Italy – Ukraine: Spalletti Gets His First Triumph With Italy (2-1)
Luciano Spalletti has opened his Italy account with a solid victory against Ukraine. The hosts looked in complete control in the first half, and even though Ukraine halved the deficit, they managed to maintain their lead until the final whistle, which is a marked improvement from their previous game against North Macedonia.
Tactical analysis and match report by Rahul Madhavan.
Following Roberto Mancini’s departure after a successful tenure, Italy managed to persuade Luciano Spalletti to assume the role of head coach. Spalletti, the mastermind behind Napoli’s first Serie A title in nearly three decades, initially contemplated a sabbatical but ultimately could not resist the allure of managing his national team.
However, his first game in charge proved challenging as Italy had to settle for a draw against North Macedonia. But three points against Ukraine would put them in a strong position to qualify for next year’s European Championship.
Spalletti continued with Gianluigi Donnarumma in goal, with Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Giorgio Scalvini, Alessandro Bastoni, and Federico Dimarco starting as the back four. The midfield trio consisted of Manuel Locatelli, Nicolò Barella, and Davide Frattesi. The trio upfront comprised Mattia Zaccagni, Nicolò Zaniolo on the wings and Giacomo Raspadori as striker.
Meanwhile, Ukraine are enjoying a solid start to their qualifying campaign, as they sit second ahead of Italy in the group. The 1-1 draw against England was certainly an impressive result, and they will look to continue their fine form. Nevertheless, their history against Italy has not been kind, as they have never managed to secure a victory in their eight prior encounters.
Sergey Rebrov stuck with his preferred 4-2-3-1 system, starting Heorhiy Bushchan in goal. Yukhym Konoplya, Illia Zabarnyi, Serhiy Kryvtsov, and . . .