Watch: Italy ends Spain's European reign, reaches quarterfinals
Spain's reign as European champion is over.
A rule that began on June 29, 2008 came to a close in Paris Monday, as Giorgio Chiellini and Graziano Pelle scored, sandwiching some key moments by Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon in a 2-0 victory. Italy, which exacted revenge for the 4-0 Euro 2012 final loss to Spain, moves on to the quarterfinal against World Cup champion Germany, while La Furia Roja exit Euro 2016 in the round of 16.
In the early going, it was David De Gea who was the hero. He saved from Pelle's six-yard header in the eighth minute, sprawling to get down and get a hand on it.
De Gea made another save off a blistering free kick from Eder, but Giorgio Chiellini pounced on the rebound and bundled home from close range to give Italy the lead:
It continued to be the De Gea show after that, as he robbed Emanuele Giaccherini's blast with a full-extension save at the end of the first half, and stuffed Eder on a breakaway shortly into the second half:
It then became Buffon's time to play the role of the hero, as he denied Andres Iniesta and Gerard Pique on consecutive occasions with strong parried saves:
Buffon came up big again to deny Pique a would-be equalizer in the 89th minute, and that set the scene for Pelle's winner, which he volleyed home from close range to secure the 2-0 victory.
Italy will play Germany on Thursday in Bordeaux.