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Euro 2012: Spain v Italy Scoring Chance Index

Perhaps stung by criticism over their style as the tournament progressed, Spain hit back in some style last night to defeat Italy 4-0 in the final of Euro 2012.

Whilst the scoreline was emphatic enough, both the shot totals (14-11) and shots on target (6-4) were only marginally in favour of Spain and this was replicated in the scoring chances. In total, Spain out chanced Italy 8-5 - although the totals were level (3-3) at half-time and when Italy were reduced to ten men (5-5) with the injury to Thiago Motta (just minutes after coming on).

This largely followed the pattern of Spain's quarter-final and semi-final games which saw lower scoring chance totals than their group games and once again they kept their opponents to under five scoring chances per game.

What was a big difference between the two sides were the number of defensive errors on scoring chances, something the cost Italy on both goals in the first half that in truth put the game beyond them. We can see that both Andrea Barzagli and Leonardo Bonucci were -3 and Giorgio Chiellini was a -2 before injury ended his involvement.

The key player on the night in terms of scoring chance involvement was clearly Xavi, with his +5 rating taking his tournament total to +29: a phenomenal number that averages at a shade under +5 per game. Starting on the bench Fernando Torres once again out up some excellent numbers coming on late against tired defenses and he was a +3 in only 15 minutes and from nine touches, replicating his tournament numbers.

We also saw key parts of Italy's semi-final, Mario Balotelli and Claudio Marchisio, unable to replicate their contribution from the win over Germany and to that extent it was perhaps a surprise that Antonio Cassano (a +3) was withdrawn at half-time.

The individual totals for the game were as follows (click to enlarge):

Itaspa_sci_medium Spaita_sci_medium