Euro 2020 Semifinals: Italy Beats Spain on Penalties

Jul 06, 2021 407

BY: Rory Smith

The final touch, the decisive touch, after two hours of thunder and fire, was soft and delicate and perfect. Jorginho stood in front of the massed ranks of Italy fans, straightened his back, took a breath, and started his run. Halfway there, as he always does, he paused, just for a beat, just for long enough to knock Unai Simon off balance. And then, when he got to the ball, he did not strike it. He addressed it. He caressed it. Simon was falling in the other direction, and Italy was heading to the final of Euro 2020.

Roberto Mancini’s Italy has displayed plenty of that sort of elegance on the way here, in sweeping past Turkey and Switzerland and Wales in the group phase, in dispatching first Austria and then Belgium in the knockout rounds.

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