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  • Date:14 Jun 2012
  • Kick-off:19:45
  • Venue:PGE Arena - Gdansk
  • Fernando Torres (4)
    David Silva (49)
    Fernando Torres (70)
    Francesc Fabregas (83)

Live Commentary


A supremely confident and composed performance hands Spain victory and eliminates Ireland in the process. Torres' early goal was ultimately a blow from which Trapattoni's side never recovered and as the game wore on, gaps in their punch-drunk defence became ever-wider. Spain also have the bonus of bolstering their goal difference to a level that is now higher than both Croatia's and Italy's, should qualification for the knockout stages come down to it.


Full-time: Spain 4-0 Ireland


There will be three minutes of stoppage time. Spain have the ball and are once again just stroking it around to a backdrop of Irish fans singing. Great scenes. Fantastic support.


The Irish fans are still singing their hearts out but their heroes are now out on their feet. Fatigue at last seems to have set in for Ireland, who battled valiantly but have been ultimately beaten by a far superior team.


The corner that yielded the goal was won when Cazorla drew a smart save from Given with a long-range strike. Meanwhile, Sean St Ledger has been booked for a foul on Silva.


Fabregas picks the ball up from a short corner, evades his marker and then rockets a right-foot shot in off the far post. Superb goal.


Goal! Spain 4-0 Ireland (Cesc Fabregas)


And a substitution for Ireland, who send on Paul Green in place of Whelan.


Another change for Spain, as Iniesta makes way for Santiago Cazorla.


Xavi looks to follow Andrea Pirlo by scoring from a free-kick, but his right-footed effort from 25 yards is high and wide.


Substitution for Ireland as James McClean is sent on for Damien Duff.


Chance for Ireland as Robbie Keane draws a diving save from Casillas with a crisp left-foot shot from the left channel.


Torres won't be given the chance to complete his hat-trick, as he is replaced by Cesc Fabregas.


Just as Ireland seemed to be getting a second wind, Silva stole possession in midfield and immediately bisected the Irish defence to play Torres in, who calmly found the bottom corner with a right-foot shot.


Goal! Spain 3-0 Ireland (Fernando Torres)


Decisions are suddenly falling Ireland's way and 50/50 challenge is given as a free-kick in their favour in a dangerous position. Whelan lofts the ball into the box, but the ball is cleared.


And Ireland attack again down the left through Aiden McGeady, whose enticing cross has to be headed over his own bar by Sergio Ramos.


Substitution for Spain, who replace Alonso with Javi Martinez.


Ireland finally navigate their way into the Spanish box but when the ball finally fell to Andrews, it was on his wrong foot and rather than shoot he unsuccessfully attempted to poke it across goal and the chance was lost.


Another close call for Spain as first Torres has a backheeled shot blocked, before Silva lays the ball back for Busquets to send a left-foot effort wide. They were literally queueing up there.


Spain could do with scoring a few goals here just in case qualification from this group ends up being settled by goal difference, but they once again seem in no rush to put Ireland to the sword. They're more preoccupied with not losing the ball, always seeking out the easy pass.


Andrews picks up a knock for Ireland but he's soon back on. He's battled tirelessly tonight.


A sensational save from Given denies Xavi's rasping shot from the edge of the box. Meanwhile, Alonso picks up a yellow card for a clumsy challenge on Walters.


Spain are back into the swing of completely dominating possession. Even when their play is broken up, their aggressive pressing means they retrieve the ball almost immediately.


Ireland have now conceded at the beginning of both halves in both games. Sluggish starts have cost them dearly.


Disaster for Ireland as Given punches Torres' shot straight out to Silva, who dummies twice before side-footing calmly into the bottom corner. That's game over.


Goal! Spain 2-0 Ireland (David Silva)


Chance for Spain as Ireland are once again caught in possession, Torres cuts the ball back to Xavi, who squares to Arbeloa to shoot straight at Given.


And we're back under way, with Ireland having made a change, replacing Cox with Jon Walters.


Half-time: Spain 1-0 Ireland


Chance for Spain as Iniesta volleys another half-clearance goalwards but his dipping volley is tipped over by Given.


Yellow card for Glenn Whelan for tripping the surging Silva.


Two more chances for Spain as first Arbeloa and then Xavi have shots from the edge of the box blocked. Straight after, Alonso volleyed a half-clearance back towards goal but his shot was wide. Spain are completely dominant.


Chance for Xavi now after Silva's lay-off, but he had to shoot between two defenders and couldn't steer the ball wide of Given.


Another chance for Spain to have shot for goal, only for them to pass instead. Iniesta brilliantly played Torres down the left and the onrushing Given was ripe to be lobbed, but the Chelsea striker instead opted to recycle possession by playing a cross-field ball to Arbeloa.


Oles from the Spanish fans now as the world champions stroke the ball between their players with seemingly no intention of going forward. Pure possession football from Spain, who are toying with Ireland.


Ireland caught napping by a quick throw from Spain that plays Torres in on goal, but his shot was on the stretch and didn't trouble Given. Meanwhile, Robbie Keane has been booked for a late challenge.


Spain have had 63 per cent of the possession so far. It feels like a lot more.


Let-off for Ireland as Iniesta and Silva pick a way through their defence and set up Torres, who is narrowly offside. This is currently an attack-against-defence training match.


Spain are just zipping the ball around the final third now, waiting for the killer pass to present itself. Meanwhile, Ireland's attacking threat is non-existent.


Alonso's shot picked up a touch from an Ireland player and from the resulting corner, Gerard Pique placed a free header from 12 yards wide. He should have at least hit the target. Very poor defending from a sleepy Ireland.


Spain opt once again to go for goal from distance as this time Alonso fires a shot narrowly over from 30 yards.


Fantastic pressing from Spain forces Ireland into surrendering possession. Iniesta picks up the loose ball and lets a left-footed shot fly from 20 yards that Given has to dive to his right to save.


Andrews is running himself into the ground for Ireland but got a little hasty with a challenge on Iniesta, which handed Spain a free-kick 30 yards out. Spain used it to set up a passing move, but they couldn't cut through a dense Irish line.


Ireland are working tirelessly when out of possession to put pressure on Spain but are largely chasing shadows. You can't fault them for effort, though.


Most of Spain's play is going down the left and Andres Iniesta. Alonso is playing deep with Sergio Busquets, which is freeing Xavi to raid forward in support of Torres.


But now Spain are back in full flow after Ireland's brief spell of possession and are looking threatening at every turn. Xabi Alonso has just played a divine ball through to Xavi, but Sean St Ledger for a foot in to intervene at just the right moment.


Ireland have finally been given chance to get on the ball but they look completely devoid of quality in the face of the immaculate Spanish. Rain is also starting to fall, which will play into the hands of Spain by making the pitch quicker.


Ireland win a corner as a half-clearance falls to Andrews, whose first-time shot is deflected wide. From the corner, Dunne headed tamely wide.


Another great chance for Torres as Xavi clips the ball to the back post for Arbeloa to cut the ball back to Torres, who can only hook a close-range shot wide.


This is looking ominous for Ireland as Silva collects the ball on the edge of the box and sends a left-foot shot through the legs of a defender, only for Given to get behind it and save comfortably.


What a goal. Richard Dunne tackled David Silva on the edge of the box and Torres was first to pick up the loose ball, taking it past Stephen Ward before blasting high shot past Shay Given.


Goal! Spain 1-0 Ireland (Fernando Torres)


Despite that Cox effort, Spain are straight into their passing rhythm, knocking the ball effortlessly around the midfield and across the full width of the pitch.


Early chance for Ireland as Simon Cox picks up the ball outside the box on the left and lets a left-foot shot fly that Casillas has to dive to push to safety.

And we're under way, with Ireland in green and Spain in their traditional red.

Spain have three players on yellow cards: Alvaro Arbeloa, Jordi Alba and Fernando Torres. Ireland have just Keith Andrews on a booking.

We've had the national anthems and we're about ready to go. Seconds away from kick-off now.

The teams are emerging from the tunnel, with Ireland led out by captain Robbie Keane and Spain by Iker Casillas.

The Irish can take heart, though, from the fact that they have never lost back-to-back matches at a major tournament.

Ireland realistically need to win to have any chance of progression, but that will be extremely difficult against a Spanish team that hasn't lost a competitive match since being beaten 1-0 by Switzerland in the 2010 World Cup, 16 games ago.

And here is the Ireland team: (4-4-1-1) Given, O'Shea, St Ledger, Dunne, Ward, Duff, Andrews, Whelan, McGeady, Cox, Keane. Subs: Westwood, Doyle, Kelly, McShane, Walters, Gibson, Hunt, O'Dea, Long, Green, McClean, Forde.

This is how Spain will line up: (4-3-3) Casillas, Arbeloa, Pique, Sergio Ramos, Jordi Alba, Xavi, Busquets, Alonso, Silva, Torres, Iniesta. Subs: Valdes, Albiol, Javi Martinez, Juanfran, Pedro, Fabregas, Negredo, Mata, Llorente, Santi Cazorla, Jesus Navas, Reina.

Both teams have made one change from their opening games, with Spain bringing in Fernando Torres for Cesc Fabregas and Ireland relacing Kevin Doyle with Simon Cox. Fabregas had been struggling with a thigh injury, but Spain boss Vicente Del Bosque was also under pressure to name a striker having played six midfielders in a 4-6-0 system against Italy.

Welcome to our coverage of Spain's Group C clash with the Republic of Ireland in Gdansk. The world champions were held to a 1-1 draw by Italy in their opening game and will be looking to register their maiden win of the tournament against an Irish team soundly beaten 3-1 by Croatia in their first match.

Just a couple of minutes away from the restart. Spain had 14 shots to Ireland's four in the first half, but only have one goal to show for it.

Spain are in total control of this match, despite playing most of that first half in third gear. For periods they didn't even seem overly keen to attack, preferring instead to just retain possession and gradually make their way up field. Ireland are running their hearts out, particularly Andrews, but can't get the ball and on the rare occasions they do, Spain's pressing is so aggressive Giovanni Trapattoni's side can't keep it. This is the most one-sided game of the tournament so far. Spain have had enough chances to be 4-0 up.

**Provisional teams until kick-off


  • Vicente Del Bosque Coach
  • Iker Casillas Goal
  • Alvaro Arbeloa Defender
  • Gerard Pique Defender
  • Sergio Ramos Defender
  • Jordi Alba Defender
  • Xavi Midfielder
  • Sergio Busquets Midfielder
  • Xabi Alonso Midfielder
  • David Silva Forward
  • Fernando Torres Forward
  • Andres Iniesta Forward
  • Victor Valdes Substitute
  • Jose Manuel Reina Substitute
  • Raul Albiol Substitute
  • Juanfran Substitute
  • Pedro Substitute
  • Alvaro Negredo Substitute
  • Juan Manuel Mata Substitute
  • Fernando Llorente Substitute
  • Jesus Navas Substitute
  • Javi Martinez
  • Francesc Fabregas
  • Santiago Cazorla


  • Giovanni Trapattoni Coach
  • Shay Given Goal
  • John O'Shea Defender
  • Richard Dunne Defender
  • Sean St Ledger Defender
  • Stephen Ward Defender
  • Damien Duff Midfielder
  • Keith Andrews Midfielder
  • Glenn Whelan Midfielder
  • Aiden McGeady Midfielder
  • Simon Cox Forward
  • Robbie Keane Forward
  • Kieran Westwood Substitute
  • David Forde Substitute
  • Kevin Doyle Substitute
  • Stephen Kelly Substitute
  • Paul McShane Substitute
  • Darron Gibson Substitute
  • Stephen Hunt Substitute
  • Darren O'Dea Substitute
  • Shane Long Substitute
  • Jonathan Walters Substitute who played
  • James McClean Substitute who played
  • Paul Green Substitute who played

Match Report

Champions Spain thrash Ireland to top group
Defending champions Spain are on course for the Euro 2012 quarter-finals after their 4-0 thrashing of Ireland on Thursday put them top of Group C with the Irish bowing out.
For all their endeavour in defence, Ireland struggled constantly to cope with the torrent of Spanish attacks as Chelsea's Fernando Torres proved he is back to his best with two clinically-taken goals.
Having decided the Euro 2008 final with the winning goal against Germany, Torres netted either side of Manchester City's David Silva second-half strike before his replacement Cesc Fabregas added the fourth seven minutes from time.
With 66 percent ball possession, 26 shots on goal, 20 of which were on target, Ireland goalkeeper Shay Given had a busy night as Spain dominated while Ireland managed just six shots on goal in total.
The win puts Spain top of the group on goal difference and level on four points with second-placed Croatia, who Vicente del Bosque's world champions face here at Arena Gdansk again on Monday.
Having suffered their second defeat after losing 3-1 to Croatia on Sunday, Giovanni Trapattoni's Ireland will exit after the group stages.
Italy, who drew 1-1 with Croatia earlier, have two points in third and can still progress if they beat Ireland in Poznan, Poland, the same day, but the Azzurri are reliant on either Spain or Croatia winning in Gdansk.
Spain had complained to UEFA about the dry condition of the Gdansk pitch during Sunday's 1-1 draw with Italy as Fabregas labeled it "a disaster", but heavy rain during Thursday's match made the issue null and void.
Having used a 4-3-3 formation against Italy without a recognised striker, Spain coach Vicente del Bosque elected to start Torres at the expense of Barcelona's Fabregas.
Silva with style
The Chelsea star rewarded the faith with the opening goal after just four minutes.
With Spain on the attack, Ireland defender Richard Dunne tackled Silva on the edge of the area, but Torres pounced on the loose ball and drilled his shot past Given from a tight angle.
Trapatonni brought on Stoke City's Jon Walters for Simon Cox up front at half-time, but there was no stemming the tide of Spanish attacks.
A long-range shot from Iniesta was parried by Given, but fell into Silva's path, who jinked his way around defenders to roll his shot calmly past Given four minutes after the break.
After Given pulled off more heroics to deny Xavi Hernandez's corner shot, Ireland lifted their tempo with a series of attacks as Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas was pressed into service.
The threatened third goal came when Silva released Torres, who raced away from Dunne and slotted home his shot on 70 minutes to give Given no chance before the Spaniard made way for Fabregas four minutes later.
The Barcelona star, who scored the equaliser against Italy, again showed his class as he drilled home his shot from a tight angle for Spain's fourth.





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