Belgium 1-2 Italy: First half heroics enough to see the Italians through to the semi-finals

Lukaku of Belgium and Bonucci of Italy
Lukaku of Belgium and Bonucci of Italy

Italy booked their place in the semi-finals of the European Championships with a win over Belgium earlier tonight.

First-half goals from Nicolo Barella and Lorenzo Insigne provided a 2-goals lead and were proved to be enough to guide Roberto Mancini’s men into the last four. 

Romelu Lukaku scored from the spot during the added time of the first half to bring back Belgium into the match.

Italy will be hoping to go all the way now. 

Here at Anytime Football, we look at the major talking points from tonight’s contest. 

Jorginho’s flawless performance

The Chelsea midfielder has been one of the best players in the European Championships so far, and he managed to put in another splendid display for Italy tonight. 

Jorginho dominated the midfield with his assured passing. His positioning helped Italy stay organized defensively as well. 

Belgium are one of the best-attacking teams in the world, and Italy needed someone to win the midfield contest for them. Jorginho stood out with his maturity and intelligence. His use of the ball was excellent as well, and he was purposeful with his passing. 

Leonardo Spinazzola’s injury

Spinazzola popped up all across the pitch and produced a remarkable performance tonight. From helping out in the counter-attacks to running back and preventing goals with last-ditch tackles, the Italian was in fine form.

However, his night was marred when he picked up a tendon injury towards the end of the game. 

He has been a key player for Italy this summer, and his absence in the latter stages of the competition could affect the team’s defensive cohesion. 

His tireless engine will also be missed in defence and attack.

Chiellini – Bonucci partnership

 The partnership between the two Juventus defenders has proven to be timeless so far in the Euros. 

Both players are exceptional defenders, and they are formidable as a pair. They managed to deal with one of the top three strikers in world football with relative ease tonight. 

Italy came up against the likes of Lukaku and De Bruyne today, and they never looked like struggling at the back. 

36-year-old Chiellini and 34-year-old Bonucci are exceptional leaders at the back as well, and they have been an invaluable presence for Mancini and Italy.