Roberto Mancini boasts his ‘excellent’ Italy side ‘could have scored even more goals’ after seeing off Belgium and insists they are not ‘setting ourselves limits’ as they chase Euro 2020 glory
Roberto Mancini hailed his Italy heroes after they set up a Euro 2020 last-four tie with Spain by edging Belgium in one of the games of the tournament.
The former Manchester City boss guided Italy into their first major semi-final for nine years thanks to first-half goals from Nicolo Barella and Lorenzo Insigne. Romelu Lukaku’s penalty in stoppage time before the interval gave Belgium hope but Italy survived a second-half onslaught and will now face Spain at Wembley on Tuesday.
‘We’re not setting ourselves limits,’ said Mancini. ‘We want to do the maximum. There’s still a long way to go, there are two games left and we will see what happens.
Italy manager Roberto Mancini celebrates his team’s 2-1 victory over Belgium at Euro 2020
Mancini congratulates his players at the final whistle after they reached the semi-finals
‘We deserved to win. The players produced an excellent performance. We only suffered in the last 10 minutes and that was because we were really tired, we had given a lot. But we could have scored even more goals.
‘We’ll enjoy this win before we think about Spain. I congratulate my lads, who were superb. I was sure we were going to play really well.’
Kevin De Bruyne played the full game for Belgium despite suffering an ankle injury, but Eden Hazard could not recover in time.
Mancini’s side opened the scoring though Nicolo Barella (right) in the first half
Lorenzo Insigne celebrates adding Italy’s second with a wonder goal in a game where Mancini thought his side could have scored even more goals
Belgium coach Roberto Martinez avoided questions about his future, explaining that he could not consider such matters due to the disappointment of his side’s quarter-final exit.
He said: ‘This is a moment where it’s very difficult to talk about anything other than defeat. It’s too raw and I don’t want to say anything that could be emotional.
‘All I want to do is look back at the tournament, The players did nothing wrong, they did all they could to get us as far as we can. The feelings of disappointment and sadness are unfortunately what are in my head now.’
Belgium boss Roberto Martinez refused to be drawn into his future following defeat in Munich
Mancini though fears Leonardo Spinazzola’s injury is ‘pretty serious’ as he is pictured being carried off the pitch at the Allianz Arena
Some of the shine was taken off Italy’s win by an injury to the outstanding Leonardo Spinazzola, who was carried off in the second half.
Reports in Italy claim he has ruptured his Achilles tendon and could be sidelined for months. The Roma left-back was in tears as he left the field on a stretcher.
‘He’s been one of the best players of the tournament and we are so sad about what has happened, as it seems pretty serious,’ Mancini added.
Insigne’s goal – a curling effort from 25 yards – was one of the finest of the competition so far and earned the Napoli star the man-of-the-match award.
‘We want to get over the line above all for Spinazzola, because until now he has been decisive for us,’ Insigne said.