Tonight marked the kickoff of the semi-finals of Euro 2020 with the clash between Italy and Spain. A final-like meeting for which Roberto Mancini decided to line up a starting XI without surprise, apart from the presence of Giovanni Di Lorenzo instead of the injured Leonardo Spinazzola. Opposite, Luis Enrique reserved a sizeable one with the tenure of Mikel Oyarzabal in place of Alvaro Morata at the forefront of the attack. Did the coach of La Roja want to favor a lesser-known man from the Bonucci-Chiellini duo, Morata’s partners at Juventus? Still, after having suffered the Italian pressing during the first minutes of play, Spain quickly took control of the operations. With more than 70% possession of the ball and a fiery Pedri, La Roja had several times the opportunity to open the scoring by Oyarzabal (12th) and Olmo (25th). Stifled by the pressing two operated on the ball carrier, Mancini’s men were very rarely able to put the Chiesa-Immobile-Insigne trio into orbit. Moreover, apart from the post found by Barella (3rd), which was ultimately offside), the Nazionale had only the crossbar found by Emerson (45th) to get their teeth into. Moreover, a hallucinating statistic came to confirm the transalpine difficulties. it is the first time since the final of Euro 2000 against the Blues, that Italy has failed to frame a strike in the first period during a major tournament.
Upon returning from the locker room, the Transalpins continued to suffer, but the Spaniards failed to achieve their domination over the attempts of Busquets (55th) and Oyarzabal (58th). And as often with the Italians, it pays cash. While dominating, Spain was sucked in and, on a counter, Chiesa gave the advantage to his team ‘a magnificent coiled strike on the hour mark (1-0, 60th). Stunned, La Roja passed very close to KO on a close range strike from Berardi well repulsed by Simon (68th). Meanwhile, Luis Enrique has brought in Alvaro Morata. Substitute at the kick-off and much criticized since the start of the Euro, the Juventus player has once again proven that he has a mind of steel. After a nice one-two with Olmo, it was he who came to equalize ten minutes from time (1-1, 80th). After the eighths and the quarters, Spain therefore played extra time for a third time. An ordeal for an Italy without checking the solutions and which still suffered a lot as on these two double occasions signed Olmo and Morata (98th) and Morata and Pedri (102nd). Two hot shots. The Azzurri, however, thought to achieve the perfect hold-up on a fox goal from Berardi, but the player from Sassuolo was logically reported offside (110th). In the end, it was on penalties that everything was decided. Spain started with a small handicap, because, according to statistics, no team has managed to win two penalty shootouts in the same Euro. Winners of the Swiss in this little game in the quarter-finals, Alvaro Morata’s partners failed to break the Indian sign and bowed 4 shots on goal to 2.
Relive the film of the Italy-Spain match