- Spain 2-0 France, Euro 2012
Alonso brace sends Spain into last four
Xabi Alonso's double sent Spain into the semi-finals of Euro 2012 after a 2-0 victory over France kept the reigning champions on course to defend their crown.
Alonso's rare headed goal put Spain in control after 19 minutes and the former Liverpool midfielder wrapped up the victory with a last-minute penalty. France were distinctly off colour all night and barely tested Spain, who will put their European crown on the line against Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal in Donetsk on Wednesday night.
Spain coach Vicente del Bosque reverted to his strikerless starting formation, replacing Fernando Torres with Cesc Fabregas in his only change from the win against Croatia. France made four changes and started with two right-backs in Anthony Reveillere and Mathieu Debuchy, although neither could prevent Jordi Alba supplying Alonso with a telling cross.
Spain set out their stall early, with Xavi and Andres Iniesta combining magnificently in midfield and they almost succeeded in picking out Fabregas. France were struggling to keep possession, which is not a problem Spain's midfield artists suffer from too often and certainly not on Saturday.
The French formation was affording Alvaro Arbeloa and David Silva plenty of space in which to attack down the Spanish right - but the opening after 19 minutes came down their left flank. Iniesta burst forward and while left-back Alba got the better of Debuchy, Alonso had escaped the attentions of Florent Malouda wide on the right. When Debuchy stood up his cross at the far post, Alonso came racing in unmarked to beat Hugo Lloris with a downward header directed back across goal. Silva twisted his way into the box, ran at Manchester City team-mate Gael Clichy and almost picked out Fabregas when he cut the ball back.