After defeating Belgium 2-1 in Munich, Italy advanced to the Euro 2020 semi-finals.
Nicolo Barella and Lorenzo Insigne scored for the Azzurri, but Romelu Lukaku equalized from a penalty for the Red Devils.
All of the goals came in a tense first half, with opportunities flowing in at both ends, however the impetus was lost after the interval, with Roberto Martinez’s team appearing fatigued. Italy hung on to their lead and set up a semi-final meeting with Spain at Wembley, while Belgium faces another inquest after failing to win silverware for the second time.
Lukaku had a good chance to level the score, but his effort was saved on the line, and the Blues also came close.
Here are the player ratings:
Belgium Player Ratings
Despite his towering stature, Courtois had no chance with either of Italy’s goals tonight but won’t let that take anything away from his performance in goal otherwise.
Toby Alderweireld – 6/10
Italy’s fast-moving game had Alderweireld on his toes and the star came away with mixed success. Although he made two clearances and blocks each, the Spurs man failed to keep track of Insigne.
Thomas Vermaelen – 7/10
Besides that one moment when Vermaelen took some time before closing down Insigne for his goal, the Vissel Kobe centre-back was sound in defense. He completed four tackles and five interceptions, whilst also reading the game brilliantly to make four clearances.
Jan Vertonghen – 5/10
He gave away possession midway through the first-half which resulted in Italy’s opening goal and often looked suspect in his positioning. The weakest link in Belgium’s back-three.
Thomas Meunier – 7/10
Most of Belgium’s attack came from his side of the field as Meunier was full of vim and vigor. He didn’t renounce his defensive responsibilities while contributing to their attack, making four clearances and three interceptions.
Youri Tielemans – 6.5/10
The Leicester City star couldn’t influence the proceedings like he normally does, but worked hard on and off the ball to make something happen. He went into the referee’s book for catching Marco Veratti and was also the first Belgian player to be subbed in the second-half.
Axel Witsel – 5.5/10
Witsel struggled to cope with Italy’s pace at times but often helped his side build from the deep with his expansive passing range.
Thorgan Hazard – 5/10
Belgium’s match-winner against Portugal, Hazard was a peripheral figure today and couldn’t make any meaningful impact.
Kevin De Bruyne – 7.5/10
De Bruyne was unstoppable on the counter and even saw a venomous shot blocked in the first-half. He was easily the best player for Belgium for some time, creating three chances too, but faded in the final quarter of the match as the creative wizard appeared to run out of steam.
Jeremy Doku – 7.5/10
Another eye-catching performer for Belgium tonight, Doku struggled to get going early on, found his feet sooner rather than later, and ran hell for leather. He also won a penalty for Lukaku.
5 & 6 – Romelu Lukaku's penalty means that no Belgian player has scored more goals than him at either the European Championships (six) or the World Cup (five, level with Marc Wilmots). Imperious. #EURO2020 pic.twitter.com/T8dyTGf0rq— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) July 2, 2021
Nacer Chadli – 6/10
He almost created a chance just seconds after coming on but his cross was deflected over the bar. Another two minutes later, Chadli limped off with a muscle injury.
Dries Mertens – 6/10
The Napoli ace had only six touches on the ball in 21 minutes of action but still managed to create one chance.
Dennis Praet – 6/10
He replaced substitute Chadli in an enforced change but was barely seen in the game.