Home Sports Hungary-Italy 0-2: Azzurri in the Nations League semifinals

Hungary-Italy 0-2: Azzurri in the Nations League semifinals

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Hungary-Italy 0-2: Azzurri in the Nations League semifinals

Raspadori scores in the first half, Dimarco doubles in the second half. Then Donnarumma saves everything and Mancini’s national team overtakes Rossi’s in the decisive match for qualification

by our correspondent Fabio Licari

The world upside down. The World Cup upside down. The derelict Italy, in crisis, outside Qatar, goes to take the Nations League Final Four in Hungary, against the executioners of Germany and England but who just can’t score points against us. It is the Italy of Raspadori, still on the mark, the Italy of Dimarco who signs the deserved 2-0 with yet another inexhaustible race that earned him the left winger without “if” and without “but”. Above all, it is Donnarumma’s Italy that opposes the Hungarians with at least three inhuman saves: at least one goal for Marco Rossi’s team would have deserved it, but the Azzurri, as well as visibly superior as long as the physique held up, played a judicious match , taking advantage of the mistakes of the rivals (first goal), hitting in speed in the spaces (the second) and defending himself protected by SuperGigio. Finals, seeded in the Euro 2024 draw, a step forward in the Fifa ranking (6th) and an injection of confidence not to be wasted. We are not in the World Cup, but we are in the World Cup. And perhaps Mancini, inspired in his choices, has taken over Italy.


It soon becomes clear that the Azzurri can also take the game. Hungary feels the appointment with history, does not even realize how it has come to a point from the finals, and gets caught up in emotion. Italy is in good shape, Mancini confirmed the 3-5-2 at San Siro with only one change, Gnonto for Scamacca: an attack by fast little guys that will be the key to unhinging the result in the 27th minute, taking advantage of two serious mistakes of the Hungarian defense. Two wrong back passes by Attila Szalai first, and Nagy, the worst, to the goalkeeper later: Gnonto pounces on the ball, prevents Gulacsi from taking it, while Raspadori moves into the area with class, finding the space for the 1-0, the second goal in two games, the fifth in blue. It is becoming his national team.

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Rossi idea

Rossi tried to upset the cards, practically deploying two totally different systems that for a while surprised the Azzurri. When Hungary defends themselves, the 3-4-2-1 trademark is clearly seen. As soon as the ball is won, however, it quickly transforms into 4-3-3, with the two outside players (Fiola and Kerkez) who become wings and one of the two midfielders, Schafer, who improvises himself as second stopper, moving the stopper Attila to left-back. Szalai.

Gnonto struggles

But in front of us there is a decidedly more aggressive and convincing Italy. Cristante better next to Jorginho and above all Di Lorenzo in Napoli condition: a save in defense and two great scoring chances. Once underneath, Hungary goes back to the old, with no more variations on the theme, and is compacted defensively in less than twenty meters in midfield, blocking the way for the Azzurri who in the end concede two dangerous forays. What convinces less, aggression on the goal aside, is Gnonto who does not hold a ball and does not find a position.

Donnarumma super

There is no stopping even in the second half. It is played at a crazy pace because Hungary does not want to miss the opportunity and goes on the attack en masse, it is very different from the usual one. Here Donnarumma is exalted, making three or four science fiction saves on Szoboszlai, Adam Szalai (one after the other) and twice Styles, the newcomer who changes the Hungarian median. Naturally these attacks open spaces that Italy takes advantage of in the 7 ‘with one of those old times actions, verticalization of Barella, entry into the area and cross from the bottom of Cristante from the right, and Dimarco who arrives from the left like a train and slips the 2-0 (the goal number 1500 of the national team). The last half hour is only suffering, with a working-class Italy that closes well but never manages to restart, not even with the new Scamacca and Gabbiadini. As the minutes pass, the Hungarian assault also fades. Italy at the “finals”. The world upside down.

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