Italy 2-0 Belgium: The Azzurri’s class prevails in a thrilling victory
Italy beat Belgium 2-0 at the Stade De Lyon on Monday night, the two sides met for their opening fixture of the European Championship in Group E.
Emanuele Giaccherini opened the scoring for the Azzurri in the 31st minute with Italy sealing the game in injury time with a beautiful tactical display with a goal from Graziano Pelle. Pelle sealed the win, with a stylish goal on the counter, Immobile carrying the ball into Belgium’s half and finding Candreva who chipped to the far post for Pelle to slam the ball in on the volley.
The first half was rather scrappy for both teams as they struggled to get the ball out of the midfield and couldn’t capitalise on any clear chances, before Giaccherini broke the deadlock in the 31st minute, A world class ball was sent over the top from Leonardo Bonucci, Giaccherini took one well controlled touch and managed to slot home past Thibaut Courtois.
Italy played good flowing football in the first half looking to add to their 1-0 lead, with good passing play and end to end football being showcased from both sides.
The second half was fast and frantic with end to end football again taking the fore, Belgium having a majority of the chances in the second half with attacking pressure mounting.
The Azzurri pushed their defence back to try and hold onto a one goal advantage. Italy showing signs of nerves in the second half with the yellow cards piling up after trying to keep Belgium out of scoring positions.
Italy found their second goal through Pelle after Italy showed their counter attacking prowess with Belgium being broken down. A ball across the box from Candreva found Pelle with a ferocious finish to seal the Azzurri’s win.
Belgium had the majority of the possession in the second half with plenty of scoring opportunities being missed with poor passing accuracy, so Italy’s second goal was a real sucker punch.
Italy will now take the confidence from this one into their next match against Sweden, who could only draw against Republic of Ireland, on Friday June 17.