Spain has won its third European Championship after a blistering performance by the talismanic Pau Gasol inspired them to an 80-63 points win over Lithuania in Sunday’s final.
The Chicago Bulls centre, who carried the Spaniards throughout the competition, picked 25 points and racked up 12 rebounds as the 2009 and 2011 winners enjoyed a fifth successive podium finish.
Having clinched automatic berths in 2016 Olympic Games by reaching the final, both sides produced entertaining basketball in Lille’s soccer stadium.
Dynamic playmaker, Sergio Llull, added 12 points, six rebounds and five assists for Spain, while Mantas Kalnietis and Renaldas Seibutis led Lithuania with 13 points each.
It was as if Fernando Torres read the minds of manager Roberto Di Matteo concerning the solution to finding a suitable replacement for the Spaniard upfront as he braced up against the Gunners, stunning the London club with what will pass as his fifth goal of the season after 20 minutes into the local derby during the weekend.
Torres said It was important because it gave Chelsea the time to settle into the game and he was very happy for his goal and country man Juan Mata’s goal.
Gunners’ player Gervinho equalised for Arsenal shortly before half-time before another Spaniard Juan Mata scored the winning goal for the Blues in the 53rd minute.
Arsenal has been criticised though for not knowing how to deal with its set pieces while in the game against Chelsea as it became a constant threat to the backline of Arsenal with Koscielny taking the fault for Torres’ ‘all-important’ opener.
According to Fernando Torres “It was a one-against-one against Koscielny and he wasn’t facing the ball, so I could touch the ball before he could put the ball away.”
The 28-year-old was delighted to keep the Blues top of the Premier League with victory.