Date:Sunday June 22 2008
As the sole Arsenal representative left in the Euro's (if you don't count Mad Jens, who is leaving the Gunners...), Cesc fabregas scored Spain's final penalty as the Italy - Spain QF went all the way to a penalty shootout.
In what was in the first half a dull affair, and in the second more open, with the Italians focusing more on stifling the Spanish as opposed to looking for goals themselves, the nonety minues drew to a close and the match slipped into extra time.
Cesc started on the bench, coming on in the 2nd half, and demonstrated his usual calmness and vision, probing for openings where they were to be found, and keeping the passing ticking over.
Extra time came and went with no goals, and both teams faced up to the inevitable penalty shootout.
Italy blinked first, with Cassilas saving from De Rossi, before Buffon eventually pegged the Spanish back, saving from Guiza, who never looked confident.
With the very next penalty, Cassilas saved from Di Natale, and Spain were one kick away from the semis, as Cesc Fabregas walked forward to take the potentially decisive kick.
His long run up resulted in a finely taken spotkick, which beat Buffon and nestled in the back of the net, with Cesc wheeling away in delight towards the Spanish fans, arms pumping, before turning back and dashing back toward his teammates.
So, Spain go through, Italy go out in heart-breaking fashion, in a manner in which every English football fan will know all about.
Congratulations to Cesc, who from the moment he came on, looked the man most likely to pick the lock for Spain.
Date:Sunday June 22 2008
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