Spain broke European champions Italy’s world record unbeaten run of 37 matches as Ferran Torres won 2-1 in a thrilling Nations League semi-final at the San Cerro Stadium on Wednesday.
Italy, trailing by two goals at halftime, had to play the entire second half with 10 men after the departure of captain Leonardo Bonucci but showed real determination in trying to avoid their first loss after Portugal’s September 2018 defeat. What
“Sometimes these matches can affect them,” said Italy coach Roberto Mancini.
“It’s a disappointment,” he added. We should have been with 11 men, we made a mistake you can’t make at this level.
Spain will face the winners of the semi-final between France and Belgium on Thursday.
Torres put Spain ahead in the 17th minute, scoring a left-arm cross from Michael O’Brien to a corner away from Italian keeper Gianluigi Donaruma. Donaruma, outraged by AC Milan’s fans at the club’s recent move to Paris Saint-Germain, gave Spain almost a second a second when they thwarted an attempt by harmless Marcos Alonso against the post but Bonucci missed the ball. Cleared
Any long-standing question about the significance of the match was blown away from the blurred start and it was by no means one-way traffic, as Italy began to open up the Spanish defense. Federico Bernardeschi came close to a draw with a low drive from the right, which was pushed against the post by Spain keeper Unai Simon and Lorenzo Insigne missed a great opportunity when a wide shot was fired into the space at the edge of the box.
Azouri, who beat Spain on penalties in the Euro 2020 semi-finals in July, beat a man in the 42nd minute when Bonchi was sent off for a second yellow card after Sergio Biscuits was called.
Torres sent a two-goal lead to Luis Enrique during the break when he was left without a header from another excellent cross by Oyersball. Italy fielded Giorgio Chiellini on the bridge, the experienced defender and leader surprisingly disappeared, and despite playing with the real Spanish side, Azouri remained in the game.
Spain debuted 17-year-old Barcelona midfielder Gavi, who became the youngest player for his club after just three starts – but there was no sign of his inexperience in a confident and well-rounded performance. ۔
Enrico Chisa was the source of Italy’s brightest moments and hit the post from a narrow angle in the 61st minute. Donaroma sealed the victory and saved the low shot well.
Italy ensured a standard match tension when they scored a goal seven minutes behind the end, as Chisa took advantage of a hesitant Spanish defense, breaking through the halfway line and slipping the ball to Lorenzo Pellegrini. Can be changed. But Italy’s run ended and with it the dream of a League of Nations title on home soil to celebrate the victory of the Euro.
For Spain, however, revenge for Wembley’s loss was sweet. “We knew it was a special game, we went out in the Euro semi-finals and there was no better way to beat them at home in the other semi-final,” Torres said.