Manchester City forward Ferran Torres nets brace for Spain as they defeated 10-man Italy 2-1 at the San Siro to qualify for the UEFA Nations League final, avenging their defeat at the hands of the Azzurri in the semifinal of Euro 2020.
Spain Exacts Revenge on Italy as Ferran Torres Nets Brace
Ferran Torres Nets Brace for Nations League Final-Bound Spain in Victory Over Italy
After Italy defeated Spain in the semi final en route to winning their first international tournament since 2006 in July, both teams met again at the same stage in the second edition of the UEFA Nations League.
Spain’s Youngster’s Steal the Show
With Spain boss Luis Enrique keen to reach the UEFA Nations League final and banish the ghosts from their penalty shootout defeat in Euro 2020, he handed a start to Barcelona youngster Pablo Gavira at 17 years and 62 days old, making him the youngest player ever to represent the Spanish national team.
There were also debuts for 19-year-old Villarreal winger Yeremy Pino and 20-year-old Tottenham Hotspur winger Bryan Gil off the bench in the second half.
Spain opened the scoring through Manchester City’s Torres after only 17 minutes. Torres’ City teammate Aymeric Laporte started the attack by sending a pass out wide to Mikel Oyarzabal. The latter played a give-and-go with Marcos Alonso before delivering a pinpoint cross, which Torres finished first time at the far post to give Spain the lead over Italy.
Italy were reduced to ten men in the 41st minute after captain Leonardo Bonucci was shown a second yellow card following an aerial duel with his Spain captain Sergio Busquets.
Spain took full advantage of the extra man as Torres scored again to give his side a two-goal cushion going into halftime. A brilliant passing move by the Spaniards opened up the depleted Italian side before Oyazarbal delivered another pinpoint cross that was headed home by Torres in the 46th minute.
Italy struggled to keep up with the pace and inventiveness of Spain’s teenage stars after Villarreal winger Pino was introduced in for goalscorer Torres, and they had goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma and their defenders to thank for keeping them in the match.
Italy scored a late consolation after excellent work on the counter by Juventus winger Federico Chiesa in the 83rd minute. The Italian was quickest to react as he picked up a clearance following a Spain corner before sprinting the length of the pitch to set up Lorenzo Pellegrini to tap the ball into an empty net.
Spain Inflict Meaningful Defeat on European Champions Italy
Spain’s win over Italy at the San Siro was the first time the Azzurri had suffered a home defeat in a competitive fixture since 1999, before six of the current Spain players were born. It also ended Italy’s world record run of 37 matches unbeaten, inflicting a first defeat since 2018 on them.
Spain have a chance of winning a first title since 2012 when they face one of Belgium or France in the UEFA Nations League final at the San Siro on Sunday October 10th.
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