Euro 2008 final: Spain Triumph As Germany Falter
Before the final, the German team were said to be planning to restrict the Spanish midfield and its apparent ease at maintaining possession. Unfortunately for the Germans, this did not happen.
From the outset it seemed the game would be interesting with the early exchanges providing some exciting moments. From here the Spanish slowly took control as they grew in confidence after a nervous start.
With the German forwards having to sprint about for scraps, it was the Spanish who provided the first real scare with Torres hitting the base of the post after a well directed ball from out wide.
This incident briefly brought Germany to life but it was the Spanish who continued to threaten and eventually score.
After a fairly innocent looking exchange of passes in the midfield area the German back four was caught horribly flat-footed with Lahm letting the fleet-footed Torres ghost past him and onto the ball fractions ahead of the advancing Lehmann, the Spaniard finishing classily with a deft touch over the stranded keeper.
This only increased the confidence of the Spanish side who began to really exert control over the match with the midfield looking good and having time to do it.
Half-time seemed to be a chance for the German side to try and work out what was going wrong. The German coach Low attempted to inject something into the game by bringing on Jansen for Lahm. It seemed to have worked momentarily but after a few minutes it seemed the game was once again Spain's to lose.
Not until the introduction of Kuranyi did the Germans again threaten and this time it lasted for a while longer until the Germans seemed to run out of ideas and the Spanish regained control. The Spanish were continuing to look good going forwards and were unlucky not to score twice from Sergio Ramos and Iniesta with Lehmann keeping his team in the final.
Later still it was Senna who went close in a lovely move involving the sharp looking substitute Carzorla. From here the game slowly petered out to the final whistle with Germany unable to provide anything in the way of a concerted attack.
Rosetti blew the final whistle, capping a very competent display of refereeing, sending the Spanish into rapturous celebration.
All in all a final that kept to the form guide with Germany not really looking like they should have been there and the Spanish too strong.
Watching the game I was surprised at how toothless the Germans seemed, but really looking back on the tournament they were lucky to be there. The set piece deserted them with Schweinsteiger's touch from free kicks off kilter throughout.
Klose and Podolski were very quiet with neither really in the game besides unfortunate incidents involving the nether regions and a fake head butt.
Congratulations go to the Spanish who looked every bit deserved champions and did well not to let the occasion get to them after a nervous opening.
Ending 44 years without a trophy in style they were also undefeated throughout the tournament and will look forward to the upcoming World Cup with renewed enthusiasm.
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