by Darren Walsh

Negredo starting instead of Torres?  The BBC crew seem pretty surprised, but then they always are when a Premier League player is left out of a team.

Lead-in to the match is heavy on Ronaldo adulation, as you would expect.  João Moutinho is actually the most important player for Portugal tonight, as he might just break up tiki taka.

We’re told once again that Spain’s national anthem doesn’t have any words.  If you don’t know that by now this must be your first football match ever.  Meanwhile Portugal sing theirs lustily and seem ‘bang on it’, as the parlance goes.

Steve Wilson asks Martin Keown a question but keeps talking and doesn’t allow Keown to respond.  He finally allows him to get a word in after the team line-ups are shown.

Shame that Spain aren’t wearing their away kit, I really like that one, and they probably won’t have to wear it at all for this tournament.  It’s the same with Germany’s green kit.

I would say that Raul Meirelis will look ridiculous with all those tattoos when he’s older, but in all honesty, he looks ridiculous right now.

Pepe tackles Negredo by “sticking out his long foot”, according to Wilson.  Can people have long feet?  Does he only have one long foot or two?  So many questions.

Gerard Pique is as slow as molasses, especially when Ronaldo is running at him.  I haven’t seen a fairly young player decline so much in such a short space of time before.

Ramos cynically fouls Nani on a counter attack, and probably expects a booking for doing it.  Instead the ref waves play on to widespread admonishment from the Portuguese bench.

I haven’t seen any team play this far upfield against Spain in a long time; Portugal are getting tight to them and knocking them out of rhythm.

Nani uses a brilliant piece of skill to get away from two players and is well into the Spanish half on the run when the referee brings him back to give him a free kick.  There may be one incident tonight that’s talked about for years, and it might have to do with the ref making a howler, judging by his incompetence so far.

While I said that Pique was slow earlier, he is also defending like he’s been picked out of the crowd to play tonight.

It’s Jürgen Klinsmann again being interviewed at half time.  He’s asked about the Germany-Italy game from the World Cup in 2006, which was a devastating semi-final defeat for the Germans on home soil.

Yes, you’ve guessed it.  He smiles as he starts talking about it.

Incredulousness from Wilson as he mentions that Juan Mata hasn’t played for Spain yet in the tournament.  Yes, how dare they not pick a Premier League player, don’t they know it’s the best league in the world??  He didn’t mention who he would leave out to accommodate the Chelsea man.

Into the second half, game is getting a bit scrappier, lots of fouls and lack of possession.

Negredo hasn’t played well tonight, so it’s obvious what Del Bosque does; he brings on Fabregas.

Hugo Almeida fancies himself as the hero tonight; he’s had three long range shots and booted them all over the bar.  The fact that he’s in the team to be an old fashioned targetman makes it even more amazing that he doesn’t realise his limitations.

So according to Wilson, Ronaldo just needs one chance does he?  Well he’s had free kicks and a few shots, and I don’t think one has been on target.

Then again, has anyone had a shot that the keeper had to save?

There haven’t been so many camera shots of the crowd today.  With the way the game is going, maybe we could do with a bloke in a jester hat.

Portugal are going away from the gameplan.  Or maybe they’re just tired.

Anyway, it’s penalties.

The usual theory of centre backs being bad at spot kicks is taking a battering here.  Pepe and especially Ramos show there’s more their game than hacking at forwards.

Ok, Alves has just given the theory credence again.

Fabregas finishes it, and Ronaldo hasn’t even got to take one.  Though he hasn’t been exactly consistent with his penalties over the years.  Spain probably deserve it after getting better in extra time, while Portugal didn’t have the subs (or the strikers) to keep going.