Rodrigo and Laporte both started as Spain reached the Nations League final with a dramatic 2-1 victory over Italy.

The City duo played the entirety of the fixture at FC Twente Stadion, Enschede, as their nation reached Sunday’s showpiece with Croatia.

It came just five days after the pair helped City seal our first Champions League trophy, and the Treble in the process, with Rodrigo’s iconic goal in our 1-0 final victory over Inter securing the European crown.

And it was Luis de la Fuente’s side who made the perfect start when Leonardo Bonucci was caught on the ball by Yeremy Pino who then drove into the box and fired home on three minutes.


But Spain’s lead didn’t last long as Italy were awarded a penalty seven minutes later when Nicolo Zaniolo’s goalbound shot was blocked by the arm of Robin Le Normand – Ciro Immobile stepped up and made no mistake from the spot.

Clearly buoyed by their equaliser, Roberto Mancini’s side thought they had taken the lead midway through the first half when Arsenal’s Jorginho played an inch-perfect ball into the path of Davide Frattesi who slotted into the net.

However, after a short delay, Italy’s celebrations were cut short as the Sassuolo midfielder was judged to be offside by the video assistant referee.

The showdown was proving to be a fast-paced, end-to-end affair with Rodrigo next to come close when he expertly lost his marker at a corner, but directed his powerful header over the bar.

That proved to be the last action of the first half, but our Champions League final hero almost regained the lead for his side with an acrobatic bicycle kick which looped just over the bar after the interval. 


Spain ended Italy’s 37-game unbeaten run the last time the two sides met in the Nations League in 2021 with a 2-1 win, but it was the latter who would’ve taken the lead had it not been for Unai Simon who sprung to his left and prevented Nicolo Zaniolo effort from point blank range.

With the intensity of the match dropping by the minute, the tie looked set to go to extra-time, until Espanyol and former Newcastle striker Joselu poked home on the cusp of full-time.

Rodrigo and Laporte will now have the chance to add to their trophy cabinets when Spain face Croatia in the Nations League final on Sunday 18 June at Rotterdam’s Stadion Feijenoord (kick-off scheduled for 19:45 UK).