The first semi-final match at Euro 2020 produced an impressive match, as Italy qualified on penalties. Instead of summarizing the game, some thoughts on a few things.
Watching the Federico Chiesa movie is fun. His goal in the second half was very impressive. I’ve seen questions from the goalkeeper and, to be fair, it doesn’t look good for him, but I really think it’s more about the quality of the finish than anything else. I’m still not convinced of the number of Italy’s attacking players in this tournament, but this player was fantastic.
I can’t imagine how frustrating you would be to support a team that includes Alvaro Morata. It drives me crazy as a neutral, how should it be when you invest in him and need him to do things that attackers do? There was a moment when she opened up in front of him and took so many (arg!) Then he finished the quality to bring the standard of Spain (good!); before running and running behind the ball to take a goal kick (ARGH!); Then he took the penalty kick in the penalty shootout (AAARGGH!).
There’s obviously a quality there, you don’t play for the clubs he played for without some talent, but the inconsistency – not just over the course of the season, but over the 90 minutes – is fantastic. He wasn’t the only Spaniard to miss a penalty last night, but if someone forces you to bet your house on one of them, it should be him.
Pedri is an amazing talent, playing that way at the age of 18 in the semi-finals of a major tournament was amazing. Maybe it’s easy or lazy to make comparisons, but in terms of his quality on the ball coupled with the kind of composure at a young age you rarely see, he reminds me of Cesc Fabregas. I realize that Barcelona as a club is a mess at the moment, but whoever has agreed to be called up to the Spanish Olympic team is an idiot of epic proportions. They may have thought he wouldn’t play much in the Euros or something, but moving from one major tournament to another (which involves a lot of travel), after a tough season and a tough schedule won’t help them a bit. – Even if the player Very optimistic about everything.
As a longtime grizzly midfielder, it’s impossible not to love Giorgio Chiellini. Not only because of his remarkable addition to the football lexicon (“It’s Tottenham’s history‘), but his commitment to being the oldest central defender in the school can be impressive. The sheer bullshit he inflicted on Jordi Alba before the penalty shootout last night may not have had any effect on the Spanish penalty shootout, but the damned would have used everything in his power to get On feature.I’d hate it if it was built of course, but it wasn’t…
He who does not love Chiellini does not love life 🇮🇹 pic.twitter.com/3KTuz0ajWW
– Johnny McFarlane (@jonnyrmcfarlane) 6 July 2021
I think both Luis Enrique and Roberto Mancini have benefited a lot from their squads during this tournament. Italy and Spain are traditionally large countries, but both sides have some disadvantages that are not minor. If you were to award the match with “points” so to speak, the Spaniards probably made the decision last night, but when it came straight to the point, Italy produced more in penalties and that’s what counts.
The Italian high-style coach summed it up perfectly here:
– Ben Machel (@ben_machell) 6 July 2021
Tonight, England face Denmark at Wembley. There is an understandable narrative about the Danish team because of what happened to Christian Eriksen, but they are not in the semi-finals just out of emotion and goodwill. They are there because they are a good team with some really dangerous players. I suspect England will have a lot for them, Gareth Southgate’s squad depth plus their home advantage make them real favourites, but they underestimate Denmark.
Will Bukayo Saka start? I don’t know, but if England can’t find some way to harness his talent as well as the extra rainbow unicorn energy he brings into the game, it would be a huge shame.
Elsewhere, Matteo Guendouzi moved on loan to Marseille yesterday officially. Despite the French side declaring they have an ‘option’ to buy, I am reliably informed that there is a commitment at the end of the season for them to make the deal permanent. I don’t know if it depends on appearances etc, but given the fact that the player himself wrote at length Bye bye scrid on instagramIt seems clear that he will not return.
Finally for the day, at the Copa America, former defender Aimee Martinez was the hero in Argentina’s penalty shootout, with added character:
Emiliano for Yerry Mina before he saves PK:
“You’re nervous, eh? I can tell you’re nervous”
“I know where you’re going to shoot.”
“Watch and see how I asked you.”pic.twitter.com/4DDFsDJmKS
Juan (Socrates) 7 July 2021
This is how I feel about Emi: He spent years at number three, got some undisguised loan spells, and then took over for two months after Leno’s injury. I think it’s understandable why the club would spend money on a man whose value has gone from around £1m to £20m – especially in the Covid world we found ourselves in last summer – but also some regret about that decision. It often gets lost in the discussion that he actively pushed to leave too, but even so, it’s nice to see him doing well for his country because that’s something he’s always said he wanted.
Well, let’s leave it here today, and enjoy the match tonight as we will find out who will face Italy in the final.