Italy will meet Spain in the semi-finals at Euro 2020 after a tight 2-1 win over Belgium in Munich on Friday night.
In what was the tie of the round, the Italians thought they had got off to the perfect start when Lorenzo Insigne’s cross was bundled in at the back post by Leonardo Bonucci in the 13th minute but after a VAR check, the goal was disallowed for offside.
The Red Devils then had their first sighter at goal when Kevin De Bruyne unleashed a vicious effort with his left foot, but Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma was equal to it.
The Azzuri, though, were looking the better team and took the lead when Nicolò Barella fired a superb finish into the far corner after wriggling away from a clutch of Belgian defenders in the box.
The Italians then doubled their lead when Lorenzo Insigne curled a wonderful strike past Thibaut Courtois and into the top corner just before the break.
The first-half drama wasn’t done there, however, as Belgium were awarded a penalty for a Giovanni Di Lorenzo foul on Jeremy Doku in stoppage time.
Romelu Lukaku stepped up and fired past Donnarumma for 2-1.
Into the second half and Lukaku had a wonderful chance to equalise when he was picked out at the back post by De Bruyne, but the Belgian striker’s effort was blocked on the line by Leonardo Spinazzola.
Then it was Spinazzola’s turn to spurn a good chance at the other end, when he was unable to divert Insigne’s clever dink on target.
Spinazzola’s night – and possibly his tournament – was brought to a cruel end with 12 minutes of normal time to go, when he appeared to twist his ankle while running for the ball and left the pitch in tears on a stretcher.
Doku tried to force an equaliser for Belgium with some dangerous dribbling coming in off the left flank, but his shot flew over the bar and that proved to be the Red Devils’ last throw of the dice.
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