Spain ended European champions Italy’s world record 37-match unbeaten run on Wednesday as Ferran Torres scored twice in a 2-1 win at the San Siro stadium in their Nations League semi-final.
Spain will face the winners of Thursday’s other semi-final between France and Belgium, in Sunday’s decider.
Torres put Spain ahead in the 17th minute, steering a left-wing cross from Mikel Oyarzabal into the far corner past Italy keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.
Roberto Mancini’s side, who beat Spain on penalties in the Euro 2020 semi-final in July, found themselves down to 10 men in the 42nd minute when Leonardo Bonucci was sent off for a second yellow card after elbowing Sergio Busquets.
Torres then sent Luis Enrique’s side in with a two-goal lead at the break when he was left unattended to head in another fine cross from Oyarzabal.
Italy ensured a tense end to a quality match when they pulled a goal back, seven minutes from the end, as Enrico Chiesa took advantage of hesitant Spanish defending, broke from the halfway line to the box and then slipped the ball to substitute Lorenzo Pellegrini to convert.
The match was played in a strange atmosphere as AC Milan fans in the stadium harangued Italy goalkeeper Donnarumma throughout his return to the San Siro following his move to Paris Saint-Germain.
Donnarumma, who is considered one of the world’s best goalkeepers and won the Player of the Tournament award at the Euro, left Milan as a free agent in June and his departure left a bad taste in the mouth of supporters who loudly booed and whistled his every touch of the ball.