October 07, (THEWILL) – Spain cruised into the Nations League final thanks to a strong first-half display that included a brace from Ferran Torres and a red card for Leonardo Bonucci for a 2-1 victory that ended Italy’s world-record unbeaten run at 37 games.
The result means that in Sunday’s final, Spain will face either France or Belgium.
Despite the fact that Italy was the clear favourite, Spain gained control of the game early on, ransacking the right side of the home team’s defence. Mikel Oyarzabal crossed beautifully on 17 minutes, and Ferran Torres finished in a similar fashion. Oyarzabal then did the same in first-half injury-time, as did Torres.
In the meanwhile, Bonucci received two yellow cards, the first for dissent and the second for rushing into a challenge with Sergio Busquets with his forearm and elbow cocked.
Italy did not find it easy playing Spain in a semi-final two goals and one man down in the first period and Spain spent the second half distributing the ball while Italy was left ball-chasing. Both sides had chances, but Spain had more and were in control when Lorenzo Pellegrini completed a counter-attack by tapping home an 83rd-minute consolatory goal for Italy.
Spain, on the other hand, made good use of the remaining time and demonstrated, by their resolve and performance, that they had returned to reckoning as if they were ever absent. The team that will seek to beat them, will have to put in substantial effort.