Two goals from Xabi Alonso helped Spain beat France 2-0 today and set up a mouth-watering Iberian semi-final with Portugal next week.
The Real Madrid midfielder popped up on 19 minutes to meet Jordi Alba’s cross from the left after Malouda had failed to track him from midfield.
And then the former Liverpool man was on hand to slot home an injury-time penalty after Pedro was brought down in the box.
This was a poor performance by France who showed more passion and energy in the dressing room after the loss to Sweden than they showed tonight. The only French player who impressed was Franck Ribéry while Karim Benzema once again could not perform on the big stage. Benzema is repeatedly billed as one of the best strikers in the world, but he was really disappointing in these Euros, failing to score.
As for Spain, they continue to defy logic by winning with no recognised striker in the starting XI.
Once again Vicente del Bosque went with Fabregas up-front and dropping Fernando Torres to the bench.
France, as most teams do against Spain, sat back and left the Spaniards have 60-65% of the possession. And like most Spanish opponents they lost.
I would love to see a team with the confidence in their midfield three to attack Spain. Take the game to them and see what happens, which is what I think Portugal will do in their semi-final next week. Spain might kill them on the counter-attack but I want to see Spain get pushed. They seem content to win games 1-0 at the moment, and that is pretty boring football to watch.
But the 2012 Euros start now for the defending Champions. First up is Portugal and Ronaldo and you know that Portugal will attack. Then in all likelihood Spain will meet German in the final. And I cannot see German willing to give Spain 65% of the possession and park the bus as most Spanish opponents. If Spain wins these next two games, then they will have the be considered amongst the greatest sides of all-time.