Mon 26 September 2022 | 22:02

Mancini: I wanted England and Hungary wins to qualify; Gigio did well

Roberto Mancini says Gianluigi Donnarumma's success at PSG is helping Italy's future.

The Azzurri won the Group of Death, in which


was sent home and


came in third.

Giacomo Raspadori

and Federico Dimarco scored both goals in Budapest's 2-0 win.

With that result, they moved ahead of


and ensured they would be in the Final Four, which will be held in the Netherlands next year. 

“It was a difficult game,”

Mancini said in his press conference with croaky throat.

“It was all perfect until the final 20 minutes. We really need to improve in our ability to control the game for 90 minutes, as we worked so hard to be 2-0 up, so suffering like that in the final 20 minutes just makes no sense. We should’ve kept pushing for a third goal. I lost my voice because I was shouting so much in the final 20 minutes…”

Gianluigi Donnarumma

saved the day for Italy by making three saves and stopping a header from right in front of him with his legs. 

“Gigio did well, you can tell that he’s playing regularly at Paris Saint-Germain now and that sense of confidence shows. I am happy, because I wanted to get these two victories over England and Hungary to qualify, and we put in two good performances.”

The switch to a 3-5-2 formation seems to have made a big difference, giving Italy more balance and making the most of their wing-backs.

“Dimarco did really well, he attacked, defended and has a really clean way of crossing the ball. I don’t have a basic tactical system, we can play in any system, it’s just a question of practice. Many of the players in the squad already play 3-5-2 at club level."

“A few things do change, for instance the two strikers are much closer together than in a 4-3-3, and the defence also moves. The wing-backs pushed well today and it’s good to have options we can choose from.”

Still, Hungary came in second in the group, and when the game was over, their fans cheered because they knew Marco Rossi's team had done more than anyone expected. 

“The fans were extraordinary, they cheered on Hungary from start to finish and I want to thank them for their applause towards us too. Marco Rossi is doing an amazing job, it’s not a fluke if you beat both England and Germany.”

Italy is not in the World Cup, but on November 16 and 20, they will play two friendly games against


and Austria.

“There were players who were on the bench today and could feature then, but this generally is the squad. It’s not about experiments, I’ve been working on the ‘new’ Italy for a while already. Qualification for the Final Four might not seem like much right now, but in June it might seem better.”

There are a lot of veterans on defence, but Raspadori and Wilfried Gnonto, a young player, are good signs for the offence.

“We had two kids upfront tonight, so if these lads maintain that quality and improve over the next two years, they can become devastating.”

source: SportMob

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