Italy manager Roberto Mancini was satisfied with his much-changed squad’s performance after their 1-0 victory over Wales on Sunday.
secured another three points and completed a perfect group stage, without conceding and scoring seven in the process.
After back-to-back impressive 3-0 wins over
had guaranteed a last-16 spot,
made eight changes for their final Group A clash against
The Azzurri took the lead after
delivered a cross into the box and
guided it into the back of the net.
Mancini was pleased to see his men continue to impress after making eight changes.
“I was very pleased to see that I changed eight players and yet the team played well, could’ve scored more goals against a side that was very defensive,”
said the coach in his press conference
“When they went down to 10 men, they went even more defensive with everyone behind the ball. It’s not easy to find spaces in a situation like that.
“We were distracted on two set plays and almost paid a price for those, so we should’ve been more careful.”
Marco Verratti returned to the fold after his recovery from injury cost him the chance to start in the opening two games but asked if his excellent display meant he had won back his starting place, Mancini dismissed the concept.
“It’s better to have everyone at our disposal and ‘suffer’ by leaving someone very talented out rather than not having the choice,”
“We’ve been doing that since the start, there are so many players who deserve to be there and we have to make choices.”
Italy are through to the last 16 as Group A winners and face the runners-up in Group C in the last 16.
“A different tournament kicks off now. If the lads continue like this, then I could not ask for more,”
the CT added
“We hope to play well and then return to Wembley further on in the competition.”
Wembley Stadium will host the semi-finals and the final game, only if the third COVID wave does not continue to grow in England.