Spain easily dominated Italy 2-1 at home in Milan in the Nations League semi-finals, ending a 37-game unbeaten streak for the European champions on Wednesday. .
Bonucci expelled, Donnarumma booed, San Siro insufficient … Italy, after three long years without defeat concluded by a title at Euro-2021, was brutally brought back to earth, Wednesday, October 6, in Milan, by a daring Spain (1-2), who will play the final of the League of Nations against France or Belgium.
By taking his revenge after the cruel elimination on penalties at Wembley in the semi-finals of the Euro, three months ago, La Roja puts an end to 37 unbeaten matches of the European champions, the record for a national selection .
“It had to happen, sooner or later, to choose is better tonight than in the final of the Euro,” said Roberto Mancini.
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A brace from Ferran Torres (17th, 45th + 2) and the exclusion of captain Leonardo Bonucci (42nd) stunned Italy before the break. Sufficient, despite the late goal of Lorenzo Pellegrini (83rd) who rekindled the San Siro volcano in the last minutes.
Deprived of many holders of the Euro, the Spanish coach, Luis Enrique, went to seek the final with his audacity: he launched from the outset FC Barcelona midfielder Gavi, who became the youngest player to wear the jersey of the Spain at 17. Villarreal winger Yéremi Pino, 18, also got his first.
Well supervised by the experienced Sergio Busquets and Koke, Gavi displayed quite a bit of composure against Marco Verratti and Jorginho.
It was even captain Azzurro Leonardo Bonucci who lost his nerves: his yellow card for protest (30th) weighed heavily when the second arrived for an aerial nudge.
Whistled and feverish donnarumma
Spain took off in the wake, filling the atmosphere in San Siro, this stadium where the Nazionale lived one of the worst moments in its history, deprived of the 2018 World Cup in qualifying play-offs against Sweden (0 -0) in November 2017.
Playing at home, in front of 37,000 spectators (maximum possible, with a capacity still limited to 50% in Italy), will therefore not have been enough.
The ex-Milanese Gianluigi Donnarumma would have preferred to be far from San Siro, to escape the whistles that fell on him from tifosi rossoneri who had not forgiven his departure for Paris SG.
The hero of the “magical nights” of the Euro tried not to react but he displayed an unusual feverishness, releasing a ball a priori easy on his post (19th).
“Gigio” however has nothing to be ashamed of on the Spanish goals: Ferran Torres signed two perfect times, flush with the post, on millimeter centers from Mikel Oyarzabal.
“It’s heartbreaking, Italy was playing, it was not a club match. I think we could put that aside for one night,” Mancini regretted at a press conference about those whistles.
Without his center forward, Ciro Immobile, injured, Italy still tried but failed to materialize his great opportunities eleven against eleven.
Federico Bernardeschi, tenured in a position of “false nine”, saw his shot deflected on the post by Unai Simon (34th), and Lorenzo Insigne missed the target in an ideal position (35th).
At ten against eleven, the Nazionale attacked two, insufficient despite the entry into play of Moise Kean and Pellegrini, author of the goal of hope.
Italy and Jorginho will not win another trophy in 2021. But Donnarumma will not be unhappy to play Sunday in Turin, where the “small final” will take place against the defeated France-Belgium on Thursday evening.