Italy Urged to ‘Kill Games Off Earlier’

Italy star Federico Chiesa drew exciting comparisons between Saturday night’s win against Albania and the iconic Euro 2020 Final against England. In both matches, Gli Azzurri had to chase the deficit to come out on top and succeed each time.

A quick-fire double from Alessandro Bastoni and Nicolo Barella saw Italy overhaul Albania’s first-minute lead in a pivotal 2-1 win in their curtain-raising Euro 2024 fixture. It was a nightmarish start to their Group B journey as Nedim Bajrami fired the Albanians 1-0 up 23 seconds in.

However, Italy recovered quickly, turning the game on its head by the 16th minute. Chiesa wasn’t on the scoresheet, but his bursting runs down the left flank kept Albanian defenders occupied for most of the match. It wasn’t his most impressive showing, unlike three summers ago.

Chiesa was among the tournament’s standout performers as Italy silenced Wembley Stadium despite England’s early opener. Saturday’s encounter against Sylvinho’s side reminisced the wantaway Juventus winger of the memorable London showpiece.

I had some flashbacks of the EURO 2020 Final, but we did the same thing against England and Albania, which was dominating the game,” the Italy forward told Sky Sport Italia in the aftermath. “I think that early goal also shook us up, as we immediately went on the attack and, in my view, deserved to score a few more goals.

Chiesa conceded Italy danced on the edge toward the end of the game after failing to land a knockout punch on Albania.

We ran a bit of a risk at the end, at this level anything can happen. That is where we need to improve, killing off games that we are dominating.

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