England or Denmark will meet Italy in Sunday’s Euro 2020 final after the Azzurri dispatched Spain 4-2 on penalties following a 1-1 draw at Wembley. Roberto Mancini’s side march on and they will take some stopping as they set their sights on glory in London in five days time.
They are now 33 matches unbeaten as they once again demonstrated their unbreakable team spirit and will to win, having been pushed all the way by Spain.
Chelsea midfielder Jorginho struck the winning penalty during the shootout, slotting the ball into the bottom corner after exercising his trademark skipping routine once again.
Italy had missed the opening spot-kick in the shootout as substitute Manuel Locatelli’s low strike was saved by Unai Simon.
Yet they were handed an immediate Get Out of Jail Free card when RB Leipzig’s Dani Olmo blazed over for Spain.
Andrea Belotti, Leonardo Bonucci and Federico Bernardeschi all scored to put the pressure on their opponents.
Gerard Moreno and Thiago Alcantara were also successful from 12-yards before Alvaro Morata’s tame pen was saved.
Jorginho then made no mistake to book his side’s place at Wembley, where he will square off against club teammates Mason Mount, Ben Chilwell or Andreas Christensen.
There was nothing between the two sides for an hour until Federico Chiesa finally broke the deadlock when he curled the ball home beautifully into the far corner past the helpless Simon.
The winger forced his way into Mancini’s starting XI after his game-changing cameo against Austria in the last 16, in which he scored in a 2-1 victory.
Yet Spain refused to lie down and continued to look dangerous as they went in search of an equaliser.
They finally found it when substitute Morata finished a slick team move brilliantly in front of the jubilant Spanish support.
Luis Enrique’s men then looked like the side most likely to win the game as Italy’s aging squad tired.
The game lacked quality in extra-time as fatigued showed and Italy looked as though they were holding on for penalties.
Spain had already enjoyed their share of spot-kick success after defeating Switzerland on penalties in the quarter-finals but that experience did not help them here.
England will not be taking Denmark lightly as they look to go one better than Euro ’96 and the 2018 World Cup, when they fell at the semi-final hurdle.
Whoever meets the Italians this weekend will be looking to capitalise on the fact Mancini’s men have now had to battle through 120 minutes on two occasions…
Author: Ryan Taylor
Read more here >>> Daily Express :: Sport