Good news for those who are reassured by historical clichés, the Italians always know how to defend and bow down to better end up winning against, sometimes, more brilliant than them. The teammates of the indestructible captain Giorgio Chiellini (36) eliminated a Spain yet dominating in the semifinals (1-1 ap, 4-2 tab) of this Euro 2021, Tuesday July 6 in London. But no one will want to blame the winners for all that.
There is the result, the content and the intentions. Attractive and playful since the start of the tournament, the National has not reneged on the approach of a title that has resisted it since 1968. As for three years and the arrival of Roberto Mancini as coach, Italy has tried to produce this attractive game, marriage of taste transalpine for the tactical discipline with this ambition to control the ball, rather than to entrust the too exclusive guard to the adversary.
But in a festive Wembley – where 57,811 spectators almost made you forget the skyrocketing cases caused by the Delta variant in the country for a very good match – the Italians came across a little sharing Roja. With 70% possession of the ball and ten chances, Spain returned their opponent to their consummate art for the defensive effort. The great journalist and writer Gianni Brera also claimed that Italian football had for him a sense of organization and a taste for sacrifice dating back to the Roman armies.. And this is how, and not otherwise, that he loved and conceived him until his death in 1992.
Very useful qualities sometimes, like this Tuesday at Wembley. “It’s the toughest game I’ve ever played. My compliments to Spain for what they put on the ground ”, greeted the centurion Leonardo Bonucci (34) interviewed by the Rai. Roberto Mancini, who may have a secret to keeping his white shirt always crisp even after 120 minutes of placing and repositioning his players, acknowledged a sweaty and resilient semi-final on their part.. « We knew we would suffer in such a match. They put us in trouble. They are masters in controlling the ball. ”
“Football teams attack and defend”
At the Rai’s microphone, the former striker didn’t cut off a question about what would still look like “An Italian victory”. Short but relevant answer: “Football teams attack and defend. There is no such thing as teams that just attack. “For having lost the battle for midfield and ball control, Italy has therefore mainly defended.
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