So Italy will play Demark or England in the final, and over the course of the tournament they've earned it. They were second-best tonight, but they still scored a lovely goal and kept their nerve at the end.
- E.T 2nd Half
- E.T 1st Half
- 2nd Half
- Emerson PalmieriTolói74'
Italy - Spain
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Italy tried not to italy Spain and still italied Spain! Incredible.
ITALY BEAT SPAIN 4-2 ON PENALTIES!
Jorginho ambles in, skips, and when Donnarumma goes right, he caresses right! Italy are in the final of Euro 2020!
Italy 3-2 Spain
OH ALVARO! Morata, who missed earlier in the tournament and didn't take against Switzerland, opens his body and telegraphs that it's going bottom right, patting a soft kick that Donnarumma saves easily!
Italy 3-2 Spain
Bernardeschi hammers high into the top right!
Italy 2-2 Spain
Thiago pauses, waits for Donnarumma to go right, and slides left.
Italy 2-1 Spain
Unai Simon dives left, Bonnuci punches right.
Italy 1-1 Spain
Moreno pauses and lifts high to his right, over Donarumma's dive.
Italy 1-0 Spain
Belotti smashes into the bottom left! Easy this.
Italy 0-0 Spain
Dani Olmo, maybe the best player on the pitch, absolutely waddles this over the top!
Italy 0-0 Spain
From behind the player the keeper really does fill the net, and when Unai simon jiggles from side to side, he dives right and saves Locatellis's shot!
Italy are going first, and it's Locatelli's honour!
Chiellini is such a boss, getting all bro-violent-friendly with Jordi Alba when they toss, shoving, hugging and laughing. He's not nervous!
Donnarumma looks like the kin of keeper who saves penalties, but dodgy keepers save penalties, which is more an Unai Simon thing.
Who'd fancy themselves to mooch from centre-circle to spot, then slot one? Footballers are made of different stuff.
First 90 minutes good, second 30 minutes not so good. Penalties it is!
Full-time in extra-time: Italy 1-1 Spain
Bonucci extends a leg as Morata looks to chest down, catching him a love-tap; Morata goes down, and Bonucci is booked.
In about 15 minutes' time, one of these legends is going to miss a penalty for our entertainment. Football!
Spain muster one last heave but Belotti intercepts a weary pass and Beraradi is on the run! But Belotti's pass is poorly measured, and Torres intercepts to clear.
Spain are knackered too now. The ball, on the other hand, is as fresh as a daisy.
Belotti nicks the ball away from Jordi Alba, who goes down; it's hard to see what might've hurt him, but he intimates that it wassomething.
It's so great that this is being played in front of a crowd.
A long ball over the top sees Unai Simon charge out and Berardi slide a low finish past him ... but the flag goes up.
Torres would not be out of place hanging out with Jason Priestly and Luke Perry in Beverley Hills 90210.
Eric Garcia has cramp, and is replaced by Pau Torres.
Oh aye! Belotti spanks a sensational ball out Berardi and Italy dredge up the energy to counter. Berardi looks to slide in Bernardeschi - what an impact this would be! - but Laporte slides in to intercept. Good play all round.
Italy send on Bernardeschi for Chiesa.
Olmo is still giving it, dipping inside Berardi, who chops him down.
Change for Spain, Thiago replacing the wondrous Busquets.
We go again!
Half-time in extra-time: Italy 1-1 Spain
Olmo has played so well tonight, and he drives towards the Italy box, caresses a stand into Morata's path, and he can't quite control.
If Italy couldn't get much of the ball when they were fresh, there's not a chance they're getting much of it now, and I think this game is now about whether Spain can find a winner. Not because Italy want to hold out, but because the match-up doesn't suit them.
They're not winning, but we shouldn't underplay how well Spain have played tonight and here they come again, Donnaruma coming for Moreno's cross and getting there just ahead of Olmo; the rebound falls to Morata, but Chiellini blocks his drive.
Spain are turning it up again, and that makes extra sense because without Insigne and Immobile, Italy don't have the same incision on the counter.
We see a facepainted couple spot themselves on the big screen, both of them overjoyed. It's actually kind of cute, which tells you just how good this game has been.
Olmo cracks low and hard, and Donnarumma, expecting a cross, has to dive to parry out hard; he gets lucky that it doesn't fall to anyone in a Spain shirt.
Olmo, wh'ss been outstanding, runs at Toloi, shimmying past him; Toloi yanks him down, and Olmo will now drive a cross into the box, from out on the left....
Belotti goes up for a high ball, Garcia goes in the back of him Harry Kane-style, and he clatters to the ground. While he receives treatment, Danny Murphy watches a replay, sees what happened, and says he's faking, the Italians are playing for penalties.
I should've said but in the excitement I forgot, Traore was about to come when Morata scored; he's back sat down again.
It's a little slow at the moment, which is understandable. Spain are knocking it about but not taking risks, and Italy are letting them.
Berardi and Jordi Alba bang each other somehow - it's not clear how - and both look less than gruntled.
I think both sides are going to go for this, and in commentary, Danny Murphy says he's not enjoyed a game as much for years. I think that's a little excitable but who doesn't love excitement. And I've just realised the game I'm thinking of, Italy v Germany, was in, er, 2006.
We go again! Yesssssssss!
That was great! Settle in for another half an hour, don't mind if we do!
Full-time: Italy 1-1 Spain
Here we go then, the last attempt to get a result in normal time. Pessina turns up down the left, humps a cross over to the far side, and Chiesa can't catch up with it.
There'll be three added minutes.
I wondered if Italy would pay for their lack of transcendental quality, and I guess we've seen a bit of that tonight but excuse me while I interrupt myself! Olmo slides a clever pass into the box, which Chiellini slides in to intercept - it's a great piece of work and all you'd expect. But he brushes the ball with his hand and there's a shout for a penalty ... and the ref waves it away. Well played him and actually, well played all of his mates - they've done a brilliant job.
There's been an unbelievable rhythm to this game. If I'm honest, the quality hasn't been quite where it has been, but there's been plenty of it, two bazzing goals, and we're nowhere near done.
Phew. The sides gather themselves for another 30.
Locatelli and Belotti replace Brella and Insigne while Llorente replaces Azpilicueta.
Here come Spain again, Morata, who's absolutely on one, running in behind. He lays back for Busquets, who whams over the bar. Busquets has now had two shots!
Spain win a corner down the right and Olmo swings it out ... Chiellini is up ... but Busquets gets there first, flicking a header just wide of the far stick.
The world deserves half an hour more of this.
GOAL! Italy 1-1 Spain (Morata!) OH ALVARO! Laporte finds Morata, who plays a luscious give and go with Olmo, strides into the box, does the keeper with the eyebrows, and when he dives far, slides near. That is an expert's finish!
Spain lose possession playing out and the ball breaks to Berardi, who opens his body, telegraphing his intention, and Unai Simon saves his shot easily enough.
Simon comes out to clear a long ball and belts it into Laporte; it might go anywhere, but it flies out for a throw.
Oh, Alvaro! Busquets picks up a loose ball and plays in Morata, on the right of the box with the angle rapidly narrowing. But rather than hit it he takes a pair of touches, and ends up not even getting a shot away.
Italy have disappeared these last few minutes beautifully.
I'm sorry Alvaro, that was naughty of me.
Pessina replaces Verratti and Toloi replaces Emerson, who's put in an absolute shift.
Chiellini finds Bonucci, who finds Cheillni. Ctrl F, Ctrl C. But then Donnarumma plays a dreadful pass which finds Morata ... whose touch is off. Spares him the finishing I guess.
Italy are finding increasing joy on the counter and Berardi gets on a run down the right, but Emerson gets back at him.
Simeone's Atletico Madrid are the only side who come close to being as fun as Italy when defending a narrow lead.
Two more changes for Spain, Rodri and Moreno replacing Koke and Oyarzabal - who'll be hoping his mates can rescue his finishing.
A great tournament is a tournament with great closing stages, and this one is not disappointing. Here come Italy again, Chiesa finding space in behind Jordi Alba and sending Berardi away! But his low driveis too close to Unai Simon, who saves long barrier. That was really well done, and might just've kept his team in the competition.
Oyarrzabal holds up a long hit from Azpilicueta and guides a knockdown into the pass of the onrushing Olmo. But he strikes across his shot, and the ball skids wide.
I'll tell you what! A poor clearance from Berardi allows Koke to pick a terrific curling pass over the top, and Oyarzabal is there! But trying to deftly run it off his fringe and into the bottom corner, he misses the ball entirely! Is bad finishing contagious?
Spain will continue knocking it about, hoping to make a chance, but even if they do, then what.
Chiellini heads a cross behind, cueing wild celebrations among the Italy back four. Great stuff.
Immobile has served his purpose so off he comes, Berardi coming on, while Spain need a goal so send on Morata - ! - for Torres.
OH MY DAYS WHAT A GOAL! Italy 1-0 Spain (Chiesa) Spain move it and move it, then a poor cross from Alba is caught by Donnarumma and Italy counter! The original move goes through Verratti, then out to Insigne who finds Immobile. he's closed down by Laporte but the ball breaks to Chiesa, who steps inside Garcia, and power-curls another brutal finish into the far side-netting! WE ARE COOKING!
Busquets mugs Barella and the ball moves right to Oyazabal, who wriggles in off the right to hit a rising shot that Donnarumma saves easily enough.
Insigne finds Emerson, whose cross is kicked away and Spain counter, the ball making its way to Pedri via Olmo, who finds Torres ... whose shot is blocked at source. Pedri is not impressed with the return pass that never came.
If one team score here, we could witness a classic - we're on the verge, but the effect of a goal would intensify everything.
Now it's Italy's turn! A clever flick from Immobile sticks Chiesa on a run, and he shoots low and hard, cutting in off the right ... and Unai Simon saves to his right.
Italy really need to change something. Azpilcueta slides in brilliantly to win a tackle and set Oyarzabal away at the same time. He cuts towards the box and squares to Busquets - yes Busquets! - who uses the pace to sweep a first-time shot towards the near post ... but just over the bar.
Busquets is late on Immobile, earning himself a yellow card.
Olmo nashes down the right and sweeps over a low cross for Torres, arriving into the middle. But Di Lorenzo is wise to the ruse, judging a difficult ball well to stick it behind (for a corner that comes to nowt).
Immobile chases in behind Laporte, who misreads a bouncing ball, but his attempted finish, a left-footed chip, skews across the face of goal.
I'm a little surprised Italy haven't changed anything. I know managers tend to be circumspect about such things than people who haven't picked the team, who know less, and his jobs aren't on the line, but simply telling his players to play better doesn't seem like enough in this circumstance.
Pedri is an absolutely ridiculous footballer. If he gets to play in a proper team at some point, he will devastate.
We go again...
Back come our teams...
Spain are furious that the whistle comes before any added time, as they were about to attack, but what can you do. The had the better of the first half, but their lack of a striker is hampering them yet again.
Half-time: Italy 0-0 Spain
Insigne sidewinds at Azpilicueta, who won't let him inside onto his right foot, so he goes outside to Emerson, who takes a touch and whams a shot against the top of the bar! That was superb play from all three of them.
Emerson's having an excellent half, and another one-two takes him past Koke on the burst, so Koke barges him over. Again, no card.
Italy take the sting out of it, knocking the ball about safely. I daresay they're looking forward to half-time because this game is going how Spain want it to.
It's getting a bit messy now, and as I type that, Spain carve through midfield, Busquets into Pedri, spreads to Oyarzabal on the right of the box. As the ball arrives, he opens his body so he can shape a finish into the corner, then when it arrive, he lifts his head and spanks a first-time blooter off towards Stonebridge Park.
Emerson gallops through the middle - what a player! - and he has men to either side. But he can't decide what to do, lost in the supermarket, and Busquets promptly unloads him. Italy want a free-kick, but the ref is having no such thing.
Here's the thing: Spain are really good at keeping the ball, doing so is stopping Italy imposing their game, and they don't have brilliant enough individuals to create out of nowt.
Insigne slithers forward and plays a one-two off Immobile - that's slick stuff - but the return has just too much on it and he can't catch up with the ball.
And Laporte's involved again when Immobile chases after a long ball that it looks like the defender has misjudged. But at the last second, he turns and hooks it away - it looked composed, but I'm certain he just swallowed his groin.
Tell you what, Emerson's started really well and he progresses down the left, finding Insigne .. so Laporte quickly rattles him from behind. Excellent challenge.
Torres barges into Di Lorenzo, but again evades a booking.
Di Lorenzo humps one forward and for a second it looks like Immobile's in, but Unai Simon dashes out, arriving in plenty of time.
This has been really enjoyable stuff so far, but we could use a goal at this point; one for Italy would probably be better for the game.
Chance for Italy! A poor clearance from Donnarumma fell to Busquets, who immediately set Spain away. As usual, he plays a canny pass that set an attack away and as usual, Pedri plays a killer pass, finding Olmo on the right of the box. He bundles past Bonucci and he's going to score ... no he isn't! Donnarumma makes a smart low save, but he oughtn't to have smelled it.
A lovely switch out to Jordi Alba allows him to cushion a touch-off for Torres, who finds Olmo. But he can't conjure anything, and Donnarumma clears.
The opposite of their team's style, basically.
On the touchline, both managers are bawling away, Mancini in shirt and tie, Enrique in sweater and jeans.
Aaarrrggghhh! Emerson exchanges passes with Insigne and dashes into the space behind Azilicueta then, out of nowhere, Unai Simon charges out of his goal! Emerson squares to Insigne, who has no shooting lane so squares to Barella, who has no shooting lane, so he feints the shot, sends Azpilicueta out for a bag of bruschetta, and still has no shooting lane so the move breaks down.
Italy have had a few decent touches these last few minutes, but nothing more than that. I know Jorginho is really important to how they play, but still wonder if Locatelli would allow them to really get after Spain in midfield.
...but Insigne's dink over the top has a little too much on it, and Unai Simon comes to collect.
Barella gets to Busquets for perhaps the first time, slides, wins the ball with his knee, gets up, and is delighted when Busquets pulls him back. Free-kick Italy, 30 yards out, left of centre ... and Spain's line is higher than the sun...
It's quite some time since Italy did anything offensive.
Beautiful from Torres, intercepting a loose pass from Barella and running at Jorghino, arranging his stride so that he moves the ball from behind him and past his man into stride. But from the edge of the box, he can only drag wide of the near post.
Italy are struggling to get to grips with Spain in midfield. It can happen to any team, but one with Jorginho in it is more likely to suffer in that aspect because his lack of athleticism makes it hard to press properly.
Spain are into this, and Busquets plays a sharp pass through the lines for Pedri, who slides another in behind for Oyarzabal, inside the box! This is a chance! But he can't quite deliver the ball into stride, and Italy clear.
Finally, Jordi Alba tries a telling pass, in behind Di Lorenzo for Torres, but he can't get to it.
This is a good period for Spain, the game going as they want it to with Busquets dictating terms. Even now, though, it looks like they lack edge in attack, and every time they make it close to the Italian box, they're lost.
Spain try and take the pace out of the game, knocking it about the back four, before injecting some speed when the think Italy have been narcotised. But Italy force them back and Spain start again.
Emerson is playing really high, doing his best to replace everything Spinazzola offered, and it's his team setting the pace.
Garcia miscontrols a sharp pass from Laporte, but recovers before Immobile can mug him.
The atmosphere at Wembley seems alright, given the lack of travelling fans.
There's a good tempo to this game now, Spain charging down the other end with Torres finding Olmo, who shoots wide.
Emerson takes possession down the left and curves a lovely pass into space behind the Spain defence ... Barella is in! But he can't quite sip around Unai Simopn to finish, so has to check inside and curl towards the far post ... and onto the far post! But the flag then goes up and when we see the replay, it's evident that Emerson delayed his pass unnecessarily.
It looks like Olmo is through the middle with Torres on the left and Oyarzabal on the right.
The first foul of the game is along in roughly 27 seconds, Verratti on Olmo. It's the kind of challenge that often yields a yellow, but the reffing in this tournament has been pleasingly and presumably purposely lenient. Ultimately, you want the best players on the pitch, so if offences aren't egregious, it makes sense not to get too excited by them.
And away we go!
The ball arrives on its little car, which reminds me of this:
Badabing! That was superb.
Spain's passes, but the Italian players give theirs loads, Bonucci in particular. Chiellini, meanwhile, closes his eyes - in Hebrew, we cal that kavanah.
Here come the teams!
But the most interesting battle is in midfield. Pedri has been brilliant this tournament - he is brilliant - but these days, Busquets can be worried if players get, er, in and around him.Verratti and Barella will, I'm sure do that, but the same applies to Jorginho of whom they're in front. I wonder if one side will funnel an extra man into that area - perhaps a full-back for Italy, perhaps a false nine for Spain - to try and win the numbers game.
I wonder what plans Italy have made to cover for Spinazzola's absence. Even if Emerson defends well, there's a lot of attacking impetus they'll miss that he won't be able to replicate, which places greater onus on Chiesa and Insigne, the wide attackers.
Alex Del Piero is on BBC, saying that what Mancini has done is build a side. He's picked a group of players, stuck with them, and inculcated a way of playing, and that's the reason for the coherence we see now.
Rio Ferdinand notes that the England team he played in had more world class players and he's right - him, Cole, Terry, Scholes, Lampard, Gerrard, Beckham, Owen, Rooney, Hargreaves - it's ridiculous really. But the current side have so many attacking options - only one of Saka, Sancho, Rashford and Foden will start.
On BBC telly they're now talking about England. I'm surprised it took as long as 11 minutes.
I'm looking forward to seeing how Ferran Torres does tonight. He didn't play much last season, but he looks more a Bernardo than a Nolito, so I'd expect Pep Guardiola to increase his appearances now that he's used to the speed and physicality of English football. Emerson, who'll be marking him, has barely played in the past year, and if I was Enrique - for the avoidance of doubt, I'm not - I'd be targeting him with a burning cruelty.
I was hoping Cesc Fabregas would be with BBC, but he's not. Instead, we get Jurgen Klinsmann, Rio Ferdinand and Alan Shearer.
Tangentially, how good is this!
And for balance.
I thought I was looking forward to the match, then I remembered that before it we get the Italian national anthem.
I'm watching radio coverage, which is a weird thing to say but no less true for that. For some reason BBC1 are only giving us half an hour of chatter, but 5 live are away and we're allowed pictures of the teams warming up. Naturally, the conversation is about England; of course it is.
Looking back at the teams, my guess is that Italy will look to get in behind Spain's full-backs, while outrunning them in midfield and stopping their defenders from playing out. Spain, meanwhile, will look to keep the ball, draw Italy onto them, and then move the ball into the spaces. I strongly fancy Italy, but it's easy to see how Spain pull it off.
This is just one example of why.
Some thoughts on England, Jadon Sancho, Gareth Southgate and what this England team mean.
I mean, I know Italians - and Roberto Mancini in particular - are famous for their style. But those blazers are an absolute debacle, I'm afraid.
The absolute state of thiese rigs.
Luis Enrique will have very particular memories of tournament football against Italy.
I guess it's slightly surprising that Morata's been left out at this point, because he'd already made the case in the group stages and stayed in, and slightly surprising again that he's replaced by Oyarzabal, not Gerald Moreno. But whoever Spain play in that position is a punt - though I'd be interested in seeing Ferran Torres have a go, with Adama Traore on the wing. Enrique, though, doesn't seem much enamoured of the Wolves winger.
On the other hand, Lucho Enrique, the Spain manager, loves a surprise selection, and he makes three alterations. At the back, Eric Garcia - who replaced Pau Torres against Switzerland - keeps his place, while at left-wing and centre-forward, Pablo Sarabia and Alvaro Morata drop out, with Dani Olmo and Mikel Oyarzabal coming in.
I really, really hope the injury heals well - an achilles is one of the worst things to hurt and the effect it had on Neil Webb scarred my childhood. But treatment and rehab has changed a lot since then, so hopefully he comes back quickly, as good as new.
Roberto Mancini makes one change to the team which beat Belgium, and it's an enforced one: Leonardo Spinazzola, one of the tournaments best, funnest and most influential players, ruptured his achilles in that game, so is replaced by Emerson.
So what does it all mean?
Let's have some teams....
Now this is a match, one of the classics of international football, that needs no introduction whatsoever. Italy versus Spain! In a tournament semi-final! What else is to say, apart from "Expletive YES!"?
Well, plenty. For years - and after winning the first major meeting between the sides - Spain got nowhere in the rivalry, beaten in the 1928 Olympics, at the 1934 World Cup, the 1988 Euros and the 1994 World Cup. But then Spain got good, knocking Italy out of the 2008 Euros en route to their first significant trophy, rinsing them 4-0 in the 2012 final - having won a World Cup in between - then helping them miss the 2018 edition. There is previous.
But tonight is about the now, and these countries have reached this stage in very different ways. In the groups, Italy were the most impressive team by far, and in the knockouts they've proved that the cohesive and vicious style - one which has seen them go undefeated for two years - is good enough to beat the best when it matters.
Spain, on the other hand, have been straight up weird. In their first two games, they scored just once and in both of their next two they scored five, then spurned numerous chances to see off Switzerland before sneaking one of the all-time worst penalty shoot-outs.
All of which suggests that Italy should cruise this - and they might. But Spain have also played really well in periods, and their midfield, perhaps the best in the tournament, will ensure they have plenty of the ball. As such, they've a decent chance of winning if their finishing is anything better than laughable, but in Italy meet an opponent that is anything but. Ooh yeah!
Good evening, and welcome to Italy v Spain in the semi-finals of Euro 2020!