Two approaches were enough for the Spaniards to identify the Italians’ right defense as a weak point: First, Pablo Sarabia crossed into the middle, where Mikel Oyarzabal failed to Alessandro Bastoni (13th). Five minutes later, however, that Bastoni came too late, Ferran Torres took the left flank – this time beaten by Oyarzabal – and overcame the hopeless from about eight meters Gianluigi Donnarumma in the box of “Azzurri“.
Two missed opportunities that take revenge
Italy took a long time to recover from the shock – but came close to equalizing twice after a good half hour: First they failed Berndardeschi to goalkeeper Simón, who directed the shot against the post, seconds later it was Lorenzo Insigniawho, while standing alone, did not bring anything on goal.
Spain midfielder Pablo Martín Páez Gavira, Gavi for short, celebrated a successful premiere. There was a lot of discussion in advance about the nomination of the young attacker from FC Barcelona: At 17 years and two months, he is now the youngest national player in Spanish history. And he fitted in exceptionally well into the Spanish game, was present in midfield, worked surprisingly skillfully against the ball and served Oyarzabal in the 38th minute, who almost scored the 2-0. Shortly after the second half kicked off, coach Luis Enrique and Yeremi Pino (18) sent the second Youngster on the field, which, however, did not have a very good evening.
Bonucci sees yellow-red in the captain’s duel
Italy captain Leonardo behaved awkwardly Bonucci shortly before the break: In an aerial duel with a captain colleague Sergio Busquets the veteran raised his arm and hit the Spaniard in the neck. Referee Sergey Karasev had previously warned Bonucci for complaining, now consequently drew the yellow-red card. And that was immediately punished even more drastically.
Even before ItalyCoach Roberto Mancini could react with changes or substitutions, the Spaniards punished Bonucci’s lack of restraint: Introduced by Alonso, it was again Oyarzabal who exemplary chipped the ball from the left onto the second post, where Torres deliberately headed in against the direction of Donnarumma to make it 2-0.
Half two: Italy changes, Spain wants to increase
Mancini brought five new players after the break up to the 72nd minute, but without being able to really make a difference in the Italians’ game. Only Chiesa thundered the ball over the right side of the post after a nice solo – but from an offside position. But in the 83rd minute, the squadra drew hope again: After a Spanish corner and a big mistake by Yeremi in the backward movement, Chiesa and Pellegrini played the counter-chance perfectly and shortened. But the hit came too late.
On Thursday (07.10.21) Belgium and France will meet in the second semi-final, the final will take place on Sunday (10.10.21) in Milan’s San Siro Stadium.