Wembley awaits us. The Italy of courage annihilates Belgium and no one will be able to tell her that it is beautiful but immature. the night of the definitive redemption, the one in which, inside the Allianz Arena, we definitively cancel the missed World Cup and confidently open a door to the future. We are in the semifinals of this crazy European itinerant and in three days Spain awaits us, coming from two 120-minute marathons with Croatia and then with Switzerland. But beyond the partial finish, perhaps unthinkable at the start of the tournament, convinces the way in which the blues hit him, that is, without giving up his convictions, also playing the attack against the first of the Fifa rankings.
Belgium-Italy 1-2, the report cards: Donnarumma spectacular, Verratti reckless and Immobile jams
the victory of the group, which is exalted in the game and in the final suffering, but above all the victory of Roberto Mancini, who gets all the moves right: Chiellini to mount guard on Lukaku and the confirmation of the midfield, above all Verratti and Barella, who had struggled in the eighth with Austria. The last two pack the first goal, scored by the Inter player before Insigne’s double from the film library and together with Jorginho they lead Italy and crush the most beautiful unfinished one in the realm.
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But you have to do a monument also to Donnarumma: the market did not distract him. At 0-0, Gigio, in the Neuer stadium, pulls out two decisive saves then leaving the window to his companions. The thirty-second consecutive result of the left-handed players is also the fifteenth consecutive victory in the European Championships between qualification and the final phase. We are now truly a reality. And nothing, in this odd tournament, we are forbidden. Even dreaming. Meanwhile, we lose Spinazzola due to the rupture of the Achilles tendon: his tears of pain are the bad part of a beautiful evening.
At the beginning Belgium plays like the old Italy, closing the spaces and exploiting the quality of De Bruyne, the strength of Lukaku and the speed of Doku, chosen to replace Hazard confined in the stands for the injury. But Italy in the game and does not deny itself: fastball round, pressing, amplitude, high defense without fear. A brave team. And if Bonucci’s goal canceled for offside by three Azzurri (including Chiellini and Di Lorenzo), that of Barella, just at the top of the half hour, turns on the Allianz. The diagonal of the interista, after having burned Thorgan Hazard and Vermaelen, a small masterpiece but in the formidable circumstance the ball recovery and the discharge of Verratti. Insigne, the third little guy of the company, invents a masterpiece with the shooting, the house specialty, even if he abuses it from time to time.
So easy to delude yourself. Instead there is to suffer. Belgium is not the best in the ranking by chance. Donnarumma on 0-0 deflects De Bruyne’s striking left foot with a feat and stretches to deflect Lukaku’s diagonal. The Red Devils do not give up and Di Lorenzo naive to push Doku favoring the penalty that the Inter center forward transforms before the interval. Lat the net of our opponents does not affect the convictions of the blues. Italy restarts with the same spirit also in the second half.
From a mistake by Di Lorenzo, who makes Mancini jump on the bench, a counterattack is born, orchestrated by the usual Doku and De Bruyne, but Lukaku’s sure shot is saved by Spinazzola almost on the line. A feat and a gift before the injury, very serious that forces the Romanista to go out on a stretcher. His tears hurt. The last few minutes are of great suffering. But the wall does not yield. Italy returns to Wembley.
July 2, 2021 (change July 2, 2021 | 23:31)
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