World champions Italy qualified for the Euro 2008 quarter-finals in impressive fashion as they defeated France 2-0 in Zurich and Romania lost by the same scoreline to the Netherlands.
Group C - Matchday 3
FRANCE 0-2 ITALY
Letzigrund Stadion, Zurich
Italy clinched a quarter-final meeting with Spain as they sent France crashing out of Euro 2008 with a deserved win. France had a nightmare evening, losing key man Franck Ribery to a serious injury after only seven minutes. Eric Abidal was then sent off after 25 minutes for fouling Luca Toni to give away a penalty, scored by Andrea Pirlo. Thierry Henry deflected in Daniele De Rossi's 30-yard free-kick just past the hour as the Azzurri joined the group winners the Netherlands in the quarters.
Raymond Domenech's side carried all the appearance of a spent force and their display will now surely herald a changing of the guard for a group of players that has enjoyed so much success.
Italy, in contrast, celebrated their recovery from an opening defeat against the Dutch and a draw against the Romanians to move into the last eight - although they will lose influential AC Milan midfield pair Andrea Pirlo and Gennaro Gattuso through suspension.
Coach Roberto Donadoni was under huge pressure before the game, but the World champions delivered when it mattered and can now go forward with renewed optimism.
France: Coupet, Clerc, Gallas, Abidal, Evra, Govou (Anelka 66), Toulalan, Makelele, Ribery (Nasri 10), Benzema, Henry, Nasri (Boumsong 26).
Italy: Buffon, Zambrotta, Panucci, Chiellini, Grosso, Pirlo (Ambrosini 55), De Rossi, Gattuso (Aquilani 82), Toni, Perrotta (Camoranesi 64), Cassano.
[Euro 2008 Group C]