Man City star sends Spain to UNL final

UEFA Nations League

Spain advanced to the UEFA Nations League final with a 2-1 victory over European champions Italy at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on Wednesday evening.

Italy made two changes from the side's Euro 2020 semi-final meeting in July as Alessandro Bastoni and Federico Bernardeschi came in for Giorgio Chiellini and Ciro Immobile. Meanwhile, Pau Torres, Marcos Alonso, 17-year-old Gavi and Pablo Sarabia were the four changes to Spain's team.

Italy's high press was causing Spain problems early on. After winning possession back in Spain territory, Federico Chiesa got the ball out of his feet quickly and drilled one towards the bottom-right corner, which forced Unai Simon into making a solid diving stop.

However, it was Luis Enrique's side who took the lead against the run of play in the 17th minute when Mikel Oyarzabal delivered a pinpoint cross from the left and Ferran Torres diverted it first-time into the left-hand corner.

Soon after, Azzurri keeper Gianluigi Donnaruma had to be on his toes to keep out a rasping Alonso effort which was arrowing towards the top-left corner.

Roberto Mancini's side spurned a good opportunity to equalise 10 minutes before the interval when Emerson found Lorenzo Insigne, but his shot went wide of the right post.

In the 42nd minute, things went from bad to worse for the Italians when their captain Leonardo Bonucci was sent off for receiving a second yellow card, and Spain capitalised on their numerical advantage when Torres grabbed his second on the stroke of half-time after heading home across goal from the far post with Oyarzabal the provider once again.

Despite Mancini making a raft of changes to try and reinvigorate his side, the Spaniards were still bossing the encounter and came close to their third when Yeremy picked out Oyarzabal at the far post but his glanced header went just wide of the left post.

Italy were starting to overcommit going forward and this allowed La Furia Roja to break on the counter, with Alonso being denied by a fine save from Donnaruma after being played in by Yeremy.

The Azzurri were given a lifeline in the 83rd minute when Chiesa was allowed a free run at goal and set up Lorenzo Pellegrini for a simple tap-in to make it 2-1.

It was a massive effort by Mancini's side in the closing stages with 10 men, but they couldn't find the equaliser and Spain will now meet either Belgium or France in the final on Sunday.

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