Italy Austria

Stock Up and Stock Down: Analysing the Best and Worst Players from Italy's match with Austria in the Round of 16

were the favourites to win this Round of 16 tie with ease but made them work hard for a win in London. After a goalless 90 minutes, things went to extra time at the Wembley stadium and Italy’s quality and depth helped them get over the line.

 

 

Super subs Chiesa and Pessina scored for the Italians. Italy secured passage to the quarter-finals after extra time despite Austria being brave throughout the match. But in the end fatigue caught up with Das Team and they wilted, although they were able to break down Italy’s defensive line.

As Italy won 2-1 after extra time, FootTheBall takes a look at the best and worst performers in the match between the Italians and Austrians in the Round of 16

STOCK UP

FEDERICO CHIESA

Federico Chiesa was the standout performer for Italy, coming off the bench to lead them to victory in their Round of 16 match with Austria. 

Chiesa was subbed in in the 84th minute by Mancini as extra time was looming and the 23-year old didn’t disappoint.

He squeezed in a shot from a relatively tight angle to give Italy the lead and subsequently became the scorer of Italy’s first ever goal in extra time in the European Championships.

 

 

Spinazzola laid the ball for the Juventus player and he made no mistake, firing the shot from the right side of the goal towards the far post as Italy scored at long last in the tie.

After his goal scoring heroics for Italy against Austria, Chiesa’s stock is bound to rise in the transfer market and he vindicated Mancini’s decision to bring him from the bench for the Italians during extra time.

 

SASA KALAJDZIC

The one from the Austrian squad who will be seeing an exponential rise in their stock is undoubtedly Sasa Kalajdzic who scored the goal that broke Italy’s 1168-minute run of keeping clean sheets.

The Azzurri hadn’t conceded a single goal since October 2020, but Kalajdzic bent really low to drive the ball in from an improbable situation as the Austrians hoped for a comeback.

 

 

Das Team had created a plethora of clear-cut scoring chances but they scored from what was probably the least likely chance to get the ball in the back of the net.

The 23-year old was crowded out by defenders, but he was still able to score as the ball somehow wriggled through towards the goal.

He will surely be featuring in headlines back home ahead of the likes of Sabitzer, Arnautovic and Alaba and one must expect his stock to go nowhere but upwards from this point on.

 

STOCK DOWN

DOMENICO BERARDI

Berardi started the match for Mancini’s charges in London, but he was ineffective for them throughout the 83 minutes that he played at the Wembley stadium.

This was typified by his missed attempt when he tried to put the ball in the back of the net in style for the Italians – by attempting an overhead kick – but was only able to blast it wide in the concluding minutes of regulation time.

 

 

And immediately afterwards he was replaced by Chiesa who promptly broke the deadlock after coming on the pitch. Recently, Berardi was in the headlines for his combination and chemistry with fellow Sassuolo player Locatelli in Italy’s second match with Switzerland.

But this time out, he was not able to stamp his authority in the match as chance after chance went begging by the 26-year old in London. He will certainly be in the squad for Italy’s quarter-final but a place in the starting line-up is precarious for him

 

DAVID ALABA

The Austrians had held their ground impeccably during regulation time, but they collapsed as soon as the referee blew the whistle for the commencement of the first half of extra time.

And it was Alaba’s wing through which Italy scored their first ever goal in extra time in the European Championships, Federico Chiesa scored for the Azzurri from a tight angle on their right side as Austrians were left licking their wounds.

 

Alaba is normally calm and composed when playing in the back line, but Italy found a way through and it was the left-back whose wing was exposed as Italy scored and broke the deadlock.

The Austrian captain had earlier come close to give Austria the lead from a free kick but he was, like his teammates, left to look back and introspect and analyse where things went wrong for Das Team.

 

 

Italy scraped through in the Round of 16, but the Azzurri will have to step up their game in the quarter-finals if they hope of progressing further as they will be up against either Belgium or Portugal in the last 8 of the quadrennial tournament.

Until now the Italians have come up against relatively weak opposition, but from the quarter-finals they will definitely have a tougher run of fixtures if they go all the way to the final

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