Tuesday 6 July 2021

Euro 2020 reaches its penultimate stage with the first sem-final from Wembley tonight:

Italy v Spain; 20:00 BST on BBC One

Reader Comments (101)

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Mike Gaynes
1 Posted 06/07/2021 at 20:00:19
Nobody interested in this?

Saving all your energies for tomorrow?

David Pearl
2 Posted 06/07/2021 at 20:02:34
Hello Mike, it was hard to find. Spain have a better chance l think with no Morata. I liked Ferran
Bill Gall
3 Posted 06/07/2021 at 20:02:54
I am watching to see how Spain overcome this Italian defense
David Pearl
4 Posted 06/07/2021 at 20:09:44
Yes Bill me too, quick passing but Italians are set up well as usual.
Bill Gall
5 Posted 06/07/2021 at 20:16:58
Spain better team at the moment could be nerves with the Italians, but have a lot of experience in the side
David Pearl
6 Posted 06/07/2021 at 20:18:15
Yes, they are getting better each game and look bettee with the ball.
Darren Hind
7 Posted 06/07/2021 at 20:19:49
Italians will have to be patient tonight. I know they are favourites, but those Spaniards will have them "on the watzers" as SAF used to say, for long periods tonight.

Cant call this one

Jeff Armstrong
8 Posted 06/07/2021 at 20:21:30
Gonna be tight one this, all the way to pens


Spain getting on top though, Olmo doing well so far.
Italy too complex there, shoot!
Simon all over the place.

Mike Gaynes
9 Posted 06/07/2021 at 20:22:50
I think this will be a "mistake" game... decided by an error rather than some moment of virtuosity.

You know, a mistake like Unai Simon just made. WTF was he thinking? Great cover by the Spain defense.

Mike Jones
11 Posted 06/07/2021 at 20:26:28
Both of These teams will tear England a new one if they get to the final
Mike Gaynes
12 Posted 06/07/2021 at 20:27:11
Great reflexes there Donnarumma. PSG getting a great one.
Tony McNulty
13 Posted 06/07/2021 at 20:28:57
I wonder if Fiorentina would swap Chiesa for Iwobi.
Ian Bennett
14 Posted 06/07/2021 at 20:30:15
🤞Italy in the work sweep 🇮🇹
Rob Halligan
15 Posted 06/07/2021 at 20:30:53
Does anyone remember Deryck Guyler, the school caretaker in "Please Sir"? Has he been reincarnated as Mancini's sidekick?
Dennis Stevens
16 Posted 06/07/2021 at 20:32:11
Just thinking how much better the Italian kit looks than Everton ever do when they wear all blue.
Jeff Armstrong
18 Posted 06/07/2021 at 20:34:38
Yeh Rob he’s deffo got the “joke shop” look going on! and the ref looks like Nick Faldo….
Bill Gall
19 Posted 06/07/2021 at 20:39:36
Different shades of Blue, Dennis.
Bill Gall
20 Posted 06/07/2021 at 20:47:42
Cagey first half, hope Spain score first, don't want to see the Italian theatrics and gamesmanship if they go 1 up.
Mike Gaynes
21 Posted 06/07/2021 at 20:49:31
Del Piero is a studio analyst for ESPN on this game, and he looks like he played the first half himself. Bit disheveled.

Bill #20, as opposed to Spanish theatrics if they go one up? Six of one etc. for me.

Great statistic just now from ESPN... Donnarumma has had more touches in this game than the entire Italian midfield put together.

Danny O’Neill
22 Posted 06/07/2021 at 20:51:28
Intriguing game for me. Two very good teams and some open stuff.

Spain edging it for me, but rooting for Italy. Partly as I lived there but mainly as I have them in the local pub sweepstake.

Veratti the Italy number 6. I like him. Shame he plays for PSG. Part of the deal for Kean??

David Pearl
23 Posted 06/07/2021 at 20:54:03
Ian, l suppose these days some kids, when asked what they want to be when they grow up, say football agent.
Darren Hind
24 Posted 06/07/2021 at 20:59:11
Boring game this. Mind you, we can't complain. This tournament has knocked spots off the one the South Americans are arguing over…
Jay Wood

25 Posted 06/07/2021 at 21:03:00
Spain has turned up, that's for sure.

For the opening 5-10 minutes Italy reminded me of Everton's mid 80s team with 3-4 men harrying the Spanish man in position.

Spain never flinched and are now dominating the game for me. They have kept Italy's flying full backs honest and largely at home and cut off the lines for Italy's quick give-and-go plays.

Some talking up Donnarumma for the one save any decent keeper should save, but ignoring how cheaply he has given the ball away a couple of times allowing Spain to get straight back into Italy's back line.

Belgium-Italy was a toe-to-toe slug fest. Spain is using the whole ring, duck, bob, weave, jab, without yet landing the KO punch whereas Italy has barely laid a glove on them.

It's Italy with all the problems at the moment.

Mike Gaynes
26 Posted 06/07/2021 at 21:04:26
Danny #22, even if we can't get Verratti (and we can't), I'd love to get somebody with his attitude. Great TV shot of him in the tunnel just now, animatedly coaching up the other Italian midfielders. We lack that kind of on-pitch leadership.
Dennis Stevens
27 Posted 06/07/2021 at 21:09:56
Is it Bill #19? I wasn't sure if it was dark blue or black, either way it's better than the all blue we occasionally wear, making us look like Leicester City or Chelsea.
Danny O’Neill
28 Posted 06/07/2021 at 21:13:09
Totally Mike.

I'm enjoying this. Not everyone's cup of tea but the tactical dance off is great for me. Spain edging it but what was the keeper doing 5 minutes ago??

Mike Gaynes
29 Posted 06/07/2021 at 21:13:35
Jay #25, yep, Donnarumma's an extraordinary shot-stopper, best in the world no contest for me, but he still has a hell of a lot to learn about playing the position.

No surprise. He's only 22.

Jeff Armstrong
30 Posted 06/07/2021 at 21:16:06
Very good game this, lots of good technique, end to end but with decent defending too.
David Nicholls
31 Posted 06/07/2021 at 21:16:20
That Immobile chap is actually quite erm….mobile
Bill Gall
32 Posted 06/07/2021 at 21:17:18
Italy 1 up; let's see what happens now.
David Pearl
33 Posted 06/07/2021 at 21:17:22
That's what you call class.
Jeff Armstrong
34 Posted 06/07/2021 at 21:17:30
Great goal Chiesa
Danny O’Neill
35 Posted 06/07/2021 at 21:18:27
Not there is much tactics now. Vwrybopen and end to end.

What a break.

Forza Italia.

Forza sweepstake

Tony McNulty
36 Posted 06/07/2021 at 21:18:29
Apropos my earlier comment, I hope we arranged the swap before the first half ended
Dennis Stevens
37 Posted 06/07/2021 at 21:20:48
Although Spain were looking good, the Italians seemed quite content to soak up the pressure
Jeff Armstrong
38 Posted 06/07/2021 at 21:22:01
Spain will leave gaps now for Italy to exploit.
Darren Hind
39 Posted 06/07/2021 at 21:22:35
Great counter attack
Bill Gall
40 Posted 06/07/2021 at 21:22:47
what a miss wasn't offside
Michael Kenrick
41 Posted 06/07/2021 at 21:23:00
How did that man not score from there!
Michael Kenrick
42 Posted 06/07/2021 at 21:24:23
And another one!
Jeff Armstrong
43 Posted 06/07/2021 at 21:25:23
Chiesa is a great footballer
Jay Wood

44 Posted 06/07/2021 at 21:27:55
Italy finally get a telling run on Spain's goal, but neatly repelled by Laporte...only, Garcia didn't play his part on the 2nd ball. Chiesa says thank you very much. 1-0.

Spain should be level already mind. Oyarzabal should bury the clever chipped pass from Koke. Got a game now.

Mike Gaynes
45 Posted 06/07/2021 at 21:29:13
This game has certainly come to life!
Barry Rathbone
46 Posted 06/07/2021 at 21:31:25
Can't stand defensive footy.
Bill Gall
47 Posted 06/07/2021 at 21:37:27
Italy are pressing hard for a 2nd 1 1 Spain score
Michael Kenrick
48 Posted 06/07/2021 at 21:37:27
Ohhhhh! Sheer brilliance.
David Pearl
49 Posted 06/07/2021 at 21:38:24
Well they deserve a goal the way they've approached the game
Mike Gaynes
50 Posted 06/07/2021 at 21:38:31
Now THAT was fucking brilliant.

Cut the world's best defense into shreds.

I'm not leaving my chair from this point on.

Darren Hind
51 Posted 06/07/2021 at 21:38:52
What a contrast to the first half.

Absolutely gripping Who fancies calling this one now ?

Michael Kenrick
52 Posted 06/07/2021 at 21:39:26
Actually just remarkably simple accurate passing to feet on the move. So slick!
Jay Wood

53 Posted 06/07/2021 at 21:39:49
Just when Italy were getting into the grove showing their high pressing game from earlier rounds, brilliant football from Spain to equalise.
Rob Halligan
54 Posted 06/07/2021 at 21:40:08
Spain to win 2-1 in extra time, Darren.
Bill Gall
55 Posted 06/07/2021 at 21:43:19
Don't think it will go to penalties
Barry Rathbone
56 Posted 06/07/2021 at 21:53:43
That fella Busquets is a liability
Darren Hind
57 Posted 06/07/2021 at 21:56:39
Maybe Rob.

I don't mind who get the winner. I just hope its not settled by the penalties lottery

Mike Gaynes
58 Posted 06/07/2021 at 22:01:43
Barry, that may well be the first time in history that the words "Busquets" and "liability" have been used in the same sentence.


Barry Rathbone
59 Posted 06/07/2021 at 22:08:02
Mike 58

"History" is not the present

Jeff Armstrong
60 Posted 06/07/2021 at 22:10:38
Never been a fan of Busquets because of his play acting, but tonight he has been brilliant for Spain, behind only Olmo for their MoM
Michael Kenrick
61 Posted 06/07/2021 at 22:11:51
Italy playing for penalties.
Mike Gaynes
62 Posted 06/07/2021 at 22:12:15

Neither is Busquets as a liability. He's still magnificent. No idea how you could be seeing otherwise.

Mike Gaynes
63 Posted 06/07/2021 at 22:12:54
Is it just me or do Italy's defenders look a bit panicky?
Brent Stephens
64 Posted 06/07/2021 at 22:15:05
Busquets off, on a yellow but he’s been impressive.
Jay Wood

65 Posted 06/07/2021 at 22:17:38
Italy look shot. Looking like only one winner in extra time and they ain't playing in blue.

Brilliant first half in normal time by Olmo, quieter 2nd half before waking up to lay on Spain's equaliser. Now the man again in extra time. Italy don't know how to play him.

Jeff Armstrong
66 Posted 06/07/2021 at 22:18:53
Italy coming back now, hope they win, now the RS snide Thiago is on for Spain
Dennis Stevens
67 Posted 06/07/2021 at 22:21:33
If only you could be played onside by your own team mate!
Tom Bowers
68 Posted 06/07/2021 at 22:28:10
Pickford to get the Golden Gloves award. (thought that was something in boxing )
Mike Gaynes
69 Posted 06/07/2021 at 22:29:21
The saddest four-letter word in tournament footy...


Jeff Armstrong
70 Posted 06/07/2021 at 22:30:06
It’ll go with his black belt in taikwondo😉
Barry Rathbone
71 Posted 06/07/2021 at 22:30:57
Italy in the final then Spain have a cack record on pens
Jeff Armstrong
72 Posted 06/07/2021 at 22:31:27
Donnarumma for me, fills the goal.
Tony McNulty
73 Posted 06/07/2021 at 22:31:56
Lottery begins. Italy to win (my forecasting record on the line again)
Robert Tressell
74 Posted 06/07/2021 at 22:33:18
Impressed with Spain tonight. Italy got a bit found out for having limited attackers despite their excellent intelligent play. Both played well enough to reach a final.
Mike Gaynes
75 Posted 06/07/2021 at 22:33:18
Chiellini and Jordi clowning at the coin toss. Pretty funny.

Agree with Jeff, advantage Italy.

David Pearl
76 Posted 06/07/2021 at 22:33:33
What a character Chielini is... and he can play too
Robert Tressell
77 Posted 06/07/2021 at 22:34:31
Wow Chiellini, big balls.
Jeff Armstrong
78 Posted 06/07/2021 at 22:34:56
Simon dancing on the line great tactic
Mike Gaynes
79 Posted 06/07/2021 at 22:35:04
On the other hand... Simon says... NO
Tony McNulty
80 Posted 06/07/2021 at 22:36:45
That behind the taker camera high up makes the goal look smaller
Mike Gaynes
81 Posted 06/07/2021 at 22:38:29
We centre-backs are the best penalty takers.
David Pearl
82 Posted 06/07/2021 at 22:39:14
David Pearl
83 Posted 06/07/2021 at 22:39:35
Knew it.
Jeff Armstrong
84 Posted 06/07/2021 at 22:39:56
Morata looked like a shitting dog there
Bill Gall
85 Posted 06/07/2021 at 22:40:37
Couple of poor penalties Italy win
Mike Gaynes
86 Posted 06/07/2021 at 22:40:39
Poor Morata will never be able to go home now.
Rob Halligan
87 Posted 06/07/2021 at 22:43:09
Every penalty Jorginho takes goes to the keepers left. I was screaming at the telly "Go left, Go left". Guess he never heard me. 😟😟
Dennis Stevens
88 Posted 06/07/2021 at 22:43:11
Spain will be kicking themselves for letting it get to penalties.
Jay Wood

89 Posted 06/07/2021 at 22:44:19
Yup! Spain as ever challenging England as the poorest national team at penalties.

Olmo was outstanding across the 120 mins. His pen was awful. Rule #1 in penalty shoot outs: get it on target. Morata not alert to Donnarumma's early movement to dive the right way. Other than their first pen, Italy lethal.

Wembley's gonna be noisy on Sunday.

Barry Rathbone
90 Posted 06/07/2021 at 22:46:38
Italy are the Liverpool of international footy successful anti-football merchants who earn grudging respect but not love.

Can't stand them but they'll stuff England if that's the final.

Jay Wood

91 Posted 06/07/2021 at 22:46:55
'Spain will be kicking themselves for letting it get to penalties.'

They'd probably miss, Dennis.

Darren Hind
92 Posted 06/07/2021 at 22:48:15
Listen to the commentators there, it seemed like both teams had selected the five players with the worst penalty taking CV's...Every time somebody stepped up. The commentators told us they had plenty of previous for missing from the spot

High Drama

Darren Hind
93 Posted 06/07/2021 at 22:54:51
Or maybe they are just the brave ones who always put their balls on the line?
Jay Wood

94 Posted 06/07/2021 at 23:01:12
Not knowing anything about the lad, I just looked up Dani Olmo. Interesting career path!

A single season with Espanyol as an 8-year-old before moving to Barcelona for 7 seasons then at just 16-years-old moved on a free to...Dinamo Zagreb???!!!

Five seasons there before switching to RB Leipzig in January 2020, since when 8 goals in 44 appearances. First played for Spain's national team in November 2019.

Apart from his penalty, well impressed by him tonight. Curious and effective trait he has. Normally I don't care much for fancy dans attempting back heel flicks that for the most part come to nothing, but he seems to have perfected the art. I don't recall seeing a player attempt and complete so many really telling back heel flicks as he did tonight.

Just turned 23. Another example of the Bundesliga teams like Leipzig and Dortmund picking up very good players and grooming them into exceptional players.

Barry Hesketh
95 Posted 06/07/2021 at 23:04:15
He was immense Jay, penalty miss aside. Here's what we could have won, according to a tweet posted earlier tonight, mentioning a bid that Everton made for the kid in 2019.

Everton had a €28M bid rejected for Dinamo Zagreb’s Dani Olmo (Source - @swearimnotpaul )

Jay Wood

96 Posted 06/07/2021 at 23:26:27
Never heard of any connection to Olmo with Everton, Barry, until your post. According to Transfermarkt, RB Leipzig picked him up still aged just 21 for €22M, 18 months ago.
Colin Glassar
97 Posted 06/07/2021 at 23:31:59
Spain paid the price for not having a David Villa or a Fernando Torres. Plenty of possession and threat but no killer up top. I saw enough weaknesses in that Italian side that England can exploit.

Great tournament so far.

Danny O’Neill
98 Posted 06/07/2021 at 23:33:54
You're right Darren, not a match that deserved to be decided on the lottery of penalties, but then I've never been a big fan of that. I liked the golden goal experiment that fizzled out. At least that put the emphasis on going out to score and win.

Great match between two very good teams in my opinion. I thought Spain were better for the most part but then Italy had it sewn up at one point. Only for Mancini to go Italian so to speak and start tinkering and messing around, which invited Spain back into the game. Too many changes when the formula was working. Or is that just me?

England v Italy will be a fitting final for this competition, which has been one of the best in a long while in my opinion.

Forza Italia.

Danny O’Neill
99 Posted 06/07/2021 at 23:47:29
What an absolute stroppy, cocky penalty to win it though. Confidence in extreme.
Dave Abrahams
100 Posted 07/07/2021 at 10:08:20
Jay (94),

I made Olmo my MotM, outstanding with a lot of nark about him. I felt sorry for him when he missed the penalty. It brought back memories of the first penalty shoot-out in the European Cup when Joe Royle, who had been outstanding for Everton in that game vs Borussia Monchengladbach, missed the first penalty for the Blues, thankfully with a better result for Everton.

I thought Spain were the better team for much of the game and Italy were glad to hang on for the penalty shootout, especially after Spain scored the equaliser. A good game to watch for everyone who likes a good game of football. I hope we get another good game tonight and may the best team win. I don't think that happened last night.

Brian Harrison
101 Posted 07/07/2021 at 10:37:49
A really good game of football between Italy and Spain. I thought the Italians started much the brighter but Spain grew stronger as the game went on. Olmo was certainly Spain's best player, although Busquets ability shone through the game always taking the right option.

But the player who has really impressed me throughout the competition has been Fredrico Chiesa. He is quick very strong and knows exactly were the goal is. He was Italys biggest threat all night and scored a terrific goal. He is on loan at Juventus from Fiorentina for 2 years with Juventus agreeing a £40 million buy-out at the end of his loan deal, what a bargain.

Although Spain were better last night, I think Italy have been the most impressive team in the tournament, and they will be a very tough test for whoever they meet in the final, obviously hoping it's England.

Tom Bowers
102 Posted 07/07/2021 at 11:27:03
Sure was a great game to watch and it was good to see football played the way it should be and before a raucous crowd. Spain had most of the possession during the game but Italy had their moments too. Worthy of a final but no team deserved to lose, especially on a tacky penalty shootout.
Tony Shelby
103 Posted 07/07/2021 at 11:35:02
England v Denmark: We put them head-to-head to find out which country is best off the pitch


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