Absent from the Qatari World Cup, Italy challenged Austria this Sunday at 8:45 p.m. for its second friendly match. After its 3-1 victory against Albania, the Nazionale therefore traveled to Vienna to confirm and forget this terrible disappointment on the international scene. Aligned in 3-4-3, Roberto Mancini’s men started with a defensive trio made up of Acerbi, Bonucci and Gatti. In midfield, Verratti accompanied Barella. Finally, Grifo and Politano surrounded Raspadori on the front of the attack.
A catastrophic first act…
For his part, Ralf Ragnick bet on a 3-4-2-1. In defence, in addition to the irremovable David Alaba, Bologna defender Posch started alongside Wober and Lienhart. In a double pivot role, Seiwald and Schlager saw Sabitzer and Baumgartner complete the midfield. Alone at the forefront, Marko Arnautovic had the heavy task of deceiving the vigilance of Donnarumma. In Austrian lands, the Squadra Azzurra was quick to stand out. On his left side, Dimarco, playing under the colors of Inter Milan, made a first sharp overflow but his center was finally deflected by the Austrian defense (1st). Despite this first interesting offensive, Italy did not confirm… Quite the contrary.
Amorphous and guilty of many wastes on the technical level, the Italians quickly came under pressure from the Red and Whites. Taking advantage of a loss of ball from Verratti in the midfield, Arnautovic then found Schlager, who concluded easily (1-0, 6th). Carried by this first goal, the Austrians continued their momentum and Adamu, served by Arnautovic, provided a new scare to the Italian defense (15th). Unable to win the slightest duel, the Nazionale still trembled when the same Adamu found the right post of Donnarumma after a bad raise from Acerbi (30th). Outrageously dominating, Austria ended up, logically, by taking the break.
… a frustrating second half!
On a free kick from 25 meters, Alaba sent a missile into the Italian cages (2-0, 35th). Very close to 3-0 on a new strike from Sabitzer, superbly repelled by the PSG goalkeeper, Austria had a little scare before the break. With a nice strike, Politano found Lindner, vigilant on his line (42nd). On returning from the locker room, Pessina, Chiesa, Zaniolo and Scalvini came into play and the face of the game changed slightly. Despite an exceptional first parry from Donnarumma to get out a point-blank header from Posch (48′), Squadra Azzurra proved to be more dangerous. Very active, Zaniolo lacked, however, precision when adjusting his recovery (52nd). Same fate for Barella, at the conclusion of a magnificent collective movement (53rd).
Installed in the Austrian camp, Verratti’s teammates could not find the fault, like this new attempt, out of frame, from Chiesa (67th). Too unrealistic around the opposing area (3 shots on target out of 17 attempts), Italy fell, moreover, on an excellent Lindner, imperial when countering Raspadori’s shot (71st). More imprecise at the end of the match, the country world champion in 2006 obtained, despite everything, some situations but here again, Chiesa lacked technical accuracy (81st). For his part, Pessina saw him, his shot deflected in-extremis. Despite a more consistent second half, Italy finally lost (2-0) against a fine team from Austria. From Qatar to Vienna, this day of November 20 will not go down in the history of Italian football.
The official line-ups at kick-off
Gli 11 #Azzurri 💙 scelti dal Ct Mancini per
— Nazionale Italiana ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (@Azzurri) November 20, 2022
Austria starting XI
— ÖFB – oefb.at (@oefb1904) November 20, 2022