Italy can barely get the ball now. The crowd are singing “Ole, ole,” which is humiliating for the Italians, as Spain pass easily around the midfield. Abate, on the right of the Italian defense, has so lost concentration he fails to control as easy ball and gives away a throw. Italy win it back. Buffon whacks up to Balotelli, who controls it well, but Di Natale is offside. Less than 20 minutes to go, and the Spaniards in the crowd are pretty sure it’s all over.
Balotelli is again crowded out by Spanish defenders, and Spain are in the penalty area again, with Buffon relieved to grab the loose ball.
Iniesta tries to wriggle through. Now Xavi tries his luck. Italy are defending fairly desperately. Fabregas is going off, his tournament over, his winner’s medal all-but guaranteed. And one comes the fallen hero of Spain, Fernando Torres, blunted Chelsea striker, anxious to make some kind of mark on the championships.