Match report: Spain run riot over hapless Ireland

The Irish are the first team eliminated from the tournament after a night to forget in Gdansk.

David Silva of Spain celebrates scoring his side's second goal.
David Silva of Spain celebrates scoring his side's second goal.
Image: INPHO/Donall Farmer

TWO GOALS FROM the recalled Fernando Torres and one apiece from David Silva and Cesc Fabregas saw defending champions Spain thrash Ireland 4-0 in their Euro 2012 Group C clash tonight.

The defeat means Ireland are the first team knocked out of the tournament, though, they can salvage some honour in their final game against Italy.

Coach Vicente Del Bosque brought Torres in for Fabregas having eschewed playing a recognised striker in an opening draw with Italy. And the Chelsea man, given less than 20 minutes against the Azzurri, took just four minutes to fire in his 29th international goal before wrapping things up on the breakaway with the third.

David Silva notched the killer second just four minutes after the restart, eluding a clutch of defenders to slot in a low effort. Xavi almost made it three but veteran Irish keeper Shay Given produced a brilliant flying save.

But the Spanish kept coming in waves and Torres blasted the third on 70 minutes before giving way to Fabregas, who promptly rammed home the fourth. Earlier in the group, Italy and Croatia parted 1-1, leaving Spain top of the group on goal difference from Croatia with four points from two matches.

The leading pair face off in their final group game with Ireland still with a game against Italy to go.

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- © AFP, 2012

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