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Dublin: 17 °C Wednesday 12 August, 2020

Spain exact revenge on Germany to be crowned U21 European champions for fifth time

Fabian Ruiz and Dani Olmo were on target as Spain beat Germany 2-0 to seal a fifth European title.

Spain players lift the trophy at the Stadio Friuli in Italy.
Spain players lift the trophy at the Stadio Friuli in Italy.
Image: Nick Potts

FABIAN RUIZ AND Dani Ceballos excelled as Spain secured a 2-1 win over Germany in the European Under-21 Championship final.

Germany beat a much-fancied Spain side in the showpiece two years ago but fell behind in the seventh minute to a wonderful long-range strike from Napoli star Fabian in Udine.

Spain captain Jesus Vallejo was fortunate to avoid a red card as Germany asserted themselves, but Dani Olmo netted a crucial second in the 69th minute.

Fabian and Carlos Soler almost added gloss to the scoreline and a late deflected effort from Nadiem Amiri could not deny Spain a fifth success in this competition – a triumph that moves them level with Italy on the all-time list.

Mikel Oyarzabal dropped deep from centre-forward to cleverly lay the ball off to Fabian, who still had plenty to do as he advanced and lashed a superb 25-yarder beyond Alexander Nubel.

Spain should probably have been down to 10 men when Vallejo was only booked for a knee-high lunge on Gian-Luca Waldschmidt.

Source: FutStats/YouTube

But the Real Madrid defender stayed on and was on hand to boot Levin Oztunali’s shot away from his own goalmouth before half-time.

Vallejo was in the right place at the right time again early in the second period when Spain goalkeeper Antonio Sivera spilled an Amiri shot and Waldschmidt attempted to pounce on the rebound.

Just as his team were being pushed back to a worrying degree, Ceballos brilliantly orchestrated Spain’s second.

Vallejo tackled, fairly on this occasion, to launch a counter-attack, which Ceballos skilfully kept alive for Fabian to unleash another firm strike. Nubel was unable to hold on and Olmo dinked in a cheeky finish on the follow-up.

From that point, Spain ran through their repertoire as Germany flagged – Fabian slotting just past the post and second-half substitute Soler hitting the crossbar before Amiri set up a grandstand finish two minutes from time.

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