Half-Time Report: Italy 0-0 Spain… Barcelona youngster steals show

Italy ended the half in the same manner with which they started it – by clipping the woodwork.

It’s Emerson involved again, overlapping on to Insigne’s pass after Azpilicueta refused to allow the danger man on to his right foot.

The first half was tightly contested, with Spain seeing the majority of the ball but failing to put the Italians to the sword in a way their build-up play merited.

No goals as yet but it’s been an enthralling contest at Wembley. Spain have controlled possession, and have looked good going forward – until the final ball.

As ever, Italy have threatened with pace and aggression, and have twice come close to taking advantage of hesitation in the Spanish defence.

The performance of 18-year-old Pedri, at the heart of the Spanish midfield, had everyone watching swooning, however.
The Barcelona starlet has had an incredible tournament, nerveless on the biggest stage.

Pedri has completed all 31 passes that he’s attempted in the first half versus Italy.

His 31 successful passes are also more than any Italian player in the match so far

Alvaro Morata DROPPED as Italy and Spain release their line-ups in Euro 2020 semi final clash

Luis Enrique has named his starting lineup for La Roja’s titanic Euro 2020 semi-final with Italy, and there’s a big shock; Alvaro Morata, the man the Asturian has backed to the hilt this summer, has been left out, with Mikel Oyarzabal preferred.

The first Euro 2020 semi-final kicks off at Wembley tonight with Roberto Mancini’s impressive Italy locking horns with Spain.

Enrique’s third change sees Eric Garcia in for Pau Torres, and partnering up with Manchester City clubmate Aymeric Laporte in central defence.

Sergio Busquets captains the side on his 126th appearance for his country, sitting in the heart of Spain’s 4-3-3 formation.

Mancini brought in Emerson to replace injured talisman Leonardo Spinazzola; otherwise there were no surprises.

Italy swept aside Belgium with a 2-1 victory in the quarter-finals while Spain needed penalties to see of a gritty Switzerland performance. The Spaniards will be hoping to avoid having to play another extra 30 minutes of football tonight.

The Azzuri are returning to Wembley after beating Austria in their last 16 tie – but they needed extra-time to progress with a 2-1 win. This will be Luis Enrique’s team’s first visit to London but they’ll be hoping to come back here for the final on Sunday.

Italy starting XI: Donnarumma, Di Lorenzo, Bonucci, Chiellini, Emerson, Barella, Jorginho, Verratti, Chiesa, Immobile, Insigne

Spain starting XI: Simon, Azpilicueta, Laporte, Garcia, Alba, Koke, Busquets, Pedri, Olmo, Torres, Oyarzabal

Manchester United receive transfer blow as free agent Sergio Ramos undergoes PSG medical today

Manchester United have received a huge transfer blow with Sergio Ramos set to have a medical at Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday, according to reports.

Ramos dramatically brought an end to his 16 trophy laden seasons in the Spanish capital when his contract expired at the end of last month.

The veteran centre back had previously been locked in talks over an extension with the club since the start of 2021 but no agreement was reached.

As well as United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Bayern Munich were all said to have been monitoring the Spaniard as his exit from Los Blancos became clear.

But it is Les Parisiens who have pulled ahead in the race for his signature.

He will have a medical with the Ligue 1 giants on Tuesday, according to ESPN.

And he will sign a two-year contract after Real only offered him one.

Ramos will land in Paris just hours after former Real Madrid team-mate Achraf Hakimi, 22, who is expected to join PSG in a £59.9million transfer from Inter Milan.

The Spain international is said to be on lower wages at PSG than the approximately £310,000-a-week he earmed at Madrid.

PSG sporting director Leonardo is said to have accelerated talks in the middle of June and progress has been made this week.

Maurizio Sarri identifies hurdle Jorginho must overcome to win Ballon d’Or

Lazio coach Maurizio Sarri said Jorginho should be a candidate for the Ballon d’Or ‘if he wins the European Championship’.

Jorginho has impressed with Chelsea and Italy this year, winning the Champions League at club level and helping the Azzurri to the semi-finals of EURO 2020.

Ahead of today’s match against Spain, his former coach at both Napoli and Chelsea praised the Brazilian-born midfielder.

“If he wins the European Championship, he is a candidate for the Ballon d’Or,” Sarri told SportItalia as cited by Football Italia.

“He’s a refined player and that’s why everyone doesn’t understand him.

“He makes everything seem easy, it’s his greatness. When I went to Chelsea, we managed to snatch him from Manchester City.

“At first it was hard to understand him, the fans, the journalist, now I see that he is appreciated. He was also the captain of Chelsea.”

The former Napoli coach spoke to the press for the first time since accepting the role at Lazio, as he signed a two-year deal to replace Simone Inzaghi at the Olimpico.

Chelsea battle Manchester United for French starlet

Chelsea have reportedly joined Manchester United in the race to prise French starlet Eduardo Camavinga away from Rennes.

With the midfielder having just one year left on his deal at Roazhon Park, the Ligue 1 side are expected to cash in on the 18-year-old.

The Red Devils are understood to be eyeing up an offer for the Les Bleus international, with transfer guru Fabrizio Romano claiming he could be available for as little as £26million.

It has been stated that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were making progress in their quest to lure the teenager to Old Trafford.

But according to Get French Football News, the player’s priority is to join Paris Saint-Germain, though they are yet to make a formal bid.