When the night gets deep, dark, sad, Italy He wakes up. One time empty and without anything, another under attack. The result is a defeat that was embarrassing in the first half, but widens the line of regret in the second half. And the harsh reaction, albeit not always clear, that Mancini has to restart. Rebirth will be a long and winding road and before we think about winning the Nations League in the Netherlands in June, we have to worry about going to Germany in the summer of 2024 to defend the European title. But courage is the flame that should warm the coach’s heart along with the debut of Mateo Retegui. The Argentine draws, with only three training sessions together with his new companions, the goal of the illusion. The bitterness remains about the defeat, the first in the European qualifying round after 14 wins in a row. And the certainty that nothing wrong has to happen from now on.
English domain, Kane sets a record
England, at least in the first half, is different from the one we beat at Wembley and pushed into League B of the Nations League. The World Cup in Qatar, where they lost unfairly to finalist France in the quarterfinals, helped the Lions grow in awareness and experience. And on the lawn of Fuorigrotta, after a poignant choreography in memory of Vialli, the Southgate gang retaliates. Until the break he has strength and conviction. Then he shows the usual side B, presumption, arrogance, even fear. Southgate, condemned to live on the edge of the abyss and in the distrust of his people, delivers the Tre Leoni a breathtaking victory that has been missing in Italy since ’61. Rice opens, Kane doubles on a sunset penalty kick of the first half, his fifty-fourth goal, one more than Rooney, like no other in history and Grealish lost the 3-0 into an empty net. But after that it’s a different story.
Italy small and fragile
Italy until the break is small and fragile, with a defense suffering from the heavy absence of Bonucci, Bastoni and Dimarco, three holders and with Toloi and Acerbi, makeshift power station that sinks as soon as the British show their teeth. But nothing works in Mancio’s team, who gave way to English counter-attacks after the 1-0: the Bellingham scooter arrived too late for Kane’s cross from the right after an unfortunate error by Acerbi in the build-up phase and Phillips stole the ball from the pale Jorginho through on the edge of the after . Kane’s penalty, caused by a handball from Di Lorenzo, lThe home idol is the captain’s 54th goal for his national team, one more than Rooney. A record that cements the Whites’ victory.
Italy changed its attitude in the second half. Two goals down and with nothing left to lose, he ups his pace, raises his center of gravity, always arrives first on second balls. After Retegui’s goal, propitiated by a perfect assist from Lorenzo Pellegrini, Mancini put in Politano and Cristante and then the very lively Gnonto and Tonali. But courage does not go hand in hand with clarity. The blue attack is a bit haphazard, with no opportunities. England gets a few scares but returns home with three gold points. Now we have to win in Malta. And Mancini has to think about his choices. There is a need for freshness, changes bring liveliness. For some European champions it is time to rest.
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