Marc Cucurella’s impressive Euro 2024 campaign continued as the left-back helped Spain secure qualification to the knockout stages with a 1-0 win over Italy.

Cucurella performed well in his first appearance at a senior tournament on Saturday as Spain got their campaign underway with a 3-0 win over Croatia.

And the 25-year-old backed it up with another impressive display tonight as Luis de la Fuente’s side dominated reigning European champions Italy at Arena AufSchalke in Gelsenkirchen.

The game may have ultimately been decided by an own-goal from Riccardo Calafiori in the second half but Spain were in control for the majority of the contest and created several excellent chances.

Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma had to be at his best in the first half, as he had to tip over a Pedri header inside two minutes and then a stunning Fabian Ruiz long-range effort midway through the opening period.

Spain had nine shots to Italy’s one in the first half and continued to dominate after the restart.

The crucial opening goal arrived ten minutes into the second period when the outstanding Nico Williams crossed from the left and former Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata’s header was palmed into the knee of back-tracking Italy centre-back Calafiori and the ball rebounded into the net.

There was almost a second when a lung-busting run forward from Cucurella opened the space for Williams to cut inside and his curled, right-footed effort struck the crossbar.

Italy enjoyed a brief spell on the front foot midway through the second half but Spain were good value for their win and former Newcastle United forward Ayoze Perez had two close-range shots excellently saved in injury time.

Spain’s six points and victory over Italy means they progress to the last 16 as group winners regardless of the result in their final game against Albania on Monday night, due to the qualification rules in place at Euro 2024.