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Spain 1-0 Italy: Calafiori own goal settles heavyweight contest as Roja win Group B

Spain sealed first place in UEFA EURO 2024 Group B with a game to spare thanks to Riccardo Calafiori's own goal in Gelsenkirchen.

Highlights: Spain 1-0 Italy

Spain claimed first place in UEFA EURO 2024 Group B, and a spot in the round of 16, with a narrow but dominant victory against Italy at the Arena AufSchalke thanks to Riccardo Calafiori's own goal early in the second half.

Key moments

2': Pedri header tipped over by Donnarumma
10': Williams nods wide in front of goal
52': Pedri slots Cucurella cross wide of near post
Morata header rebounds in off Calafiori
: Williams thumps against bar from corner of area
90+1': Donnarumma denies Pérez superbly after dribble

Match in brief: Impressive Spain too strong for Azzurri

Spain's players react to their win against Italy
Spain's players react to their win against ItalyAFP via Getty Images

Both sides named familiar line-ups after opening victories, the fit-again Aymeric Laporte coming into the centre of the defence in Spain's only change, while Italy stuck with the side that came back from conceding after 23 seconds to beat Albania. The Azzurri were nearly undone again early on, the trickery of Nico Williams down the left creating a headed chance for Pedri, whose effort was tipped over by the flying Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Williams himself passed up an even better chance in the tenth minute, flashing a header wide when in space in front of goal, and Spain continued to ask more questions. Donnarumma had to be alert to block Álvaro Morata's angled effort and promptly dived to his left to flick over a long-range drive from Fabián Ruiz, who subsequently had a shot blocked by Alessandro Bastoni.

A couple of characteristic forays down the left from Federico Dimarco aside, Italy had struggled to find a route to the Spain penalty area, and Luciano Spalletti responded by bringing on Bryan Cristante and Andrea Cambiaso at the break. That failed to stem the flow of traffic towards the Italy goal, and again Pedri might have broken the deadlock, firing a gilt-edged chance wide from Marc Cucurella's cross.

The decisive goal bounces in off Riccardo Calafiori (No5)
The decisive goal bounces in off Riccardo Calafiori (No5)Getty Images

Finally the breakthrough arrived, although from an unexpected source. It was no surprise that the move originated down the Spain left with Williams, however, his cross flicked on by Morata; Donnarumma could only get fingertips to the header and the ball rebounded in off Calafiori.

The goalkeeper tipped over another Morata effort as Spain sought to press their advantage, Cambiaso clearing off his own line moments later. Lamine Yamal then curled just wide, and although a Cristante cross into the Spain goalmouth reminded them of Italy's threat, La Roja responded in kind, the lively Williams cutting inside from the left and thumping a shot against the crossbar from the corner of the area.

With time running out, Italy tried to work up a head of steam, but Cristante's flick – comfortably gathered by Unai Simón – was as close as they came to stopping Spain from securing their place in the round of 16. Indeed, the three-time champions might have increased their margin of victory in the final stages, Donnarumma denying substitute Ayoze Pérez twice in added time.

Spain 1-0 Italy: As it happened, reaction

Vivo Player of the Match: Nico Williams (Spain)

Nico Williams receives his Player of the Match award
Nico Williams receives his Player of the Match awardUEFA via Getty Images

A constant threat every time he had the ball and positive in every 1v1 situation. He had some good regains and was solid defensively, plus he created the goal and hit the bar. A great individual display.
UEFA Technical Observer panel

Graham Hunter, Spain reporter

A wonderful, daring, aggressive performance and one which needed to earn a much bigger prize. Spain thrilled, the neutrals will have adopted them, Pedri was outstanding... but they couldn't go through the gears in terms of chance conversion. EURO 2024 was graced by this match.

Paolo Menicucci, Italy reporter

The Azzurri were fortunate to lose by only a one-goal margin after failing to match Spain for most of the game. Only a series of saves by the wonderful Donnarumma spared Italy from a much heavier defeat. Spain won almost every duel, with Nico Williams unstoppable, and fully deserved victory and first place in the group. The Azzurri now face a decisive Matchday 3 meeting with Croatia to reach the round of 16.


Nico Williams reacts after heading wide early on
Nico Williams reacts after heading wide early onUEFA via Getty Images

Luis de la Fuente, Spain coach: "This was our best performance since I became coach. We played well against Italy in the [2022/23] Nations League, but I think this was a more complete performance. I'm very proud of the result and the way in which we won this match, but it's a very challenging tournament. We were superior across the board. I have so much respect for Italy; they had some difficulties tonight, but part of that is because we played so well."

Nico Williams, Vivo Player of the Match: "We dominated across the board. Italy are an excellent side, but we played very well and deserved to win. I think it's my most complete performance with Spain and I hope to kick on and be able to help the team as much as possible. I've always dreamed of being involved in a level like this, playing in the European Championship and winning Player of the Match. I'm delighted."

Luciano Spalletti, Italy coach: "There were too many gaps, all over the pitch. We were constantly stretched; we were never able to squeeze the gaps between the various units and they were able to causes us problems. They caused us more problems than the scoreline suggests – let's not beat around the bush."

Gianluigi Donnarumma, Italy goalkeeper: "Honestly, I don't care about my saves – I was hoping for a different result and a different performance. We missed too many easy passes and put in too little quality and, if you miss that much, they punish you."

Key stats

Gianluigi Donnarumma tips over a Pedri header in the second minute
Gianluigi Donnarumma tips over a Pedri header in the second minuteAFP via Getty Images
  • Spain have now won three games in a row against Italy and are unbeaten in the last six matches between the sides (W4 D2).
  • This was the eighth EURO final tournament match between Spain and Italy, a competition record, and the fifth consecutive EURO final tournament in which they have faced each other.
  • Spain have now won two of those eight EURO matches, the other victory a 4-0 success in the 2012 final.
  • Spain have lost only one of their last 14 EURO group games (W10 D3).
  • La Roja have kept eight clean sheets in their last ten group fixtures in the tournament.
  • This is only the third time Spain have started a EURO final tournament with two wins, after 2008 and 2016.
  • Pedri has made 12 appearances in EURO and FIFA World Cup tournaments, matching the European record for a player aged 21 or younger set by Cristiano Ronaldo.
  • Riccardo Calafiori is only the second Italian to score an own goal in a EURO or World Cup and the first since Cristian Zaccardo against the United States at the 2006 World Cup.
  • This was only Italy's fourth defeat in 29 EURO group games (W16 D9).
  • Excluding penalty shoot-outs, this was Italy's first defeat in 11 EURO matches (W7 D3).
  • The Azzurri failed to score for the first time in 11 games in the tournament.


Spain: Simón; Carvajal, Le Normand, Laporte, Cucurella; Pedri (Ález Baena 71), Rodri, Fabián Ruiz (Merino 90+4); Yamal (Ferran Torres 71), Morata (Oyarzabal 78), Williams (Pérez 78)

Italy: Donnarumma; Di Lorenzo, Bastoni, Calafiori, Dimarco; Barella, Jorginho (Cristante 46); Frattesi (Cambiaso 46), Pellegrini (Raspadori 82), Chiesa (Zaccagni 64); Scamacca (Retegui 64)

Next up

Albania vs Spain – Monday 24 June, Düsseldorf
Croatia vs Italy – Monday 24 June, Leipzig