Spain 1-1 Italy
Cesc Fabregas was Spain's hero as he struck an equaliser in a 1-1 draw with Italy as the two heavyweights kicked off life at Euro 2012.
Antonio Di Natale had put the Italians ahead on the hour mark with a neat finish but the lead lasted just four minutes against the current World and European title holders as Fabregas latched onto David Silva's through ball and fired past Gianluigi Buffon.
The Euro 2012 Group C opener held much promise prior to kick-off with two of international football's great teams meeting with differing philosophies, but the first-half failed to set the competition alight.
Andres Iniesta came closest for Spain when he was picked out from a corner and saw a low shot well saved by Buffon at his near post before Thiago Motta almost opened the scoring just before the half-time whistle when his header from six-yards was kept out by Iker Casillas.
The Spaniards upped their game after the break and several early chances came their way within five minutes of the restart. Fabregas and Iniesta each tested Buffon with decent strikes while Xavi drilled a shot wide of the target from just outside the box.
Mario Balotelli should have scored for the Azzurri after 53 minutes when he dispossessed Sergio Ramos in the final third. He went one-on-one with the keeper but delayed his shot far too long, allowing Real Madrid defender Ramos to recover and dispossess the striker who was substituted moments later.
And the change from Cesare Prandelli paid off four minutes later when Balotelli's replacement Di Natale showed the Manchester City forward how it is done. He sprung the offside trap and went through on goal before bending a shot around Casillas into the far corner to send the Italy fans, who were massively outnumbered by a sea of red, into raptures.
The celebrations were muted almost immediately though when Silva's pass found Fabregas who struck a shot under the keeper from deep inside the box.
Fabregas, who played most of the game as Spain's most attacking player, made way for a typical 'number 9' in the form of Fernando Torres ten minutes after his goal as Spain sought out a winner in Gdansk.
But it was another match to forget for Torres as he squandered two glorious opportunities, first losing out to Buffon as he tried to round the keeper before clipping a shot onto the roof of the net from 20-yards with Buffon off his line and other options available.
Di Natale also came close to finding the all-important third goal when Sebastian Giovinco floated a cross into the striker who could not steer the ball on target from six-yards and the Udinese forward almost squeezed in a winner two minutes before the final whistle but could only shoot straight at Casillas from inside the box.
The result leaves the two favourites to progress from Group C on level points after their opening tie and either Croatia or Republic of Ireland can go top if they win in the late kick-off in Poznan.