Belgium took on Italy in Munich for their quarter final fixture in the Euro 2020 tournament.
The no. 1 ranked team in the world took on the best side of the competition so far. Though Belgium had a serious attacking line-up, Italy’s squad had more balance in their line-up which helps with team chemistry.
The Azzurri thought they made an early breakthrough in the 13th minute after a ball from a set piece hit Leonardo Bonucci’s torso and went into the back of the Belgian net. However, after consulting VAR, the referee ruled the goal offside.
Belgium had multiple chances to score the first goal in the first half with Kevin de Bruyne leading the counter attack. Gianluigi Donnarumma was putting in a man of the match performance to prevent the Red Devils from taking the lead.
Roberto Mancini’s side finally got the lead just past the half-hour mark after a failed clearance from Jan Vertonghen was intercepted by Marco Verratti. The PSG midfielder then fed the ball into Nicolo Barella, who squeezed the ball past Thibaut Courtois before getting clobbered by the Belgian defence.
Despite Belgium looking like the stronger side at the start of the match, Italy had the game under control. They added another goal to their tally in the 44th minute with a fantastic curling effort from Napoli’s Lorenzo Insigne from outside the box.
In extra time, Belgium managed to pull one back from a Lukaku penalty after a pacey Jérèmy Doku was shoved inside the Italy box.
The first half ended 2-1 with no changes made by either coach during the break.
Belgium was consistently creating chances to find their much-needed equaliser. Doku really shone in the second half with the balls he was delivering to the forward line.
The Red Devils almost equalised at the hour-mark as Doku fed a ball to de Bruyne, who found Romelu Lukaku at the far post. The Inter Milan striker’s effort was cleared off the line by Leonardo Spinazzola.
Unfortunately for Spinazzola, his time in the tournament came to an end in the 77th minute after getting a critical injury. It was later discovered that he ruptured his Achilles tendon and could be out for a while.
Despite the breakout star’s terrible injury, Italy managed to win the game and progress to the semi-finals, where they will face Spain.
Source of Image: UEFA EURO 2020 via Twitter