Italy have been one of the best teams in the group stage. The azzurri won and convinced, took possession and subdued the rival over and over again until they pierced the goal. They were clear victories, without suffering and with a display of power. Italy felt good, but it wasn’t Italy. The eighths have started and everything has changed. The selection led by Mancini has won in overtime, with suffering and with a goal annulled to Arnautovic by the VAR. They are already quarterfinalists of the Eurocup.
Let’s start at the beginning. Italy tried to continue the rhythm used until today in the tournament, but after a stick from Immobile, they faded away. They played well in the first half, but disappeared in the second. Austria played keys, surprised and was about to embitter the night for the Italians. Arnautovic scored with a header assisted by Alaba. The Austrian striker silenced the stands, but three minutes later, it was the VAR that silenced the celebration. The forward’s knee was offside. An advanced knee, in today’s football of scribes, technology and late goals, is annulled even if the lineman does not see it.
Italy did not react to the goal, despite Manicini’s changes and was still absent. It was reserved to give two consecutive claws in extra time. The first was in minute 94. Zappacosta crossed from the left profile, Pessina dragged Alaba and Chiesa received only on the right side of the small area. He controlled with his head, slashed his defender and fired at the far post. They weren’t dead, they were being reserved.
This was confirmed 10 minutes later. Pessina, Italy’s best player in extra time and maybe even in the game despite having been a substitute, scored the second goal. He found a lost ball inside the area and, from the left corner of the small area, I shoot the Austrians.
The match seemed decided for the Italians, but to beat the Italian you also have to suffer, even in extra time. So Austria scored, because there is no blowout without climax. Alaba threw a corner and Kalajdzic, on the plate, finished at the near post. There were six minutes left in the game, little or nothing to highlight. Italy awaits Belgium or Portugal in the quarterfinals. It will be your first big test.