Spain are into the Euro 2024 knockout stage in impressive fashion with their second win, despite not scoring a goal of their own against Italy. Check out the best facts and do your own analysis of the Opta data with our Spain vs Italy stats page.

Forgive Spanish players for not finishing clear chances presented to them above their shoulders. Aerial aptitude typically hasn’t been their thing after a generation of the ball moving seamlessly over ground.

Delivering the ball on the deck proved to have similar results. The threat was there, the finishing was not.

And then Luis de la Fuente’s side figured it out: leave that last touch to Italy. It’s been a popular choice in these Euros, and it worked in Spain’s 1-0 victory on Thursday night in Gelsenkirchen to secure Group B top spot and end a dreadful run in major tournaments against their southern European rivals.

A decisive own goal may seem an underwhelming conclusion to a match of deep knockout-stage stature among two teams that combine to account for four of the past eight finalists at the European Championship and three of the last four champions, but Spain will absolutely take it and dwell on the misses if or when they cost them points or progression.

The first came less than two minutes in when an underwhelming Pedri header forced a save from Gianluigi Donnarumma following a cross from the left side by Nico Williams. In the 10th minute, Williams had a massive headed opportunity of his own after a ball into the box from Álvaro Morata but wasn’t able to direct it on target.

The goals weren’t there, but the tactical shift was evident with La Roja driving at Italy up the flanks through wingers Williams and Lamine Yamal.

Their third legitimate chance came five minutes later with Morata driving toward goal and forcing another Donnarumma save – his second of eight, the joint most at the tournament so far.

Midway through the first half, Italy were still waiting for their first shot and had managed just one touch in the Spanish penalty area. That hardly changed. Spain were dominant and not just for the sake of retaining the ball. They were threatening, with seven shots for 0.8 xG in the opening half hour, while completing 92.3% of their passes in the opposition half. Meanwhile, Italy’s attacking stat line was the same as it was at kick-off.

Their first shot came in the closing moments of the first half, but it was more figurative than frightening with Federico Chiesa firing off target from distance rather than looking for a teammate. Without it, Italy would have gone without a first-half shot in a major tournament for the first time since 2000 against the Netherlands.

Spain First Half Open Play Touches

The second half started in similar fashion with a chance of equal quality and the delivery kept on the deck, but Pedri wasn’t able to finish with a first-time finish from a chance some might call a sitter.

Spain kept attacking down the left, and the own goal came in the 55th off the leg of Riccardo Calafiori after a Williams cross that was redirected by Morata. It was already the fifth own goal of the tournament and also the fourth time Spain have benefited from an opposition own goal at the Euros since the start of the 2020 edition. 

The goal felt like it could have only been the beginning rather than the beginning and the end. Spain had had 82.1% possession over the opening 15 minutes of the second half with 43.0% of the action in the Italian third before things felt like they may have started to shift. But that never truly happened.

Spain Italy Momentum

The Spanish attack came most frequently up the left – as it did against Croatia as well – and the impressive Williams, who created twice as many chances (four) as Italy and is now one behind Lamal’s seven completed dribbles for the tournament lead.

For all the discussion of Spain evolving out of the tiki-taka era, Italy are hardly their former conservative selves. They just never had the chance to show it. Luciano Spalletti’s side – who had lost only lost one of their 10 previous matches against Spain in the Euros and World Cup (W4 D5) with that sole defeat coming in the 2012 final – ended the match with four shots for 0.18 xG – tied for the second lowest of the tournament so far.

Spain 1-0 Italy xG

Our Opta match centre delivers you all the Spain vs Italy stats from their Euro 2024 Group B clash at Arena AufSchalke in Gelsenkirchen.

The match centre below includes team and player stats, expected goals data, passing networks, an Opta chalkboard and more. It gives you everything you need to do your own match analysis.

Underneath the match centre you can find the official Opta stats on the game as well. 

Spain vs Italy: Post-Match Facts

  • Spain have won three consecutive games against Italy for the first time, with tonight’s 1-0 victory coming after a pair of 2-1 wins in the UEFA Nations League in October 2021 and June 2023. 
  • Italy suffered their first defeat at the UEFA European Championship since 2016 (0-1 v Republic of Ireland), ending a 10-game unbeaten run in the competition (W7 D3).
  • Spain have won and kept a clean sheet in their opening two games of a UEFA European Championship tournament for just the second time (3-0 v Croatia, 1-0 v Italy), having previously done so in 2016 (1-0 v Czechia, 3-0 v Türkiye).
  • Italy managed just four shots against Spain (one on target), their fewest in a game at the UEFA European Championship on record (since 1980).
  • Pedri has now made 12 appearances for Spain at major tournaments (World Cup/EUROs), the joint-most by any European player while aged 21 or under, along with Cristiano Ronaldo (12 between 2004 and 2006).
  • Riccardo Calafiori scored the first own goal by an Italy player at the UEFA European Championship, while it was just the second at a major tournament (World Cup/EUROs), after Cristian Zaccardo v USA at the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
  • Italy midfielder Bryan Cristante was shown a yellow card just 20 seconds after being brought on in the second half; the quickest card for a substitute on record at the UEFA European Championship (since 1980).
  • Spain’s Fabián Ruiz won possession in the final 1/3 on six occasions in this match, the most by any player in a game at the European Championship since David Silva in the 2008 quarter-final between Spain and Italy (6).

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