Leonardo Bonucci admits semi-final win over Spain was ‘toughest game’ of his career while Italy scorer Federico Chiesa hails Azzurri for ‘fighting until the end’ at Wembley
Federico Chiesa delighted in Italy ‘fighting until the end’ in their Euro 2020 semi final win over Spain on penalties at Wembley while Leonardo Bonucci branded it the ‘toughest game’ of his career.
The Italy forward scored a peach of an opening goal in the second half but saw his effort cancelled out by Alvaro Morata’s equaliser.
Neither side could find a winner in extra time after an enthralling game and an exhausted Chiesa reflected on the win.
Leonardo Bonucci said the win over Spain for Italy was the toughest game of his career
The Azzurri came out on top in the shootout to book their place in the semi final
He told beIN Sport: ‘I cannot describe my emotion by words, it was a tough match, Spain were great tonight but we come back here on 11 July for the final. We will see, we will see.
‘Spain were great, they have star players but we fought until the end and we did it.’
He added that even when Manuel Locatelli had his first penalty in the shootout saved by Unai Simon, the group were still confident of progressing.
‘When Locatelli missed the first penalty, everyone was calm saying we can do it and at the end our group helped us in the moment,’ he added.
Chiesa came off for Federico Bernardeschi in the 107th minute having run himself into the ground.
Federico Chiesa curled in the opening goal of the game with a superb finish
Leonardo Bonucci also offered his verdict on the win, telling RAI Sport: ‘This is the toughest game I have ever played.
‘I congratulate Spain for what they showed, but once again this Italy showed heart, determination and the ability to push through difficult moments and the lottery of penalties rewarded us.
‘The victory you suffer for is always the most enjoyable one.
‘We knew they could try a few surprises, as Luis Enrique has done that a few times in his career. They moved around a lot upfront and didn’t give us reference points, but we brought home an historic result with the heart of the Italians.’
Roberto Mancini’s squad will now be able to recover ahead of Sunday’s final at the same stadium.
The Azzurri will face England or Denmark, who meet on Wednesday and know an extension of their 33-game unbeaten run will see them lift the trophy.
Chiesa delighted in his side’s spirit after they battled until the final whistle
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