Italy Under-21s conceded more than once at home for the first time in two years after they fell 2-1 to Spain in friendly action on Monday.
The Azzurrini surprisingly started with midfielder Rolando Mandragora in central defence and were badly outplayed in the first half, attempting just one shot on target, and conceded two goals in the space of four minutes.
Saul Niguez was first up, the Atletico Madrid starlet meeting the rebound from Simone Scuffet’s save and hitting home a bouncing volley, before Real Madrid-owned Borja Mayoral was totally unmarked when he tapped in a low cross.
Luigi Di Biagio’s half-time teamtalk seemed to work as Italy came out re-energised and looked to take the game to La Rojita, although without really testing Pau Lopez.
Nonetheless, they did pull a goal back through Lorenzo Pellegrini. The Sassuolo midfielder met teammate Domenico Berardi’s cross from the right and powered a header over the Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper.
Italy U21 1-2 Spain U21
Pellegrini 72 (I) Saul 32, Mayoral 36 (S)
Italy U21: Scuffet; Masina, Mandragora (Calabria 58), Biraschi, Ferrari; Pellegrini, Cataldi (Locatelli 58), Benassi; Chiesa (Di Francesco 74), Cerri (Favilli 58), Berardi
Spain U21: Pau; Bellerin, Yeray (Gonzalez 51), Mere, Jonny; Saul, Llorente, Denis; Williams, Mayoral (Ceballos 74), Asensio
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