(Jordi Blanco) – Italy will play the Eurocup final on Sunday after eliminating Spain in a tragic penalty shootout decided by a Brazilian, Jorginho, after Donnarumma saved Morata’s fourth shot. Cruel was the fall of the Spanish team, more alive, ambitious, playful and determined in a game that he dominated with solvency and that he could not sentence due to his lack of success in the final shot.
Mancini’s team won in the shootout 4-2 after the 1-1 with which ended 120 passionate minutes of football and that gave way to that final luck in which Italy avenged its elimination from the Eurocup, also on penalties, by the 2008 edition. Football was not fair to Spain and smiled at the always reliable, with better or worse game, from Italy.
Firm in his approach that his team was the protagonist through the ball, Luis Enrique surprised from the beginning by moving Morata away from the eleven and betting on a forward without a static 9, acting with greater mobility with Dani Olmo, Ferran Torres and Oyarzabal, in which it was his first start at this European Championship, in order to remove two experienced but veteran Chiellini and Bonucci. He did not fall into the trap of losing his composure in his Italia Mancini but it was Spain that dominated in the first moments, against an orderly rival and that, little by little, it was released to seek vertigo.
What was staged by each other gave an agile and intense game, of comings and goings, with greater Spanish control but clear warnings of an Italy that knew what to do at all times and avoided as far as possible falling into the trap of losing the position in defense, aware that any mistake could cost him dearly.
It happened at twelve minutes, in a magical assist from Pedri that Oyarzabal did not know how to take advantage of and at 25, when Donnarumma magnificently rejected a low shot from Dani Olmo, probably the striker with the most idea of a Spain that he understood as time passed. how careful she had to be in her football as to avoid the speed of the Italians, grown up on the field when the break approached.
The second half began with an Italy more determined to discuss Spanish rule. Mancini ordered his players to step forward and this led to a more even second-act start, the two teams splitting the chances, two in a row in one goal and the other before reaching ten minutes, a scare for Donnarumma .. And the Chiesa coup.
It was arrived at the hour of party when a long ball to the Spanish area was not rejected with success by Laporte in the right angle; the ball remained at Chiesa’s feet and under the gaze of Èric García, who did not decide to overwhelm him and offered him the possibility of controlling and releasing an exceptional, magnificent thread, to which Unai could not respond.
1-0. Dominated game, solvent game, football on occasions of great quality … And defeat on the scoreboard. Spain did not deserve the punishment and enjoyed a perhaps excessive prize Italy, who wanted to sleep the game against the Hispanic rebellion, Luis Enrique gave entry consecutively to Morata, Gerard Moreno and Rodri to, in the middle of an emergency attack, seek the necessary tie. But always based on a non-negotiable game.
And his harassment, his bet and his formula had a prize. And it came through Morata’s draw ten minutes from the end thanks to a sensational assist from Dani Olmo, which ended with a superb shot tricking Donnarumma into directing the game to an exciting end … And that led to extra time.
WITHOUT A REST
The tie was a disappointment to the Italians and a coup for the Spaniards, who until the end, and also in overtime, became owners of the party, practically without opposition from an Italy surrendered to the evidence and delivered to the suffering, something hardly seen in recent times in the azzurra.
He was as convinced as Spain was unleashed and Italy came back and hid, attending to an unthinkable game and in which the physicist of the Hispanic team passed him over. Dani Olmo, stellar, and Pedri, indefatigable, took the stripes in the attack looking for a rebellious Morata and relying on Llorente’s soda, who was joined in the second half by Thiago Alcántara taking over from a fused Busquets.
And so Luis Enrique’s team continued without giving a break, aware that reaching the penalties, for the second round in a row, could mean his death and trying to avoid it at all costs. With such determination … that inadvertently they gave the Italians the opportunity to look for counted but deadly counterattacks.
Thus came a disallowed goal to Berardi in the 110th minute, immediately after a providential cut by Laporte that motivated Luis Enrique’s reaction, asking for more pause and maturity in the combination game to avoid scares.
Playing against the nerves, everyone began to understand that the semifinal would be decided on penalties if a miracle did not happen … And it did not happen until the decisive moment. Where luck is dressed in blue. Unai saved Locatelli, Dani Olmo shot to the clouds and after two pitches per side without failure, Donnarumma rejected Morata before Jorginho, a Brazilian, sentenced.
Italy will be a finalist. But Spain fell with its head held high … And showing the splendid future that lies ahead.