Italy 1-2 Spain: Enrique’s men book their place in the finals of UEFA Nations League

Ferran Torres (Spain) celebrates after scoring his team s first goal against Italy
Ferran Torres (Spain) celebrates after scoring his team s first goal against Italy - IMAGO / AFLOSPORT

Spain picked up a 2-1 win over Italy in the semi-finals of the UEFA Nations League earlier tonight.

Two goals from the Manchester City winger Ferran Torres put Spain in a commanding position at the end of the first half.

Italy did get onto the score sheet through Lorenzo Pellegrini on the 83rd minute but it was too little too late for the hosts and Spain managed to book their place in the finals of the competition in the end.

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

Italy’s incredible record comes to an end

The European champions have now lost a game at home for the first time since September 1999.

The last time they were beaten at home six of the Spanish national team squad members had not been born – Pedro Porro, Ferran Torres, Eric Garcia, Bryan Gil, Yemeni Pinto and Gavi.

Roberto Mancini’s men were on a world record 37 game unbeaten run and a brace from Ferran Torres has ended the outstanding streak tonight.

Gavi with a memorable performance

The 17-year-old central midfielder became the youngest player ever to appear in a senior Spanish international match after being picked by Luis Enrique to start the UEFA Nations League semi-final clash against Italy.

The Barcelona youngster is regarded as one of the finest young talents to come out of the La Masia Academy and he justified his selection with a mature performance for his country.

Gavi formed an excellent partnership with Sergio Busquets at the heart of Spain’s midfield and he did well to keep the ball moving and controlling the tempo of the game.

Leonardo Bonucci’s sending off

The Italian international was sent off in the final five minutes of the first half and it proved to be a major difference between the two sides eventually.

Leonardo Bonucci is a world-class player who has been a leader for the national team.

Italy struggled to get back into the game in the second half in his absence and Spain found it easier to control the proceedings against a ten-man Italy side.