After Italy overcame Belgium 2-1 in a thrilling Euro 2020 quarterfinal clash in Munich on Friday night, July 2, 202, Completesports.com takes a look at FIVE takeaways from the top of the bill encounter.
Half fit Kevin De Bruyne Impressed
The Manchester City star is undoubtedly one of Belgium’s key performers with his huge influence on the team.
But it was evident that it was a half fit De Bruyne that graced this year’s European Championship.
Try as much as he could to push the Red Devils on, his troubled ankle problem just won’t allow him influence the game the way he would have love to.
Italy’s Intensity Unrivalled
If there is one aspect of the Italian that is yet to be matched in this year’s Euros, it is their intensity.
Just like the other teams before them, Belgium became the latest victims of the intensity of the Italians.
This aspect of their game has contributed to their progress to the last four where they will take on Spain.
Whether Spain have what it takes to withstand what the Italians will present remains to be seen.
Young Jeremy Doku – A Proven Bright Prospect For Belgian Football
If there is one thing the Belgians should take consolation from the defeat to Italy it is the fact that the future is bright for their football.
This is evident following the impressive performance of 19-year-old winger, Jeremy Doku.
Despite his young age Doku gave a good account of himself throughout the feisty encounter.
And one person who could testify to the talent of Doku is Giovanni Di Lorenzo who was given a torrid time.
The youngster had a hand in Belgium’s goal as he was fouled by Di Lorenzo which resulted in the penalty.
Return of Italian Cantenacio [The Chain]
If there is one thing the Italians reminded everyone, it is the fact that they’ve not forgotten the art of defending with their famous defensive tactic called Cantenacio [The Chain].
The Italians have been known for decades their ability to defend a lead no matter the amount of pressure from the opposition.
And that was in full display on Friday after Belgium halved the deficit from the penalty spot few minutes to the end of the first half.
On resumption Belgium went all out to level the score but could not break down a well drilled defensive unit.
Italy Now Hot Favourites For Euro 2020 Title
Right from the group stage, the Italians showed that they mean business as they swept all before them.
In a tricky round of 16 clash against Austria, Roberto Mancini’s men still found a way to emerge victorious.
And against the number one ranked team in the world, Belgium, they once again proved their mettle.
It’s not just about the wins rather it’s the manner in which it were accomplished.
If there were doubts whether the Italians have what it takes to land a first European title since 1968, that doubts should have been erased now.
By James Agberebi
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