Yohan Cabaye

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter


Yohan Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa's participation in Euro 2012 is over after France were knocked out of the competition at the quarter-final stage by holders Spain.

A goal in each half from former Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso earned the Spaniards a 2-0 win on Saturday night in Donetsk - a result they fully deserved having dominated for large periods..

Cabaye was reinstated to the heart of the Les Bleus midfield, having sat out their final group game, but Ben Arfa was dropped to the bench by head coach Laurent Blanc and remained an unused substitute throughout.

Alonso headed Spain in front on 19 minutes, racing into the box to connect with left-back Jordi Alba's cross.

France goalscoring opportunities were few and far between, but Cabaye went close on 32 minutes - firing a 30-yard free-kick over the wall and heading for the top corner, until the intervention of Spain keeper Iker Casillas' fingertips.

The United midfielder was then booked for a late tackle before half-time, and the second period was all Spain, who put the result beyond any doubt when Alonso scored from the penalty spot in injury-time, following a foul on substitute Pedro.

Meanwhile, ex-Newcastle trio Andy Carroll, Scott Parker and James Milner are also heading home from the Euros after England lost on penalties to Italy in their quarter-final tie.

Despite Italy having 31 shots compared to England's eight, the game somehow finished goalless. And with the sides unable to be separated by extra-time it was decided from the spot.

When Riccardo Montolivo fired wide it gave the Three Lions hope, but Ashley Young and Ashley Cole both missed from 12 yards as the Azzurri progressed to the final four.

Milner and Parker both started in England's midfield and were replaced by Theo Walcott and Jordan Henderson respectively, while Carroll was a 60th-minute substitute for Danny Welbeck.

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