round of 16
Okkkkaaayyyy…. What a match it was. It took some time yesterday after the match to bring myself down to a calm state.
Some felt italy had not been tested during the group stage. Was that test yesterday? It certainly looked like it.
It was a game of halves…or I guess quarters… Italy was the better team in the first half and the first extra time.. Austria rattled Italy in the 2nd half and were the better team and I will say had the edge in the 2nd extra time.
The lack of physical size in some of the key players reared its ugly head yesterday. Play makers like Verratti seemed to be sprawled all over the pitch far too often. I understand he’s a playmaker but he hung on to the ball far too long. The ball movement had to be a lot quicker and it wasn’t. Italy needs to get back to that type of game.
Except for the woodwork he hit, Immobile was a non factor, ineffective all game long. Was this due to good defending?I don’t know. Maybe. But on many occasions he seemed hesitant as to what to do next.
Spinazzola continues to shine in this tournament on that left side. The two goals were nice but he is the reason the goals even happened. Brilliant. In the 2nd half, Austria seemed to have neutralized that side.
The substitutions couldn’t have come at a better time. They offered a bigger presence on the pitch and are the big reason Italy has moved on.
I gave the edge to Austria in the 2nd extra time but overall, Italy could have put the game to bed with all the squandered chances they had in the extra time.
Yesterdays match certainly put a scare into Italy. Some pundits are already changing their tune about the team. Some are making silly comments like the screen grab below.
I didn’t watch the video because my time is precious but it’s a really dumb comment but to each his own. It certainly wasn’t their best match but to say Italy gave very little? come on.
Nowadays when you put out something to the internet you risk the ‘that didn’t age well’ reply… and it almost happened for one of the tweets I put out…Neville thinks Italy doesn’t have enough to go all the way and he was almost proven right yesterday and can still be proven right.
I say that sometimes when a team has it too easy that they need a good slap to the back of the head and a wake up call. I think and hope that came yesterday in the form of Austria. Italy will regroup and will be better for it moving forward. Like Mancini, I still believe overall they were the better team and deserved advancing to the next stage. But a high five to Austria for their performance. Grit and determination.