L’Italy you take the semifinal dell’European and will go to London to challenge the Spain. The Azzurri fly to Wembley by beating the Belgium 2-1 with goals from Stretcher e Badge, partially trimmed by Lukaku on rigor. The National team of Roberto Mancini qualifies for the English ‘final four’ with a match of arrogance (like the goal of the Inter midfielder), di class (like the shooting of the Napoli striker) and of suffering in the final, when the energies began to fail and the Red Devils tried to raise the bar but, as happened on two occasions in the first half, he always found in front of them a Donnarumma attentive and punctual on every occasion. Another compelling performance of the collective, another deserved victory. And now without any more pressure – because the minimum objective is not only achieved, but also exceeded – Italy will only have from have fun, whatever it is.
Who would have thought that the Azzurri would be among the four strongest players in the European Championship? As they went home in order Netherlands, Portugal, France e Germany, the national team continued its hitherto perfect roadmap. And now he will challenge Spain, which played quietly and grew week by week. Fearsome opponent, classy, who plays good football but will come to England with two additional in the legs. It is played on Tuesday, in four days. And it will be a factor to consider. How to take into account, unfortunately, is the injury of Leonardo Spinazzola, among the ‘mvp’ of the men available to Mancini in this tournament: the winger collapsed to the ground in the final minutes during a shot and he feared a strain in the adductor, but the problem – according to the first findings – should affect the Achilles tendon.
But this group has proven to have resources to make up for any inconvenience, interchangeable men who do not make the absent regret them. And to play as he wants to do, regardless of whether Turkey or Belgium are up front. It also happened in the quarter-final against the number one of the ranking Uefa that leave immediately strong and Ready go close to scoring with Lukaku. The Azzurri immediately get back on track and after the first ten minutes they start to grind the game, up to the advantage signed by Bonucci in scrum and canceled by Where per offside by Di Lorenzo. It is the first sign of an open game, to be played face to face. The Red Devils are dangerous on several occasions when restarting with De Bruyne and Lukaku, blocked by Donnarumma, but at the half hour the Azzurri pass with a percussion by Barella at the invitation of Verratti. It is the tear that changes the game: Belgium feels the blow and Italy is more relaxed. And in fact he doubles at 43 ′ with a goal from Insigne, at Insigne: soft turn right from the limit and Courteous he can only accompany the trajectory on the net with his gaze. The double advantage, however, fades immediately. At the last breath of the first half, Tissue is knocked out in the area by a naive shoulder from Di Lorenzo. The referee has no doubts and points to the spot. Everyone suggests to Donnarumma how to parry him and Lukaku chooses the easiest and safest way: powerful and central shot, 2-1 and everyone in the locker room.
The second half begins as the first half ended, in the sign of Doku who with the passing of the minutes becomes the real one thorn in my side of the blue defense. At 61 ′ it is he who triggers De Bruyne who serves Lukaku. The Inter striker goes to a safe shot from one meter, but Spinazzola saves from the thigh one meter from the goal line. Immobile suffers the physicality of the Belgian defense, but when Italy can verticalization it always makes the three dance in front of Courtois. Spinazzola wastes an invitation from Insigne, one of the best in the field, the same scuzzigno he tries again with the right to turn. Wrong goal and (almost) goal conceded. Mertens e chadlic, as soon as they enter, they orchestrate, Lukaku just touches her and Hazard heel test but fails to direct the ball. It is the worst thrill for the Azzurri, who from here to the end – we are at 77 ‘- are trembling only for Spinazzola’s injury. For him it is likely that the European is over. How soon the siege of Belgium ends, more of position than of created opportunities. The last quarter hour and 7 minutes of recovery slip away with tension, between pinwheel changes to tactically rearrange the two teams but without Donnarumma ever having to really put on gloves. Italy raises its fists in the Munich night. And he has every intention of doing it again under the Wembley sky.
THE CHRONICLE OF THE MATCH
FINAL WHISTLE: ITALY IS IN THE SEMIFINAL
97′ Belgium corner: last chance. Ball on the bottom
96′ We still play for lost time with Donnarumma on the ground
95′ Long pass from Belgium for Lukaku, Donnarumma in safe exit controls the ball
91′ Free kick by De Bruyne, Donnarumma’s high exit who suffers a foul by Witsel. The blue goalkeeper remains sore on the ground for a long time, then gets up
90′ Five minutes of recovery
90′ Change for Italy: outside the Church and inside Toloi
89′ Berardi warned, punishment to be repeated: the Sassuolo striker comes out too soon
89′ Free kick from 20 meters for Belgium: Berardi foul on De Bruyne
88′ One hundred and twenty seconds to the ninetieth, Belgium raises the center of gravity and tries to besiege Italy which has dropped considerably
84′ Doku starts from the left and focuses, jumps Barella, Bonucci and Chiellini and shoots the powerful right, but is high on the crossbar
79′ Mancini also throws Berardi into the fray instead of Insigne
77′ Injury for Spinazzola: muscle problem for the blue winger who on a restart suffers pain in his flexor and has to leave the field. The winger is crying on the ground, perhaps aware that his European championship ends here regardless of the result of the match. He goes out on a stretcher, Emerson comes in instead
74′ Immediate injury for Chadli, forced to leave the field to Praet
73′ Two substitutions for Mancini: Belotti takes the place of Immobile and Cristante replaces Verratti
71 ′ THRILL FOR ITALY
Belgium pushes immediately with Mertens who inspires Chadli: cross for Lukaku who touches her, Hazard tries a heel but does not make it
70′ Double change for Belgium, in Mertens for Tielemans and Chadli for Meunier
69′ Insigne tries again as in the first: right to turn, Courtois attentive
65 ‘OPPORTUNITY FOR SPINAZZOLA!
Insigne, among the most active, serves Spinazzola who enters and tries volleyball, but the conclusion is out of proportion
63′ Italy reacts after a couple of gusts from Belgium and gains meters of field again, trying to dribble and then verticalize to surprise the Belgian defense
61 ′ OPPORTUNITY FOR LUKAKU!
Doku again on the left starts a very dangerous action, finished by De Bruyne, good at serving Lukaku with a low low cross. The Inter striker takes a safe shot from one meter, but Spinazzola thighs back on the line
55′ Doku is becoming a thorn in the side for the Azzurri defense with Di Lorenzo often in trouble on the Belgian winger, fast in one on one
50′ A staid start of the two teams with a bit of nervousness, dross of the end of the first half with the penalty granted to Belgium amid protests from players and the blue bench.
THE SECOND HALF BEGINS
There are no changes in the two formations
FIRST HALF END: BELGIUM-ITALY 1-2
46′ DEL BELGIO GOAL: LUKAKU
The left-footed Inter striker kicks central and powerful and shortens the distance
45 ‘PENALTY FOR BELGIUM!
Contact between Di Lorenzo and Doku in the penalty area: the defender unbalances the Belgian with a touch from the shoulder and the referee has no doubts about Di Lorenzo’s naive swing
43 ′ ITALY GOAL! INSIGNE !!!
The Napoli striker unloads the right shot from the edge, his trademark: the shot is unstoppable for Courtois
40 ′ ITALY OPPORTUNITY
On the development of a corner kick, Chiesa kicks from the edge and touches the post to the left of Courtois, forced to dive to protect his goal. Italy more relaxed after the advantage and Belgium which seems to have suffered the backlash
31 ′ ITALY GOAL! STRETCHER!!!
The Inter midfielder invented a goal as a pure striker: percussion from the edge of the area at the invitation of Verratti and right to cross over which Courtois can do nothing. Italy ahead at half an hour
29′ Half an hour into the game, more Belgium than Italy. Lukaku and his teammates have engaged Donnarumma several times, with the Azzurri trying to defend themselves and strike on the counterattack. But beyond the goal canceled in Bonucci by the Var, in a few occasions the national team has come to worry Courtois
26 ′ BELGIUM STILL DANGEROUS!
Red devils always fearsome in the counterattack: on a lost ball from Immobile on the edge of the Belgian area, De Bruyne catapulted into attack and entrusted the finalization to Lukaku, but Donnarumma still says no
22′ OPPORTUNITY FOR BELGIUM!
Restart of De Bruyne after a lost ball in midfield by the Azzurri, the midfielder sows Bonucci and unloads the left from the edge. Great response from Donnarumma
21′ First yellow card also for Belgium: Tielemans’ bad intervention from behind on Verratti and a yellow card for him
17′ Verratti warned: tactical foul by the PSG midfielder on a restart from Belgium
13 ′ THE VAR CANCELS
Bonucci beats Courtois in the scrum on the development of a free-kick, but the Var cancels the blue advantage for an offside by Di Lorenzo
13 ′ ITALY GOAL! LEONARDO BONUCCI!
10′ After a start of suffering, Italy gains meters of the field and presses Belgium. Game currently blocked
5′ In the first flash of the game, Belgium controls the pace and the Azzurri try to restart by pushing above all from the side of the Church, without so far never bothering the Belgian defense.
1′ Immediate opportunity for Belgium: high pressing of the trident and ball recovered by the Red Devils, immediate verticalization for Lukaku, anticipated by Donnarumma
START WHISTLE – Begun, kick-off for the Belgium-Italy quarter-final
22 KNEELING – As expected, all players on the pitch kneel before the kick-off for the Black Lives Matter campaign. The Azzurri, as explained by captain Giorgio Chiellini in recent days, perform the gesture in solidarity with the Belgium players
TEAMS ON THE FIELD – The 22 starters are on the pitch. It’s time for the national anthems
THE FORMATIONS – A few minutes before the kick-off of the quarter-final Belgium-Italy, here are the official formations of the match that will qualify one of the two teams to the semifinal of theEuropean to challenge the Spain who beat the Switzerland on penalties. Compared to what was announced on the eve, Belgium recovered De Bruyne from 1 ‘but can’t make it Eden Hazard and Martinez chooses to leave Dries Mertens on the bench. Confirmed the return of Chiellini in defense, while Mancini decides to change up front with Church preferred to Berardi.
The official formations
Belgium: Courtois; Alderweireld, Vermaelen, Vertonghen; Meunier, Tielemans, Witsel, T. Hazard; De Bruyne, Doku; lukaku. Ct Martinez
Italy: Donnarumma; Di Lorenzo, Bonucci, Chiellini, Spinazzola; Barella, Jorginho, Verratti; Church, Building, Insigne. Coach Mancini