Mancini praises game of suffering
Italy reached the final of the European Championships by winning a penalty shootout against former 2008 and 2012 Euro winners Spain.
The Italians took the lead through a fantastic strike from Federico Chiesa. However, were pegged back in the second half thanks to an equaliser from Alvaro Morata.
A penalty shootout was needed and the aforementioned Morata’s missed spot kick was the ultimate decider which, after a cool Jorginho penalty, sent the Azzurri to the final.
After the match, Roberto Mancini spoke to the media and addressed his side’s lack of dominance against a underpowered Spanish team.
“There are games where you have to suffer,” Mancini said to the press conference. “They can’t all be as smooth as our progress so far. We knew it would be a tough game.”
Ultimately, Italy will need to be much better to secure a Euro 2020 victory as they return to Wembley.
What has been said about England?
England booked their place in the final after defeating Denmark thanks to an extra time penalty rebound from Harry Kane.
Mikkel Damsgaard put the Danes a goal up before an own goal from Simon Kjaer, the 11th of the tournament, forced by Bukayo Saka levelled things up.
England will face an Italy side with both nations having played 120-plus minutes.
There has not been an opportunity to hear Mancini’s feelings on his now confirmed opponents.
However, speaking prior to the knowledge of who they would be facing, Mancini and company did have some thoughts on the final.
“We are delighted to have provided this wonderful evening’s entertainment to the Italian people,” said Mancini. “We still have one game to go.”
“There were some issues because we did not have much possession. But we wanted to reach the final and kept trying until the end.”
Very little said on either opponent, however the goalscorer Chiesa did have comments about the at-the-time two possible opponents.
“Denmark play with a lot of intensity and throughout this tournament they have proven what a top side they are; they have some quality players.
“As for England, they have shown that their individual players can be match winners. They have some top players in the final third and all across the pitch.”
Whether England can indeed overcome the Italians remains to be seen. What is certain is they will need some of the ‘match winners’ Chiesa was referencing.