Italy enters european championship final after penalty thriller

Italy enters european championship final after penalty thriller

Italy Has in a highly exciting giant duel Spain and can crown his inspiring triumph through the European Championship with the title. The Squadra Azzurra prevailed on Tuesday at London's Wembley Stadium in an intense European Championship semifinals only in the penalty shootout with 4:2 against the Iberians by. After 90 and 120 minutes, the score was 1-1. Jorginho converted the decisive penalty for the Azzurri. Earlier, keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma had parried Spain's alvaro Morata's effort.

Federico Chiesa (60. minute) had 57.811 spectators scored to give Roberto Mancini's side the lead, which is now unbeaten in 33 games. On Sunday, Italy will battle England or Denmark in the final for its first major title since winning the 2006 World Cup. Spain failed to beat Italy again despite a strong showing, as in their 2016 round of 16 exit. Also the best tournament performance, a strong playing Dani Olmo of RB Leipzig and the goal of the substitute alvaro Morata (80.) were not enough for Luis Enrique's selection to reach the longed-for final.

"I can't even describe my feelings," said 1-0 scorer Chiesa after the game. "We're delighted."The team showed great team spirit in the penalty shootout. 'We stood together and we knew we could do it'."

Thousands of supporters celebrate frenetically at Wembley Stadium

Because of the strict Corona rules, which require a quarantine for people entering the country from several countries, hardly any Italians and Spaniards could actually travel to the semifinals – but thousands of supporters frenetically celebrated their teams in the stands. Fans of the Azzurri and Furia Roja living in the UK were allowed to buy tickets without any problems. A goosebump atmosphere developed even during the national anthems. Inspired by the loud support of the spectators, both teams started the game with a lot of passion.

The clash between four-time world champions Italy and three-time European champions Spain was seen by many experts as an anticipated final. But the already seventh European Championship duel between the two soccer greats initially lived up to the high expectations only to a limited extent.

Spain with three changes in the starting eleven

The Italians, unbeaten in 32 games, had replaced the injured Leonardo Spinazzola with Emerson and otherwise relied on their recently successful starting lineup, trying to stop the opponent's tiki-taka soccer, which was based on a lot of ball possession, by pressing hard and switching quickly.

In contrast, the Spaniards, who had changed three positions, relied more on their controlled build-up play. After some initial problems, the Italians took more and more control of the game because they hardly made any mistakes. Only the weak ball reception of center forward Mikel Oyarzabal after a dream pass from Pedri deprived the Furia Roja of their first big chance (13.). On the sidelines, Enrique, who shouted instructions at the pitch throughout the game with a lot of energy in his coaching zone, huffed.

Only twelve minutes later Olmi forced the Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma to a brilliant save with a low shot. On the other hand, the Italians, who had recently been praised for their offensive power, were only able to set a few accents forward. Only Nicolò Barella had a chance, but the Inter Milan professional hesitated too long with his shot (21).).

Passionate duels of the two best offensives

More and more, the game developed into a battle with many passionate duels, which gave German referee Felix Brych a lot of work to do. But the two best offensives of the tournament so far continued to struggle to create opportunities. At least the Italians came close to scoring once before halftime when Emerson hit the crossbar from close range (45.).

Even after the restart, the Spanish remained the team that dominated the game. The oldie defense of the Squadra Azzurra, led by captain Giorgio Chiellini (36) and Leonardo Bonucci (34), was again shaken in the meantime. But Sergio Busquets' shot from the edge of the box went just over (52.).

Extra time turns into a thriller

Nevertheless, the Italians took the lead, which had been flattering until then. After Chiesa had already saved the Spanish goalkeeper Unai Simon in the 53rd minute. After testing the ball in the first minute, he struck ice-cold on another counterattack seven minutes later. This time he gave the goalkeeper no chance with a well-placed shot from 14 meters into the far corner.

The reaction of the Spaniards was not long in coming. Within a short period of time they were in chances of Oyarzabal (65.) and Olmo (67.) close to equalizer. The Spanish fans at Wembley screamed loudly on both occasions. With Morata came hope for the Spaniards on the pitch, his goal caused enormous excitement.

Extra time turned into a thriller. Spain continued to dominate the game, Italy relied on the defensive so brilliant in the tournament so far and lurked on the counterattack. Donnarumma and his front men combined to deny Spain's next big chance from an Olmo free kick (97).), which is why the decision finally had to be made in a penalty shootout. (fs/dpa)

How they played:

Italy – Spain 4:2 i.E. (0:0,1:1,1:1)

Italy: Donnarumma – Di Lorenzo, Bonucci, Chiellini, Emerson (74). Toloi) – Barella (85. Locatelli), Jorginho, Verratti (74. Pessina) – Chiesa (107. Bernardeschi), Immobile (61. Berardi), L. Insigne (85. Belotti)
Spain: Simon – Azpilicueta (85. M. Llorente), E. Garcia (109. P. Torres), Laporte, Jordi Alba – Koke (70. Rodri), Busquets (106. Thiago), Pedri – F. Torres (62. Morata), Olmo, Oyarzabal (70. Moreno)

Referee: Dr. Felix Brych (Munich) – Spectators: 57811
Goals: 1:0 Chiesa (60.), 1:1 Morata (80.)
Penalty shootings: Simon saves from Locatelli, Olmo misses, 1:0 Belotti, 1:1 Moreno, 2:1 Bonucci, 2:2 Thiago, 3:2 Bernardeschi, Donnarumma saves from Morata, 4:2 Jorginho