Italy keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma was busier than he had been in four prior matches in the first half of his team’s Euro 2020 quarterfinal, but it was a Nicolò Barella goal vs Belgium that gave Italy the lead in the first half. The Barella goal was so great it cured Ciro Immobile’s leg, the striker miraculously getting up unharmed after having been seemingly shot in the leg moments earlier.
Italy, which had a Leonardo Bonucci goal disallowed by the VAR for offside, had plenty of defending to do against world No. 1 Belgium. But the Italians still surged forward as they have throughout the tournament.
In the 31st minute, they found a breakthrough that the VAR couldn’t take away.
Nicolò Barella Goal vs Belgium
Immobile fell to the pitch in the box claiming to have been clipped by a Belgian defender. As he lay in apparent agony, Marco Verratti stepped in to steal Belgium’s attempted clearance, quickly sending the ball on to Barella. The Inter Milan midfielder then surged past two defenders before ripping an unsavable shot inside the far post.
As soon as the ball flew in, Immobile decided he wasn’t actually injured and got up to celebrate with his teammates.
We see you, Ciro.
Lorenzo Insigne then made it 2-0 with a gorgeous curler when Belgium defenders decided against closing down on the winger who loves to cut inside and shoot.
¡Goooooooool de Italia! Golaaaaaazo de Insigne.Pero qué GO-LA-ZOOOOO. ¡Todos de pie y que se acabe esto! #BEL 0-2 #ITA#EuroTUDN I #VeranoDeCampeones I #EURO2020
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— TUDN USA (@TUDNUSA) July 2, 2021
But in one last twist, Belgium was awarded a penalty kick just before halftime. Romelu Lukaku powered a shot right down the middle to pull one back with the score 2-1 Italy at halftime.
Lukaku gives Belgium a lifeline!What a first half ️ pic.twitter.com/HFVIwjiCbA
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) July 2, 2021