Italy are in the UEFA Nations League semi-final after their 2-0 victory away to Hungary in Monday’s League A, Group 3 clash.
Goals from Giacomo Raspadori and Federico Dimarco earned Italy the win which saw them top the group on 11 points, just a point ahead of Hungary.
The Azzurri knew only a victory would be enough to win the group and reach the Final Four, but they were missing numerous players including Ciro Immobile, Marco Verratti, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Matteo Politano, Sandro Tonali, Domenico Berardi, Lorenzo Insigne, Federico Chiesa, Alessandro Florenzi and Manuel Locatelli.
Italy almost took the lead after five minutes when Peter Gulasci horribly fumbled a Bryan Cristante cross and it was cleared off the line by Attila Szalai.
Giovanni Di Lorenzo nodded a Giacomo Raspadori free kick wide, but the deadlock was broken on 27 minutes after Italy’s high press forced a double error with Nicolò Barella from Attila Szalai and then Gnonto on Gulasci, allowing Raspadori to deposit into the empty net.
Di Lorenzo almost made it 2-0, a wonderful first touch to control a floated ball, cut inside and curl inches wide of the far post.
Hungary tried to fight back, but Attila Fiola couldn’t get the shot away from six yards after a free kick, while Milos Kerkez flung himself in the way of a Raspadori shot inside the area.
Gianluigi Donnarumma missed a Dominik Szoboszlai free kick to the far post, which was volleyed back in by Adam Lang and Attila Szalai failed to get the tap-in.
Straight after the restart, Hungary had a triple chance in one move, Donnarumma parrying the Loic Nego cross-shot, then Di Lorenzo’s block on Dominik Szoboszlai and finally Donnarumma with a desperate save on Szalai.
It proved crucial, because Italy then doubled their lead in the 52nd minute when Cristante ran onto a through ball and pulled back from the by-line for Dimarco to meet it at the far post. That was Italy’s 1,500th goal.
And in the group’s other game England and Germany settled for a thrilling 3-3 draw.
After a goalless first half Germany took the lead on 52 minutes through Ilkay Gundogan who converted from the penalty spot after Harry Maguire fouled Jamaal Musiala inside the box.
In the 67th minute Kai Havertz doubled Germany’s lead with a beautiful left foot cutler into the top far corner.
Luke Shaw then started England’s fight back scoring on 72 minutes as he brought down Reece James’ cross before slotting part Marc Ter Stegen.
Just three minutes after Shaw’s goal Mason Mount made it 2-2 as he fired in Bukayo Saka’s pass on the edge of the box.
With seven minutes left Harry Kane slotted home from the penalty spot following a foul on Jude Billingham.
But in the 87th minute Havertz drew Germany level as he pounced after Nick Pope failed to hold on to Serge Gnabry’s shot.
While Germany ended in third spot with seven points England finished bottom on three points with no win and relegation to the League B.
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