Gerard Pique on Italy’s penalty shootout victory over La Roja: “It doesn’t seem fair to me that a draw should make you start at a disadvantage”

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.

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.

After the final whistle, Barcelona and former La Roja centre-back Gerard Pique expressed his annoyance that Italy got to go first in the shootout, claiming it gave them an unfair advantage.

“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.”

Tags Barcelona Gerard Pique La Roja