Italy beat Spain on penalties to reach the Euro 2020 final after an enthralling semi-final at a noisy Wembley. After Alvaro Morata’s penalty was saved, Jorginho strolled up to score and set up a final with either England or Denmark in London on Sunday. Federico Chiesa looked as if he had sent Italy to the final in normal time with a delightful curled finish to cap off a quick counter but Morata stepped off the bench to slot an equaliser with 10 minutes to go. Roberto Mancini’s Italy side have been arguably the best team in the tournament – and had won their previous 13 games – and deserve their place in the final.
England captain Harry Kane fired his side into their first European Championship final by slamming in the rebound to his saved penalty in extra-time, as Gareth Southgate’s team came out on top with a hard-fought 2-1 win over brave Denmark. It was far from straightforward, with Mikkel Damsgaard breaching England’s previously watertight defence with the first direct free-kick goal of the tournament on 30 minutes after the hosts had made a fast start. But England forced an equaliser home through a Simon Kjaer own goal and while they could not get the job done in 90 minutes, Kane eventually beat the otherwise brilliant Kasper Schmeichel in extra time.
In the meantime, we’ve got enough time to quickly reflect on some of the most eye-catching stats from match day 6 via OPTA stats.
- 9 – Raheem Sterling completed nine dribbles against Denmark, the most of any player in a single match at #EURO2020.
- 37 – England have reached their first ever European Championship final, with tonight’s win against Denmark their 37th game in the competition. Diamond.
- 55 – England have reached their first major tournament final in 55 years, since winning the 1966 World Cup on home soil. It’s the longest gap between final appearances for any European nation in the history of the two competitions.
- 3 – Jack Grealish is the third England player to be both subbed on and subbed off in a match at a major tournament, after Jamie Redknapp (vs Scotland in EURO 1996) and Aaron Lennon (vs Portugal in the 2006 World Cup).
- 10 – Harry Kane is now England’s joint-highest goalscorer in major tournaments (EUROs/World Cup), moving level with Gary Lineker on 10 goals.
- 7 – Among European Championship and World Cup tournaments, only the 1990 and 2014 editions of the World Cup (8 each) had more games go to extra time than #EURO2020(7).
- 3 – Simon Kjaer’s own goal is the first England have benefitted from in European Championship history, and third overall at a major tournament (against Czechoslovakia and Paraguay in the 1982 and 2006 World Cups).
- 691 – Denmark’s goal was the first scored against England since March, ending a run of 691 minutes without conceding for the Three Lions.
- 10 – Italy have now reached their 10th major tournament final (World Cup/Euros) – only Germany (14) have participated in more major tournament finals amongst European nations than Italy (incl. Euro 2020).
- 1 – Spain have failed to progress from a semi-final of a major tournament (World Cup/Euros) for the first time in their history, having previously reached the final in each of their previous five semi-final appearances.
- 5 – Spain have won four of their five penalty shootouts at the European Championships, while Italy have lost three of their five shootouts in the competition, including one against Spain at the quarter final stage in 2008 (2-4).
- 6 – Alvaro Morata (6 goals) has scored more goals at the European Championships than any other Spain player, overtaking Fernando Torres’ five goals.
- 2 – Italy have become just the second side in European Championship history to have as many as five different players (Chiesa, Pessina, Insigne, Immobile & Locatelli) score 2+ goals at a single edition of the competition, after France in 2000.
- 1 – Emerson’s attempt in the 45th minute was Italy’s only shot in the first half – only versus Netherlands at EURO 2000 (48th minute) have Italy had a longer wait for a shot in a European Championship game since the start of the 1980 tournament.
- 5 – Giorgio #Chiellini has become the first footballer to play five matches against the same opponent in European Championship’s history (v Spain).