Mancini: Italy need a 'great performance' to beat Spain
Italy coach Roberto Mancini is wary of the threat posed by Spain ahead of the two sides going head to head in the semi-finals of Euro 2020.
Italy coach Roberto Mancini is expecting a tough test from an "extraordinary" Spain side in the quarter-finals of Euro 2020.
The two teams go head to head at Wembley Stadium on Tuesday hoping to earn a place in the showpiece fixture of the tournament.
Spain have won just one of their five games en route to the last four in normal time – a group-stage victory over Slovakia that staved off the threat of an early exit.
But Italy have been altogether more convincing in winning each of their five outings without the need for extra time or penalties.
When it was put to him that many Italians believe their team is already in the final as a result of this strong form, Mancini replied: "I hope you get it right for once.
"It won't be easy. We need to put in a great performance. Spain are a top team, we are in the semi-finals, so it won't be easy.
"It will be a tough game, Spain are different from Belgium, but we will still face many difficulties.
"We suffered against Austria because of their aggressiveness and because it was the first game in the knockout stage.
"Spain have been extraordinary over the last few years, they have many young players and an excellent coach.
"Luis Enrique won the Champions League with Barcelona, but not only that. His Roma side played good football."
Immobile comes in for criticism
After scoring in Italy's opening two fixtures, Ciro Immobile has faced criticism for the two goalless games that have followed, particularly the quarter-final win over Belgium.
But Mancini has leapt to the defence of his striker, saying: "He is the Golden Boot, one of the best scorers of the last few years.
"Sometimes the most criticised are the decisive ones during the Euros or the World Cup."
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