Italy-Spain player ratings: Italians prevail in Euro 2020 semis; PKs go awry for Dani Olmo, Alvaro Morata
Italy extended their outstanding record in semifinals to 10 wins from 12 as they beat Spain in a Euro 2020 penalty shootout following a 1-1 draw in north London. Federico Chiesa’s curling strike gave Italy the lead on the hour mark, but Spain, the better side at Wembley Stadium, sent the game to extra time and subsequently penalties after a fine goal from Alvaro Morata, dovetailing with the excellent Dani Olmo. However the two saviors in normal time would miss their spot kicks in the shootout as Italy advanced to the final, where they will face England or Denmark.
But how did each player perform in this one? Here are our player ratings for the match for every starter, substitute and manager.
All ratings are out of 10, and the higher the number the better. A zero would be a first-minute red card. A 10 would be like a dominant hat trick.
Italy player ratings
(GK) Gianluigi Donnarumma
The soon-to-be Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper made amends for a clumsy error on 25 minutes with an outstanding save down to his left from Ferran Torres in part of a shaky night with the ball at his feet. He might also feel he went down too soon for Alvaro Morata’s equalizer but he made amends by saving his penalty.
(DEF) Giovanni Di Lorenzo
He certainly left his mark on Ferran Torres in the early exchanges and a superb intervention at the back post denied Spain the game’s opener early in the second half.
(DEF) Leonardo Bonucci
Is it harsh to ask whether he might have done more to block Dani Olmo’s pass for Morata’s equalizer? Perhaps one would not even ask the question if it weren’t a center-back of Bonucci’s repute. This was certainly not his best game, one where he seemed a little awkward without a traditional forward as a reference point.
(DEF) Giorgio Chiellini
Much of Italy’s best build-up play came when Chiellini took that step into the left channel to get them up and running. Defensively he certainly seemed to be having troubles with the fluid front three ahead of him and was caught out of position on at least one occasion.
(DEF) Emerson Palmieri
Tasked with filling the void left by Leonardo Spinazzola one could not complain about Emerson’s work as a constant threat down the left flank, stretching play into the final third with direct running beyond his man. More than any player in an underwhelming first half he stretched Italy into spaces that made Spain feel awkward.
Jorginho’s output is rather defined by his input. Give him bad ball or passes under pressure and that is what you will get out of him. There was some smart defensive positioning but without much of the ball to work with it was no great surprise that Italy struggled to see him at his best until a superbly taken penalty.
(MID) Nicolo Barella
The Inter Milan midfielder was a little too cavalier with the ball at his feet in deep areas, seemingly saving his caution for a chance to shoot at goal with Unai Simon having gone walkabout. As space opened up in the contest he grew in efficacy, offering a hard running presence on the counter.
(MID) Marco Verratti
A frustrating game for Italy’s best midfielder, he simply could not get on the ball. Those drifts into the left channel where he was so deadly earlier in the tournament were not particularly prevalent at Wembley. Still when space opened up for him in the build up to the opener he exploited it with real composure.
(FWD) Federico Chiesa
It had been a quiet, somewhat underwhelming first hour for Chiesa but it was certainly worth the wait when the ball broke to him on the right corner of the box. Taking his time to settle himself, he arrowed a shot into the far post, a goal worthy of sending any team into a final.
(FWD) Ciro Immobile
There was hard running, smart build-up play but precious little service for Immobile, who could not touch the ball without being swarmed by white shirts 30 yards from goal. All of that thankless work got its reward when his run in behind forced Aymeric Laporte to deflect the ball into Chiesa’s path.
(FWD) Lorenzo Insigne
Whilst Emerson performed as well as could have been expected it was clear that Insigne just did not have the same chemistry with the Chelsea man. Despite that there was one wonderful pass into space that lead to the opening goal.
(FWD) Domenico Berardi
Offered a real threat on the counter as pressure grew on the Italy goal. Berardi was willing to chase any long ball and nearly forced an error out of Unai Simon just before testing him with a left footed shot. He looked by far the most likely source of a goal for the second hour of the game.
(MID) Matteo Pessina
He was not afraid of a firm challenge or two in an extra time period where Italy seemed determined to play for penalties.
(DEF) Rafael Toloi
You almost had to admire the cynicism with which he rugby tackled Olmo to the deck as he was advancing down the left flank. Toloi was not afraid of getting forward but largely functioned as a block on Spain’s path down the Italy right.
(MID) Manuel Locatelli Barella, 85’The Sassuolo midfielder seemed more willing to press than others in the closing stages of the game but a game where Italy saw little of the ball was hardly well suited for Locatelli. His penalty was slightly disappointing but it took a very good save from Unai Simon to deny him.4(FWD) Andrea Belotti Insigne, 85’Belotti simply could not get into this game during his 35 minutes. All he really offered was a test for the linesmen as he found himself in offside positions. 5 (FWD) Federico BernadeschiChiesa, 106’His fresh legs were a welcome addition early in the second period of extra time where he offered just a bit more running on the counter and in chasing Spanish midfielders on the ball.5
His side certainly took their time in overcoming Spain’s narrow press though their commitment to stretching space down the flanks showed admirable game intelligence. Equally Mancini deserved credit for not panicking and trusting that his side would eventually prove to be a match for their opponents. They were but only just.
Spain player ratings
(GK) Unai Simon
Very shaky when it came to clearing the ball from the back. Was almost a liability. Did come up with a nice save on Chiesa early in the second half before getting beaten by the same player by being poorly positioned. Solid but far from great.
(DEF) Jordi Alba
Had a lot of trouble breaking the lines with his passes and just really failed to become a force going forward. In defense, he was beaten a bit too easily at times and just looked gassed.
(DEF) Aymeric Laporte
Held his own against an inconsistent Ciro Immobile. On Italy’s goal, he did well with his initial challenge but was let down by Garcia. Was the strongest at the back.
(DEF) Eric Garcia
Really had nothing to do for the first hour or so, but when needed, he didn’t step up. Was largely at fault on the goal due to giving Chiesa too much space and being slow to react. Surprised he lasted that long.
(DEF) Cesar Azpilicueta
Got forward, like really forward, leaving Italy open for the counter. Didn’t have his best showing but had his moments. Needed to be a bit sharper in his passing.
Great movement, technical and just superb. He played a brilliant ball to Mikel Oyarzabal in the first half and was as sharp in his passing as he could have been. The moment didn’t look too big.
(MID) Sergio Busquets
A bit clumsy, picking up a silly yellow card early in the second half, but then he got going. He was almost the hero moments later by producing a beautiful shot that just missed and then began recovering ball after ball.
Quick and calm on the ball, as expected. Delivered some dangerous balls into the box and was able to get vertical in the second half. Provided a ball to Oyarzabal on a silver platter that he wasted. Shockingly taken off with 20 minutes to go.
(FWD) Dani Olmo
Had the best chance of the first half an hour when it fell to him the box, but he was denied by the Italian goalkeeper. Did well to settle the ball in attack but often had very little to work with. Grabbed the assist to Morata with a fine pass but sent his penalty kick into orbit.
(FWD) Ferran Torres
Applied some pressure in attack, but that is far from what he is counted on for. Never really got going. Had a decent look on goal, but he took too long to get his shot off. A poor showing.
(FWD) Mikel Oyarzabal
Kind of on an island on that right flank. Got involved more and more as the game went on and wasted a golden chance with 25 minutes to go, missing on a clear header at the six-yard box. Taken off shortly after.
Often criticized, he delivered in a big spot off the bench, grabbing the equalizer with 10 minutes to go. Did so well to drop deep and start the attack, coming on a sweet give-an-go with Olmo. And then the penalty happened.
Never looked like causing danger. Did take his penalty kick well though.
Added some more quality on the ball and kept his passing crisp, but he was never in a spot to make a huge impact.
Marcos LlorenteAzpilicueta (85′) Spain were dominating the ball when he came in and had very little to worry about.6ThiagoBusquets (105′)Solid in playing to feet, moved the ball around well and took his penalty with class.7Pau Torres Garcia (109′) Little to do, but when he needed to handle the ball or a challenge, he was there. 6
Went full Pep Guardiola, overthinking things with a starting lineup that offered very little. To his credit, he made changes in the second half and the team improved. They simply didn’t have enough quality in attack to stay alive. They’ll be contenders in upcoming competitions though.