Alex Grimm/Getty Images
Andres Iniesta: If Xavi had a very good game, Iniesta had a even better game. Don Andres began running the break in the 11th minute and continued to be the Italians’ biggest nuisance throughout the game.
Iniesta was making plays and took a good shot at net in the 25th minute. He sent in a ball for Xavi in the 30th minute, which was just a bit off. He came back and made Gianluigi Buffon work, as Iniesta took another strong shot just a minute later. Iniesta got the angle wrong, as he almost got his goal before halftime. But again, solid Italian defending made that shot tough for him.
In the second half, Don Andres continued to be the “crack” we all know he is. A great pass from Xavi led to a good look at ’52. Towards the end of the game, Andres was trying to set up Fernando Torres but to no avail. The Italian defenders where constantly worried about Iniesta, and it was his great play that lead the offensive opportunities along with Xavi setting up plays.
Overall, I give Andres Iniesta an "A." Grande Andres!
Cesc Fabregas: This was the surprise of the game, as Cesc was placed a forward by Del Bosque. Cesc started off terribly, as he kept coming back to midfield to try and help set up the offense. David Silva moved to striker many times. Fabregas needed to take the shot in the 32st minute as he hesitated.
Cesc did not play well for most of the first half, but he later turned it around late in the first half. He had a shot on goal in the 50th minute. After Di Natale scored to give Italy the lead, Cesc answered back. He got the equalizer after a fine pass from David Silva found Fabregas, who put it past Buffon to make it 1-1.
Cesc came off at the 74th minute for Fernando Torres. Overall, I give Cesc a C+ because he had a poor game for the first 40 minutes he was in there, but he improved in the rest of the 34 minutes he was in the game, capped off with the goal that gave Spain a share of the points.
David Silva: “Chino” Silva had a solid game for Spain. He created plays from the beginning and was the right choice to start by Del Bosque. Silva was the lone player who kept attacking during the opening minutes of the game.
He almost had goal in the 11th minute as he came attacking from the right. He had another good shot at Buffon in the 14th minute.
Silva played great in the first half. He conintued his excellent play in the second half, as he made the great pass to Cesc Fabregas for the equalizer in the 64th minute. Silva was taken out of the game right after the Fabregas goal and was replace by Jesus Navas.
David Silva was one of two players (along with Andres Iniesta) I mentioned in Michael Cummings' article "Euro 2012 Power Rankings" who will be the key players for Spain. Today, both Iniesta and David Silva showed us why I chose them to be so essential to Spain's success.
As well as Silva played on the right, I think Del Bosque should put him at midfield next game to help take the pressure off Xavi in creating plays. Silva gets an A.
Jesus Navas: Navas came in as a substitute for David Silva in the 64th minute. He had great speed as usual, causing problems for the Italian defense for the time he was in there.
There’s not too much to criticize, as he was not a major factor in the game. Navas was open when Fernando Torres had a breakaway against Buffon late in the game, but El Niño did not set up the Sevilla man.
Navas gets a B. My hope is that Jesus Navas starts next game against Ireland.
Fernando Torres: Replaced Cesc in the 74th minute. Torres had two excellent opportunities late in the game to give Spain the victory, and both times he made the wrong decision.
El Niño missed the opportunity Spain had to win the game, as Torres had a one-on-one against Buffon in the 75th minute. Torres tried to go around Gianluigi, but good job by the Italian, as he stayed with Torres and won the battle.
Torres missed perhaps the best opportunity to give Spain the win in the 85th minute, as Buffon was off his line and Torres had a wide-open goal. Torres could have passed it to Navas, who was open on the right side, but he decided to take the shot. Torres’ chip sailed high and missed.
Torres wasted the opportunities he had. I hope he can rebound later in the tournament, but I'm not going to hold my breath. El Niño gets a D.