MILAN (Reuters) -Spain ended European champions Italy’s world record 37-match unbeaten run as Ferran Torres scored twice in a 2-1 win at the San Siro stadium in an entertaining Nations League semi-final on Wednesday.
Italy, trailing by two goals at the break, had to play the entire second half with 10 men after captain Leonardo Bonucci was sent off but showed real determination as they sought to avoid their first loss since a September, 2018 defeat by Portugal.
“This what matches are like, sometimes certain episodes can influence them,” Italy coach Roberto Mancini said.
“This is a disappointment. We should have stayed with 11 men, we made a mistake that you can’t make at this level,” he added.
Spain will face the winners of Thursday’s semi-final between France and Belgium in Sunday’s decider.
Italy’s Donnarumma booed by Milan fans before Nations League match
Former AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma was booed by their fans as he returned to the San Siro stadium for Italy’s Nations League final four semi-final against Spain on Wednesday following his transfer to Paris St Germain.
Donnarumma joined the French club in July after six seasons in Milan and some supporters have not forgiven the 22-year-old for leaving.
The goalkeeper helped the Rossoneri finish second in Serie A last season to secure Champions League qualification for the first time since 2013-14 and also played a decisive role in Italy’s Euro 2020 success in July, where he was named Player of the Tournament.
Some fans unfurled a banner with the words “Donnarumma you are not going to be welcomed anymore in Milan” just outside the hotel where the Italian team was staying, Gazzetta dello Sport reported on Tuesday.
The Azzurri take on Spain in Milan before Belgium face France in Turin in the second semi-final on Thursday. The winners then meet in the final on Sunday. Italy beat Spain on penalties in the last four at Euro 2020.
Photo Ferran Torres (R) of Spain scores his second goal during the UEFA Nations League semi final soccer match between Italy and Spain in Milan, Italy, 06 October 2021. EPA-EFE/MATTEO BAZZI