Luciano Spalletti Delivers Brutal Assessment of Italy Defeat to Spain

Italy head coach Luciano Spalletti has delivered his verdict on a dreadful 1-0 defeat to Spain in the second round of Euro 2024. Despite what the scoreline may suggest, Luis de la Fuente’s men trounced the reigning European champions and were unlucky to finish the game with a single goal.

Whether it was Spalletti’s intentional choice to keep his lines deep or Spain simply had a better night, only one team played in Gelsenkirchen on Thursday night. Gianluigi Donnarumma’s heroics between the sticks were the only reason Italy walked away with a narrow loss. Last night’s performance cast a large shadow on the Italians’ lofty ambitions.

Asked to provide some answers, the Italy boss attributed Gli Azzurri’s wasteful game to ‘slow reactions’ and ‘Spain’s freshness.’

The difference was the freshness. They were quicker than us. We often had late readings,” Spalletti said, as quoted by Gianluca Di Marzio. “The key to the problem is always the same: we were below their level in terms of reaction. They were fresher than us and created problems for us with the quick choices.”

Italy spent most of the game chasing the ball. But when they had it, they looked clueless. Outpaced and outplayed, Gli Azzurri must improve against Croatia to secure a fifth consecutive progression into the European Championships knockout stages.

Luckily, after beating Albania in a curtain-raising fixture, a draw would suffice for Italy against bronze-medal winners at the 2022 World Cup. But based on last night’s showing, Spalletti’s lads can’t take anything for granted.

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