Italy – Greece: Italy’s Winning Streak Continues But Work Stays In Progress (2-0)
Italy’s dominant possession share was not met by a dominant offensive performance, as has been the case for Mancini’s men’s in their latest outings. Greece, on the other hand, put up a diligent defensive performance but struggled to do anything notable on the ball.
Tactical analysis and match report by Kareem Bianchi.
Italy stood in a commanding position when they faced Greece in what could have settled their European Championship Qualifiers three games beforehand, launching them into Euro 2020. Seven wins from the same number of games certified Italy’s superiority over their competitors, but not all has been smooth for Roberto Mancini’s men. More than once did their opponents push the four-time World Cup Winners with their back against the wall. It has become something of a routine for Italy to start slowly, often falling prey to their rivals, only for them to progressively grow into the game when the stakes are raised.
Although performances have not always been an accurate representation of the happenings on the pitch, the positive results have given the Italy staff and players the time to work without the burden of pressure his predecessors had to deal with. For what probably was the most important game in the new managerial spell thus far, Mancini went with the most classic of elevens, only making changes in defense. Leonardo Bonucci and Jorginho started as the untouchables of Mancini’s roster. Danilo D’Ambrosio, Francesco Acerbi, and Leonardo Spinazzola joined the Juventus defender to complete the backline following their club performances while Nicolò Barella and Marco Verratti started alongside Chelsea’s regista. Ahead of them, Federico Chiesa won the race into the starting lineup against Federico . . .