EURO 2020 - QF : Italy - Belgium

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Post by Lord Spencer Fri Jul 02, 2021 10:13 pm

Massive game for Italy. A very soft penalty to concede, in exactly the place where speed merchants love to buy penalties with balls they would otherwise be unable to do anything with.

Sure, Belgium missed some key chances, but so did Italy, and they played much better for the majority of the match. Insigne man of the match for Italy, as he is honestly the key man for most offensive moves.

One major disappointment is losing Spinazzola (it looks like that's it for him for this Euro). He was one of the best players in the tournament so far, and he is absolutely key to how the team plays. The difference between himself and his backup is huge.

Next up is Spain, who has been our bogey team since 2008. Honestly, I don't feel confident now that the team has some injury issues, and the CFs have proven to be wasteful with their chances.

This a team playing above its weight, but since its playing as a "team", then maybe we can expect great things.

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Post by BarcaLearning Fri Jul 02, 2021 10:14 pm

Yea defintely sad for Belgium having not won anything, not even managed a final in the golden era now. De Bruyne lacked support in this game though, they way Italy played so well, and Belgium both quality and tactically couldnt compete, any attacks were just the front 3 doing their own thing rather than any real strategy that worked at all.

I think Martinez has to go after this also, clearly not able to take Belgium any further, just same old formation and nothing new.
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Post by M99 Fri Jul 02, 2021 10:15 pm

@Lord Spencer wrote:
Next up is Spain, who has been our bogey team since 2008. Honestly, I don't feel confident now that the team has some injury issues, and the CFs have proven to be wasteful with their chances.


Italy beat Spain pretty convincingly in Euro 16.
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Post by Robespierre Fri Jul 02, 2021 10:29 pm

before today , the 2 best NT in this Euro were Italy and Belgio

After this deserving victory, there are no doubts about Italy to have been the most brillaint NT so far

No one demanded the cup, but it'd be disappointment not to getting it now

I hope we don't do Czech Republic 2004.

Definitely the best NT in that tournament but at the end ... got knocked out from Greece in 120' on semi-final Proud

well, Spain is not Swtizerland. Switzerland would have evoked that nightmare.
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Post by Babun Fri Jul 02, 2021 10:34 pm

Immobile might change his surname to impotente. What he delivered wasn't even average for a top game.
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Post by Arquitecto Fri Jul 02, 2021 11:03 pm

This match was unbelievable and the first time Ive seen such a high level of international face-off since god knows when.

So technically equipped the teams were and well-drilled that it felt like we are watching the UCL itself.

Mancini went with what was predicted in the beginning to 4-3-3 an Italia to face a generally consistent Belgium in their own line-up with Count Doku as the new addition, if I am correct.


Possession initially was a struggle between the teams as both midfields kept on overlapping another but Belgium's plan was initially cut through the middle via de Bruyne whom Italy had no answers for initially, biggest example is his wicked shot whipped to Donnarumma with his left-foot, adeptly saved.

Next big chance was Lukaku with his mind-bogglingly shit step-overs, somehow getting just past Chiellini, once against to test Donnarumma, who by the way had a masterclass today.

Italy grew into the game past 30 minutes and held better possession to not only test the Belgians by an offside Bonnuci goal but Chiesa Barella comes out with the most ridiculous spectacle Ive seen in the box. Immobile goes down holding his knee and Barella possesses the ball out of absolutely nowhere, takes on three Belgian players and slots it comfortably past Courtois. Anyone who's seen this kid for 2 seasons needs no introductions to the balls he has on display from that goal v Real Madrid last season to once again looking unperturbed by the occassion and scoring even with a man down in the box.

By this point quality of possession and wide overlaps continues where Insigne now steps up with an even arguably better goal. He makes a beeline from near the halfway line, cuts it and shoots an unsaveably deft curler past Courtois to cement why he has been the dark horse for Italy this tournament.

Last game Lorenzo created both goals, looked undaunted by the occassion and today was no different paired with the Goal.


Chiesa looked equally as dangerous possessing a more direct threat that the Belgian wide line has little answers for and tracked back accordingly.

2-0 it was ridiculous for Di Lorenzo to concede such a penalty as yes Dooku is much faster than him but he pushed him far too early (in attempt to push him out of the line) and naturally he took advantage by falling and I will say this was a rightfully conceded penalty.


Lukaku steps up to slot it past the GK and gives Belgium just the momentum they need before the 2nd half.

2nd half was interesting as if anything the gameplan on display was reversed in which Italia looked more dangerous through the centre whereas Belgium looked dangerous outside to a more central and forward pressing Italy in which Mancini, decided to have his team attack from the forefront.


Doku in particular had his battle all night with Di Lorenzo who mostly kept him out until he cut in where he often danced past the players for a threat.

Immobile was a burden today as physically he got the ball in well and kept it in the box but too wasteful with his chances and when that happens he almost sabotages his own game given his confidence is frail despite how prolific he is.

I still prefer him over Belotti who let us be reminded is yet to score on pitch despite being a sub but also never looks to do so.

2 goals at least he does have with that goal almost scored v Austria with the ridiculous shot that hit the top post as I still prefer him in given the direct threat he can pose.

But the fact is he is so used to Lazio's counter-attacking system and generally shown to do better in that be it his goals in Dortmund to Lazio as the system itself does not suit him. Though tonight even with possession today he was just wasteful.


Spinazzola is a huge huge loss that cannot be replicated by Emerson and not by a long shot.


So crucial he is tactically to Italy and their wide attack that I am struggling to see what can be done to replace him as there is not a chance he will be available for the entire tournament let alone v Spain.

Belgium were very good today but overall Italy were better and the difference between them was the discipline to acquire back their positions when off the ball despite some close chances by Belgium.


This was the big test I wanted to see Italy against and where I clamoured for that they needed for Austria was a mere wake-up call, this was the best team they could have faced.


Against us Italy will be the favourites and should England make the final (can't see it not happening) only there it will be hard to predict as I have said this is Englands year but onto the semi-finals.

Congratulations to all Italians here.
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Post by Robespierre Fri Jul 02, 2021 11:05 pm

@BarcaLearning wrote:Spinazzola out is huge for Italy, hes been great for them, especially tactically.


He's injury prone
You have to expect his injury sooner or later
Egoistically I was just hoping after Euro
But his performance are always to expire
Sooner or later he gets injured
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Post by Jesp Fri Jul 02, 2021 11:11 pm

@Robespierre wrote:
@BarcaLearning wrote:Spinazzola out is huge for Italy, hes been great for them, especially tactically.


He's injury prone
You have to expect his injury sooner or later
Egoistically I was just hoping after Euro
But his performance are always to expire
Sooner or later he gets injured


confirmation coming from Italy that Spinazolla suffered serious achilles injury and could be out for months...

ref: https://football-italia.net/spinazzola-suffers-serious-achilles-injury/

truly tragic to happen this to him, esp. that he has been one of the standouts and he had played good amount of games he deserves for both club and country
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Post by Arquitecto Fri Jul 02, 2021 11:14 pm

Man can someone tell me why in the world Mancini brought deer-in-the headlights Cristante instead of Locatelli for Verratti?

Cristante is skilled but often is bypassed physically and looks caught by a big occassion at times since he is soft like Morata.

How that hell was that even done considering they needed to defend and Locatelli can do that Laughing
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Post by Arquitecto Fri Jul 02, 2021 11:15 pm

No Spinazzolla was out confirmed.

He even stopped in the middle of the play and when the pain caught up he was screaming in pain.


This injury was an exact replica of what happened to Beckham in Milan. Initially looked like a minor niggle to the achilles but collapsed when it snapped and howled in pain.

4 months minimum.
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Post by Arquitecto Fri Jul 02, 2021 11:19 pm

Sidenote Lukaku is a total shithouse.

From him comparing himself to Zlatan and calling himself the "King" despite never performing in big games, flopped the EL final hard, then comparing himself to Cristiano.

This big idiot did basically nothing today beyond his shot past Cheillini and of course the open penalty and yet again Bonucci and Cheillini marked him out of the game.

Go home, King.
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Post by Jesp Fri Jul 02, 2021 11:20 pm

@Warrior wrote:World cup 2022 will be the last chance to win something for this belgium generation

Most of their guys are around 30 years old they should make it, after that no guarantees. They don't seem to have another "golden" generation coming any time soon.



well Belgium always have teams like Anderlecht *atm they are bit down. Club Brugge, Genk, ...
standard leige producing young talents so they should be ok.

there are players like Charles De Ketelaere, Yari Verschaeren (my fav), Lokonga (saladmaeker speaks highly of him), Bryan Heynen, coming into the team slowly but yea they will need time to develop but Belgium produces hosts of young talents so they should be ok.

but ur right on those guys nearing 30s... they have been really good on club level and lots were expected of him. even the WC ... and now Euro. i think everyone expected them to be weak in defense but Belgians are high scoring team.

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Post by Jesp Fri Jul 02, 2021 11:23 pm

n defense to him though he did good on build up ....
but actually isnt per stat i read somewhere that lukaku has never scored against chelllini bonnucci or acerbi? is that true?
anyway his moments dried up pretty fast in euro. still he is great in serie a
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Post by Robespierre Fri Jul 02, 2021 11:24 pm

@Arquitecto wrote:Man can someone tell me why in the world Mancini brought deer-in-the headlights Cristante instead of Locatelli for Verratti?

Cristante is skilled but often is bypassed physically and looks caught by a big occassion at times since he is soft like Morata.

How that hell was that even done considering they needed to defend and Locatelli can do that Laughing


Cristante is more defensive and especially he's big as corporature and he can head

yes, what you say it makes sense but all the Mancini substitions on last minutes were excessively negative ,  Toloi for Chiesa in last 5 minutes ...and if they score, match is not finished, it is extra -time

Italian managers sometimes go crazy for negative substitions when they have to defend the advantage and luckily it was not fatal this time


Last edited by Robespierre on Fri Jul 02, 2021 11:25 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Post by Jesp Fri Jul 02, 2021 11:24 pm

@Arquitecto wrote:No Spinazzolla was out confirmed.

He even stopped in the middle of the play and when the pain caught up he was screaming in pain.


This injury was an exact replica of what happened to Beckham in Milan. Initially looked like a minor niggle to the achilles but collapsed when it snapped and howled in pain.

4 months minimum.


yea he could be out for a long time poor guy ...
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Post by Arquitecto Fri Jul 02, 2021 11:25 pm

Lukaku just does not do it in big games.

I cannot remember him scoring v Juve. Did nothing in the EL final v Sevilla. Close to nothing in the UCL if im correct bar thus why they have been out for over 2 years in a row.

I actually like him but his recent words he anoints himself as if he is the best striker in the world but anything but.


Robes you know it be true pls
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Post by Jesp Fri Jul 02, 2021 11:25 pm

@Robespierre wrote:
@Arquitecto wrote:Man can someone tell me why in the world Mancini brought deer-in-the headlights Cristante instead of Locatelli for Verratti?

Cristante is skilled but often is bypassed physically and looks caught by a big occassion at times since he is soft like Morata.

How that hell was that even done considering they needed to defend and Locatelli can do that Laughing


Cristante is more defensive and especially he's big as corporature and he can head

yes, what you say it makes sense but all the Mancini subs on last minutes were excessively negative ,  Toloi for Chiesa in last 5 minutes ...and if they score, match is not finished, it is extra -time

Italian managers sometimes go crazy for negative subs when they have to defend the advantage and luckily it was not fatal this time

didnt he bring like toloi for chiesa to make 5-3-2 to put extra body? that point belgium went all in but ur right its not as if italians were safe with scoreline.. that was just marginal
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Post by Jesp Fri Jul 02, 2021 11:27 pm

@Arquitecto wrote:Lukaku just does not do it in big games.

I cannot remember him scoring v Juve. Did nothing in the EL final v Sevilla. Close to nothing in the UCL if im correct bar thus why they have been out for over 2 years in a row.

I actually like him but his recent words he anoints himself as if he is the best striker in the world but anything but.


Robes you know it be true pls


yea he seems only incredible player during seasons but not at crucial stage ... but i wont speak further lol robes and vibes would slaughter me.

at this point he is still legit king unfortunately at serie a but that has to be dethroned soon XD
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Post by Arquitecto Fri Jul 02, 2021 11:27 pm

@Robespierre wrote:
@Arquitecto wrote:Man can someone tell me why in the world Mancini brought deer-in-the headlights Cristante instead of Locatelli for Verratti?

Cristante is skilled but often is bypassed physically and looks caught by a big occassion at times since he is soft like Morata.

How that hell was that even done considering they needed to defend and Locatelli can do that Laughing


Cristante is more defensive and especially he's big as corporature and he can head

yes, what you say it makes sense but all the Mancini substitions on last minutes were excessively negative ,  Toloi for Chiesa in last 5 minutes ...and if they score, match is not finished, it is extra -time

Italian managers sometimes go crazy for negative substitions when they have to defend the advantage and luckily it was not fatal this time



I think we must give Mancini credit as nowhere bar the final minutes did he do the usual "defend the lead" spiel that always ends up absorbing pressure for 30 mins till the inevitable goal.


The substitutions I did not like and Toloi coming in was negative but Spinazolla coming off for Emerson threw a wrench in his works.
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Post by Robespierre Fri Jul 02, 2021 11:28 pm

@Arquitecto wrote:Lukaku just does not do it in big games.

I cannot remember him scoring v Juve. Did nothing in the EL final v Sevilla. Close to nothing in the UCL if im correct bar thus why they have been out for over 2 years in a row.

I actually like him but his recent words he anoints himself as if he is the best striker in the world but anything but.


Robes you know it be true pls


He was impactful in the derby won for 0-3 that represents a piece of Scudetto. More relevant that loss against Juve where Inter were already winner of the league

tbf he was decisive in all big games this year in Serie A. he had played very good also on first leg against juve (2-0 for Inter)

Chiellini is simply the best defender to mark it , tha'ts a clear
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Post by Arquitecto Fri Jul 02, 2021 11:31 pm

Cheillini to be fair seems to mark any top player and come out on top, Zlatan included.


Lukaku has improved leaps and bounds but Ive yet to still see him perform in top moments.

Its not necessarily against top opponents he is snuffed out as he can beat anyone but I mean big occasions regardless of the opponent.
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Post by Jesp Fri Jul 02, 2021 11:32 pm

hey why is .... manuel lazzari not selected in this team... is he injured?
he is miles better than di lorenzo.

di lorenzo had me heartattack so many times... jeremy doku made him dizzy the entire game
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Post by Jesp Fri Jul 02, 2021 11:33 pm

@Arquitecto wrote:Cheillini to be fair seems to mark any top player and come out on top, Zlatan included.


Lukaku has improved leaps and bounds but Ive yet to still see him perform in top moments.

Its not necessarily against top opponents he is snuffed out as he can beat anyone but I mean big occasions regardless of the opponent.


yes i agree, ... fortunately time is still with him. he still has chances both for club and country
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Post by Arquitecto Fri Jul 02, 2021 11:34 pm

Piggy wrote:
World Cup winner Bastian Schweinsteiger has praised Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini as ‘the best centre-backs in the world’ after Italy’s 2-1 win over Belgium.

The Azzurri are through to the semi-finals of EURO 2020 after the success in Munich on Friday night and veterans Chiellini and Bonucci helped the Azzurri control the game from the heart of the defence.

Chiellini and Bonucci are 70 years old combined and have together played 217 games for the Nazionale, .

Chiellini, who’s contract with Juventus expired on June 30, recovered in time to make his 110th appearance for the Azzurri against Belgium.

Former Germany international Schweinsteiger believes he and Bonucci, who has played 107 times with the Azzurri, are currently the best centre-backs in the world.

“Bonucci and Chiellini are currently the best centre-backs in the world,” Schweinsteiger wrote on Twitter. “Experience.”

Italy have set up a semi-final meeting with Spain in the battle for a place in the Final at Wembley.

The Azzurri are aiming to win the Euros for the second time in history, with the only triumph arriving in 1968.
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Post by Jesp Fri Jul 02, 2021 11:38 pm

probably this competition for them is a last swansong and they probably know it ... bonucci and chellini.
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Post by Robespierre Fri Jul 02, 2021 11:42 pm

@Arquitecto wrote:
@Robespierre wrote:
@Arquitecto wrote:Man can someone tell me why in the world Mancini brought deer-in-the headlights Cristante instead of Locatelli for Verratti?

Cristante is skilled but often is bypassed physically and looks caught by a big occassion at times since he is soft like Morata.

How that hell was that even done considering they needed to defend and Locatelli can do that Laughing


Cristante is more defensive and especially he's big as corporature and he can head

yes, what you say it makes sense but all the Mancini substitions on last minutes were excessively negative ,  Toloi for Chiesa in last 5 minutes ...and if they score, match is not finished, it is extra -time

Italian managers sometimes go crazy for negative substitions when they have to defend the advantage and luckily it was not fatal this time



I think we must give Mancini credit as nowhere bar the final minutes did he do the usual "defend the lead" spiel that always ends up absorbing pressure for 30 mins till the inevitable goal.


The substitutions I did not like and Toloi coming in was negative but Spinazolla coming off for Emerson threw a wrench in his works.


Ah yes, it was first time where he looked like " negative" , but  it's understandable for last minutes

if I think to past Italy managers .. he looks like a visionary

When I read Germans poster against Low, I think what I 'd write if GL exsisted 20 years for Italy. I'd have written similar things.

Very talented NTs ruined by negative and bungling managers

for Italy-Austria, I had watched again the match played in France 98

Italy was a firepower for talent, but it was wasted from a negative lineup where you had to play with 5 defenders Laughing

Not a fan also of Italy under Trapattoni.  Trapattoni excellent manager but I think his job under Italy was very bad and you can't reduce it just to bad refs ( Moreno etc )

Two NT without gamestyle

my first Italy NT memories are this. There was  fixation that Italy,  for a sort  of DNA    could win it only in a way. Much much defence, catenaccio, counteattack. ( but DNA in football doesn't exsists . Allegri says it too but I think it's foolish speaking)

But 2006 you had won against Germany also for not having renounced to attack on extra-time

Mancini was the best thing happened to Italy NT  in last 15 years

And he came back to be that manager seen in Lazio 2002-2004 that played football very similar with this.

He made it also in first 2 Inter years.

Then he converted in Capello for the "obligaiton" to  win at all costs.

But the first Mancini was similar with this, but playing 4-4-2 ( Eriksson legacy), while its Italy is developing a very effective 4-3-3
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