Match Report: Italy vs Wales 1-0; Welsh Dragon tamed as Azzurri Finish Top of Group A, Register 100% Success Rate in group stage matches

The Italians were expected to completely and comprehensively dominate Group A and the Azzurri never disappointed football fans during their entire run in the group stage. They won all their matches in Group A in convincing fashion.

Roberto Mancini’s charges are currently on an 11-match run in all competitions in which they have not conceded even a single goal. Meanwhile, they have scored a staggering 32 goals across that very run of games.

 

 

FootTheBall takes a look at the Group A match between Italy and Wales in Rome as both sides secured passage to the knockout stage.

 

CAST CHANGES, SCRIPT REMAINS SAME

Roberto Mancini made eight changes from the side that won in matches with Turkey and Switzerland as the Italians were already through to the knockout stage.

 

 

But the script of the match remained largely the same as the Azzurri didn’t let Wales attack and dominated in terms of chances created in comparison to their Welsh counterparts.

 

 

Roberto Mancini’s side created a mammoth 10 chances in the first half itself as they chased a win to finish top of Group A in UEFA Euro 2020 and were successful in their pursuit.

 

ITALY FIND A WAY THROUGH A SET-PIECE

The Azzurri were on song in Rome as they found a way through Wales’ defence towards the end of the first half in the Stadio Olimpico courtesy of a set-piece.

Bonucci and company won a free-kick a few yards away from the Welsh penalty area and were at their clinical best as Matteo Pessina scored his first goal for Italy at a major international tournament.

 

 

Seasoned midfielder Marco Verratti took the free-kick seamlessly as he guided the ball towards an onrushing Pessina who scored through the lightest of touches to give Italy the lead as halftime loomed in the Italian capital.

 

BASTONI HOUNDS GARETH BALE

Roberto Mancini knew that Gareth Bale would be a major threat for the Azzurri and he didn’t leave anything to chance as Bastoni was regularly involved in run-ins with the Real Madrid winger.

The 22-year old centre-back first fouled the Welsh international in the 21st minute as he tumbled into him, an action that led Bale to lose his balance completely.

 

 

And just 12 minutes later he was once again found to be obstructing the 31-year old as the battle between the two intensified in Rome in the first half.

And these two picked off just where they left as the second half resumed in Rome, with Bastoni being a constant thorn in the Welsh side as he successfully managed to keep Gareth Bale quiet to limit Wales’ influence in the match.

 

WALES PLAY WITH 10 PLAYERS IN THE SECOND HALF

Ethan Ampadu lunged into a horribly late tackle into Bernardeschi and was immediately given his marching orders as Wales were reduced to 10 players on the pitch just at the start of the second half.

 

 

VAR checks backed the referee’s decision and the Welsh were left staring at an uphill task of coming back from behind in Rome with only 10 players to count on.

 

ITALY CRUISE TO KNOCKOUT STAGE

The Italians were tipped to finish top of their group even before a ball was kicked in UEFA Euro 2020 and they didn’t disappoint as the Azzurri recorded 3 wins out of 3 in the group stage.

They dominated all their matches in Group A and never seemingly took the foot off the gas as they cruised towards the knockout stage in the quadrennial tournament.

 

 

Wales meanwhile were able to qualify for the knockout stage even after falling to defeat in Rome as they had a superior goal difference to third placed Switzerland.

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