If anyone is reading our Italy vs Spain Euro 2020 post match review expecting Spain to have reached the final, we have a question - have you heard of Italy?! The Azzurri did what the Azzurri do in the semi-finals and managed to win when they weren’t at their best, boosting their Euro 2020 winner odds dramatically. And they weren’t. Spain outplayed them yet ended up as the losers.
To find out how it happened and why, please continue reading our outline underneath.
From the first whistle, the Spanish players hurried and harried the Italians, using their tactics against them to great effect. The fact that it was nil-nil at halftime was symbolic of Spain’s inability in front of goal as well as the stoic defending of Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci. Mikel Oyarzabal was the main offender, a poor touch preventing him from collecting Pedri’s incisive through ball and being one-on-one with Gianluigi Donnarumma.
Luis Enrique’s men rolled back the years to the point where Chiellini and Co reverted to the country’s traditional style, using two banks of four to stop Busquets, Olmo, and Pedri from running riot. Still, by halftime, it was the Italians who were much happier for not conceding, even though they could barely keep hold of the ball, and their pressing style was stifled by the Spanish.
The second half was much better for the Italians, but it was still stressful for the fans to watch until the 60th minute. After Donnarumma plucked a poor cross out of the air, he kick-started a classic counterattack down the Italian’s left-hand side. Although Aymeric Laporte made a great last-ditch tackle, the roll of the ball fell for Federico Chiesa, who squared up Eric Garcia and swept the ball into the corner of Unai Simon’s net.
This is part of Italy vs Spain Euro 2020 post match review where you expect Italy to shut up shop to see out the last half-an-hour. Unfortunately for them, they couldn’t - Olmo's return pass to substitute Alvaro Morata led to the latter slotting the ball home with aplomb. From then on, the rest of the 90-minute was about Spain attempting to cement their advantage and reach their first major final since Euro 2012.
Poetically for an incredibly unpredictable contest, the game petered out a little, making penalties inevitable.
Betting on Euro 2020 has involved several penalty shootouts, with Spain aiming to be the first nation in the tournament’s history to win back-to-back penalty kicks. They couldn’t do it, even though they got off to the best possible start after Simon saved Manuel Locatelli's effort. However, the impressive Olmo couldn’t keep his nerve and blazed over, while Morata’s lack of confidence was apparent for everyone to see as his weak penalty was easily kept out by Donnarumma.
Jorginho stepped up next, and his trusty technique didn’t let him down as the little jump in his run-up caused Simon to go too soon, leaving the Italian-Brazilian to slot the ball into the bottom right-hand corner of the net.
Enrique’s side, of course, is out of the competition and has the Tokyo Olympics to look forward to in the future. Italy move on to the final, where they will wait to see whether they face England or Denmark at Wembley Stadium on Sunday 11th July. Both sides of supporters are desperate for their country to make the finale, but it’s Gareth Southgate’s players who appear to be the favourites.
If they can get past the Danish, it will be a compelling match-up that is worthy of deciding the month-long tournament. Don’t forget that you can follow all the latest Euro 2020 news and updates here at Betting.co.uk.
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