Italy progressed through to the semifinals of the 2020 European Championship after defeating Belgium by two goals to one. A first half goal from Barella and another scintillating strike from Lorenzo Insigne was enough to secure them the qualification.
For Belgium Romelu Lukaku scored from the penalty spot. This Italy side under Roberto Mancini has been nothing short of spectacular and have done extremely well so far in the tournament.
Next up they will be up against Luis Enrique’s Spain in the semifinals at Wembley Stadium. Spain defeated Switzerland on penalties in the quarterfinals in a high intensity and nail biting game.
However Italy will be going into the match with bit of a disadvantage as they will be missing out on regular left back Leonardo Spinazzola. Spinazzola suffered an injury in the game against Belgium and needs his Achilles tendon to be treated.
According to the Italian medical team Spinazzola will travel back to Rome for further treatment. Spinazzola will not be able to play in the rest of the tournament. It’s a real shame because he was one of the emerging players for Italy.
However, in his place will come in Chelsea’s Emerson Palmieri. Emerson Palmieri got a chance to show his potential to Roberto Mancini and will be in the starting lineup for the game against Spain in London.
Cesar Azpilicueta praises Emerson Palmieri
Chelsea’s club captain Cesar Azpilicueta is also in fine form in the UEFA Euros 2020. Azpilicueta got a goal against Croatia via a bullet header and featured in the game against Switzerland. Now he will be up against his Italian teammates.
On the other hand Jorginho has been superb for Italy in the tournament. Together with Marco Verratti, Jorginho has able to completely dominate the midfield in every match. Moreover, he will be crucial in maneuvering the Spanish heart in the midfield.
Cesar Azpilicueta has talked extremely highly about Emerson Palmieri and said that he embodies the spirit of everyone at Chelsea football club. Chelsea have hardly used Emerson Palmieri this season except for that last-minute goal against Atletico Madrid.
“He’s a clear example of the strength of the group at Chelsea, the togetherness.Despite playing very little he has always contributed, he keeps a positive attitude and trains hard, awaiting his chance.
He scored an important goal against Atlético Madrid. The group makes the difference; that carried us to the Champions League.”
Due to the lack of playing time at Chelsea, Emerson Palmieri is looking to leave the club. According to reports, the Italian is looking to return to his country and is interested in offers from certain Serie A clubs.