Men's Team

Super Torres scores twice as Spain end Italy's unbeaten run

Super Torres scores twice as Spain end Italy's unbeaten run
Ferran Torres continued his prolific form for Spain with two superb goals to end Italy's 37-match unbeaten run in the UEFA Nations League semi-final.

Torres struck twice in the first-half, as Spain won 2-1, with the 10-man Italians pulling a late goal back.

The Euro 2020 champions were often second-best against a rejuvenated Spanish side and when Torres fired his first of the evening on 17 minutes, it was no more than Luis Enrique’s side deserved.

With many in the San Siro crowd jeering Gianluigi Donnarumma who left Serie A to join Paris Saint-Germain, there was an uneasy atmosphere that seemed to affect the Italy players.

And when Mikel Oyarzabal scampered down the left, his waste-high cross into the box was expertly steered into the bottom right corner on the volley by Torres who bagged his 11th international goal in only his 21st appearance for his country.

His movement and speed again demonstrated just what a talent the City forward is.

Then, seconds after Italy restarted, Torres was again involved as the ball eventually found its way to Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso whose shot saw the under-fire Donnarumma fumble onto the post and Leonardo Bonucci somehow managed to hook the ball clear.

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The hosts' hopes were dealt a major blow when, five minutes before the break, Bonucci was dismissed after receiving a second yellow card.

No doubt, the negative atmosphere in Milan was unsettling the home side and in first half added time, the irrepressible Torres struck again.

It was again Real Sociedad winger Oyarzabal who supplied the cross with Torres cleverly directing his header into the left corner, wrong-footing Donnarumma to make it 2-0 and take his tally to an even more impressive 12 in 21 appearances.

It also pulled him level with Erling Braut Haaland as the Nations League top scorer with six to date.

Torres again showed brilliant awareness and movement as his reputation on the international stage continues to flourish.

Oyarzabal, who plays alongside legendary City playmaker David Silva at Sociedad, had ironically made two goals for the man who took on Silva’s coveted No.21 shirt at City!

And Oyarzabal’s number for Spain? 21...

Aymeric Laporte was rarely troubled as Italy showed little of the verve or dynamism that ended England’s dreams of silverware last summer.

In-form Rodrigo spent the game on the bench.

Torres lasted just four minutes of the second-half, when a heavy challenge from Chelsea's Jorginho ended hopes of another international hat-trick, though thankfully,  the injury didn't look too serious. 

Spain were much the better team for large periods, pressing high and moving the ball quickly against an Italian side who were often outplayed and out of sorts.

But to their credit, the Italians rallied towards the end of the game with Lorenzo Pellegrini halving the deficit - but it was too little, too late.

La Roja will now play the winner of Belgium v France in Sunday's final.

It was the Azzurri's first ever loss at the San Siro an only Roberto Mancini's third loss as Italy boss in 43 games.

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