Spain and Italy shared points as the duel ended in a 1-1 draw, in their Euro 2012 Group C opener on Sunday.
In the 61’, Antonio Di Natale put Italy in front after an excellent setup from Andrea Pirlo and gave Italy a deserved lead.
Di Natale who came out of the bench to replace Balotelli in the 56’, scored five minutes later, collecting a pass from Pirlo just as he slipped in between two defenders, then expertly shooting around Spain custodian Iker Casillas. The 34-year-old Di Natale has scored 20 or more goals the past three seasons with Udinese in Serie A.
But it took the defending champions just three minutes to make a comeback with David Silva’s threaded pass setting up, Cesc Fabregas, who blasted the ball low into the corner, finishing off a superb display of Spain’s trademark passing game.
The draw ended a 14-match winning streak for Spain in competitive matches, which began after a 1-0 loss to Switzerland to open the last World Cup.
The Italians, however, were understandably the more content, after a superb display in the pitch and they were the more dominant of the two sides, at the final whistle.
Spain next face Ireland on Thursday, while the Italians play Croatia.