Spain Vs. Ireland, Euro 2012: Fernando Torres Gives Spain Early Lead

Well well well. Spain had real issues breaking Italy down in the first leg, primarily thanks to their refusal to field a genuine centre forward - they played Cesc Fabregas as a false nine rather than using one of Fernando Llorente or Fernando Torres. Vicente del Bosque did not make the same mistake against Ireland, although starting Torres gave plenty of ammunition for 'false nine' jokes.

It took all of three minutes for Torres to make his mark, though. David Silva got tangled up after being played clean through, and it looked as though Richard Dunne was going to be able to clear the danger. But Torres closed the Aston Villa defender down, dispossessed him, rounded Stephen Ward and then blasted an unstoppable shot past Shay Given to give Spain a 1-0 lead. This was already going to be tough for Ireland, and now they have an absolute mountain to climb.

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