La Roja faced Italy at Wembley Stadium in London on Tuesday evening for a place in the final of Euro 2020, losing 4-2 on penalties after drawing 1-1 after extra-time.
The first half was tightly contested, with Spain seeing the majority of the ball but failing to put the Italians to the sword. The performance of 18-year-old Pedri, at the heart of the Spanish midfield, had everyone watching swooning.
It was the Italians, however, that took a potentially decisive lead on the hour mark. They broke ruthlessly in a counter-attack instigated by the excellent Gianluigi Donnarumma and finished artfully by Federico Chiesa. Spain got back on level terms heading into the final ten minutes; Alvaro Morata, much maligned this summer, finished superbly after being played in by Dani Olmo.
ITALY HAVE DONE IT!
THEY BOOK THEIR PLACE IN THE EURO 2020 FINAL! 🇮🇹 pic.twitter.com/9qIynJzOev
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) July 6, 2021
Morata went from hero to villain in the penalty shootout, however, missing a decisive penalty for Spain that enabled Jorginho to convert the winning kick with composure. Roberto Mancini’s men will face either England or Denmark in the final.
“It’s no coincidence that in the last four penalty shootouts at Euro 2020 and the Copa America, the team that went first won,” he tweeted. “Statistics show that going first leaves you with more options and in a tournament like this it doesn’t seem fair to me that a draw should make you start at a disadvantage.”
No es casualidad que las cuatro tandas que ha habido tanto en la @EURO2020 como en la @CopaAmerica haya ganado el equipo que primero tira. Las estadísticas dicen que el primero tiene más opciones y en un torneo así no me parece justo que un sorteo haga que empieces con desventaja
— Gerard Piqué (@3gerardpique) July 6, 2021