Roberto Mancini Thrilled as Italy Cruise to Euro 2020 Knock-Outs with 100% Record

Italy finished their Euro 2020 group stage campaign with flying colors, overcoming a 10-man Wales side 1-0 at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday. The Italians have finished top of Group A with all three victories and a +7 goal difference, keeping a clean sheet in each match so far.

Italy went into proceedings hoping to register a first ‘perfect’ group stage campaign since Euro 2020. Roberto Mancini opted to rotate most of the team that hammered Turkey and Switzerland in the opening two fixtures of the tournament.

The deciding moment of the game took place in the 39th minute. Atalanta midfielder Matteo Pessina turned Marco Verratti’s pinpoint free-kick delivery into the bottom right corner to confirm Italy’s Euro dominance.

Mancini’s men assumed control of the match from the start and managed to keep a high tempo throughout all 90 minutes, restricting Wales to a single attempt on target. In fact, Gareth Bale and co produced just three shots for the entire game, barely managing to threaten Gianluigi Donnarumma.

On the other hand, Gli Azzurri created plenty of scoring chances but failed to capitalize on them, with Andrea Belotti, Federico Bernardeschi, and Federico Chiesa tormenting Wales’ defense throughout the whole match.

From the moment Wales midfielder Ethan Ampadu received a straight red in the 55th minute, the Dragons barely managed to get out of their own half, with Italy ramping up the pressure. The Euro 2000 runners-up have reached the knock-outs full of confidence as they arguably showed most of all 24 participants.

Meanwhile, Wales will be satisfied with the outcome as they progressed from the group stage despite losing their first match at the tournament.

Mancini insisted in the post-match interview that his players have the right mentality and understand the philosophy despite massive squad rotations against Wales.

The guys are very clever, and they wanted to win every game. They have a good mentality,’ said Mancini after Matteo Pessina’s 39th-minute goal secured the Azzurri a third straight win,” he said as relayed by the Daily Mail.

I’m very happy also for this reason because we changed eight players and we played a very good game. 

The identity has remained the same and I think it is important. I say that changing a few players shouldn’t change anything because everyone knows what they have to do, and the product doesn’t change.