As we approach the business end of Euro 2020 with the semi-finals beginning tomorrow, several Manchester City stars were on display in another enthralling matchday that set up the tournament’s last four.
Italy 2-1 Belgium: Kevin De Bruyne
Despite being injured, De Bruyne started and played the full 90 minutes for the Red Devils in a difficult defeat to Italy in the quarterfinals’ most high-profile match. De Bruyne was influential, often leading his team forward on the break and creating much of the danger on Gianluigi Donnarumma’s goal. However, in the end, it will go down as a disappointing elimination for Belgium’s golden generation, which had a real chance to win this tournament without facing the likes of Germany or France, having already beaten reigning champions Portugal. As their stars continue to age, questions will surround manager Roberto Martínez before a quick turnaround for the 2022 Qatar World Cup. That tournament will likely be Belgium and De Bruyne’s final chance to capture major silverware in this incredible era of talent.
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Spain 1-1 Switzerland (3-1 Pen): Aymeric Laporte, Rodri, Ferran Torres
In another incredibly dramatic match involving the Spanish, La Roja just managed a penalty shootout victory on the back of heroics from keeper Unai Simón. Following Simón’s shocking mistake in the last match against Croatia, this match was the continuation of a fantastic redemption story for the Athletic Bilbao keeper. Laporte and Torres both once again started for Spain, who took the lead through an early own goal before proving incapable of putting another past Yan Sommer. Rodri would later come off the bench, and was surprisingly chosen as Spain’s third penalty taker after scoring just one very unconvincing take for City this season. He would miss from the spot, as had fellow defensive midfielder Sergio Busquets, but in the end, the error did not cost Spain their place in the semi-finals. Spain will face Italy for the fourth straight Euros in a rematch of the 2012 final for a spot in this tournament’s conclusion.
England 4-0 Ukraine: Raheem Sterling, John Stones, Kyle Walker, Phil Foden, Oleksandr Zinchenko
After breaking their German curse in the round of 16, England firmly established themselves as the clear favorites on the weaker side of the bracket with a 4-0 thrashing of Oleksandr Zinchenko’s Ukraine. Stones, Walker, and Sterling all started for the Three Lions, with Sterling continuing his blistering run of form with an assist for Harry Kane’s opener. If England do go on and win the tournament, he will have a major case to be named this summer’s best player. For Ukraine, making the quarterfinals was an excellent result for Andriy Shevchenko’s men, although they will undoubtedly be disappointed in the result. Next, England will play an inspired Denmark who have made a surprise run to the semi-finals after sitting bottom of their group after matchday two with no points. Nevertheless, with the rest of the tournament on home soil at Wembley and difficulties for non-English fans to attend, England will rightly be massive favorites to advance and potentially win their first major tournament since the 1966 World Cup, which was also at home.