Mancini manages his forces in the second half and lets all his players play: inside Raspadori, Castrovilli and, surprisingly, Sirigu instead of Donnarumma
Rome – It is a record-breaking national team that makes all of Italy smile. The 1-0 victory over Wales certifies Mancini’s wonderful journey on the Italian bench, with Pozzo’s record of consecutive useful results (30) equaled and with an en-plein in the Euro 2020 group by applause. Because the number of goals scored is 7, that of conceded goals is zero. And it has been like this for all of 2021 and beyond, with a team that no longer concedes a goal. Wales consoles themselves with the mathematical second place, because despite the victory of Turkey the goal difference is in their favor. A notable resistance, also seen half of the second half played in 10. This Italy surprised everyone, for its solidity and ability to form a group. With Mancini who put his own effort into making all his players play (third goalkeeper, Meret, apart): at the end of the race in the rookies of this European Catrovilli, Raspadori and surprise Sirigu. Group closed at 9 points, records achieved and enthusiasm – on the pitch, in the stands and from home – conquered throughout Italy. Now comes the best, Azzurri.
The Azzurri’s exultation for the goal
The chronicle of the first 45 ‘
Before kick-off the Welsh all knelt in memory of George Floyd. The first gesture for the Azzuri was Pessina, Bernardeschi, Belotti, Emerson Palmieri and Toloi. The other players from Italy did not participate. The first minutes are of study: neither team has raised the intensity yet, neither on one side nor on the other. At 12 ‘Bastoni throws deep for Belotti who, in a position on the edge of the offside, tries a flying shot in acrobatics: ball touched, nothing done. But Italy gives the first thrill to the defense of Wales. Chiesa’s insidious cross and a volley by Toloi deflected by Pessina in the middle of the area raise the pace of the match: now Mancini’s Italy pushes. The game does not take off, Wales seems to be satisfied with the draw, also because Switzerland is currently winning against Turkey. They put their head forward only on 23 ‘, with a good move on the left in which the Azzurri understand little. But the ball remains far from Donnarumma’s goal. On the overturning in front, Belotti still has the ball to carry Italy forward, but the diagonal shot is throttled. Switzerland doubles up against Turkey, Wales are now more afraid. And he tries for the first time a shot on goal from a corner, with Gunter’s gore ending high. The Azzurri respond with a diagonal right from Chiesa – still served with the tachometer by Bastoni – but Ampadu deflects for a corner. At 39 ‘Verratti draws the soft cross for Pessina’s winning deviation, with the first goal in the blue jersey in this European Championship. A soft deviation that brings Wales under and langes another golden boy of the blue midfield after Locatelli. Even Pessina, a few minutes later, in fact touches the double but this time the tovvo is not so precise. Teams at the interval.
Bellotti’s acrobatic intervention
The second half
The second half begins with a change planned by Mancini to let Bonucci catch his breath: out the Juventus defender, in Acerbi who had already collected minutes in the match against Switzerland, taking over from captain Chiellini. Verratti becomes the captain of the Azzurri. At 8 ‘on a free kick won by Belotti Bernardeschi looks for the goal from a sidereal distance: the left-hander ends up on the post. In the next action Acerbi misses but Ramsey devours the most important opportunity in Wales by losing himself in dribbling. At 10 ‘the referee draws the red direct to Ampadur who gives a stomp to Bernardeschi: Wales in 10. But who can smile with the news from the other field: Turkey scores against Switzerland, the decisive goal difference at this moment for second place improves. Before 20 ‘, Chiesa makes the right wing his own, hesitates and serves Belotti at the last useful moment for the attacker of Toro to be able to kick: Ward saves. Wales is close to par with Bale, Mancini makes a large turnover by bringing in Castrovilli, Raspadori, Cristante and above all Sirigu in the last minute in place of Donnarumma. It ends 1-0: the joy of Italy explodes.
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