After another electric evening of Euro 2020 football, we officially know the identity of our first two semi-finalists – with Spain being one of them. They were forced to really dig deep in what was, ultimately, a pretty dramatic game against the Swiss.
In the end, though, a penalty shootout was enough for the Spaniards to see off the challenge of the underdogs.
There are some big questions surrounding this Spanish national team and it all stems from their inconsistency. There are times when they look like one of the best attacking teams in the world but on other occasions, all they do is play the ball back and forth without much of an impetus to their game. If they want to cause Italy problems and they’re serious about making a real run to the final, they have to start thinking differently – or else they’ll be torn apart.
Even after going down to 10 men, with the sending off being questionable, Switzerland showcased the kind of grit and determination required to fight back against a bigger side like Spain. They weren’t expected to do much or go far at the Euros, especially after the Wales draw, but it didn’t matter to them. They used the knowledge that they were flying under the radar and they chose to go on a memorable run, even if their penalties didn’t exactly live up to the hype created by their showing against France.
Joy for Italy?
Italy are probably going to be mourning their own injuries but after a gruelling win over Belgium, we still think they’re going t fancy their chances as the favourites heading into the semi-finals. They didn’t have to go to extra time, they were efficient with their time on the ball, and one look at Spain last night should tell them that the Spaniards are incredibly beatable.
Nobody truly knows what’s going to happen in a tournament as unpredictable as this one and Italy may end up crashing and burning, but Spain are going to have a few sore heads and knocks this morning – which should set the Azzurri up for a strong showing.
Switzerland: Sommer (8.5), Rodriguez (7.5), Akanji (6.5), Elvedi (7), Widmer (6.5), Zuber (6.5), Sow (6), Schar (5.5), Vargas (6), Freuler (4.5), Gavranovic (6), Fassnacht (6.5), Mbabu (6), Seferovic (6), Shaqiri (8), Embolo (6), Zakaria (6.5)
Spain: Simon (7.5), Azpilicueta (6.5), Laporte (6.5), Thiago (6), Alba (7.5), Llorente (6.5), Busquets (7), Rodri (5.5), Oyarzabal (7.5), Moreno (7), Olmo (7.5), Sarabia (6), Morata (6.5), Torres. (6), Pedri (7.5), Koke (6.5), Torres (6.5)
Referee: Michael Oliver
Goals: Shaqiri :: Zakaria OG
Yellow Cards: Widmer, Gavranovic, Laporte
Red Cards: Freuler
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