Italy wins in Hungary and joins the Final Four of the Nations League

The game: 0-2

The terrible night against North Macedonia (0-1), in the qualifying play-offs for the World Cup, on March 24, synonymous with the second consecutive failure to qualify for the final phase of a World Cup, will never be erased. But Italy, however, has treated this open wound a bit in recent months. By winning in Hungary on Monday (2-0), the Nazionale validated its ticket to the Final Four of the League of Nations (June 14-18), and the new generation put in front of the stage by Roberto Mancini showed that Italy had a lot to look forward to in the future.

Aggressive, constant in the pressure, without complexes, Italy knew how to show personality to stop the dynamics of a Hungarian team still confident after their victory in Germany (1-0) and pushed by a boiling Puskas Arena, by the last selection of Adam Szalai (34), moved to tears before kick-off. Forced to win to overtake Hungary, who had a two-point lead at kick-off, the Italians unlocked the game thanks to their new favorite Giacomo Raspadori (22, see below). After a start to the match that was clearly in their favour, they were able to negotiate their slow time thanks to an enormous Gianluigi Donnarumma.

The PSG goalkeeper kicked off his show by stopping a shot from Dominik Szoboszlai (41st) before making a prodigious triple save against Loïc Nego, Callum Styles and above all Adam Szalai (50th) to upset Hungary. Two minutes later, Federico Dimarco made the break, after a good action and service from Bryan Cristante (52nd). Sometimes not very academic in his outings, Donnarumma continued his festival with two more impressive shows in front of Styles (55th, 63rd).

The player: Raspadori confirms

After his memorable goal against England on Friday (1-0), after a delicious control, Giacomo Raspadori was more sober this Monday in Budapest. But the small Italian striker (1.72m) took his team further, taking advantage of the good pressure from Gnonto to score his second goal in two games (27th), the fifth with A. Very mobile, ultra-intelligent, the striker from Napoli continues to assert itself as an essential element within the new Italy team. He could also have been decisive in a free kick towards Di Lorenzo (12th) and then in a smart investment towards Di Lorenzo himself (31st). Countered on another shot attempt (36), he hurt a lot with his movements.

The fact: Gulacsi is not having a great day

Playing against Germany on Friday, at home in Leipzig, where he has been playing since 2015, Peter Gulacsi had a completely different night this Monday in Budapest. He came close to conceding a gag goal early in the match when he completely holed in a cross from Cristante, which was eventually saved at the line by Attila Szalai (5th). On Raspadori’s goal, he was then outpaced by Gnonto’s speed on a bad back pass from Adam Nagy, when he had the means to get to the ball first (27). A great contrast to Donnarumma’s performance.

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