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Winners and Losers from the Euro 2020 Semifinals

Sat 10 July 2021 | 16:30

How about we take a look at the winners and losers from the semifinals before we get to watch England clash with Italy in the final of Euro 2020? Follow us below as we analyze the best players and the best moments of the whole stage.

We simply couldn’t be any closer to the final of Euro 2020 as national teams and their supporters look set to kick off the match tomorrow. All eyes are on

England

and Italy, who have been preparing themselves well for one of the most important games in their respective history. The sheer excitement of the final edging closer than ever is enough for many fans as we await to see who will emerge victorious in the end.

The tournament has had it all so far, from a sudden cardiac arrest to horrible injuries, beautiful goals and unbelievable records, to historic controversies and memorable and dramatic moments. But while the former stages of Euro 2020 are already old news and obsolete, why not delve into the heart of the competition and take a closer look at the winners and losers from the semifinals and see which players were at the peak of their performance on the pitch.

Euro 2020 Semifinals: Winners, Losers, best players and top moments

We will first examine each national team’s performance and then introduce the best players of the semifinal stage, before finally taking a look at the best moments of each match in the stage.

Euro 2020 Semifinals: Winners and Losers

Here are the winners:

Winners

Euro 2020 semifinals saw

Italy

and then England go through to the final as the two nations proved to be the better side only after the full-time whistle. Italy looked to be strong contenders for the title itself from the very beginning of the tournament, topping their group and pushing aside their rivals with decisive victories. They eased past Turkey,

Switzerland

and Wales in the group stages, before clutching two 2-1 victories in the Round of 16 and the Quarterfinals against Austria and then Belgium respectively.

The Italians were confident that they would reach the final, even though they were drawn against Spain in the semifinals. In a tough match that saw Italy’s players get caught offside too many times due to Spanish defenders playing higher up the pitch than usual, Mancini’s men only managed to go through to the final after Spain botched their penalties in the penalty shootouts.

Even though Italy were eventually named the victors, there was really nothing to separate the two sides as they were equally able to hurt the other side. It was only down to how cold-blooded or unnerved players were during penalties.

Then came England’s turn to prove to the world that it is indeed “coming home”. While Italy looked like clear winners from the very beginning, England were not convincing enough in the group stages as they were dubbed the “nearly” team back then. Their Euro 2020 journey began with a narrow win over

Croatia

thanks to a goal from Raheem Sterling, followed by a disappointing goalless draw against Scotland and another 1-0 win over

Czech Republic

in matchday 3 of the group stage.

It was only after qualifying for the knockout rounds of Euro 2020 that England started to regain their form and confidence to put on a much better display on the pitch. Gareth Southgate and his men made history with a sweet and memorable 2-0 victory over

Germany

in the Round of 16, which sent the 2014 World Cup champions back home. They later ran a rout over Ukraine in the Quarterfinals with a decisive 4-0 win and then went on to meet Denmark in the semifinals.

Once again, just like the match between Italy and Spain, there was little to nothing to separate the two sides from each other. Both were putting in all they had got, with players of both sides being eager to prove a point. England fought to stand by their words “It’s coming home”, the phrase that has been ringing and buzzing in the ears of almost every football enthusiast and even every “muggle” out there.

With an obviously crucial home advantage, that has caused quite a controversy itself, England had most of the possession and had the most shots both on and off target. They were the ones who were mostly on the offensive throughout the match, but goals just didn’t come that easily. It is quite interesting that the only goal that England scored themselves was from the penalty spot, as their first goal came from an own goal by Denmark captain Simon Kjaer. Southgate’s men managed to beat Denmark 2-1 after the extra time and qualify for the final game of Euro 2020.

Losers

Spain

and Denmark were the ones who bowed out of the tournament in the semifinals after losing to Italy and England respectively. Even though Spain had reached the semifinal stage of Euro 2020, they didn’t perform much convincingly throughout the tournament, as they almost draw all of their games in the full 90 minutes, with the only exception being their 5-0 victory over Slovakia.

They drew 0-0 with

Sweden

, 1-1 with Poland, 3-3 with Croatia, whom they beat 5-3 in the extra-time and 1-1 with Switzerland, whom they beat 3-1 in the penalties. They even had to settle for a 1-1 draw in the full-time against Italy, to whom they eventually lost 4-2 in the penalties. Despite so many narrow victories throughout the tournament, Spain were seen as one of the main and strongest title contenders. But their hopes of reaching the final and even winning the title itself were dashed with a defeat against Italy.

Denmark on the other hand, were one of the surprise underdogs of the tournament alongside Czech Republic, with both nations proving that teamwork and chemistry is much more effective than the quality of the individuals. Denmark players, Danish supporters and of course everyone watching Denmark’s clash against Finland were horrified and worried for Christian Eriksen, who suffered a sudden cardiac arrest during the match and had to be revived by the medical team.

Such a bad luck is enough for anyone to lose their will to continue, but

Denmark

were not giving up so easily. Even though they eventually went on to lose 1-0 against Finland despite being the clear favorites and having most of the possession, they slowly bounced back from their first defeat and went on to become even better with each stage that passed.

They scored their first goal of the tournament in their 2-1 defeat against Belgium and later ran a rout over both Russia and Wales with 4-1 and 4-0 wins. The two underdogs Denmark and Czech Republic met in the quarterfinal, where Denmark clutched a 2-1 victory in the end. Once again, even though they went on to lose against England in the semifinals with an own goal and a controversial penalty in the first half of the extra time, Denmark were simply brilliant as their chemistry and teamwork could be used as prime examples during classes.

Many neutrals cheered for the underdogs, who were obviously Denmark because of England’s home advantage. But in the end, England’s several advantages and a number of controversial decisions from the match official led to Christian Eriksen’s teammates being eliminated from the tournament. Many believe that although they might not have won Euro 2020, but Denmark surely won our hearts.

Euro 2020 semifinals: Best players

While all players in such a stage are the best players of that national team, there are those who stood out in this stage in particular. Let’s see which players were the shining stars of their sides in the semifinals.

Italy

Italy faced a brick wall against Spain in the semis and they knew from the very first minutes of the game that they were going to need someone with the brains and the talent to clutch a victory or a draw against the side who were just too good at planting offside traps. That is when

Federico Chiesa

, son of former footballer Enrico Chiesa, Giorgio Chiellini, one of the greatest center-backs of all time and Gianluigi Donnarumma, Gigi Buffon’s true heir and successor came to the rescue. While Chiellini and Donnarumma ensured that Spain’s venomous attacks didn’t pass through the defense and their shots didn’t get past the goal line, it was all on Chiesa’s shoulders to score the first and only goal of his side in the normal time.

The three were simply amazing as they managed to keep Italy’s hopes of surviving and even going through to the final alive. While Donnarumma played the most vital part in saving a couple of penalties in the shootouts, it was Chiesa who shined for his country and did his nation proud by scoring yet another goal in Euros and getting the highest average rating amongst his teammates.

Spain

Let’s start with the obvious one on our list and say that Alvaro Morata was the star of Spain as he was the top goal scorer of his nation with 3 goals throughout the tournament. Even though in the end he turned out to be the downfall of his country with a botched penalty attempt that gave Italy the victory, Morata still deserves to be named amongst the best players of his nation, especially because he was the one who scored the equalizer and gave Spain some breathing room. Alongside Morata, two players caught the attention of everyone around the world, with one being Aymeric Laporte and the other being the young and aspiring

Pedri

.

While Laporte was under scrutiny since people did not believe he had faith in his nationality after the defender changed his allegiance from France to Spain, the 27-year-old silenced his doubters with a world-class and phenomenal performance against Italy, turning his side’s defense into a solid wall. With Laporte having carrying out his duties at the back, it was 18-year-old Pedri that earned the praise of almost everyone who watched him play in the semifinal.

The

Barcelona

wonderkid played the whole 120 minutes and even pushed as strong in the extra time as in the first and second halves of the game. People were simply speechless as Spain manager Luis Enrique heaped praise on his performance, claiming that he had never seen someone play like this, not even the great Andres Iniesta.

England

While most England players performed even less than mediocre in the Euro 2020 group stage, there was one particular footballer that was on top of his form from the very beginning and has been putting in all he has got into his game so far. You already know whom we are talking about, it’s obviously

Raheem Sterling

, who single-handedly got his country through to the Round of 16 with the two goals he scored in the group stage.

His performance in the semifinal against Denmark was truly exceptional as he forced Simon Kjaer’s hand as the defender ironically scored an own goal to stop Sterling from scoring a goal himself. Next to Sterling’s stellar performance throughout the Euros, stand Harry Maguire, Harry Kane and Bukayo Saka, who stood out amongst the already brilliant England squad in the match against Denmark. While Maguire kept everything nice and clear in the back with a solid performance, Bukayo Saka was the jack of all trades that appeared anywhere the manager needed him to be.

Harry Kane’s beautiful cross into the opposition’s box was the reason Sterling got inside and Denmark scored an own goal in the heat of passion. Even though the Tottenham striker’s initial penalty attempt was saved, he managed to put the ball into the back of the net on the rebound.

Denmark

As the clear underdogs, not many people believed in Denmark, even though many cheered for their success all around the world. With another phenomenal performance from the Danish squad, we got to see several footballers play a key part in making Denmark the formidable side that they were in the tournament. The shining star and the crown jewel of Denmark was without a doubt

Kasper Schmeichel

, who deserved to even win the Euro 2020.

Legendary Peter Schmeichel’s son Kasper’s performance was tremendous throughout the match as he kept his team’s hopes alive with several crucial saves. He kept a clean sheet for as long as he could and was only beaten by an own goal from Simon Kjaer and a rebound from Harry Kane’s penalty, the first attempt of which he saved with ease, despite lasers being pointed towards his eyes from the stands.

While Schmeichel was busy saving England’s attempts from going into his goal, Mikkel Damsgaard was the one who scored yet another brilliant goal in Euros by scoring his own, his nation’s and the tournament’s first goal from a direct free-kick. Even though he was dominated by Kyle Walker for the majority of the match, he still managed to cause trouble for the opposition. His stunning free-kick will be remembered by the Danish for generations.

Euro 2020 Semifinals: Top moments

Why not take a look at some of the most memorable moments from the games that went down in Euro history just a couple of days ago? Here are only a few of the top moments from the Euro 2020 Semifinals.

Chiellini’s mind games

Imagine being so good at the game that not only do you keep your cool, but you also play mind games on your opponent in an international game of such intensity. That is exactly what Giorgio Chiellini did when he and Spain captain

Jordi Alba

went towards the referees for a coin toss to decide where to take the penalties. We got to see one of the best moments in the game and the whole Euro 2020 when Chiellini first joyfully punched Alba, who had wrongfully claimed that the coin toss decision was in his favor instead of Chiellini’s.

Alba’s simple shot at playing a mediocre mind game on the Italian defender proved to be too weak as Chiellini retaliated with a much heavier blow. He simply humiliated Alba with is playful attitude, masked with compassion and unreal respect. Italy’s captain playfully punched, pushed and hugged Alba as if he were his younger brother, humiliating him all the way as Alba looked pissed. The mind tricks played a major part in once again winning the coin toss, which led to Chiellini choosing the side that had Italy’s supporters behind the goal.

Morata’s downfall

Alvaro Morata might have been his nation’s hero with all the goals he scored throughout the tournament, but he was the man at fault when Spain lost everything and got eliminated from Euro 2020 after the Juventus striker missed his chance to score from the penalty spot. The moment will go down in history as the time a player was both the idol and the enemy of a country.

England’s gift to Denmark

By now we all know about the horrifying moment of Christian Eriksen’s heart attack during Denmark’s clash against Finland, and we also know about the beautiful gesture that some nations made throughout Denmark’s journey in Euro 2020. Just like Wales and Belgium, England too made a kind gesture by gifting Denmark an England jersey signed by the whole squad, with Eriksen’s name on it.

The present, which was obviously in support of the 29-year-old attacking midfielder, was given by England captain Harry Kane to Denmark captain Simon Kjaer. Even though this moment had nothing to do with the game itself, we felt it was necessary to include such heartwarming gestures as well.

Harry Kane’s rebound

It was the moment the whole nation got up to celebrate. The moment that will live on through history and in the footballing halls of fame as one of the most memorable moments of all time for England. We are talking about the moment

Harry Kane

missed his initial attempt at scoring a penalty against Denmark, but quickly followed up with a lightning-fast rebound about which Schmeichel could do nothing.

This was the goal that got England through to the final and turned Harry Kane into the national hero that he deserved to be. We will have to wait and see if he will be able to do anything against Italy that could be even close to what he achieved against Denmark.

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