Leonardo Bonucci sent off for Italy after elbowing Spain star Sergio Busquets

Italy defender Leonardo Bonucci was sent off for elbowing Spain star Sergio Busquets during Italy's 2-1 defeat in the Nations League semi-final on Wednesday evening.

Russian referee Sergei Karasev brandished the 34-year-old with a second yellow card just before half-time for a flailing arm when competing for the ball.

Having already been yellow carded for unsportsmanlike conduct, Bonucci received his marching orders when his arm connected with the face of Sergio Busquets whilst jumping for a header.

The red card effectively ended Italy's hopes of progressing to the final with Spain scoring immediately after to put the tie to bed.

Spain will face either Belgium or France with the second semi-final scheduled to take place on Thursday evening.

A no-nonsense defender Bonucci has been a constant presence in the Italian backline, often seen partnering Giorgio Chiellini for both club and country.

The Juventus centre-back was a crucial figure in the Azzurri's Euro 2020 winning team, scoring the 67th-minute equaliser from a corner before the game was decided via a penalty shootout.

With the shootout at 2-1, Bonucci buried his penalty to put pressure on England's spot-kick takers; Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka all missed from 12-yards to hand the title to Italy.

Was Leonardo Bonucci right to receive a red card for his challenge on Sergio Busquets? Let us know in the comments section.

Don't miss a thing with our football updates!

Want to be on the ball with all of the latest football news?

Well then sign up for the brilliant Daily Star football email newsletter!

From the latest transfer news to the agenda-setting stories, get it all in your email inbox – don't miss a thing.

How do you sign up?

It only takes a matter of seconds.

Simply type your email address into the box at the top of this article and hit 'subscribe'.

And that's it, job done. You'll receive an email with all of the top news stories every single morning.

You can find out more information on our email newsletter on this link here.

But the veteran defender has gone from hero to zero, receiving a red card against Spain to end their hopes of Nations League glory and a historic double.

Founded in 2018 with the aim of lessening meaningless friendlies, the Nations League provides smaller nations with an alternate route to the European Championship and World Cup finals.

The tournament also provides, though, the chance for the higher-ranked countries to compete for silverware with Portugal winning the inaugural crown three years ago.

Source: Read Full Article