In Seville the reigning champions try in every way, hit a post and in the end are beaten by a single shot on goal by Thorgan Hazard
FROM THE ENCOUNTER TO SEVILLE. Adiòs Ronaldo, Lukaku touches us. The last European night in Seville rejects the defending champion Portugal and its multi-primatist totem. His first dry run gives the green light to Belgium which instead hits at least the quarterfinals for the fourth time in a row since 2014, between the European and World Championships. Stopping him, Friday night in Monaco, for Mancini’s beautiful Italy would mean passing the final exams: are they or are they not the number 1 in the world, the Red Devils, who have never won anything? Said softly, the last two previous officials (European Championships 2000 and 2016) refer to 2-0 Azzurri. But now they are something else. And yesterday the confirmation was clear. When they are not beautiful, they are cynical: only one shot on goal and it was 1-0. With a “wrong” Hazard goal. The right one came out in the final bruised, like De Bruyne at the beginning of the second half: conditions to be evaluated towards Italy.
By the way: an evening without glory for the kings of the Serie A bomber, facing for the fourth time in 2021, 43 days after the last 3-2 win by Juve but with Inter already scudetto for two weeks. They both scored at the stadium. Even if Lukaku only on a penalty. Yesterday they did little, in a long boring tactical game that harnessed the much quality on paper possessed by the two rivals. Before returning as a gladiator in the second half after an opaque 1st half, Lukaku made himself noticed immediately, again setting the example in kneeling before the start. The hesitant Portuguese, including Ronaldo, followed him as well. Then, the start at a very slow pace. As the 30 ° in the evening and the importance of the stakes advised. Lots of mistakes, anyway. For the first conclusion in the mirror it was necessary to wait for the 25th minute: Ronaldo’s free-kick at last, deflected by Courtois. For the first corner, still Lusitanian, even the 40 ‘. Meanwhile, Belgium hadn’t even shot yet. He did it in the 42nd minute and it was a goal. Signed by Hazard, but not the one everyone knows, that is the captain who, against Finland, had returned from 1 ‘in the national team after 580 days. He came out of an ordeal that began immediately after the passage from Chelsea to Real Madrid, and made up of 11 stops, Covid included. Eden has a great desire, is on the right track, pulls out a few numbers of his own and returns as a master in the defense of the ball. The big shot, however, is found by his little brother Thorgan, 28 years against 30: poisonous right-footed just outside the box and Rui Patricio very surprised. With Dalot, the AC Milan player who when he was recalled for the positivity at Cancelo’s Covid was happy on holiday in Dubai, again very far away. With guilt this time.
After the goal, at least the game showed up, even nervous in the final. De Bruyne left early: touched hard at the end of the 1st half by the rude Palhinha, he asked for the change and Mertens entered, soon sent to that country by Lukaku for a busted pitch. Belgium has hardly been seen since. Because, after the grafts of Bruno Fernandes and the debut in the tournament of Joao Felix, Portugal finally raised the pressure but Jota and Felix wasted and Guerreiro in the 83rd minute was stopped by the post. No Ronaldo, no Portugal: this is the truth.
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