Watch live score and updates from Italy’s semi-final vs Spain Euro 2020 at Wembley Stadium in London
Italian football team during training. PA
Overview: Italy and Spain meet in a successful Euro 2020 first semi-final in front of an expected crowd of 60,000 at Wembley on Tuesday as anticipation builds ahead of England’s last four game against Denmark.
Tuesday’s game is the latest installment in a burgeoning rivalry between Italy and Spain, with the nations meeting for a fourth consecutive European Championship.
Spain won on penalties in the quarter-finals in Vienna in 2008 en route to the trophy, then defeated Italy 4-0 in the final in Kiev four years later.
Italy got their revenge by winning 2-0 in the round of 16 of Euro 2016 and the Azzurri appear as the favorites this time as they arrive at Wembley after knocking out Belgium in the quarter-finals for extend their unbeaten run to 32 games.
“We know that if we play like we did in the last 30 or so games, we can come away with a good result,” Italian defensive pillar Leonardo Bonucci said on Monday.
While Italy – whose only European Championship title came in 1968 – have been the tournament’s most notable team so far, Spain overcame a difficult start to reach the bottom four as they ‘She is aiming for a record-breaking fourth continental title.
Luis Enrique’s side beat Croatia 5-3 in extra time in the knockout first round before beating Switzerland on penalties in the last eight.
“We just have to be motivated by the fact that we are facing such a big and prestigious team in such a wonderful arena as Wembley, knowing that we could be involved in the final in just a few days,” added Bonucci.
Italy coach Roberto Mancini and Luis Enrique regretted that supporters of the two semi-finalists could not travel to watch the match in London.
The lack of “unfair” traveling fans
More than 60,000 spectators will be allowed inside the capacity of 90,000 Wembley after the UK government relaxed the coronavirus restrictions that were put in place during the tournament.
According to the Italian FA, around 11,000 Italian fans are expected in the stands as well as 9,000 Spanish spectators.
These will be UK-based supporters, as fans have not been allowed to travel from either country just for the game, without being quarantined first, which is common in this tournament. affected by the pandemic.
“It’s a strange situation. I hope there are more Spanish and Italian fans than English fans, but these are things we cannot control,” said Luis Enrique.
“I’m not going to waste energy on this. We wish it was different, but we accept it.”
Italy and Spain both enjoyed the support of their own fans in the home group matches in Rome and Sevilla respectively, and Mancini called the situation in London “unfair”.
“It’s pretty unfair if I’m perfectly honest, very unfair indeed,” said the former Manchester City manager.
Italy are deprived of full-back Leonardo Spinazzola, one of the tournament’s best players, who underwent surgery on Monday for a torn Achilles tendon against Belgium in Munich.
With contributions from AFP