Italy reached the quarter finals of Euro 2020 on Saturday evening, needing extra-time to edge to a nervy 2-1 victory over Austria at Wembley Stadium.
Gli Azzurri started quickly, with Leonardo Spinazzola driving a shot wide of goal, and Nicolo Barella forcing a smart save from Austria goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann. Ciro Immobile allowed a good opportunity to go to waste by failing to control a pass when clean through on goal, as Roberto Mancini's side dominated without finding that killer touch.
Immobile then cracked a brilliant long-range strike off the post, but that was as close as they came in the first half, which ended all square. Austria looked dangerous at the beginning of the second half, and David Alaba wasted a great chance to take the lead, floating a free-kick just over the bar.
Marcel Sabitzer was next to go close, when his deflected strike fizzed just wide of the far post. And Marko Arnautovic eventually did hit the net with a header from an acute angle, but his effort was disallowed following a VAR check for offside.
The two sides ended the 90 minutes level, meaning extra-time was needed to separate them. It only took five minutes for Italy to find the long-awaited breakthrough, and when it arrived, it was a stunner.
Spinazzola floated a ball to the right-hand side of the penalty area, where Federico Chiesa was waiting. The Juventus star brought the ball down with his head, dipped inside and unleashed a fierce left-footed strike into the far corner of the net.
And Matteo Pessina crashed home from close range on 105 minutes to double Italy's lead.
Sasa Kalajdzic made Italy sweat in the final five minutes of the game after scoring a wonderful - fairly miraculous - diving header at the near post to make it 2-1, and that's how it finished.
Let's check out the player ratings from this Euro 2020 clash.
ITALY PLAYER RATINGS
1. Goalkeeper & Defenders
Gianluigi Donnarumma (GK) - 7/10 - Not tested in the first half, as Austria rarely ventured into the Italy penalty area. Tried to remain calm when heads were dropping around him, then made a brilliant save in extra time to keep Austria at bay.
Giovani Di Lorenzo (RB) - 6/10 - Had to keep an eye on the overlapping Alaba. Couldn't make many inroads going forward. Booked early in the second half. Out-jumped by Alaba for the disallowed goal.
Leonardo Bonucci (CB) - 7/10 - Got done for pace by Arnautovic in the first half, but the forward missed the target. A warning shot. Got a vital touch on a through ball to stop the striker running in on goal.
Francesco Acerbi (CB) - 7/10 - The ball-player from the back. Stepped out with the ball and passed vertically and incisively. Almost played the ball into his own net with a classic own goal. Donnarumma to the rescue.
Leonardo Spinazzola (LB) - 8/10 - Frightened the Austria defence with his pacy bursts into the opposition half. Flashed a shot wide on 11 minutes. Almost got an assist five minutes later. The most threatening player on the pitch. Beautiful assist for Chiesa's super strike.
Nicolo Barella (CM) - 6/10 - Crashed a low shot towards goal, and forced Bachmann to stick out a leg. The first shot on target. Booked for some backchat - shock. Lost his head in the second half and had to be subbed.
Jorginho (CM) - 7/10 - Strong in the tackle from the off. Misread a couple of passes and failed to cut the lanes. Lost a bit of control in the second half.
Marco Verratti (CM) - 6/10 - Buzzed around, twisting and turning to draw players in and then release the ball to teammates in better positions. Faded and perhaps looked to be lacking match fitness.
Domenico Berardi (RW) - 6/10 - Always tried to work a shooting angle on that left foot, but his path to goal was blocked, more often than not. Funny overhead-kick attempt.
Ciro Immobile (ST) - 6/10 - Couldn't get the ball to stick. Wasted a great chance by failing to control a high ball over the top. Crashed a long-range pile-driver off the post. Stunner.
Lorenzo Insigne (LW) - 6/10 - Tried a trademark curler when cutting in from the left, but couldn't hit the far corner. Not as his best.
Manuel Locatelli (CM) - 7/10
Matteo Pessina (CM) - 8/10 SUPER SUB! - Killed the game with a beautifully composed finish on his left foot.
Federico Chiesa (RW) - 8/10 SUPER SUB! - What a goal! Cut inside, took his time and buried his chance. Match-winner.
Andrea Belotti (ST) - 6/10
AUSTRIA PLAYER RATINGS
5. Goalkeeper & Defenders
Daniel Bachmann (GK) - 7/10 - Kept Austria level on 16 minutes with an expert reaction save to meet Barella's shot with a strong leg. Commanding throughout. No chance with Chiesa's belter.
Stefan Lainer (RB) - 7/10 - Did a good job on Insigne, limiting Italy's most creative star. Defended in a resolute and solid manner.
Aleksandar Dragovic (CB) - 7/10 - Spread play from the back to find Lainer and Laimer on the right. Was rarely threatened by Immobile, and forced the substitution.
Martin Hinteregger (CB) - 7/10 - Smashed into Barella on the halfway line and was lucky to avoid a booking. Late. Produced a great tackle to stop Berardi breaking forward. Excellent.
David Alaba (LB) - 7/10 - His teammates looked to find him a bit too often, forcing play down blocked avenues. Brilliant header to supply Arnautovic for his disallowed goal. Drawn out of position for Chiesa's strike and couldn't get across to block.
Xaver Schlager (CM) - 7/10 - Protected his backline well in the first half, and did well to stop Insigne from nipping inside. Set Austria on counter-attacks with clever first-time passes under pressure.
Florian Grillitsch (CM) - 7/10 - Combative and quick to sniff out danger, as Austria sat in and frustrated Italy. A strong presence in the middle of the park.
Marcel Sabitzer (AM) - 8/10 - Always alive to his side's counter-attacks, driving forward with the ball and darting into space. Not afraid of the dirty work, either.
Konrad Laimer (RW) - 7/10 - Had to defend against Spinazzola's dangerous runs, but caused issues of his own with some lightning speed.
Marko Arnautovic (ST) - 7/10 - Launched himself into a reckless challenge inside two minutes and earned a yellow card. Classic Arnie. Fired from distance, but his shot flew over the bar. Thought he'd opened the scoring, but VAR had other ideas.
Christoph Baumgartner (LW) - 6/10 - Produced a couple of nice touches early on, as Austria began brightly. Drew a foul from Verratti in a dangerous position. Took a nasty blow against the abs of Donnarumma.
Alessandro Schopf (CM) - 7/10
Sasa Kalajdzic (ST) - 7/10 - Scored a wonderful header deep into added time to give Austria some life.
Louis Schaub (AM) - 7/10 - Set up Austria's goal in added time.
Michael Gregoritsch (ST) - 6/10