Italy beat Belgium 2-1 in Torino last night after two great goals from Barella and Berardi. This is their second big achievement this year after winning the Euro 2020 only a couple of months ago.
Belgium came into this match with a completely different attacking trio compared to last time. While De Bruyne stayed on the bench, Romelu Lukaku got injured, and Eden Hazard didn’t even make it onto the bench! Instead Batshuayi, Vanaken, and Saelemaekers took their spots. And Italy’s manager Roberto Mancini didn’t stay far behind in making changes as Ballon d’Or nominee Jorginho also stayed on the bench, just as the star of the semi-finals, Lorenzo Insigne, and they only came onto the pitch later on.
Belgium got to play around with the ball a lot more than the Azzurri, but the number of chances was pretty much the same on both sides. The 0-0 deadlock was broken as soon as the second half started. Nicolo Barella found the ball on the edge of the box after a corner kick and he beautifully placed it into the bottom left corner after taking the shot with the ball still in the air!
Belgium tried to equalize a couple of times as they hit the frame of the goal on three separate occasions but they couldn’t put it past Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma. Italy added the second goal from a penalty after Chiesa was fouled in the area. Domenico Berardi calmly put it into the net even though Courtois did get his hands on it.
The final goal of the game, and the only one for the Belgians, came in the 86th minute as De Bruyne found de Ketelaere with a simple pass and the midfielder squeezed the ball right in between Donnarumma’s legs.
“Our performance was really good. We have a lot of solutions and quality in midfield. All the lads did well. They were two excellent matches; the important thing is that the team continues to play well.” Roberto Mancini commented after the match as his team found their way back to winning ways. Their next match comes on the 12th of November against Switzerland in the World Cup qualifying.