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EURO2020: Italy’s journey to the final

Italy has moved into the final of the EURO2020. It didn’t come easy though as they had to shrug it out on penalties with the Spanish team which had better possession in the cause of the game. After a full time score of 1-1 and a goalless extra time, it had to be settled through penalty.

The Azzurri are closing in on an all-time international record with their current unbeaten run in all competitions, which extended to a remarkable 33 straight matches with their semi-final victory against Spain yesterday. The best-ever mark is 35, set by Brazil in the 1990s and matched by Spain a little over a decade ago.

The Italian team did not play as good as it had done against Belgium in the quarter finals. It took some talk from the coach Roberto Mancini to rejig their play pattern, you can imagine they gave away possession 20 times in their own third through the first 33 minutes.

Spain appeared dangerous after winning those balls up the field. When Italy claimed possession, however, they would often look to pass sideways or backwards rather than test the high line Luis Enrique had implemented.

Sensing the game slipping away, Roberto Mancini called for the Azzurri to be more direct and assertive on the counterattack. They came out and dominated the first 20 minutes of the second half and nabbed a goal on the break through Federico Chiesa.

Centre-back Leonardo Bonucci said: “The victory you suffer for is always the most enjoyable one.”

Only Germany has appeared in more international tournament final than the Italian team, 14 for the Germans and 10 for the Italians. Now only one match stands between Italy and its second EURO cup.



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