Euro 2021: Italy arrives in the final by beating Spain


Indestructible Italy! Pushed to its limits by a bright Spain, Tuesday, July 6 in London, the Nazionale dictated its law on penalties (1-1 after, 4-2 tab) to find the final of the Euro and complete its rebirth at most high European level. The Azzurri were in the opening match of this Euro 2021, at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on June 11 … They will be in the closing match against England or Denmark, exactly one month later, in the temple of football in Wembley!

→ ANALYSIS. At Euro 2021, already a great story for the Danes

What a resurrection for this Nazionale, still knocked out, three years earlier, by the non-qualification for the 2018 World Cup … Here is the rising generation of Chiesa, Donnarumma, Barella at a march from the European summit, alongside the elders of his defense, Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini. In three years, the Italian selection has been able to rebuild an identity, not only focused on aggressiveness and solidity, but animated by attractive small sizes, by an astonishing collective strength and by an uninhibited style of play.

And in more than 120 minutes, on Tuesday night, she showed that she could also return to her basic principles, namely a foolproof defensive solidarity in the face of countless Spanish assaults, and an ability to strike fast and hard. By Federico Chiesa in first blade (60e minute), then via a save by his immense goalkeeper Gianligi Donnarumma, in front of Alvaro Morata after a controlled penalty shootout.

Missed opportunities

La Roja will regret the failures of Morata and Dani Olmo at eleven meters, her multiple missed opportunities, but she did not expect to appear so high in this Euro, carried by the youth of Pedri (18 years old), Olmo or Ferran Torres . The players feared an atmosphere tarnished by the impossibility for fans to travel to England because of health restrictions … Their fears were quickly dispelled in the evening in London, where 57,811 spectators made forget the time of a meeting the surge in cases due to the Delta variant in the country.

The 11,000 or so Italian fans – probably British residents – who came to the legendary venue, sang the praises of Marco Verratti and Donnarumma all evening, and applauded the name of Roberto Mancini, the coach behind the rebirth. of a selection that remains on a crazy series of 33 games in a row without defeat.

The technician had not turned everything upside down at kickoff, a sign that his formula is close to his heart against any opponent, including Spain, queen of possession. On the other side, coach Luis Enrique tried a bet by leaving the most Italian of the Spaniards, Alvaro Morata … finally a scorer out of the bench in the second half (80e).

Mancini vs. Enrique

This shock was definitely that of the coaches: Mancini and Enrique hardly left their technical zone during the whole meeting. The Italian “Mister” must have experienced a cold sweat in the face of opposing domination. The Spaniard, for his part, stressed for 80 minutes for a strike to finally end at the bottom, after the multiple failures of Ferran Torres (15e), Dani Olmo (25e, 33e) and Mikel Oyarzabal (58e, 65e, 66e). Too many inaccuracies to hope to win, even if the first Italian strike, from Emerson Palmieri, was delayed until the 45e minute.

→ READ. Football: Spain, still in search of its lost glory

But Italy had not yet released its favorite wall-piercer, Federico Chiesa, scorer with a meticulous coiled shot (60e). This opposition, untenable from start to finish, looked like a 21st century classic.e century, with this fifth duel in four Euros … La Roja had won in the final in 2012, Italy won that round. And begins to dream of a second title, after 1968 …

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