Italy Boss Roberto Mancini Gives His Assessment of Nail-Biting Win Over Austria

Italy survived an extra-time drama to crash Austria out of Euro 2020 in a tense last-16 showdown at Wembley Stadium on Saturday night. During the post-match interview, Gli Azzurri boss Roberto Mancini offered his verdict on his side’s hard-earned victory over Das Team.

After a goalless 90 minutes, second-half substitute Federico Chiesa fired Italy to an early extra-time lead before Atalanta’s Matteo Pessina scored his second goal at Euro 2020 to put daylight between the sides. However, Stuttgart striker Sasa Kalajdzic brought Austria back into the match in the 114th minute.

Mancini’s men managed to shrug off pressure following Kalajdzic’s strike and hold their ground to advance to the quarter-finals. The Italian gaffer is adamant surviving a late scare in the first knock-out round might be a tougher test than facing either Belgium or Portugal in the quarter-finals.

It depends what you mean by winning ugly. I think it was a tough match,” he said, as relayed by Yahoo News. I think there were times when the team had to battle tooth and nail. This was a match of that type, and I did say before the game that it might have even been a tougher match than what we will face in the quarter-finals, because they (Austria) are a very tough side.

They run a great deal, but I think we had 26 shots on goal. It’s not like we had two. Perhaps we weren’t quite accurate enough, but I think when we had to battle the players were extraordinary.

I said so [that it could be tougher than the quarter-finals] because it was our first knockout match, so from a mental perspective you are already approaching things in a different way.

And despite the fact that Austria were considered simple opponents by a lot of people, Austria don’t lose easily. They cause problems for the opponents because they don’t allow you to play football. They press you, they defend well.