Ferran Torres Double Ends Italy’s Record Run To Put Spain In Nations League Final

Spain Win

Spain advanced to the Nations League final with a 2-1 win against Italy on Wednesday, ending Italy’s world-record unbeaten run of 37 games in front of their home fans. Luis Enrique’s Spain won the Championship Four encounter at the San Siro in Milan, where they will face either France or Belgium in the final on Sunday. Torres scored twice in the first half. After a spirited second-half display with 10 men, Lorenzo Pellegrini got a goal back with seven minutes left, but the European champions were unable to complete what would have been a historic comeback.

After Leonardo Bonucci was sent off in the 42nd minute after receiving a second yellow card for elbowing Sergio Busquets in the face during an aerial duel, Italy had to play the second half of the encounter with one fewer man.

“The first half could well have ended in a 1-1 tie… It’s a pity because we would have kept 11 men if it hadn’t been for an error that you can’t make at this level,” RAI quoted Italy coach Roberto Mancini as saying.

The match was played in an unusual environment, with AC Milan fans booing Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma during his return to the San Siro after a move to Paris Saint-Germain.

Donnarumma, who is regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the world and was named Player of the Tournament at the Euro, departed Milan as a free agent in the summer, leaving a sour taste in the mouth of fans who booed and whistled him at every touch of the ball.

“It upset us, because it was Italy playing, it wasn’t a club match. They could have put it to one side for one match,” Mancini told reporters later.

“Italy is Italy and I think it should come above everything else.”

The home crowd booed and whistled Donnarumma both during the pre-match warm-up and when the teams were announced over the stadium’s speakers, drowning out the announcements over the stadium’s speakers.

On his first touch of the ball in the fourth minute, he was whistled by some home supporters, however by that time, others in the crowd had begun to cheer him in an attempt to cover up the criticism.

However, the chants continued every time he touched the ball, and in one peculiar moment, Bonucci took a goal kick only to roll the ball a few metres to Donnarumma, who had to once again try to drown out a wave of rage from the crowd.

They definitely had an impact on his performance, with him initially reacting sluggishly to Torres’ flick, which put Spain up 1-0 in the 17th minute.

Donnarumma then fumbled an inconsequential shot from Marcos Alonso onto the post two minutes later, and Bonucci had to thank him for coming back in time to clear the ball off the line.

After a spell of dominance by Spain, Italy fought back and could have been level 10 minutes before halftime, with Federico Bernadeschi’s 34th-minute shot hitting the post before Lorenzo Insigne fluffed the easiest chance of the half.

Emerson Palmieri was sent running behind the Spanish defence, where he rolled a wonderful low cross to the unmarked Insigne, who clipped a side-footed shot wide.

However, the hosts’ task was made considerably more difficult just before the break when Bonucci was sent off, and Torres’ exquisite header from another Mikel Oyarzabal cross all but ended their ambitions of extending their record.

Down to ten men, Italy made a strong showing, and Pellegrini was able to trim the deficit to seven minutes with the help of Federico Chiesa.

After a Spanish corner was cleared, Juventus striker Chiesa grabbed the ball and sprinted down the field unimpeded before laying up the Roma midfielder for an open goal that gave Italy fans hope for a brief moment.

On Thursday, World Champions France will face Belgium at Juventus’ Allianz Stadium in Turin.