EURO 2020: STAR PLAYER AND 5 THINGS WE LEARNED FROM ITALY 1-1 SPAIN

beat in the Semi-Final of as the game went onto penalties after a close 1-1 game. The Spanish were surely the better side throughout the 120 but couldn’t step up when it mattered the most.

 

 

Italy stepped on the pitch hoping to build on their 32 game unbeaten run but Spain too were fairly confident as they are on to the highest-scoring teams in the tournament so far. Both teams have been dominating the game leading up to this match but one had to head home tonight. FootTheBall brings you 5 things we could learn from the game and the star player who had the most impact throughout the 90.

 

1) A NERVOUS AFFAIR

The game had a tense environment right from the kickoff. We agree that the stakes were really high and it was probably the biggest game these players have played in their lives, but the number of mistakes both sides made in the first 20 minutes was almost laughable.

 

 

The passes were too short, the players were running into offside positions and the tackles were poorly timed. The nerves had truly got even to the experienced players on the pitch. The defenders even gave away a couple of goal-scoring chances but the attackers couldn’t capitalise on them.

 

2) SPINAZZOLA WAS DEARLY MISSED

Leonardo Spinazzola had been one of the best players in the tournament so far. The left wing-back was doing a lot of damage on both halves of the pitch and had a massive influence on the Italian side.

Sadly, he walked off the pitch injured in their Quarterfinal game against Belgium. The youngster’s impact on the Italian side was clearly seen in today’s game as things just seemed a bit off without him for Italy.

 

 

Spinazzola used to contribute a lot in the final third as his darting runs were a major threat to the opposing backline. His replacement, Emerson, just couldn’t show the same quality and hence they didn’t create a lot of chances on the left flank. Italy would have played a lot better if Leonardo Spinazzola was on the pitch tonight.

 

3) A CATALOG OF CHANCES, GONE BEGGING

A recurring problem for the Spanish side throughout the side has been the goal-scoring department. They have scored a lot of goals so far, but with the number of chances they create, they should be netting the ball more. They dominated the ball throughout the game and created 16 chances in front of the goal.

 

 

With the pedigree of players La Roja has at the front, they should have definitely put this game ago in the first half itself. Oyarzabal and Ferran Torres had ample opportunities but they seemed a bit amateur while shooting the ball.

 

4) ASSERTING DOMINANCE IN THE CENTRE

 

 

The midfield was key for both sides tonight as he who controls the centre controls the game as well. Spain were surely the dominant side of the two and that was because of their central midfielders. They kept their shape and did well enough to create scoring opportunities.

Italy’s midfield on the other hand weren’t looking that sharp as they were pushed onto their back foot. They were too busy defending their goal and hence couldn’t do any damage in front. Spain had better passing, better possession and better opportunities, all because of the way they controlled the midfield.

 

5) ITALIAN BACKLINE GETTING BETTER OVER TIME

Chellini and Bonucci have had a good Euros so far, but tonight they just couldn’t make a lot of impact on their game. They had a horrible first 45 as Spain’s attackers walked all over them. They also looked a bit slow as the match went onto the dying minutes.

Italy’s backbone was their sturdy centre-backs but because they couldn’t perform well, the Italian midfield couldn’t contribute in the other half and were kept busy defending the majority of the game.

 

 

Even the goal Italy conceded was because of a simple one-two by the Spaniards which one a normal day, would have been a piece of cake for Chellini and co.

 

STAR PLAYER – FEDERICO CHIESA

 

 

Italy were looking down bad before they netted their first goal. Not only Federico’s opener was a beautiful goal, it changed the dynamic of the game completely as well.

After a poor performance throughout the game, the opening goal gave the Azzuros a spring in their steps as they saw hope sitting right in front of them. We could see Italy get back into their groove and that surely helped them carrying the game to penalties.

Chiesa’s overall performance was top-tier as well. Italy were making few chances in the first half, but Chiesa did his best to make the most of it as he ran his way through the flanks creating an opening. He even did well in the extra time as he created a good chance for Belotti. The youngster hasn’t had a great tournament so far but he would surely be happy with his performance tonight.

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