Spain 1-0 Italy: Player ratings as La Roja qualify for Euro 2024 knockout stages

  • Spain beat Italy 1-0 in Gelsenkirchen to qualify for the last 16
  • An own goal from Riccardo Calafiori mean La Roja top Group B
  • Italy need points in their final group game against Croatia to ensure progression
Spain dominated Italy
Spain dominated Italy / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages

Spain booked their spot in the last 16 of Euro 2024 with a dominant 1-0 win over Italy on Thursday evening.

Despite racking up an impressive amount of chances, it was an unfortunate own goal from Italy's Riccardo Calafiori that separated the two sides. The result means Spain are now guaranteed to top Group B after hammering Croatia in their opener.

Spain finish up the group stages against Albania next Monday, with Italy taking on Croatia in their third and potentially final match of Euro 2024.

How the game unfolded

It took a little over a minute for Spain to deliver the first punch in the battle of two international giants. Nico Williams' delicious cross to the penalty spot picked out an unmarked Pedri and the Barcelona midfielder's header forced Gianluigi Donnarumma into a smart stop.

Spain were guilty of squandering another glorious opportunity in the tenth minute as they sliced through the reigning European champions. Alvaro Morata was provider on this occasion with a devilish delivery to the far post, but Williams inexplicably sent his header wide from just six yards.

Luis de la Fuente's side continued to bamboozle their opponents as the half wore on, playing almost exclusively inside Italy's final third. However, they couldn't make their advantage count, with Donnarumma standing tall to keep out testing efforts from Morata and Fabian Ruiz.

Despite a dominant first half display in Gelsenkirchen, Spain were unable to find the all-important breakthrough. Their profligacy in the final third meant the match entered the second half finely poised, with Italy in need of significant improvements across the pitch.

Spain continued to overrun Italy after the restart but were once again left ruing their wastefulness. Pedri, who should have opened the scoring early in the first half, was picked out by Marc Cucurella inside the penalty area, but the 21-year-old was unable to sort his feet out as he rifled wide from close range.

However, it mattered little three minutes later as La Roja took the lead - even if it wasn't a Spanish name on the scoresheet. Morata's near-post flick was palmed out by Donnarumma, but the ball ricocheted off the leg of Calafiori and trundled into the back of the Italy net for the fifth own goal of the tournament.

Italy showed few signs of netting an undeserved equaliser but with only a goal between the sides, Spain couldn't afford to take their foot off the gas. Williams did his best to establish a two-goal cushion but his powerful strike slammed the crossbar with 20 minutes remaining.

However, despite not adding to their lead following several late openings for substitute Ayoze Perez, Spain did manage to hold on under minimal pressure from a disappointing Italy side.

Spain player ratings (4-3-3)

Jorginho, Nico Williams
Nico Williams gave Italy's defence problems / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

GK: Unai Simon - 6/10 - A passenger for the majority of the game, doing far more work with his feet than with his hands.

RB: Dani Carvajal - 7/10 - Rarely threatened by Italy's wide players and enabled Cucurella to roam down the left flank by tucking in when required.

CB: Robin Le Normand - 6/10 - Took a few blows to the head throughout but they didn't knock him off his stride. Booked for a late challenge on substitute Mattia Zaccagni.

CB: Aymeric Laporte - 7/10 - Despite being an injury concern heading into the clash, the Al Nassr centre-back showed no signs of weakness. Dealt with Gianluca Scamacca effectively.

LB: Marc Cucurella - 8/10 - Played like a man possessed, winning duel after duel up against the misfiring Federico Chiesa. Provided plenty of attacking support down the left-hand side too.

CM: Pedri - 7/10 - Should have put Spain ahead in the early stages of both halves but finishing aside, it was a terrific display from the diminutive magician. Floated across midfield and was always in space as Spain carved open Italy's backline.

CM: Rodri - 8/10 - Composed, elegant and unflappable. Exactly what we have come to expect from Rodri, with the only frustration being that he will miss the clash with Albania due to suspension - not that it matters anymore given Spain have topped Group B.

CM: Fabian Ruiz - 8/10 - A graceful display from the Paris Saint-Germain midfielder, who often provided the key pass in the final third. His wand-like left foot orchestrated many of Spain's attacks.

RW: Lamine Yamal - 8/10 - Yeah, this fella shouldn't be 16. Showcased his quick feet regularly with some neat tricks and flicks, almost curled a beauty beyond Donnarumma from 25 yards out and generally tortured Federico Dimarco on the right flank.

ST: Alvaro Morata - 7/10 - Knitted play together neatly when the ball turned over and his near-post header forced Spain's opener.

LW: Nico Williams - 9/10 - Left Giovanni Di Lorenzo chasing shadows with an electric display in Gelsenkirchen. Terrorised the Napoli defender from start to finish and had the crowd purring every time he got his foot on the ball.


SUB: Ferran Torres (71' for Yamal) - 7/10

SUB: Alex Baena (71' for Pedri) - 6/10

SUB: Ayoze Perez (78' for Williams) - 7/10

SUB: Mikel Oyarzabal (78' for Morata) - 6/10

SUB: Mikel Merino (90+4' for Ruiz) - N/A

Subs not used: Alex Remiro (GK), David Raya (GK), Alejandro Grimaldo, Daniel Vivian, Jesus Navas, Nacho Fernandez, Dani Olmo, Fermin Lopez, Martin Zubimendi, Joselu.


Luis de la Fuente - 8/10 - A truly dominant display from Spain against a well-stacked Italy side. Bodes well for La Roja moving forward after convincing victories in their opening two games.

Italy player ratings (4-1-4-1)

Gianluigi Donnarumma
Gianluigi Donnarumma was not pleased with his defence / Lars Baron/GettyImages

GK: Gianluigi Donnarumma - 6/10 - Made some important saves to stop Spain from filling their boots. Perhaps could have done better with Spain's goal.

RB: Giovanni Di Lorenzo - 3/10 - A chastening experience for the full-back as Williams drove at him relentlessly. Often had to resort to hauling the winger to the ground, or simply watching him sprint away.

CB: Alessandro Bastoni - 6/10 - Made an important intervention to deny Williams during the first half and didn't put a foot wrong on elsewhere.

CB: Riccardo Calafiori - 6/10 - A largely composed display from the young Bologna defender, who was extremely unfortunate to leave the field with an own goal to his name.

LB: Federico Dimarco - 4/10 - Struggled to cope with Yamal's blistering speed and nimbleness, while failing to provide any danger in the Spain half.

DM: Jorginho - 5/10 - Couldn't offer any control or security in Italy's midfield and was withdrawn for the more physical Bryan Cristante at half-time.

RM: Federico Chiesa - 4/10 - Toothless when he received possession and had no joy up against Cucurella. Surrendered the ball far too easily when supplied by his teammates.

CM: Davide Frattesi - 5/10 - Anonymous throughout a poor first half for Italy, barely managing a kick. Hooked at half-time by Luciano Spalletti.

CM: Nicolo Barella - 6/10 - The best performer in an Italy midfield that was completely dominated by Spain's technicians. At least offered his teammates options when they tried to play out from the back.

LM: Lorenzo Pellegrini - 5/10 - Apart from a few fouls, the Roma man couldn't influence proceedings and was sloppy on the left-hand side.

ST: Gianluca Scamacca - 5/10 - Completely isolated in the first half, touching the ball just 12 times. Things didn't improve after the break despite one clever turn on the halfway line.


SUB: Bryan Cristante (46' for Jorginho) - 5/10 - Impressively booked within 20 seconds of coming on - the fastest of any substitute in Euros history.

SUB: Andrea Cambiaso (46' for Frattesi) - 6/10 - Italy were a little better after his introduction, but that's more telling of their first-half display.

SUB: Mateo Retegui (64' for Scamacca) - 5/10

SUB: Mattia Zaccagni (64' for Chiesa) - 6/10

SUB: Giacomo Raspadori (82' for Pellegrini) - 6/10

Subs not used: Alex Meret (GK), Guglielmo Vicario (GK), Alessandro Buongiorno, Federico Gatti, Gianluca Mancini, Raoul Bellanova, Matteo Darmian, Michael Folorunsho, Nicolo Fagioli, Stephan El Shaarawy.


Luciano Spalletti - 4/10 - He will be bitterly disappointed with his side, who simply couldn't match Spain on or off the ball. They're yet to convince at Euro 2024 and were particularly disappointing going forward.

Player of the match: Nico Williams (Spain)