Thanks to some beautiful passing, clinical finishing and an unfortunate injury to Thiago Motta, Spain cruised to a 4-0 victory in the Euro 2012 final.
David Silva, Jordi Alba, Fernando Torres and Juan Mata all scored for La Roja, powering the Spaniards to their historical third consecutive championship at a major tournament. They are the first team to accomplish such a feat, and their case for the title of "best team of all time" is stronger than ever.
The following moments were critical in their dominant victory.
David Silva Scores in the 14th Minute
Silva kicked off the scoring with that gorgeous header in the 14th minute.
It was a fantastic finish, but it wouldn't have been possible without the brilliance of Andres Iniesta and Cesc Fabregas. After receiving a beautiful through ball from Iniesta, Fabregas made a perfect first touch and delivered the ball to Silva on a platter.
It was an amazing display of team football, and as CastrolEDGEfootball pointed out, it was the earliest goal in a Euro final since 1980.
Jordi Alba Adds Another before Halftime
Italy recovered well after Silva's early goal, but Alba crushed their hopes with that easy finish in the 40th minute.
Once again it was a great display of teamwork and passing, as Xavi set up Alba with another excellent through ball. After controlling the pass, Alba did a brilliant job of squaring his shoulders and sliding the ball past Gianluigi Buffon.
It was Alba's first goal while wearing the Spanish jersey, and according to BBC Sport, he helped Xavi make European Championship history.
Xavi assisted on Jordi Alba’s goal after also assisting on the only goal in the Euro 2008 final - the first to do so in two finals— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) July 1, 2012
Italy Dealt a Devastating Blow in 60th Minute
Motta entered the game in the 56th minute as Italy's final substitute. Unfortunately, he left just four minutes later with a hamstring injury, effectively crippling Italy's hopes for a comeback.
Down two goals and playing with 10 men, the Italians had no shot of equalizing.
Torres Buries Italy in the 84th Minute
Torres is perhaps the most criticized striker in the world, but he quieted his critics by delivering the knockout punch in the 84th minute.
After yet another perfect ball from Xavi, Torres maintained his composure and scored with his first touch, effectively turning this game into a rout.
It was a clinical finish from Torres, and it earned him a place in history. As Paul Carr of ESPN pointed out, Torres is the first player to score in two Euro finals.
Fernando Torres is the 1st player to score in two separate EURO final matches.— Paul Carr (@PCarrESPN) July 1, 2012
Juan Mata Joins in on the Fun
Juan Mata came on for Iniesta in the 87th minute. Just a few seconds later, he added Spain's fourth goal with his first touch of the match.
It was an all-Chelsea hookup, as Torres pulled Buffon away from his net and fed Mata with an unselfish pass. Mata buried the easy finish, making Spain the first team ever to score four goals in a European Championship final, per STATS Football.
Spain are the first team to score 4 goals in a European Championship Final. #Euro2012— STATS Football (@STATS_Football) July 1, 2012
The goal was a fitting end to a dominant tournament for Spain, who proved that they are certainly the best team in the history of football.
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