Spain Under-21s 3-1 Italy Under-21s: Saul nets hat-trick as La Rojita reach European Under-21 Championship final
Saul scored a hat-trick as Spain defeated Italy in Krakow
Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul scored a hat-trick to earn Spain Under-21s a 3-1 win over 10-man Italy and put them into the final of Euro 2017 against Germany.
Saul netted all three of his goals in the second half at the Marshal Jozef Pilsudski Stadium.
Following Saul’s opening goal early in the second half, Italy had Inter Milan midfielder Roberto Gagliardini sent off for a second booking.
Fiorentina winger Federico Bernardeschi pulled Italy level but Saul grabbed his second before putting the result beyond doubt with 16 minutes remaining.
Eight minutes into the second half Spain went ahead through Saul and they looked to be in command of the game five minutes later.
Gagliardini was shown a second yellow card by Slovenian referee Slavko Vincic but rather than wilt Italy struck back just four minutes later when Bernardeschi scored the equaliser from a pass by Sassuolo’s Lorenzo Pellegrini.
But their relief only lasted for a short time as three minutes later Saul scored his second of the game after being set up by Everton’s Gerard Deulofeu.
Any hopes Italy had of getting back into the game were snuffed out when Saul scored his third after 74 minutes.
Spain will face Germany in the final after they had earlier beaten England 4-3 on penalties as their semi-final had finished 2-2 after extra-time.