On Saturday night, Italy recorded a 2-1 win over Belgium in the quarter-finals of Euro 2020. The Azzurri will now face Spain in the semi-final after Luis Enrique’s team defeated Switzerland on penalty kicks after a 1-1 draw in normal and extra time.
The game was certainly great for neutral with both teams attempting to attack with real venom. In the end, Italy deserved their victory and will now be fancied to go all the way in the competition.
No longer just a stellar defensive force
When it comes to defending, Italian teams have a long-established reputation for being defensively solid. Roberto Mancini’s current team is living up to that reputation. The Azzurri have conceded just once in their last 13 games in 90 minutes. That only goal came from a Romelu Lukaku penalty kick late in the first half of yesterday’s gripping encounter.
With Italy, you assume that it would be their defensive play that has got them through to the semi-finals. However, it has not only been the Italians rock-solid defence that has got them this far, as the current team is exciting to watch at the other end of the pitch.
The likes of Lorenzo Insigne, Nicola Barella and Federico Chiesa have been impressive for the Azzurri during Euro 2020, giving their team the attacking thrust to go with the solidity that Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini offer at the back. Mancini has found just the right balance between defence and attack in recent months.
Mancini has turned the Italian team around
Former Manchester City head coach has enjoyed an impressive tenure so far. Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup in 2018. It was their first failure to qualify for a World Cup since 1958. Mancini arrived as head coach in May of 2018. He has since revived the Azzurri’s international fortunes.
A record of 28 wins in 37 matches in charge is impressive, especially considering that his team has suffered just two defeats in his tenure. The win over Belgium means that Mancini’s team are unbeaten in 32 international games. On current form, it would not be a major surprise if that undefeated run continued until the end of Euro 2020.
Mancini has had a hand in many managerial successes in club football, including helping Manchester City to their first-ever Premier League title. Winning Euro 2020 will arguably be the biggest triumph of his career so far.
Italy seem to have everything needed to win Euro 2020
From their displays so far at Euro 2020, Italy seems to have all the qualities needed to be successful at the European Championships. Solid in defence, dangerous in attack and as is usually the case their game management has been highly effective, even if some of their tactics have been questionable at times.
All in all, it is going to be difficult for any team to stop Italy at Euro 2020. The Azzurri have only won the European Championships on one occasion back in 1968. Mancini and his team now have a massive opportunity to come out on top at another European Championships, which was unthinkable after failing to qualify for World Cup 2018.
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Can Italy go all the way and win Euro 2020?