Italy beat Spain to set up Euro 2020 final against England or Denmark after thrilling penalty shootout


Italy into the final (Picture: Getty)

Italy have booked their place in the Euro 2020 final after edging past Spain at Wembley on penalties.

Federico Chiesa’s wonderful strike after 60 minutes gave the Italians the lead in an enthralling encounter in which Spain dominated for large periods.

Alvaro Morata drew his side level with 10 minutes left in the clock, slotting home after coming off the bench to force extra time.

With nothing separating the two, a penalty shootout decided the semi, with Gianluigi Donnarumma crucially denying Morata before Jorginho rolled home the winning spot kick.

The Azzurri are aiming to win their second European Championship and will meet England or Denmark in Sunday’s final in the capital.

With Sergio Busquets conducting from deep and Pedri finding space to link play brilliantly, Spain  asserted early dominance with Marco Verratti and Jorginho losing the battle in midfield.

Their superb start saw openings develop for Ferran Torres and Dani Olmo with the latter spurned by a fine stop from Gianluigi Donnarumma.

A thrilling contest only got better in the second-half but the breakthrough came in the hour through Chiesa.        

Pouncing on the counter, Verratti’s ball was initially cut out by Aymeric Laporte with the Juventus forward onto the loose ball before bending a beautiful effort into the far corner.

With Mikel Oyarzabal missing two wonderful chances in each half, Morata was thrown on as Spain chased the equaliser.

Italy’s resistance was broken 10 minutes from time with Morata keeping their campaign alive.

Moments after passing up the chance to pull the trigger, the former Chelsea man was clinical at the second time of asking, combining brilliantly with Olmo before coolly slotting home.

While the pace slowed in extra time, Pedri continued to drive Spain forward, forcing the free kick that saw Olmo and Morata have shot blocked before it was eventually forced behind.

While Italy appeared to be holding on for penalties, there was more drama as Domenico Berardi steered a fine effort into the back of the Spain net – only for it to be correctly ruled out for offside.

After two hours of football at Wembley there was nothing to separate the European heavyweights.

After Simon denied Locatelli with the first spot kick, Olmo sent his clear over the bar with a woeful attempt.

Belotti restored order, drilling his effort inside the post with Gerard Moreno also converting.

Bonucci and Thiago Alcantara both coolly found the back of the net with Bernardeschi firing into the roof of the net to give Italy the advantage after Morata saw his effort saved by Donnarumma.

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