EURO 2020

Leonardo Bonucci Hails Italy vs Spain Euro 2020 Semi-Final Clash as the 'Toughest Game' He Has Ever Played

Ali Shibil Roshan
Bonucci has been impressive for Italy in the Euro 2020
Bonucci has been impressive for Italy in the Euro 2020 / Justin Tallis - Pool/Getty Images

Leonardo Bonucci has described Italy's Euro 2020 semi-final clash with Spain as the toughest game he has ever played.

Italy defeated Spain on penalties after the two sides could not be separated at the end of normal time and extra time. Federico Chiesa put Italy ahead with a sublime finish on the hour mark, before Alvaro Morata, on as a substitute, restored parity on 80 minutes, taking the game to extra time.

The scoreline remained the same at the end of extra time, which meant the game would be decided by penalties. Both teams missed their first kick, with Unai Simon saving Manuel Locatelli's attempt and Dani Olmo blazing over the bar.

Andrea Belotti, Gerard Moreno, Leonardo Bonucci, Thiago Alcantara and Federico Bernardeschi converted the next five kicks before Gianluigi Donnarumma saved Alvaro Morata's attempt. Jorginho stepped up to take Italy's fifth penalty, and coolly found the target with his trademark hop, skip and jump to book Gli Azzurri's place in the finals of Euro 2020.

After the match, Bonucci, who has been impressive for Roberto Mancini's side in this tournament, hailed the game as the toughest he has ever played.

"This is the toughest game I have ever played. I congratulate Spain for what they showed, but once again this Italy showed heart, determination and the ability to push through difficult moments and the lottery of penalties rewarded us," Bonucci told RAI Sport [via Football Italia].

"The victory you suffer for is always the most enjoyable one."

Meanwhile, Italy will face England or Denmark in the finals as they aim to clinch the UEFA European Championship for the first time since 1968.