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Alberto Aquilani's deflected shot six minutes from time gave Italy a 2-1 friendly win against world and European champions Spain.
Cesare Prandelli's team, top of UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying Group C by five points, took the lead in Bari through Riccardo Montolivo's goal after ten minutes. Former Liverpool FC midfielder Xabi Alonso put Spain level from the penalty spot eight minutes before half-time, but it was current Anfield employee Aquilani who had the final word.
The Azzurri had come close to taking the lead after just four minutes, Domenico Criscito's powerful strike beating Iker Casillas but hitting a post. The breakthrough came soon enough, though, Criscito turning provider with a neat pass to Montolivo, who chipped deftly over Casillas for his first international goal.
Italy had the chance to double their advantage soon after the half-hour but Casillas was this time on hand to smother Giuseppe Rossi's close-range shot. The Real Madrid CF keeper's fine work was rewarded soon after when Giorgio Chiellini was adjudged to have fouled Fernando Llorente and Alonso did the rest from the spot.
Antonio Cassano, captain for the day to mark his return to his native Bari, so nearly celebrated in the perfect fashion but his angled shot was wonderfully kept out by Casillas. Spain had the better chances after the interval, Llorente spurning a particularly good opening and Gianluigi Buffon denying David Silva.
Aquilani, however, gave the hosts victory in the 84th minute when his shot ricocheted off Javi Martínez. Prandelli's charges return to competitive action when they travel to the Faroe Islands on 2 September.
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