NEWS
Monday September 9 2019
Mancini: 'Sensi-Verratti possible'

Roberto Mancini insists Italy deserved to beat Finland by more than 2-1 considering their dominance and he could use Stefano Sensi with Marco Verratti in future.

The Azzurri maintained their 100 per cent record in Euro 2020 qualifying thanks to Ciro Immobile’s header and a Jorginho penalty, with Teemu Pukki temporarily equalising from the spot.

“I thought our performance in Armenia was convincing too, as we dominated and created many scoring opportunities. With Finland this evening, we played very well, had a lot of chances and perhaps the result is a bit tight considering all that,” said the Coach in his Press conference.

Mancio surprised many with his picks, making five changes including Armando Izzo at right-back, Francesco Acerbi in defence and Lorenzo Pellegrini with Immobile upfront.

“That’s always the way with choices, if you win then you’re wise, if you draw or lose then it was all wrong. We’ve got the right mentality, which is to attack, as the goalkeeper had to make five or six great saves. A draw wouldn’t have been fair.

“I made the decisions today because we had so little time together and two long journeys, so fitness levels were crucial. I do like Pellegrini in attack, as he can drop back to where he usually starts in midfield and can push up into the space. It’s important to have versatile players.”

Inter’s new signing Sensi impressed in midfield, filling in for suspended Verratti, even if he did give away the Teemu Pukki penalty.

“Sensi has great technique and quality, so we didn’t miss Marco, who is a fundamental figure for us. It is possible they could play together at times.

“We shouldn’t have given that ball away for the penalty, as we boosted Finland’s confidence. Federico Chiesa did well, he ran hard, but like Nicolò Barella he’s still young and needs to improve.

“We were surprised that Finland played with a five-man defence, as they usually do so well with 4-4-2 and won their last four games. We kept a lot of possession and had plenty of shots on goal.

“They hadn’t conceded in four games and are a solid team. After a tricky start, we took the initiative. It’s natural they would start strong, as they wanted to get the result.”

Italy are now six points clear at the top of Group J and have won all six of their Euro 2020 qualifiers, a far cry from their failure to reach the 2018 World Cup.

“The Nazionale belongs to everyone and we want the fans to fall in love with this team. We also want to win, which is not a secondary consideration, but this is a good squad and a style of attacking football that suits their characteristics.”