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Euro 2020: Italy beat Spain on penalties to seal their place in Sunday’s final

Italy have sealed their place in Sunday’s hotly-anticipated Euro 2020 final with a 4-2 win over Spain at Wembley Stadium, meaning they will face either England or Denmark at the weekend. 

The two teams fought on to extra time after drawing 1-1 after 90 minutes, before the Italians clinched a victory over the Spaniards at the Home of Football with a penalty shoot-out. 

After the match, North London was transformed into a second Little Italy tonight as crowds of Italian football fans dressed as slices of pizzas sang ‘Football’s Coming Rome’. 

Italy, who triumphantly swept aside Belgium with a 2-1 victory in the quarter-finals and were expected to beat Spain, will now meet either England or Denmark in the final at on Sunday. 

Players of Italy celebrate after winning the penalty shoot-out of the UEFA Euro 2020 semi final between Italy and Spain in London

Players of Italy celebrate after winning the penalty shoot-out of the UEFA Euro 2020 semi final between Italy and Spain in London

Players of Italy celebrate after winning the penalty shoot-out of the UEFA Euro 2020 semi final between Italy and Spain in London

Leonardo Bonucci of Italy and teammates celebrate after the UEFA EURO 2020 semi final between Italy and Spain

Leonardo Bonucci of Italy and teammates celebrate after the UEFA EURO 2020 semi final between Italy and Spain

Italy's Federico Bernardeschi scores a penalty during the shootout

Italy’s Federico Bernardeschi scores a penalty during the shootout

A dejected goalkeeper Unai Simon of Spain after the UEFA Euro 2020 semi final between Italy and Spain in London

A dejected goalkeeper Unai Simon of Spain after the UEFA Euro 2020 semi final between Italy and Spain in London

Italian supporters celebrate at the fan zone in Potters Field in London

Italian supporters celebrate at the fan zone in Potters Field in London

Fans react after Italy won on penalty shoots as they watch on a giant screen the Euro 2020 soccer semifinal match between Italy and Spain, in Rome

Fans react after Italy won on penalty shoots as they watch on a giant screen the Euro 2020 soccer semifinal match between Italy and Spain, in Rome

Supporters of Italy's national football team celebrate the first goal of their team during the UEFA Euro 2020 semi-final

Supporters of Italy’s national football team celebrate the first goal of their team during the UEFA Euro 2020 semi-final

Spain fans gather in Las Palmas during the match, one of the most enthralling of the UEFA Euro 2020 championship

Spain fans gather in Las Palmas during the match, one of the most enthralling of the UEFA Euro 2020 championship

Fans in Rome react as they watch penalty shoots on a giant screen the Euro 2020 soccer semi-final match

Fans in Rome react as they watch penalty shoots on a giant screen the Euro 2020 soccer semi-final match

A Spain fan reacts during the match in Barcelona as the game went into extra-time and penalties

A Spain fan reacts during the match in Barcelona as the game went into extra-time and penalties

Fans gather in Las Palmas for Italy v Spain as the Italians clinch a victory over the Spaniards at Wembley

Fans gather in Las Palmas for Italy v Spain as the Italians clinch a victory over the Spaniards at Wembley

So can England tame the great Danes? Your armchair guide to the team standing between Three Lions and the Euros final 

1) Since their very first friendly match in 1911, England and Denmark have played each other 21 times. 

England have won on 12 occasions (scoring a total of 36 goals) and the Danes just four (20 goals), with five draws.

2) Harry Kane may have been quick off the mark after four minutes against Ukraine at the weekend, but Denmark notched the second-fastest goal at Euro 2020. 

Striker Yussuf Poulsen scored after a minute and 39 seconds against Belgium on June 17.

Since their very first friendly match in 1911, England and Denmark have played each other 21 times

Since their very first friendly match in 1911, England and Denmark have played each other 21 times

3) The Scandinavian team glory in the nickname ‘Danish Dynamite’, harking back to the Eighties when fans came up with the chant: ‘Vi er rode, vi er hvide, vi er Dansk dynamit!’ (‘We are red, we are white, we are Danish dynamite!’) 

Still sung today, the song was a huge hit in the country’s charts. The Danes were particularly explosive in 1992, when they won the Euros in Sweden.

4) Having played their quarter-final match in Baku, Azerbaijan, the Danes have travelled more than 5,000 miles in the past five days. 

England have only played outside London once this tournament – with Saturday’s clash in Rome – and have returned to Wembley for the semi.

5) When it comes to age and experience, Denmark have the advantage. The average age of the Danish players is 27, while England – with an average age of just 24 – have one of the youngest squads. 

Danish captain Simon Kjaer, 32, a towering centre-back, has 112 caps. In contrast, forward Raheem Sterling, 26, is England’s most experienced player with 66 caps.

The Azzurri have been among the front-runners since they opened the tournament on June 11 and they will be there when it finishes against either England or Denmark on Sunday, hoping to win a second European Championship and first since 1968.

They faced their toughest test yet against Spain, who were the better side, but when it ended 1-1 after 120 pulsating minutes, Donnarumma saved Alvaro Morata’s penalty before Chelsea midfielder Jorginho sent Italy through to another final.

Morata went from hero to villain as he had earlier climbed off the bench to equalise for Luis Enrique’s side with 10 minutes of normal time remaining – becoming his country’s all-time leading goalscorer at the Euros with six – after Federico Chiesa had put Italy in front against the run of the play.

Spain deserved to win over the course the 120 minutes, but poor finishing cost them and they were unable to replicate their penalty shoot-out victory against Switzerland in the last 16.

Roberto Mancini’s men were hanging on in extra-time and looked to have run out of steam, but they will now enjoy an extra day’s recovery and return to Wembley hoping to cap an impressive tournament where they have found different ways to win.

These two heavyweights meeting at the knock-out stages of the European Championship is a familiar sight, with this clash following previous battles in 2008, 2012 and 2016.

Their journeys to the last four had gone down differing paths, with Italy turning heads with five wins from five while Spain got this far by winning just once in 90 minutes. Yet, Spain know their way around the back end of this competition and turned up at Wembley looking the real deal.

They hurried Italy in possession in the way no other team had managed and it reaped rewards as chances came their way, only for their finishing to let them down.

Mikel Oyarzabal had an early sight of goal but could not control the ball after being played in by Pedri, who looked every inch like the next Spanish superstar midfielder he has been billed as.

With the 18-year-old making them tick, Enrique’s side were in control, but their maverick goalkeeper Unai Simon almost gave Italy a leg-up when he came charging out for a long ball and got nowhere near it. However, Nicolo Barella did not get his shot away in time and Spain survived.

Thankfully, Pedri was much more composed and another precise pass saw Dani Olmo presented with the best chance of the first half.

The RB Leipzig striker got a second bite of the cherry after an initial shot was blocked but with time and space he put his shot too close to Donnarumma, who made a comfortable save.

More Spanish harassing created two more opportunities, but the finishing was wasteful on both occasions as Olmo could not find the target at the far post and then Oyarzabal also blazed over after a quick counter-attack.

Italy’s attack had been free-flowing throughout the tournament but their best moment came in first-half stoppage time when Chelsea defender Emerson advanced into the box and struck a fierce shot from a narrow angle, which glanced the crossbar.

Chances continued to come and go for Spain in the second half as Sergio Busquets curled inches over following an explosive break by Oyarzabal, while Donnarumma showed safe handling to keep out the Real Sociedad forward’s effort from distance.

Given their struggle to make their domination count, perhaps it was inevitable that they fell behind on the hour as they were hit by a lightning quick counter-attack.

Donnarumma collected a cross and 12 seconds later the ball was in the back of the net.

Italy's team celebrate after winning the Euro 2020 soccer championship semifinal match between Italy and Spain at Wembley

Italy’s team celebrate after winning the Euro 2020 soccer championship semifinal match between Italy and Spain at Wembley

Italy players celebrate after winning the penalty shoot-out at Wembley Stadium

Italy players celebrate after winning the penalty shoot-out at Wembley Stadium

Italy beat Spain during a penalty shoot-out in their enthralling Euro 2020 semi-final clash at Wembley Stadium tonight, sealing their place in Sunday's final against either England or Denmark

Italy beat Spain during a penalty shoot-out in their enthralling Euro 2020 semi-final clash at Wembley Stadium tonight, sealing their place in Sunday’s final against either England or Denmark

Dejected players of Spain after the UEFA Euro 2020 semi final between Italy and Spain in London

Dejected players of Spain after the UEFA Euro 2020 semi final between Italy and Spain in London

Italy's players celebrate their win in the UEFA Euro 2020 semi-final football match between Italy and Spain at Wembley

Italy’s players celebrate their win in the UEFA Euro 2020 semi-final football match between Italy and Spain at Wembley

Italy's midfielder Jorginho (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring in a penalty shootout and winning the UEFA Euro 2020 semi-final football match between Italy and Spain at Wembley

Italy’s midfielder Jorginho (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring in a penalty shootout and winning the UEFA Euro 2020 semi-final football match between Italy and Spain at Wembley

Italy players celebrate after winning the UEFA Euro 2020 semi-final football match at Wembley Stadium

Italy players celebrate after winning the UEFA Euro 2020 semi-final football match at Wembley Stadium

Italy players celebrate after winning the UEFA Euro 2020 semi-final football match at Wembley Stadium

Italy players celebrate after winning the UEFA Euro 2020 semi-final football match at Wembley Stadium

Aymeric Laporte did well to cut out Lorenzo Insigne’s incisive pass but the ball fell to Chiesa, who curled into the bottom corner from the edge of the area with deadly precision.

Spain continued to carve out the chances and they wasted two more glaring ones shortly after going behind.

Oyarzabal somehow completely missed his connection on a free header just six yards out and Olmo fizzed wide from the edge of the box. Eventually they got their reward as Morata showed some composure in front of goal 10 minutes from time.

The former Chelsea man played a slick one-two with Olmo that split the Italian defence and coolly slotted past Donnarumma.

Spain sensed blood and Morata was the spearhead as they were pushing for a winner in normal time, but could not find a way through.

Extra time offered nothing in the way of chances that normal time had done, so it had to be decided by penalties, just as the quarter-final tie between these two teams in 2008 did.

Spain won on that occasion, but after Manuel Locatelli and Olmo each missed their country’s first spot-kick, Donnarumma kept out Morata’s low effort and then Jorgino did the rest.

Italy players celebrating their UEFA Euro 2020 semi-final victory over Spain at Wembley Stadium

Italy players celebrating their UEFA Euro 2020 semi-final victory over Spain at Wembley Stadium

Supporters of Italy's national football team celebrate during the UEFA Euro 2020 semi-final football match between Italy and Spain, as the match is displayed on a giant screen, at the Piazza del Popolo, in Rome

Supporters of Italy’s national football team celebrate during the UEFA Euro 2020 semi-final football match between Italy and Spain, as the match is displayed on a giant screen, at the Piazza del Popolo, in Rome

Spain fans react at the fairgrounds of Grinon, 35 km from Madrid, as they watch the penalties shoot-out of the UEFA Euro 2020 semi-final football match between Italy and Spain at Wembley Stadium

Spain fans react at the fairgrounds of Grinon, 35 km from Madrid, as they watch the penalties shoot-out of the UEFA Euro 2020 semi-final football match between Italy and Spain at Wembley Stadium

Fans in Grinon, Spain gather for the Italy v Spain UEFA Euro 2020 semi-final clash at Wembley Stadium

Fans in Grinon, Spain gather for the Italy v Spain UEFA Euro 2020 semi-final clash at Wembley Stadium

Supporters of Italy's national football team celebrate during the UEFA Euro 2020 semi-final football match between Italy and Spain, as the match is displayed on a giant screen, at the Piazza del Popolo, in Rome

Supporters of Italy’s national football team celebrate during the UEFA Euro 2020 semi-final football match between Italy and Spain, as the match is displayed on a giant screen, at the Piazza del Popolo, in Rome


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