Spain beat Italy 4-0 in the finals of the Euro championship to claim their third European crown in Kiev. Spain started with the formation they had played throughout this tournament, "the false no 9", which is without a specialized striker. Cesc Fabregas was deployed deep into the Italian defense and he did well to set up the first goal for David Silva. He ran in deep till the touchline only to release a nicely lofted ball that Silva put it beyond Gianluigi Buffon without much problems.
Italy pressed hard, with Riccardo Montolivo and Danielle de Rossi, who often found a way to drive past the Spanish defenders, only to be denied by "Saint" Iker Casillas, who was magnificent at the Spanish goal. Italy suffered their second setback when Juventus defender Giorgio Chielini, was injured. Federico Balzaretti had to come in his place. Balzaretti did well on the left, often producing menacing runs.
Italy defeated Germany 2-1 on Thursday courtesy of a pair of goals from controversial striker Mario Balotelli. When you have Balotelli and world class goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon having their best day on either end of the pitch, there is little you can do, to win. Balotelli was at his lethal best, scoring twice in the first half. The first one was cleverly set up by Antonio Cassano, who ran into two German defenders, turned past them to find Balotelli, who drilled a powerful header past Manuel Neuer. This one could be attributed to a major defense lapse, as Balotelli's marker Holger Badstuber did not even attempt to defend it.
Just take a look at the names of the Netherlands' top players which include, Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder, Rafael van Der Vaart, Robin van Persie and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. There is nothing these guys can't accomplish if they played like a team. But playing like a team is a challenge for these Dutch stars. They must take a leaf out of the books of teams like Greece, who despite having an average group of players, managed to back each other and roared past the rampant Russian's who looked certain to qualify.
There is no one single person you can blame for losing all their group games. There were several factors contributing to it.
There is something about the Gilles Villeneuve circuit that gets the best out of McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton. It was his third win here and it takes him to the top of the Driver's Standings, two points ahead of Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso, who is a point further ahead of defending champion Sebastian Vettel.
Hamilton roared past Alonso and Vettel in the last ten laps as his two-stop strategy worked in comparison to the one-stop employed by Alonso and Vettel. Their tires were completely worn off and Hamilton took advantage of that to record far superior lap times and post his first victory for this season, making him the seventh different driver to win a race this season.
Somehow Jenson Button in the other McLaren looked totally out of sorts with none of the changes working for him.
Romain Grosjean drove a no nonsense race to finish second. No risky moves. Waited for his opportunity and used the good race pace of his Lotus to get past Alonso towards the end. Kimi Raikkonen in the other Lotus finished eighth.
Spain, Italy, Ireland and Croatia make up for group C. This group has a perfect blend of big guns Spain and Italy, the talented Croats and an ever improving Irish side.