Hello everyone and welcome to Forza Italian Football‘s Euro 2020 live blog. On this blog, we’ll have live updates from Belgium vs Italy, as well as all the build-up, previews and team news ahead of the Euro 2020 quarter-final.
Belgium vs Italy, Euro 2020: Final score 1-2
Italy coach Roberto Mancini: “I don’t think we suffered too much in any moment of the game. To beat a team like Belgium you need a great performance by everybody and this is exactly what happened today. We scored two and we could have scored more. I think the victory is fully deserved. Spain are next but the more you go forward the most difficult it becomes. Tonight, however, we just want to think about our performance and our victory.”
Belgium midfielder Kevin De Bruyne: “I think we tried everything to win that match. They scored a fantastic goal, but the first one may have been a mistake on our part. They had more possession and the ball didn’t go in for us, which is a shame. Getting eliminated is always a disappointment.”
Star of the Match – Lorenzo Insigne
Lorenzo Insigne: “I think every single player in the team played an incredible game tonight. I always try that shot, in games and in training. I’m happy it went in. It was a great goal but I repeat, we won all together tonight.”
Gianluca Zambrotta on UEFA.com: “The dream continues! Roberto Mancini’s Italy are into the semi-finals after eliminating the top-ranked team in world football! Mancini has again demonstrated that his team can handle any opponent, and the Azzurri go on to take on Spain full of confidence. Let’s all celebrate this beautiful moment together and get ready for Wembley!”
Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois: “This hits hard but we knew it was going to be a tough game. We had two opportunities but their keeper made a good save and I think we gave the first goal away a bit to easily. It really could have gone either way, but Italy deserved to win here.”
FULL TIME! IT’S OVER! ITALY ARE INTO THE SEMI-FINALS!
91′ Toloi is on for Chiesa. Five minutes added on.
84′ SO close Doku. Meandering in from the left, the teenager sends a fierce shot over the bar. Italy fortunate there.
83′ This is getting tenser and tenser with each passing second. Italy are going to have to dig in.
78′ Another double sub. Emerson is on for Spinazzola, Berardi on for Insigne.
This is tough to watch. Spinazzola is in tears on the pitch. It doesn’t look good and he’s being carried off.
76′ Spinazzola pulls up. Setting off down the left on another run, the Roma man has pulled up and called for a substitution. He’s been excellent again and this will be a concern for Mancini.
74′ Double sub for Italy. Cristante and Belotti are on for Verratti and Immobile.
70′ How have Italy survived? Mertens takes control and drives Belgium on. Chadli then puts the ball in but it deflects less than an inch over Lukaku’s head, and he would have tapped in from under the crossbar had it been lower. Tense.
66′ A big chance for Spinazzola. Having burst a gut to get into the box, the ball fell to the Roma wing-back but he didn’t have enough in the tank to do anything with it and his effort was poor.
62′ This game is really open again. With a better touch, Immobile would have been in on goal. He looks tired now, though. It might be time for a change up top.
61′ SPINAZZOLA! Lukaku was set to tap into an open goal after De Bruyne picked him out, but Spinazzola got himself in the way and turned the ball behind. The corner comes to nothing.
57′ Jorginho goes to ground under pressure from De Bruyne but gets straight up. He might have had a claim for a penalty there, based on the first half’s standards…
56′ Doku is causing problems! This time Verratti is beaten as he gets to the byline and crosses. Donnarumma was able to gather at the second time of asking with Lukaku lurking.
52′ Chiesa darting down the right puts a powerful cross towards Immobile but there was too much pace on it for the Lazio striker to properly handle it. He only makes half-contact with the ball.
47′ Chiesa pokes a shot wide on the stretch from the edge of the area. Italy have been on the front foot in the opening couple of minutes this half.
46′ The second half is up and running…
HALF TIME: BELGIUM 1-2 ITALY: What a half that was, but Italy should be in a much better position at the break. Stunning goals from Barella and Insigne, but Gli Azzurri have been given a problem by Di Lorenzo.
47′ Goal. Belgium pull one back. Who else? Romelu Lukaku from the spot.
45′ Belgium have a penalty. Di Lorenzo is deemed to have fouled Doku. The penalty stands after a logn VAR check. It’s harsh, but Di Lorenzo has to do better there.
WHAT A GOAL! LORENZO INSIGNE! WHAT A GOAL! Carrying the ball forward in his usual position, Insigne produces his trademark strike, curling a sublime effort in from the left that Courtois can do nothing about. IT’S 2-0!
41′ Chiesa goes close! A corner is only half-cleared to the edge and the lively Chiesa takes a touch to set himself before curling an effort just wide. Though Courtois might have had it covered in any case.
1-0 ITALY! Brilliant from Barella. Belgium make a mess of a clearance and the Inter midfielder takes over, drives past their defence, and sends a shot across Courtois and into the far corner. THIS ONE COUNTS!
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL AZZURRI! NICOLO BARELLA!
29′ Chiesa keeps knocking. The Juventus winger has had a shot blocked from the edge of the area, then giving the ball to Spinazzola who wins a corner. It’s cleared.
26′ Chances at both ends! Lukaku finds himself denied by Donnarumma as De Bruyne leads another Belgian attack. Chiesa, at the other end, carried Italy forward but Courtois wasn’t to be beaten.
22′ GIGIO! De Bruyne drove at Italy’s backline and fired a fierce shot but Donnarumma pulled off an excellent stop. The corner comes to nothing as Donnarumma gathers the cross.
22′ Verratti booked. He’ll have to watch his every step now as his battle with Tielemans looks to be heating up.
Trying to recover a normal resting heart rate isn’t easy after that…
14′ NO GOAL! Insigne’s cross hit Chiellini, Di Lorenzo and then Bonucci before going in and there were any number of offsides in the process.
11′ Thankfully, things have settled a little bit. But it’s Belgium who look the most threatening so far.
3′ Can we catch a breath? A lively start. Both sides going at it, at either end. Neither looking to start slowly.
1′ Belgium attack first! A cagey start as Belgium come out flying and Lukaku very nearly got a shot off, but Donnarumma came out and gathered at the Inter forward’s feet.
1′ KICK OFF! Both sets of players took the knee before kick off, and now the game has got going.
Not long now! How are we feeling, Azzurri fans?
It’s almost time! How are we feeling ahead of #BELITA?
— ForzaItalianFootball (@SerieAFFC) July 2, 2021
Both Giorgio Chiellini and Federico Chiesa have been chosen to start by Roberto Mancini as Italy face Belgium in their Euro 2020 quarter-final on Friday evening.
The full teams are as follows:
Belgium: Courtois; Alderweireld, Vermaelen, Vertonghen; Meunier, Witsel, Tielemans, T.Hazard; De Bruyne; Lukaku, Doku.
— Nima Tavallaey Roodsari (@NimaTavRood) July 2, 2021
Italy: Donnarumma; Di Lorenzo, Bonucci, Chiellini, Spinazzola; Verratti, Jorginho, Barella; Chiesa, Immobile, Insigne.