­ will SEE it. UEFA CANNOT FIX EVERYTIME AND GET AWAY­ WITH IT EVERY TIME.. It is easy to look good when the­ referee is behind you, LOL

    From Woodat, on Sun 24 Jun 11:18
  9. The Spanish players ability with the ball is what wins­ them games, they are light years ahead in comparison to­ England in ball skills , or any other euroean team for­ that matter . they are so confident that they even pass­ the ball to team mates who have an opponant stading­ beside them, you will never in a million years see an­ England player doing that, its just booted up the park.

    From john sloop b, on Sun 24 Jun 10:07
  10. yyyyyyyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy viva­ espana alonso double to score the winning goal win this­ spain XD

    From Yurgen, on Sun 24 Jun 7:59
  11. cool this is stupid

    From Steve, on Sun 24 Jun 7:29
  12. Fantastic performance by France reminded me the the­ disaster of modern football played by Chelsea. But this­ time justice was made and the weak blue team sent­ packing.

    From Enver, on Sun 24 Jun 6:52
  13. This match reminded me of Spain-Germany in the 2010­ World Cup semifinal. Germany looked just as poor as­ France did today (even after destroying England and­ Argentina). That's what Spain does to everybody­ now. It seems that nobody wants to open up and attack­ them... I fully expect Portugal to sit deep, park the­ bus and hope for a lucky goal too. Spain matches­ would be more exciting to watch if other teams dared­ attacking them, instead of playing like cowards.

    From Chris, on Sun 24 Jun 5:43
  14. France midfield is totally outplay by Spain. Blanc has­ wrong game plan, he should starts with Nasri and Ben­ Harfa, drop Benzema and Mvila. They should be more­ compact in midfield like Spain. Short player vs Short­ player. I think Blanc should start with Koscielny from­ the previous games ahead of Mexes as Koscielny is is­ best performer against Spain. France should have beaten­ Swenden to avoid Spain.

    From desmond, on Sun 24 Jun 5:27
  15. If Evra play it might be 4-0... hahahaha !!

    From Srawut, on Sun 24 Jun 2:54
  16. Spain rule the world

    From osifo omo, on Sun 24 Jun 2:07
  17. Xabi Alonso seen in the picture above is making a sign­ of Wolfpack, which is a sign used by NWO. He 's a­ wrestling fan for sure.

    From Hendric, on Sun 24 Jun 1:51
  18. I missed this game as I was busy having tantric sex.

    From Tony H, on Sun 24 Jun 0:44
  19. LEGENDARY, So who are you actually supporting? What­ point are you trying to make??

    From JASON, on Sun 24 Jun 0:09
  20. I would rather lie naked in a bath of acid run over hot­ coals boil my head than watch france play they are­ sooooo fookin shyte it beggars belief thank god they­ are out although boring pass pass pass pass pass spain­ made hard work of it.

    From stevo, on Sun 24 Jun 0:01
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