Luciano Spalletti‘s first home game in charge of the Italy Men’s National Team ended in success as the Azzurri managed a 2-1 win over Ukraine at the Stadio San Siro, though the three points were harder to seal than they might have been. The result leaves three teams level on seven points in Group C of 2024 European Championship qualification.
Davide Frattesi put in a fine performance in midfield for the Azzurri and the Inter midfielder netted each of Italy‘s two goals on the night.
The Azzurri started on the front foot, seemingly energised after their latest underwhelming result away at North Macedonia last time out. Once again working under a familiar coach in Spalletti, Napoli duo Giovanni Di Lorenzo and Giacomo Raspadori had the first chances of the game. The full-back sent an effort over the crossbar before he himself teed up his fellow Italian champion, but the forward’s fate was much the same and fired over.
Then the lead came through Frattesi. Sloppy attempts at playing out from the back landed Ukraine in trouble – and not for the last time on the night. Nicolo Zaniolo pounced, fed the Inter midfielder and Frattesi made no mistake once in on goal. With a Derby della Madonnina against AC Milan to come this weekend, Frattesi‘s performance alongside Inter teammate Nicolo Barella in the middle of the park will give Simone Inzaghi some thinking to do.
Frattesi dominant as Italy beat Ukraine
Frattesi was everywhere, as were Napoli pair Di Lorenzo and Raspadori. It was the latter again who combined with the Inter midfielder to carve out another chance, but it wasn’t to be taken.
Frattesi then added his and Italy‘s second of the night. Some good fortune saw the ball fall his way twice via deflections and he swept home from close range. Initially flagged as offside, VAR was able to clarify that the ex-Sassuolo midfielder was, in fact, onside and the goal stood.
The Azzurri were well on top with a two-goal lead and should have gone into the break cruising, but a moment of chaotic defending allowed Andriy Yarmolenko to level.
Spalletti did manage to get Italy back on top for the majority of the second half, though they did at times look vulnerable when Ukraine came forward. The Azzurri themselves will feel as though they should have added a third and maybe more for themselves.
The win leaves Italy in second place on seven points in 2024 European Championship Qualification Group C, still six points off leaders England but with a game in hand. Ukraine are also on seven points, as are North Macedonia after their win over Malta.