The first semi-final had only one Bundesliga player involved but that one Bundesliga player was instrumental for his nation tonight. Here is the rundown of the Dani Olmo show at Wembley Stadium.
|Dani Olmo.||Photo: GEPA Pictures/Sven Sonntag|
Olmo had a huge influence on the way Spain played, creating a number of important chances as Spain dominated early proceedings. It was Olmo's ball through to Manchester City winger Ferran Torres, but Torres could not put his chance away.
Torres had a number of chances but was unable to take them. Italy were not at their ruthless best at Wembley but when the chance came for them they took it. A corner was grabbed by goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma who started a rapid counter-attack. Rolled into the path of Marco Verratti, the midfielder played it out wide to Lorenzo Insigne who played an inch-perfect ball to Ciro Immobile but was not able to get the shot away thanks to a great block from Aymeric Laporte. The ball fell to the EURO 2020 star for Italy Federico Chiesa who moved the ball onto his right foot and curled home an absolute worldy.
Spain were not out of it and they got their equalizer when that man Dani Olmo helped engage a one-two with Juventus striker Alvaro Morata, and it was the Juventus man that netted the equalizer for Spain with 10 minutes to go.
Extra time beckoned but nothing really of note took place in the first 15 minutes, but in the 2nd period of extra time Italy had the ball in the back of the net only for the offside flag to go up almost immediately following Domenico Berardi turning the ball home.
Onto penalties, Italy went first and Sassuolo's Manuel Locatelli took the first spot-kick and it was saved by Unai Simon. The reply for Spain was to be taken by Dani Olmo who's brilliant performance made sure Spain got to this point. Olmo ran up and skied his kick over the bar. It remained 0-0
Andrea Bellotti broke the deadlock for the shootout when he beat the reach of Simon in the net, and it was counter-acted by Gerard Moreno who equalized for Spain.
Leonardo Bonucci was next and he scored to give Italy a 2-1 lead only for it to be pegged back by Spain again, this time by former Bayern and current Liverpool midfielder Thiago.
Federico Bernadeschi took Italy's 4th penalty and it was by far the best penalty, rifled into the top right corner. Spain's hero Alvaro Morata was next to try and tie up the scores, but his penalty was easily saved by Donnarumma in the Italian goal.
That left Chelsea midfielder Jorginho with the chance to send Italy back to a European Championship final. With a hop, skip and jump, Jorghino sent Simon the wrong way and Italy were the first to book their spot in the EURO 2020 final.
Spain were excellent throughout the tournament and should be proud of their achievements and exploits around EURO 2020. For Italy, it is now preparation time for the showpiece event of EURO 2020, the final vs either England or Denmark. The right to be crowned European Champions will be decided on Sunday at Wembley Stadium.
Italy Starting XI: (4-3-3)
Di Lorenzo - Bonucci - Chiellini - Emerson
Barella - Jorginho - Verratti
Chiesa - Immobile - Insigne
Spain Starting XI: (4-3-3)
Azpilicueta - Garcia - Laporte - Alba
Pedri - Busquets - Koke
Oyarzabal - Olmo - Torres