Spain end Italy’s undefeated streak to reach the UEFA Nations League final

(Football news) Spain defeated 10 man Italy 2-1 in the Nations League semi final. The loss ended Italy's 37 game unbeaten streak. Spain will play the winner of France Vs Belgium for the Nations League championship while Italy will play the loser for a third place finish.

Spain started the game in classic La Roja fashion with lots of possession and patient build up. They took the lead in the 17th minute after Mikel Oyarzabal set up Ferran Torres with a beautiful cross. Italy tried getting back into the game but Spain's low block and heavy press was making life very difficult for them. Things went from bad to worse when captain Leonardo Bonucci was sent off after picking up two yellow cards in 12 minutes. His first yellow card was for dissent while his second one was for a clumsy elbow hit. Roberto Mancini decided not to bring on a centre half which ended up costing his team. Ferran Torres scored his second with a header just before half time thanks to another sublime delivery from Mikel Oyarzabal

Mancini did make the necessary change by bringing on Giorgio Cheillini. Luis Enrique's side came with the clear tactic of sitting deep and breaking on the counter. Lorenzo Pellegrini did pull back a goal in the 83rd minute but the man disadvantage proved to be too much for the Italians. Federico Chiesa was the standout player for Italy, assisting the goal after a great run from the halfway line. His work rate and pressing in particular was commendable and drew applause from the San Siro crowd.

17-year-old midfielder Gavi had a dream international debut. Enrique took a big gamble by calling up and starting Gavi who has very little first team experience with Barcelona. The youngster repaid his manager's pace by dominating the midfield. Gavi was all over the pitch with his countless challenges and intricate passing. The performance of Gavi and Torres indicates a very bright future for Spanish football and there might be a new era of dominance for La Roja once again.

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