Italy won 2-1 in Spain and on aggregate to ensure the UEFA European Under-21 Championship's most successful nation will be attempting to win a sixth crown in nine tournaments next summer.
After a goalless first match in Modena last Friday, first-half efforts from Giorgio Chiellini and Riccardo Montolivo secured Italy's ticket for the finals and rendered Roberto Soldado's strike for Spain - in the inaugural match at the Nueva Balastera Stadium in Palencia - as nothing more than a consolation. It also means the Azzurrini could come up against the side who knocked them out in 2006 in the 2007 edition, as the Netherlands will host the finals.
With Pierluigi Casiraghi's side not having conceded a goal in qualifying before tonight's match, Spain knew they were in for a tough task once Chiellini had given Italy a 24th-minute lead. The Juventus defender, arguably his country's best player in the recent championship in Portugal, lifted a left-footed lob over Spain goalkeeper Miguel Angel Moyà from outside the penalty area to break the deadlock in style.
Having played brilliantly in the first leg, Moyà was beaten by another fine goal nine minutes later as Montolivo scored with a stunning volley. The goal left Spain needing three to progress, and home coach Iñaki Sáez brought on Soldado for Javier Arizmendi early in the second half as his side's task grew forlorn. The CA Osasuna striker reduced arrears by heading in Javier Garrido's cross just before the hour, although Spanish hopes were ended as Javier Flaño was sent off four minutes from time.
Soldado said: "Although we controlled the game Italy scored two great goals. We know how they play, but we feel helpless because we were the better team."