Italy’s return to Wembley is bitter, where less than 12 months ago it climbed to the top of Europe: in London, Lionel Messi’s Argentina dominated the Grand Final, highlighting – mercilessly – all current limits. of Italian football and Roberto Mancini’s national team. Only one half remained in the game, the first; completely at the mercy of the opponents in the second half, at times mocking in their insistent phrasing punctuated by the olè of the stands. It ends 3-0 for the South American champions, who win the first edition of the Cup against the European champions. And if Lautaro’s initial goal broke the equilibrium, Di Maria’s 2-0 and Dybala’s signing in the final are the emblem of absolute technical and playing superiority. The Italy that does not go to the World Cup is far from the best of global football as much as Argentina was superior to the good will of Italy this evening.
Before the national anthems, the federal president Gabriele Gravina awards Giorgio Chiellini, the last with the national team. Ready-to-go and it is Argentina – dragged by its noisy fans, in the clear majority on the stands of the London stadium – to take control of the operations, more aggressive and dynamic. Italy suffers, crushes itself in its own trocar, but holds up. Indeed, Giacomo Raspadori’s first conclusion on goal of the match: freed to the limit by Jorginho, the Sassuolo striker – unexpectedly deployed in place of Lorenzo Insigne, blocked on the eve of a calf problem – engages Emiliano Martinez. The Azzurri find courage, and at 20’pt they become dangerous again: Federico Bernardeschi’s penetration on the right, Cristian Romero’s advance on Andrea Belotti is providential. But when, before the half hour, Lionel Messi finally lights up, the balance of the game clearly shifts to the Albiceleste side. Before the n.10, at the end of an insistent action in the Italian area, Gianluigi Donnarumma commits to the ground with his right. Then, 30 meters ball and chain, he breaks the blue defense: on his low cross Lautaro Martinez can only support the net from two steps. Shy protests by the Azzurri for an alleged foul against Bernardeschi, not sanctioned by the referee, the Chilean Maza. For the Inter striker, this is the 20 goal in 38 matches with the Argentine national team. The reaction of Roberto Mancini’s boys was immediate: from the limit Nicolò Barella forced the detour into the corner Martinez.
Shortly after, on the cross of Emerson Palmieri, Andrea Belotti is missing just 5 cm to gore on the net. But just before returning to the locker room, here is the Argentine doubling, facilitated by a series of neglect of the blue rearguard. Starting with Leonardo Bonucci (already cautioned) who does not oppose Lautaro, then Chiellini gets burned on the shot by Angel Di Maria, and finally Donnarumma’s hesitation outgoing packs Di Maria’s 2-0, with a splendid shot underneath. . In the interval Mancini makes three changes, marking the end of Chiellini’s international career (replaced by Manuel Lazzari), in attack Gianluca Scamacca takes the place of Belotti. However, Italy’s defensive uncertainties do not vanish, and Bonucci risks a sensational own goal with a risky back pass: Donnarumma remedies in some way. Italy tries to shake up, but it is always Argentina, on the counterattack, with Di Maria: Donnarumma’s plastic intervention on his left, deflected by Emerson. With the changes from the bench Mancini tries to stem the increasingly clear Argentine superiority, but ends up sending him even more confused. In a matter of minutes, Donnarumma has to save first on Di Maria and then on Messi (twice), in the middle Lautaro makes a mistake with an empty net. Limiting the proportions of the defeat, at least until the acute final of Paulo Dybala, who entered a few minutes ago. For the Azzurri a very hard lesson, which sanctions the end of a cycle in the worst possible way.