MATCH REPORT: ITALY 1-2 SPAIN - AZZURRI'S UNBEATEN RUN GETS CRUSHED BY THE MIGHTY SPANIARDS

are invincible no more, as the Champions of Europe were defeated by 1-2 in the semifinal of the Nations League. For the first time in 3 years, Italy tasted defeat and that too at their fortress.

This was also the first time Italy were beaten in a competitive game at home which made this loss a  whole lot worse for the proud Azzuris. Spain will go on and play the winners of France vs Belgium in the final later this week.

 

 

Spain lost to Italy in the semi-final of Euro 2020 and they were hoping to change the narrative this time around whereas Italy on the other hand were confident to fend off the Spaniards considering the amazing form they have been in.

Italy were on an unbeaten run of 38 games in a row under Mancini heading up to the game and they were using the extra motivation to get a win over their rivals. Spain too were fairly confident considering their last game against the formidable Azzurris went onto penalties which is why they had a good shot at making it to the final.

 

 

Spain found the opening goal in the 16th minute of the game as Oyarzabal find Ferran Torres inside the box and crosses the ball which was met by a flying Ferran Torres right in the bottom right corner. Right after they scored, Spain looked threatening yet again but Bonucci made a goal-line clearance saving Donnarumma from some embarrassment.

 

 

The home fans started booing as Bonucci gets his seconded yellow card for elbowing Sergio Busquets and he was sent off for the rest of the night. Spain made it 2-0 right before halftime as Oyarzabal’s another cross was met by Ferran Torres’s head and Donnaumma was beaten yet again.

Things were looking real bad for Italy at halftime. Spain dominated the possession, made more chances and even though Italy did have their moments, their chances were looking slim being two goals down and a man light.

Itlay finally scored their first goal in the 82nd minute after Spain fails to convert a corner kick and Italy scores on the counter courtesy of a strike by Pellegrini. It was an exciting end to the game as Italy went all out searching for the equaliser and finishing their dream come-back but Spain held fort and made sure they progress onto the final.

 

ITALY LET DOWN DEFENSIVELY

 

We Saw Spain’s attackers dart across open spaces in Italy’s half which means something horribly went wrong for Italy’s backline. Even before they lost Bonucci, Italy had open spaces on the flanks since their defenders were drawn out central by Spain.

Italy struggled to keep their defensive shape intact and heavily paid the price. If Chellini and Bonucci would have started for them, maybe the experienced duo would have handled the situation well but Mancini chose to start Bastoni who didn’t have the best day on the field tonight.

 

SPAIN KEPT THEIR SHAPE

 

Spain’s backline and midfield were on top of the Italian attackers tonight. Italy attacked mostly on the counter since Spain were dominating possession but they failed to attack effectively y and take a shot on goal since Spain boxed the attacking players with good positional play and perfectly timed tackles.

Italy did get a couple of good goal scoring chances but it was all for nought as they missed the goal while taking the shot.

 

THE FUTURE IS NOW FOR SPAIN

 

We saw a young Spanish side in action today that played well over what was expected of them Luis Enrique gave the 17-year-old Gabi his first international cap making him the youngest Spanish player in their history and he also gave Yeremy Pino his debut by bringing him on the second half.

Morata’s injury meant Ferran Torres starts as their centre forward and his international record has been top tier having scored 20 goals in his last 10 appearances. Oyarzabal too was exceptional today having 2 assists to his name and Luis Enrique’s gambled paid well off.

Spain’s future is looking as bright as their chances of lifting the nations League title this year.

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