Italy’s hope to intertwine EURO and Nations League trophies this month came to a bitter end. They were beaten 1-2 by Spain which revenged for their loss on penalties in last summer EURO semifinal. In the final, La Furia Roja will be facing off France which made a stunning comeback against Belgium in San Siro, Milan.
Luis Enrique’s men began the game more convincingly although it was Italy which had their first shot on target from Federico Chiesa. The Juventus man had another chance to score at the second half but only hit the post. Gli Azzurri had to pay the price from their wasteful attacking side and less solid defence as Ferran Torres netted one as he tapped the ball from Mikel Oyarzabal’s crossing to the right side of the post. Leonardo Bonucci’s expulsion only made it worst as the Manchester City man added his tally to make it two before halftime. At the second half, Spain still attempted to extend their lead but unfortunately, they could not keep their clean sheet since Lorenzo Pellegrini bagged a lifeline. Mikel Oyarzabal and Co are set for another silverware after their last one in EURO 2012.
Italy vs Spain 1-2
Goals: Lorenzo Pellegrini (83); Ferran Torres (17), (45)
Italy: Donnarumma – Leonardo Bonucci, Alessandro Bastoni, Emerson Palmieri, Giovanni Di Lorenzo – Jorginho (Lorenzo Pellegrini 64), Nico Barella (Davide Calabria 72), Marco Verratti (Manuel Locatelli 58) – Lorenzo Insigne (Moise Kean 58), Federico Bernadeschi (Georgio Chiellini 46), Federico Chiesa
Spain : Unai Simon – Pau Torres, Aymeric Laporte, Cesar Azpilicueta, Marcus Alonso – Koke (Mikel Merino 75), Gavi (Sergi Roberto 83), Sergio Busquets – Ferran Torres (Yeremy Pino 49), Mikel Oyarzabal, Pablo Sarabia (Bryan Gil 75)
In Turin, Les Blues secured a dramatic 3-2 win over Belgium, the number one team in FIFA rank in the past three years but still trophy less. Although Eden Hazard and Co scored twice at the first half to give them a convincing lead through Yannick Carrasco’s and Romelu Lukaku’s strike, Didier Deschamps’ men did not give up and replied three times as Karim Benzema, Kylian Mbappe and Theo Hernandez put their name on the score sheet. Spain and France will be squaring off on the weekend for the second edition of UEFA Nations League while Italy is meeting Belgium again in the third place playoff. The final is set to be held in San Siro this weekend.
Belgium vs France 2-3
Goals: Yannick Carrasco (37), Romelu Lukaku (40); Karim Benzema (62), Kylian Mbappe (69),Theo Hernandez (90)
Belgium: Thibault Cortois – Jason Denayer, Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld – Youri Tielemans (Hans Vanaken 70), Timothy Castagne (Michi Batsuayi 91), Axel Witsel, Yannick Carrasco – Eden Hazard (Leandro Trossard 74), Romelu Lukaku, Kevin de Bruyne
France: Hugo Lloris – Raphael Varane, Jules Kounde, Lucas Hernandez – Theo Hernandez, Benjamin Pavard (Leo Dubois 91), Adrien Rabiot (Aurelien Tchouameni 75), Paul Pogba – Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe, Karim Benzema (Jordan Veretrout 96)