Euro 2012: Alonso’s double leads Spain past France

AlonsoBrace (Getty)

France knew the task would be a difficult one, and plotted a defense-minded approach to trying to stop Spain's relentess possession and nearly unstoppable control. Though well-intended, 'Les Blues' simply couldn't stop Spain's domination and became the latest victim to fall short in the quest to dethrone the reigning European and World champions.

Alonso gave Spain the only goal they would need with a first-half header before converting a penalty kick late in the second half to seal a 2-0 victory in the European Championship quarterfinals on Saturday.

Spain never looked troubled in controlling the match for most of the day. Vicente Del Bosque trotted out his "no forward" lineup again, with Cesc Fabregas starting ahead of Fernando Torres, while France came out in a surprisingly defensive 4-5-1 formation that saw Samir Nasri left on the bench.

France never really threatened Casillas, with the French attack mustering few quality chances in a match that saw the reigning champions dominate possession yet again.

Jordi Alba enjoyed an outstanding performance, setting up Alonso's 19th-minute opener and providing a real threat on the left flank for much of the match.

The victory moves Spain into the Euro 2012 semifinals, where they will face Portugal on Wednesday.

Here are the match highlights:

 

What did you think of the match? Impressed with Spain's domination, or are you starting to find their games boring? Disappointed in France's decision to be overly defensive? Surprised with Laurent Blanc's lineup decisions?

Share your thoughts below.

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7 Responses to Euro 2012: Alonso’s double leads Spain past France

  1. slowleftarm says:

    Did France touch the ball yet?

  2. Mike says:

    I’m so sick of hearing about Spain being ‘boring.’ Let’s put the blame for that where it belongs, on the teams that park the double deckers.

  3. YO says:

    Boring!

  4. Dimidri says:

    Uhhh….Spain does that to every team. Every team. Italy did not ‘park the bus’ and they still did it. It is boring, heck England is more fun to watch. And the ‘moral’ difference between Spain and say Ireland is that Ireland have no choice but to park the bus, while Spain could easily do things like they did under Aragones and still win. I’m not trying to tell them to play differently, but I am tired of people saying Spain is god’s gift to humanity. Chile 2010 WC was.

  5. jones says:

    Both Italy and Croatia gave Spain more to think about than this French team. I don’t generally find Spain “boring” to watch; this particular match was boring because the French lacked quality. And this says something, because Spain have not had a particularly dominating tournament so far (despite keeping possession, they have lacked bite).

  6. fischy says:

    Boring?!?!?

    Xabi Alonso is the most interesting man in the world! Stay thirsty my friends!

  7. MASE NJRB says:

    Spain isnt Gods gift to humanity but Gods gift to football, comparing Chile 2010 WC is a joke considering that if Spain wins this Euro, are going to go down as the best Nat team ever.