The National ate Belgium for an hour of play, before failing to swallow badly at the end of the match. The Red Devils will nevertheless have sat down to table too late, and it is indeed Italy which finished 3rd in this second edition of the League of Nations (2-1).
Italy 2-1 Belgium
Buts: Stretcher (47e), Berardi (65e, sp) for Italy // De Ketelaer (86e) for Belgium
Whether she wins or loses, we have to believe that this Italy definitely no longer knows how to be bored. Everyone is running in the same direction. At the back, we shout forward. At the front, we shout at the back, once the leather is lost. Morality? If the block light blue is not impenetrable, it is very often implacable. Belgium will have fricasseed for an hour of play in the Italian hair, before finally rebelling. Too late, however, not to go to the pan. Overall superior, it is indeed Italy which climbs on the podium of this League of Nations.
Chiesa untenable, Courteous impassive
The pleasure is shared. On both sides, the coaches have decided to run, so that just about everyone can bite into this last piece of the League of Nations. Not a bad idea. Italy immediately crunches its bit of fat, applying its usual recipe: an asphyxiating pressing, a set of percussion ambianced in the middle by Pellegrini and Locatelli, all enhanced by the races of Chiesa and Berardi. Classic, but effective: wingers azzurri put Courtois in danger on several occasions, but the last Belgian rampart holds its niche perfectly. At the reception of a superb opening, Chiesa, once again untenable this Sunday, thinks to find the fault before the break. But his chained strike is still hijacked by the great albatross of Real Madrid. Opposite, Belgium suffers and bites only intermittently, while Saelemaekers, served by Batshuayi, finds Donnarumma’s bar with a coiled shot.
It’s sexy, it’s Italy
Dominatrix, the National does not change anything in the second act and what was to happen happened: on the fall of a corner, Barella kicks a low volley which leaves no chance to Courtois. Superb, like the Italian collective, two classes technically above Red Devils frankly dropped. Batshuayi, with a huge cachou in a closed angle, is yet to equalize, but his strike comes crashing into the opposing upright. An unfortunate turning point, which leaves Belgium unarmed. A few minutes later, Chiesa rides Castagne and gets a rather generous penalty, which Berardi transforms in stride.
What to zigzag once and for all the remaining suspense? Niet. The Martínez guys find guts and legs but Belgium, maraboutée, will once again touch wood by Carrasco. It is finally De Ketelaer who will boost the morale of the eleven of the flat country. Launched by a long pass to the hand of Courtois, the wonderkid de Bruges can adjust Donnarumma closely. A reaction of too late pride. Italy won with style and finished very nicely third in this second edition of the League of Nations.
Italy (4-3-3): Donnarumma – Di Lorenzo, Acerbi, Bastoni, Emerson – Barella (Cristante, 70e), Locatelli, Pellegrini (Jorginho, 71e) – Chiesa, Raspadori (Kean, 66e), Church. Breeder : Roberto Mancini.
Belgium (3-4-2-1): Courtois – Alderweireld, Denayer, Vertonghen – Saelemaekers (De Ketelaere, 59e), Witsel, Tielemans (De Bruyne, 59e), Chestnuts – Vanaken, Carrasco (Trossard, 87e) – Batshuayi. Breeder : Roberto Martínez.
By Adrien Candau