Italy beat Hungary in Nations League to top group

The game: 2-1

It’s a season that could have ended on a very bitter taste, after the slap received against Argentina at Wembley a week ago (0-3), but which will perhaps end on a note of hope for a Nazionale in full reconstruction, and which chained a second positive result in the League of Nations, this Tuesday in Cesena, against Hungary (2-1). Reassured by a promising draw against Germany (1-1, June 4), Italy confirmed its good intentions and its resources by logically beating the Hungarians who had been dominated for a long time, even if they were a little more dangerous at the end of the game.

With an eleven again very reworked by Roberto Mancini, where only Donnarumma, Spinazzola and Barella were holders during the victorious Euro last summer, the Nazionale quickly took the game to their account, even if the clear chances put time to arrive. But there was movement, desire and quality, on the Italian side, and it was on a nice strike from Barella (see below) that the European champion opened the scoring (30th). Already a scorer against Germany three days earlier, Lorenzo Pellegrini doubled the lead before the break, taking a cross from the restless Politano (45th) at the far post.

Hungary, who had beaten England on the first day, reduced the mark on the hour mark thanks to an own goal from the unfortunate Mancini, who tackled the center of Fiola under the helpless eyes of Donnarumma (61st ). The PSG goalkeeper then did what was necessary to preserve the victory, in particular on a strike from Sallai (69th), but Italy, who had found the crossbar on a good attempt by Politano (55th), did not stole his victory. With newfound confidence, she will now face England this Saturday in Wolverhampton.

The player: Barella was everywhere

Symbol of the first Mancini era, who had installed him as an irremovable starter in selection upon his arrival in May 2018, the Inter midfielder could well be a frame, too, of the second chapter of the life of coach of the “Mancio”, that of reconstruction after the failure of qualification for the World Cup in Qatar. Sometimes a little dull in recent months, Barella has found his legs to shine in midfield against the Hungarians and to score a nice goal, on a nice shot from 18 meters, from the right, after a good service from Spinazzola. It’s his eighth national team goal, making him the most prolific player under Mancini, tied with forwards Belotti and Immobile.


Alessio Zerbin, the young Naples striker loaned to Frosinone (Serie B), came into play in the 84th minute, is the 45th player launched by Roberto Mancini in selection since his arrival on the Nazionale bench in May 2018.

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