NEWS
Wednesday October 14 2020
Italy 1-1 Netherlands: Dutch dam denies Azzurri

Italy were held to yet another Nations League stalemate, 1-1 by the Netherlands with Donny van de Beek cancelling out Lorenzo Pellegrini’s opener.

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Poland flattened 10-man Bosnia-Herzegovina 3-0, so they leapfrog both of these teams to go top of their Nations League group.

The Azzurri won 1-0 in Amsterdam a month ago and Frank de Boer made radical changes to his XI, including a 5-3-2 system. Marten de Roon and Andrea Belotti were suspended, so Ciro Immobile stepped in, with Giorgio Chiellini, Danilo D’Ambrosio and Leonardo Spinazzola the other changes.

This was the first Italy game in Bergamo for 14 years and to mark its status as the town worst hit by COVID-19, over 240 mayors from various other struggling places were invited along with local healthcare workers.

The Azzurri broke through with the first real chance, as Nicolò Barella showed such great vision and precision to roll his pass across the Dutch defence and into the path of Lorenzo Pellegrini, who took a fine first touch to drill past Jasper Cillessen.

Italy threatened a second moments later in a similar position, this time with a ball over the top, but Immobile hesitated and was closed down. Immobile’s rocket also stung Cillessen’s gloves, but the Netherlands equalised with their first foray forward.

It was a chaotic move, with a series of attempts charged down until Donny van de Beek blasted into the roof of the net from nine yards.

That shook Italy’s confidence and the Dutch took the initiative, Luuk de Jong wasting a golden opportunity with a free header.

After a period of pressure, the Nazionale got back on track, Cillessen forced into saves on Leonardo Spinazzola and Danilo D’Ambrosio, while Leonardo Bonucci nodded off target.

Holland again took control after the break with a series of corners and Gianluigi Donnarumma’s fingertip save on a Memphis Depay angled drive.

Immobile also wasted a huge chance when pouncing on the Hans Hateboer back-pass, firing straight at Cillessen.

Giorgio Chiellini twice made decisive interceptions in the box, but Italy were struggling and Alessandro Florenzi came on for the final 15 minutes, moving the Azzurri to 3-5-2 as well.

Florenzi put in dangerous crosses, intercepted before they could reach Kean or Immobile at the back post. Deep into stoppages, Cillessen rushed outside his area to clear from Kean and keep the game level.

Italy 1-1 Netherlands

Pellegrini 16 (I), van de Beek 25 (N)

Italy: G Donnarumma; D'Ambrosio, Bonucci, Chiellini, Spinazzola; Barella, Jorginho, Verratti (Locatelli 55); Chiesa (Kean 55), Immobile, Pellegrini (Florenzi 73)

Netherlands: Cillessen; Hateboer, de Vrij, Van Dijk, Ake, Blind (Veltman 77); Van de Beek, F de Jong, Wijnaldum; L de Jong, Depay

Ref: Taylor (ENG)

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