ITALY are in the Uefa Euro 2020 semi-final against Spain after beating Belgium 2-1 with goals from Nicolò Barella and Lorenzo Insigne but lost Leonardo Spinazzola to injury.
Italy will go on to meet Spain in the semi on Tuesday. Both won every game so far at Euro 2020, although the Azzurri needed extra time against Austria, between them conceding a total of two goals. Giorgio Chiellini returned from injury, and Federico Chiesa was picked ahead of Domenico Berardi, while Kevin De Bruyne was able to start despite an ankle knock and Eden Hazard was ruled out replaced surprisingly by 19-year-old Jeremy Doku.
Leonardo Bonucci had the ball in the net after 13 minutes, but Chiellini was already offside when flicking on the Lorenzo Insigne free-kick for him.
When Chiellini got his head in the way of a De Bruyne strike, Gianluigi Donnarumma made a sensational one-handed save on the Manchester City star. He was also at full stretch to deny a Romelu Lukaku counter-attack, while Chiesa had two attempts charged down and a trademark Lorenzo Insigne curler was over.
Italy did break the deadlock when Ciro Immobile was down after a penalty appeal, but Verratti intercepted the clearance; Nicolò Barella shimmied past two defenders and drilled into the far bottom corner. This was only the second goal Belgium had conceded in EURO 2020.
Cheisa curled just wide after a corner was cleared to the edge of the box, then Immobile wasted a huge chance when he should’ve passed it to Chiesa but insisted on getting the shot away himself.
Moments later, Insigne surged forward, rode a tackle and unleashed his trademark right-foot curler that flew into the far corner past Thibaut Courtois for 2-0.
Spain reached the semifinals after prevailing 3-1 in a nervy penalty shootout against dogged Switzerland, which was reduced to ten men by a sending off but still clung to a 1-1 draw after extra time.
Mikel Oyarzabal struck the decisive spot-kick after Gerard Moreno and Dani Olmo had converted for Spain, and Sergio Busquets and Rodri squandered their kicks. Spain keeper Unai Simon saved from Switzerland’s Manuel Akanji and Fabian Schar while Ruben Vargas hammered his shot over the bar.
Credit: The Nation