Alvaro Morata went from hero to zero at Wembley after rescuing extra time for Spain before missing a penalty in the shoot-out as Italy booked their place in the Euro 2020 final.
The Juventus loanee was left out of Spain’s starting line-up for the first time this tournament but made an impact from the bench by cancelling out Federico Chiesa’s superb curled opener 10 minutes from time as the game finished 1-1 after 90 minutes.
Neither side could find a way through in the additional period in what was a repeat of the 2012 final, which Spain won 4-0 for their third European title, though it was Italy who prevailed in Tuesday’s enthralling clash.
Morata’s penalty was saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma, paving the way for Jorginho to convert the winning spot-kick in a 4-2 shoot-out triumph, as Italy extended their unbeaten run to 33 games to set up a clash with either England or Denmark in Sunday’s final at the same ground.
Nicolo Barella chipped an audacious effort against the post early on, though the offside flag went up soon after, while Donnarumma was equal to Dani Olmo’s shot 10 minutes later from the only on-target effort of the first half.
Italy’s first shot of any note arrived just before half-time when Emerson’s angled drive clipped the top of the crossbar, their longest wait for a shot in a European Championship game since playing against the Netherlands at Euro 2000.
But it was Italy who opened the scoring after Donnarumma launched a counter following a spell of Spain pressure and, after Aymeric Laporte’s clearance fell to Chiesa, the Juventus winger took a few touches and picked out the bottom-right corner.
A couple of chances fell Spain’s way in quick succession after falling behind, but Mikel Oyarzabal somehow failed to make any contact with Koke’s cross and Olmo drilled a first-time shot just wide.
La Roja were good value for their equaliser when it arrived, though, with Morata – brought on after Chiesa’s goal – playing a one-two with Olmo and coolly slotting past Donnarumma to become Spain’s outright top-scoring player at the Euros with six goals.
Luis Enrique’s side had the better of extra time, with Italy seemingly happy to take a shoot-out, though they were given a scare when Domenico Berardi found the net before the offside flag went up.
Spain overcame Switzerland on penalties in the last round and looked good value to do likewise against Italy when Manuel Locatelli’s penalty was saved by Unai Simon.
However, Olmo blazed over from the next spot-kick and, after the next five penalties were converted, Morata’s weak effort was stopped by Donnarumma to set up Jorginho to coolly roll home the winning effort.
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