Italy plays Spain in the semi-finals of Euro 2021
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Italy plays Spain in the semi-finals of Euro 2021

Nicolo Barella’s opener and Lorenzo Insigne’s long-range shot that doubled the gap were worthy rewards for the speedy attack, ball control, and rhythmic position exchange that Italy performed for the most part.

Chiellini and his Italian teammates hugged each other to celebrate victory in the face of disappointment from Lukaku and Thorgan Hazard after the Euro 2021 quarter-finals at Allianz Stadium, Munich, Germany on July 2.

Romelu Lukaku also put his name on the Allianz Stadium electronic board in the first half, with a successful penalty kick in injury time, raising hope for Belgium.

Lukaku’s failure can be considered a turning point and symbol for this match.

This defeat means that Belgium – the number one team on the FIFA rankings and possessing the most talented group of players in history – is eliminated in the Euro quarterfinals for the second time in a row.

Italy plays Spain in the semi-finals of Euro 2021

Lukaku’s failure in the 61st minute. Photo: Reuters

`Belgium is the number one team in the world right now. We respect them, but we will play our way,` Mancini said before the match.

The two goals that Italy scored in the second half of the first half were the result of that high-level pressing game.

>> See Insigne’s masterpieces

With these two goals, Italy reached the mark of scoring 90 goals under Roberto Mancini, helping him rise to fourth place in the statistics of `Azzurri` coaches whose students scored the most goals, equal to Arrigo Sacchi and only behind Vittorio Pozzo.

Italy plays Spain in the semi-finals of Euro 2021

Nicolo Barella’s opening goal for Italy.

On the beautiful panorama that Italy painted in this match, the only ripple was the loss of left back Leonardo Spinazzola at the end of the second half.

Belgium is more or less disadvantaged in this match because of the absence of Eden Hazard – a player who can help them have more options to escape pressing and change positions.

But like his seniors Lukaku and De Bruyne, this young star still cannot bring a breakthrough.

Italy plays Spain in the semi-finals of Euro 2021

According to Opta, Doku had eight successful dribbles, a record for a teenage player since this statistic was fully collected from the 1966 World Cup and Euro 1980 onwards.


Belgium: Courtois – Alderweireld, Vermaelen, Vertonghen – Meunier (Chadli 69) (Praet 73), Witsel, Tielemans (Mertens 69), T Hazard – De Bruyne, Lukaku, Doku

Italy: Donnarumma – Di Lorenzo, Bonucci, Chiellini, Spinazzola (Emerson 79) – Barella, Jorginho, Verratti (Cristante 74) – Chiesa (Toloi 90), Immobile (Belotti 74), Insigne (Berardi 79)

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