Italian defender Leonardo Bonucci celebrates his team’s qualification. (FEDERICO GAMBARINI / dpa Picture-Alliance via AFP)
A fury. A daring drowned in a permanent momentum. In Munich, Italy rushed over Belgium and swallowed it up with enthusiasm. The second quarter-final of the Euro, surely the most anticipated, between two teams who have done nothing but win, gave birth to … ??? a twirling match, much brighter than that rendered by Spain and Switzerland three hours earlier. And that’s it Italy, which has moved and breathed a block all the way, which has overcome the first nation in the Fifa rankings for three years. , at the end of the best score of the tournament. She will face Spain in the semi-final on Tuesday at Wembley.
La Nazionale once again displayed this radiant course initiated by Roberto Mancini, and continued the uprooting as a rule of the dogmas that have dictated its football for five generations: mischief for joy, the impulse rather than the curl up. Belgium, for its part, has stopped lying. As against Portugal, it has embraced its deep nature, that of a capable team, even overwhelmed in the doldrums, the shady, the dirty.
We have to wait a few minutes in the meeting for the Transalpins to find their tempo, so that they won’t give up for a penny afterwards. And a half of half time so that they exploit this tempo to full: then, it is of the order of the grace. A regular assault, launched by Federico Chiesa, who started after his life-saving goal against Austria in the eighth (2-1). The Juve player strikes back as soon as he can. Half an hour into the game, Nicolo Barella, surrounded by three Belgians in their area, plays with them and Thibaut Courtois: the nets are shaking for the first time.
In the controls, the lengths of passes, the races, the discounts: on absolutely the whole range of technique, the Belgians are looking at the Italians through the telescope. Above all, all the sugar of football, this superior, overflowing, vibrant desire irrigates the Italian lines. You can almost see it in these white shorts covered with traces of the lawn, that of Marco Verratti in the first place, warned before the twentieth minute for a foul miles from his goal. Insignia, not attacked, rolls up a marvelous balloon in Courtois’ skylight: Italy is sailing five notches above the Belgians. Who do not respond, sluggish, only through their playmaker, Kevin De Bruyne. Before JÃ © rÃ © my Doku manages to untangle the azzurri machine by a hair. The 19-year-old Rennais with electrical support, preferred to Yannick Carrasco to replace an injured Hazard, gets a penalty after a stroller. Lukaku, who started a duel from the first breaths of the match with a smiling Chiellini, continues the fight against Gianluigi Donnaruma. The attacker lines up the keeper in the middle. 2-1 at halftime, the Belgians are well varnished.
Coming back from the locker room, the same momentum swept away the transalpine players and the “olés” quickly fell from the stands. Present on every second ball, Mancini’s players continue to harass with this idea of never renouncing their ideal, even if it means seeing the Devils slip behind their backs, on a few rare occasions that could have been fatal. At the sixtieth, Lukaku saw his recovery pushed back on the post by the thigh of Spinazzola. The left piston, who decided to drill the right side of all the defenses in front of him, makes Thomas Meunier drink the cup, while his fellow Insigne makes him take the tide. e. The former Parisian is replaced by Nacer Chadli who, symbol of the failure of his team, is injured in the process. Spinazzola also ended up going out on a stretcher, in tears, and Italy may have lost their most surprising player for the rest of the competition tonight.
The Belgians are barely pushing to come back, there is little other than Doku to make the Italians shiver. In the last minutes, they drop like flies. Courtois leaves in desperation in the opponent’s area on the last corner of the game. But it’s over. The famous Belgian “seum” following the defeat against the Blues in 2018, fueled by the feeling of being cheated, is repackaged. Merit has its napkin ring in football.