There is a reason why Italy’s dazzling 9-1 win over a modest Armenia selection is sending the whole world of calcio in raptures. Historically, the Italians have not exactly been known for their offensive style of play, their football credo being rather exemplified by the notorious catenaccio. Roberto Mancini is on a mission to change that perception.
Mission accomplished. Roberto Mancini and the Azzurri booked their ticket to Euro 2020 as they trailed Greece 2-0 in Rome on Saturday. It was a tougher match than expected for the Italian side, but winning was the only thing that mattered. The Azzurri did so by means of a penalty by Jorginho and a sharp conversion by Federico Bernardeschi.
Roberto Mancini’s Italy run fast towards Euro 2020. The Azzurri need only three more points to book a European Championship ticket as they won 1-2 in Finland on Sunday, with Jorginho giving the visitors the decisive lead, after conceding an equalizer to Teemu Pukki. Ciro Immobile had marked Italy’s opener to end his two-year scoring drought with the Nazionale jersey.
With more struggling than expected, Italy disposed of Armenia to grab their fifth win out of five Euro 2020 Qualification games. Tonight’s victory was propitiated by Andrea Belotti, who equalized for the Azzurri and eventually put his stamp on the third goal, after the hosts had taken an early lead. Lorenzo Pellegrini scored the second for Roberto Mancini’s band.
The Azzurrini did their job, but their fate doesn’t depend on them anymore. Luigi Di Biagio’s Under-21 selection defeated 3-1 an already-eliminated Belgian side on Saturday, but Spain’s simultaneous 5-0 routing of Poland qualified the young Furias Rojas as first from Group A of the U-21 European Championship. Chances for Italy to advance as best runner-up are dim.
Italy, it’s reality-check time already. A lone goal by Krystian Bielik gave Poland an unexpected win over Luigi Di Biagio’s Azzurrini in the second match of Group A of the U-21 European Championship. Italy are now at risk of missing the train to the next stage of the tournament. Even beating Belgium next Saturday could not be enough to book a place in the Semifinals.
Italy U-21 finally broke a spell made of multiple setbacks against the same-aged Spaniards, defeating Luis de la Fuentes’ side 3-1 on Sunday in their opening match in Group A of the U-21 European Championship. The young Azzurri came from behind to level Dani Ceballos’ lead with a double by Federico Chiesa, before setting the score with Lorenzo Pellegrini.
The Azzurri have learned to suffer. It was a battle with no quarter on Tuesday at the Allianz Stadium in Turin, where Italy knocked down Bosnia with goals by Lorenzo Insigne and Marco Verratti, coming from behind in the second half to neutralize Edin Dzeko’s opener. Roberto Mancini’s boys caught the fourth win in four Euro 2020 qualification games.
Brazil-Italy is the Superclasico of the World Cup, the most traditional game in the major football competition. The Azzurri and the Selecao have crossed their paths many times in the history of the world tournament, always with much at stake. On July 17, 1994, Brazil prevailed over Italy in the first World Cup Final decided on penalties to conquer the long-yearned-for “Tetra.”
Italy made it again to the Top Four. The Azzurrini beat Mali 4-2 today in Tychy, Poland to book a place in the Semifinals of the Under 20 World Cup, an achievement already reached two years ago by coach Paolo Nicolato’s squad. Italy’s next opponent on the way to the Final in Lodz will be Ukraine, which beat Colombia 1-0 earlier in the afternoon.
Grabbing six points in the two initial games of their Euro 2020 Qualifiers should be put in the right perspective: Group J is far from being a difficult one. Still, Italy’s 6-0 win over Liechtenstein last night, embellished by a double by Fabio Quagliarella and a new goal by young talent Moise Kean, was enough to warm the hearts of Italian supporters.
Roberto Mancini’s young Azzurri are off to a good start on their way to Euro 2020. Italy beat Finland 2-0 in Udine last night to pass their first test to win back access to the football aristocracy. Goals by Niccolo’ Barella and Moise Kean, whose combined age is 38, showed that the Italian coach’s work to rejuvenate the Belpaese football movement is starting to bear fruit.