Euro 2012: Alonso's double leads Spain past France

Euro 2012: Alonso's double leads Spain past France

Euro 2012

Euro 2012: Alonso's double leads Spain past France

AlonsoBrace (Getty)

France knew the task would be a difficult one, and plotted a defense-minded approach to trying to stop Spain's relentess possession and nearly unstoppable control. Though well-intended, 'Les Blues' simply couldn't stop Spain's domination and became the latest victim to fall short in the quest to dethrone the reigning European and World champions.

Alonso gave Spain the only goal they would need with a first-half header before converting a penalty kick late in the second half to seal a 2-0 victory in the European Championship quarterfinals on Saturday.

Spain never looked troubled in controlling the match for most of the day. Vicente Del Bosque trotted out his "no forward" lineup again, with Cesc Fabregas starting ahead of Fernando Torres, while France came out in a surprisingly defensive 4-5-1 formation that saw Samir Nasri left on the bench.

France never really threatened Casillas, with the French attack mustering few quality chances in a match that saw the reigning champions dominate possession yet again.

Jordi Alba enjoyed an outstanding performance, setting up Alonso's 19th-minute opener and providing a real threat on the left flank for much of the match.

The victory moves Spain into the Euro 2012 semifinals, where they will face Portugal on Wednesday.

Here are the match highlights:

 

What did you think of the match? Impressed with Spain's domination, or are you starting to find their games boring? Disappointed in France's decision to be overly defensive? Surprised with Laurent Blanc's lineup decisions?

Share your thoughts below.

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