Italy were on the back-foot the entire game, but this squad is built for it. A fantastic goalkeeper, hard-nosed defenders and some forwards who can counter at break-neck speeds. Italy are through to the final and here are some of the must-haves, and some that might give you an edge. Gianluigi Donnarumma is the man to have in between the sticks for Fantasy Managers and Roberto Mancini alike. He comes in a little higher than both Pickford and Schmeichel at 5.8 million, but he’s pound-for-pound the best showstopper. He’s not too bad at stopping penalties either.
Another must have is Federico Chiesa, at 7.4 million. He is likely to matchup with either Luke Shaw or Jan Boril in the final, having the advantage over both through simply his positioning or with his atleticism. In recent memory, goals aren’t really the norm in Finals and it will be prudent to invest more in defence through Emerson Palmieri at 5.5 million. Owned by just 3%, he can be a big differential in the Final.
Social Media Moments Of The Day
It was a game that looked rather unflattering through the 120 minutes, but penalty drama and plenty of Social Media chicanery made the day a memorable one.
First off, there’s no better place to start other than the return of the car. First seen at the opening game of the Euros the mini-volkswagen made its return on the Wembley turf, much to the joy of the masses.
The match of course was played at Wembley Stadium, the national stadium of ‘The Home Of Football’. This lead to a rather clever play of words as seen on an Italian fan’s banner pre-game.
The match was a rather dull affair, with Spain controlling the game and Italy countering effectively. Sure there was a quite aesthetically pleasing curler from Chiesa, but the real action came during the penalty shootout. Rather, it started during the toss where Jordi Alba was either dumbfounded or trying to be clever as he claimed he didn’t hear the Referees call for heads or tails. Chiellini, however was having none of it.
Impossible to end this section without acknowledging the sheer audacity of Jorginho’s penalty. A flawed style but when used on the uninitiated, a very effective one.
Player Of The Day
Look no further than Gianluigi Donnarumma, a 22-year old with the nations hope on his shoulders had the biggest cojones out of all 22 present on the pitch. He was immense throughout the 120 minutes, with his save from an Olmo shot that went through a pack of defenders being the pick of the bunch.
Good goalkeepers make saves, great goalkeepers make the difference and that’s exactly what Donnarumma did. His penalty shootout heroics will go down in Italian folklore, and what was most impressive is the fact he looked completely zen after saving them. In such an emotional game such as football, calmer heads don’t always prevail except this time they did.
Disappointment Of The Day
It looked inevitable straight from his arrival, that Alvaro Morata will have a big influence on the game. The problem being no-one knew who for. Well, after his equaliser in the 80th minute to make it 1-1 it looked like he had been the game changer Spain were lacking for much of the game. For the next 40 minutes of play it looked like Spain would capitalise on their momentum and win it. Alas, it wasn’t to be and the game went to penalties.
A couple of misses and saves later. Morata stepped up to tie it up all-over again. Never has a player so physically gifted, lacked the confidence and self-belief to achieve greatness and Morata’s miss signified that. Weak, wayward and in the end disastrous, Morata’s miss swung the tie in Italy’s favour. We have been through all the narratives for Morata in these 6 games. From out-of-form marksman, to a trustful leftenant for Enrique and in the end a Striker whose self-belief reached another low last night.