EURO 2012 LIVE: Spain vs. Italy

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1838: Cassano trips Casillas, who spends a little too long on the ball when he takes a back pass, and the referee gives a free kick to Spain. That seems to have shaken Casillas a little bit. He appeared OK, though, in saving a low shot from Cassano soon after.

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1835: Spain 0, Italy 0 after 35 minutes.

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1831: While Italy’s makeshift defense is playing well, you can’t help but wonder if Spain would benefit from having an out-and-out striker in its starting XI. Silva, Iniesta and Fabregas aren’t playing badly but Spain don’t look as lethal in attack as it usually does.

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1826: Andres Iniesta, the man who scored Spain’s winner in the 2010 World Cup final, escapes the attention of the Italy midfield and skips into the area, moving the ball onto his right foot before De Rossi blocks his attempt on goal. Italy looking typically stubborn in defense so far here in Gdansk _ the Azzurri had the best defensive record in qualifying, by the way.

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1822: Twenty-two minutes played and it is 0-0 here between Spain and Italy, although Cassano almost changed that with a low, angled shot that slid just wide. This isn’t all one-way traffic.

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1820: Italy’s turn to go close now. They win a free kick in a dangerous area, a little more than 20 yards (meters) from goal. Balotelli shapes to shoot but runs over the ball before Andrea Pirlo whips a stinging low effort toward the Spain goal. Casillas gets down well to punch the ball to safety.

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1815: Spain break on the counter and Xavi plays in David Silva, who should really test Buffon in the Italy goal a lot better than he does. He finds space on the right of the penalty area, cuts in on his favored left but shoots weakly straight at the keeper. Nice, open game here and atmosphere is still lively.

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1810: David Silva shoots just over for Spain. Pattern of the game is already set, although Balotelli’s had some neat touches up front and has a shot deflected just wide.

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