Two Chelsea players are through to the semi-finals of Euro 2020, while one exits, following Italy’s 2-1 victory over Belgium in Munich.
The victory sees Italy set up a final four meet with Cesar Azpilicueta’s Spain at Wembley on Tuesday evening.
In a pulsating quarter-final tie, it was Italy who struck first just after the half-hour mark when Nicolo Barella showed sublime feet to slip away from his markers and fire emphatically past former Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. Redemption for Mancini’s side, who had earlier seen a Leo Bonucci goal chalked off by VAR after Giorgio Chiellini had strayed marginally offside.
Things got even better for Italy just before the break, as Lorenzo Insigne netted one of the goals of the tournament with a stunning curling drive into the far corner.
Their joy was short lived however, as Belgium pulled a goal back moments later from the penalty spot. Romelu Lukaku on target from 12 yards, with the half-time whistle following seconds later.
In the second half, the Red Devils pushed for an equaliser and went close through Lukaku and Jeremy Doku but ultimately couldn’t find a way through a stubborn Italy defence.
At the other end, Courtois kept out a dipping Insigne drive as the Italians – led by the intense passing and tempo control of Jorginho and Marco Veratti – looked to wrap the game up.
Emerson entered the fray as a late substitute, joining his Chelsea team-mate Jorginho in the side, and he helped Italy see the game out and book a spot in the semi-final against Spain next week.
Michy Batshuayi was an unused substitute for Belgium, who head out of the competition under Roberto Martinez.