Thursday, December 2, 2021

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Spain down Italy to reach Nations League final

Spain stormed into the final of the UEFA Nations League after defeating reigning Euro 2020 champions, Italy 2-1 in the semifinal at the San Siro Stadium on Wednesday.

It was a perfect revenge for Spain after painfully losing to the Azzurris in Euro semis via penalty.

Luis Enrique’s men took the lead on 17 minutes when Mikel Oyarzabal’s magnificent early cross found Torres peeling off the back of his man to steer home via the far post.

However, Bonucci was in trouble himself soon after as, having already been needlessly booked for dissent, he led with an elbow in an aerial dual with Sergio Busquets and was shown a second yellow.

Roberto Mancini’s men were further punished as Oyarzabal and Torres combined again in stoppage time, the latter heading in from a lovely, cushioned cross.

Spain looked to be coasting home with neat possession football but had a scare when the irrepressible Federico Chiesa stole the ball and ran clear from halfway before squaring to leave substitute Manuel Pellegrini a tap-in and set up a nervy finish.

La Roja will take on the winner of today’s semifinal between World champions France and Belgium in Sunday’s final.

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