Italy-Spain | Italy 1-2 Spain: Ferran Torres ends the race Azzurri | UEFA Nations League
Ferran Torres converted two precise crosses from Mikel Oyarzabal to help Spain reach their first UEFA Nations League final, beating Italy 2-1 in Milan.
Italy vs Spain: as it happened, reaction
Match in brief
European champions Italy started off pretty brilliantly, but by the time Ferran Torres guided Oyarzabal’s delightful left center in the 17th minute at the far post, their world record of 37 games unbeaten was destined to end.
The ten minutes before half-time sealed their fate. First Lorenzo Insigne kind of dismissed Emerson’s cross with the goal at his mercy, then Leonardo Bonucci was sacked for a second warning. The situation worsened at the stroke of half-time as Oyarzabal took over Ferran Torres and the Manchester City striker tucked his head behind Gianluigi Donnarumma.
Roberto Mancini made a series of changes, but his side rarely threatened to turn things around until the 83rd minute, when the Azzurri erupted on a Spanish corner and Federico Chiesa sent Lorenzo Pellegrini in for a tap-in. Home fans sensed a sensational turnaround but La Roja held on.
Player of the match: Ferran Torres (Spain)
“A great performance and his two goals decided the game. He played the striker role well after many said Spain did not have a real striker in the squad. Injury.”
Giovanni van Bronckhorst, UEFA Technical Observer
Paolo Menicucci, reporter Italy
After 37 consecutive games without defeat, Italy were beaten by Spain as the Azzurri’s dream of adding the Nations League trophy to that of the UEFA EURO 2020 they had won this summer s’ is passed out. Small details can make the difference in football, but Spain deserved the win after a brilliant first half. Still, Italy are leaving with their heads held high, especially after giving Spain a fight and scare in the second half as they played with ten men. Honor in defeat.
Graham Hunter, Spanish journalist
It has become a clichÃ©, but tonight it was a truism: the game of two halves. For 45 minutes, Spain inflicted a very deliberate and very demanding strategy. Three at the back, overloading at the bottom left, so that Giovanni Di Lorenzo was stressed and outnumbered. The ploy gave not only two goals, but a rejig in the Italian squad and the soaring Spanish confidence. The second half, whisper it, was a bit like the 2008-12 era of the three trophies: keeping the ball, circulating it, making the opposition chase it. A special service.
Luis Enrique, Spain coach: “The match went very well for us, but it was a match between two rivals who fought with hammer and pincers with their best qualities. My team looked dangerous throughout, we have well pressed and I’m happy enough. We defended by pressing high, being brave, and we had a brilliant attitude. But this is just a game for us, not a victory that marks the generations. . “
Koke, Spanish midfielder: “It was a historic night. Winning here against Italy in San Siro after the record unbeaten streak they were on, actually an unforgettable victory. Everything we had planned turned out for us, but we worked really hard to make sure we got what we set out to do. It was a huge performance, especially in the first half. “
Roberto Mancini, Italy coach: âThe first half could easily have ended 1-1. Spain are playing very well technically and we should have been more careful not to concede a second before the end of the half. Spain’s possession of the ball is very difficult to manage with eleven men, it doesn’t matter with ten. We needed fresh legs and I made several substitutions which helped us in the second half. “
Federico Chiesa, Italian striker: “We lost after so many games, having broken the world record with 37 games unbeaten. Sooner or later a defeat had to happen, unfortunately it happened tonight. Great credit to Spain. Even eleven against eleven , they had put us in difficulty. Being reduced to ten was a blow and we should have avoided this second goal at the end of the first half. “
- As of September 1, 2020, Ferran Torres has scored 11 goals in 20 international matches, more than double the total of any other Spanish player in that span (Ãlvaro Morata has five).
- Gavi (17 years and 62 days) became the youngest player to represent the senior Spanish team, taking Ãngel Zubieta’s record (17 years and 284 days) set in 1936.
- Italy’s world record of 37 games unbeaten (28 v, 9) has come to an end.
- Italy had conceded more than one goal in their last 40 international matches before this game.
- It was Italy’s first loss in a competitive home game since their 3-2 loss to Denmark in September 1999.
Italy: Donnarumma; Di Lorenzo, Bouncci, Bastoni, Emerson; Barella (Calabria 72), Jorginho (Pellegrini 64), Verratti (Locatelli 58); Chiesa, Bernardeschi (Chiellini 46), Insigne (Kean 58)
Spain: Unai Simon; Azpilicueta, Laporte, Pau Torres, Alonso; Koke (Merino 75), Busquets, Gavi (Sergi Roberto 84); Sarabia (Bryan Gil 75), Ferran Torres (Pino 49), Oyarzabal
Italy will face Belgium v ââFrance in the third-place play-off in Turin on October 10
Spain will face Belgium v ââFrance in the final in Milan on October 10