At the Bayarena in Leverkusen, in Germany, Italy suffers and struggles but resists Ukraine’s attack and qualifies for the final phase of Euro24.
This is the situation in Group C: England qualified in first place with 19 points, Italy second with 14 points
In the first leg Italy had beaten Ukraine 2-1 in Milan.
The Azzurri’s next opponents will be known on Saturday 2 December, at 6pm, when the draw for the final phase of Euro 2024 will be held.
First half of the match played at a high pace. After the first few minutes of substantial balance, the Azzurri suffered from the initiative of the Ukrainians until the 15th minute, then Italy relaxed and became dangerous in front of the yellow-blue goal on at least two occasions: in the 16th minute with a tense shot from Barella and in the 28′ with Frattesi who one-on-one with Trubin hits the Ukrainian goalkeeper with his left foot. In the last quarter of an hour the superiority of Spalletti’s men was clear.
In the second half, Italy maintained possession of the ball for the entire first five minutes with constant pressure. The Azzurri continue to manage the match with the yellow-blues who become dangerous in accelerating on the counterattack but the teams are unable to build dangerous actions. From the half hour of play, Ukraine raises the intensity of their game by constantly pressing in front of Italy’s goal. The Gialloblù almost took the lead in the 65th minute due to a misunderstanding between Di Lorenzo and Donnarumma, fortunately prevented by the intervention of the Azzurro goalkeeper himself. In the final minutes, Italy suffered a real attack from the yellow-blues but held out until the end at 0-0, reaching the final phase of the continental tournament in Germany.
The precedents smile on Italy, which in ten matches against Ukraine achieved 7 wins and 3 draws.
The official lineups:
Ukraine (4-1-4-1): Trubin, Konoplia, Svatok, Zabarny, Mykolenko, Stepanenko, Tsygankov, Sudakov, Zinchenko, Mudryk, Dovbyk.
Italia (4-3-3): Donnarumma, Di Lorenzo, Acerbi, Buongiorno, Dimarco, Frattesi, Jorghino, Barella, Zaniolo, Raspadori Chiesa.
The match (first half)
In a Bayarena in Leverkusen with deafening fans, the two teams started at a high pace. Azzurri in white suits, Ukrainians in yellow and blue uniforms.
In the 5th minute, Ukraine’s first incursion with a shot from Tsygankov which Donnarumma blocked.
A minute later the coordinated Dimarco-Chiesa action resulted in a corner. On the developments of the football from the flag, the Juventus player devours a goal from the height of the spot, following an excellent pass from Zaniolo, but the ball served by the Aston Villa playmaker was already out.
From 8′ to 15′ the Azzurri suffer the onslaught of Rebrow’s men and are unable to get out of their own half of the field.
In the 16th minute, Italy counterattacked and, having earned a corner, had the chance to take the lead with a strong, tense kick from Barella.
The match continues to be played at a high pace by the two teams but they are unable to attack and reach the conclusion.
In the 28th minute there was an opportunity for the Azzurri to take the lead. Chiesa cuts across the field and serves Frattesi. The Inter midfielder face to face with Trubin hits the Ukrainian goalkeeper with his left foot.
After half an hour, Italy improved and managed to press in the yellow-blue area and in the 42nd minute there was a confusing action under the Ukrainian goal with a back-and-forth by the Azzurri who were promptly blocked by the forest of opposing players closed in on the area.
At 45′ the referee’s whistle sends the teams to rest at 0-0.
Euro 2024 Qualification – Ukraine vs Italy
The match (second half)
In the second half, Italy maintained possession of the ball for the entire first five minutes with constant pressure.
The Azzurri continue to manage the match with the yellow-blues who become dangerous in accelerating on the counterattack but the teams are unable to build dangerous actions.
At the half-hour mark, Ukraine increases the pressure: in the 59th minute Mudryk runs away from Jorginho and Frattesi, but is blocked for a corner by Chiesa
In the 61st minute Italy tries to respond. Cross from Chiesa in the center of the area for Di Lorenzo who heads but misses the target.
Ukraine persists with Mudryk who gallops towards Donnarumma’s goal in the 63rd minute but is blocked splendidly by Di Lorenzo.
In the 65th minute there was danger for the Azzurri. Misunderstanding between Di Lorenzo and Donnarumma, with the ball passing to the far post for Mudryk who hits a sure shot but is blocked by the PSG goalkeeper who makes up for his mistake.
Ukraine still dangerous in the 66th minute. Triangle between Dovbyk and Tsygankov, with Jorginho risking an own goal with a backwards pass: he blocks Donnarumma who lets the Azzurri breathe.
In the final minutes, Italy suffered a real attack from the yellow-blues but held out until the end at 0-0, reaching the final phase of the continental tournament in Germany.
Euro 2024 Qualifiers -Luciano Spalletti
Spalletti: “It wasn’t a given, now comes the best part”
“It wasn’t easy or obvious, it never is in football. We played a good game in the first half, then the match became dirtier, more physical, Ukraine showed that they were an equipped team, who gave us I’ve had a hard time. But now comes the best part.” Thus the Italian coach Luciano Spalletti on Rai Sport after the 0-0 draw with Ukraine which qualifies for Euro2024
Euro 2024 Qualifiers – Gianluigi Donnarumma
Donnarumma “We are where we deserve to be”
“We are very happy, we are where we deserve to be, with all the difficulties we have had. Thanks to the coach and the staff, we are back. Now we want to bring something home because we present ourselves as winners.” The Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma said this after the 0-0 draw with Ukraine which gave Italy direct qualification for the 2024 European Championships.
“There is a lot of pride, we thank all these fans because they gave us an incredible hand – he adds to Rai Sport -. You can’t explain it, it was a beautiful emotion. We are united even in suffering.”
BayArena in Leverkusen
The post first appeared on www.rainews.it