Manchester City striker Ferran Torres (17, 45 +2) scored Spain’s two goals, while substitute Lorenzo Pellegrini (83) scored the honorable goal for the hosts, who completed the match with ten players since the 42nd minute after their captain Leonardo Bonucci was sent off.
“We knew that today’s match was going to be special,” Torres said. “We are facing European champions Italy at home. Everything was great today, winning is the fruit of training and when you do it to the fullest, you always get results.”
France, the world champion, will meet Belgium on Thursday in Turin in the second semi-final match, while the final will be held on Sunday at San Siro Stadium, and the third-place match will be held at Alliano Stadium in Turin.
Spain and coach Luis Enrique considered their loss to Italy in the last European Cup semi-final, when coach Roberto Mancini’s men outperformed on penalties after the end of the original and extra time with a 1-1 draw.
Spain stopped Italy’s record series in maintaining its unbeaten record at 37 games, and inflicted its first loss at San Siro since 1927, achieving its first victory over Italy at home in an official match.
Spain decided the result of the match in its first half when it scored two goals thanks to its control and great possession of the ball, which amounted to 63%, as well as the numerical shortage after Bonucci was sent off because she scored the second five minutes after his exit.
Spain continued its advantage in the second half and could have strengthened on more than one occasion and almost paid the price dearly because the Italians reduced the difference in the last seven minutes and rushed in search of an equaliser.
Mancini was forced to remove striker Bernardeschi to push the other pole of defense and captain Giorgio Chiellini at the beginning of the second half, and he also made four other changes without succeeding in turning the table on his guests.
Chiellini commented on the loss, saying: “We are sad for this loss, sad because we lost on this court. We made some mistakes, which Spain took advantage of to score, we were not mentally clear, and the numerical shortage affected us a lot. I am sure we will learn from this loss.”
He added, “No team is invincible. When you face strong and big teams, you must focus, and I think we paid the price for not focusing today.”
For his part, Mancini said: “Sometimes it goes like this, the results of matches are determined by the facts. We could have come out tied in the first half. They play very well technically. Unfortunately we couldn’t finish the match with 11 players, we made a mistake that can’t be done at this level. I haven’t seen the shot, but that doesn’t change anything. You have to be careful when you have a yellow card. In the second half we managed at least to score without conceding a goal, congratulations despite everything to the players.”
Italy played the match in the absence of their attacking hearts Ciro Immobile and Andrea Belotti due to injury, so coach Mancini, Juventus striker, Bernardeschi, chose their place, while he preferred to keep veteran defender Giorgio Chiellini on the bench, preferring Alessandro Bastoni.
The Spanish team played the match in the absence of more than one key player, most notably Alvaro Morata, Dani Olmo, Pedri, Gerard Moreno and Jordi Alba.
And his coach, Luis Enrique, brought in the promising Barcelona midfielder Gavi, 17, who became the youngest player in history to carry the colors of Spain, breaking a record at the age of 85 years.
Gavi (17 years and 60 days) broke the record of Angel Thobeta Redondo, who wore the Spanish national team shirt for the first time at the age of 17 years and 284 days in an international friendly match against Czechoslovakia (1-0) in 1936.
Gavi’s participation is a huge leap for him, especially since he only played 363 minutes with the Blaugrana.
And she took the initiative to threaten through the Juventus winger Federico Chiesa with a powerful shot from outside the area, which goalkeeper Unai Simon pushed away with difficulty (5), and another for Bastoni in the hands of Simon (6).
Spain succeeded in opening the scoring when Mikel Oyarsabal passed a cross from the left, followed by Torres Bimenah “on the fly” that hit the left post and hugged the net (17).
Spain almost added the second goal after two minutes when Marcos Alonso hit a ball “on the fly” with his left from the edge of the area that escaped the hands of Gianluigi Donnarumma and hit the right post and Bonucci dispersed it from the goal door to a corner that did not bear fruit (19).
Giovanni Di Lorenzo almost equalized with a header from close range that passed near the right post (27).
And deprived the left post Bernardeschi of equalizing when he responded his powerful creeping shot from inside the area after a counter-attack touched by goalkeeper Simon (34).
Insigne missed a golden opportunity to equalize when he received a ball on a plate from Emerson and hit it with the goal in front of him near the left post (35).
Spain responded with a counter-attack, which Oyarsabal ended with a creeping shot from inside the area, which was blocked by Donnarumma (37).
Italy’s ordeals increased by expelling its leader and defense pole Bonucci for receiving a second warning (41).
Insigne continued the series of wasting easy opportunities when he received a ball from Marco Verratti inside the area, and he shot it with his right from close range in the hands of Simon (45).
Torres strengthened Spain’s lead with a header from close range, after a cross pass from Oyarsabal, and made it to the right of Donnarumma (45 + 2).
Mancini played the cards of Manuel Locatelli and Moise Kean in the place of Verratti and Insigne, but Spain was the closest to strengthening with a header of Oyarsabal from close range that passed near the right post (63).
And Mancini paid Florentzo Ilegreni in place of Jorginho (64), before he played his last card by pushing Davide Calabria instead of Nicolo Barilla (71).
Donnarumma saved his goal from a third goal by blocking Alonso’s powerful shot from close range (78).
Italy managed to reduce the difference from a counter-attack, after which Chiesa kidnapped a header by substitute Yeremi Pino to Pau Torres, so he manipulated the latter and started from the middle of the field and penetrated into the area and passed it to Pellegrini coming from behind, so he followed it with his right into the empty goal (83).