Federico Chiesa admits the early goal from Albania gave him ‘flashbacks’ to the EURO 2020 Final, but that ended in a victory for Italy too. ‘We need to kill off games we are dominating.’

The Azzurri are the defending Champions of Europe, but started with an unfortunate record, going behind to Sassuolo midfielder Nedim Bajrami within 23 seconds, the earliest ever goal in the EUROs.

“I had some flashbacks of the EURO 2020 Final, but we did the same thing against England and Albania, which was dominating the game,” Chiesa told Sky Sport Italia.

Italy had conceded at the second minute in the EURO 2020 Final, going on to win on penalties at Wembley.

It had been turned around completely by the 16th minute thanks to an Alessandro Bastoni header on a corner routine and the Nicolò Barella first-time strike from the edge of the area.

There were a few scares, most notably Gianluigi Donnarumma using his ribs to deny Rey Manaj in stoppages and Davide Frattesi seeing his chip thump the upright.

Chiesa UEFA Man of the Match

“I think that early goal also shook us up, as we immediately went on the attack and in my view deserved to score a few more goals, as we ran a bit of a risk at the end, at this level anything can happen. That is where we need to improve, killing off games that we are dominating.”

Chiesa was named Man of the Match by UEFA after causing constant problems for Albania down the right flank.

“We had to kill it off earlier, as anything can happen in Europe. We could’ve had more vertical passes, but the coach wants to keep control of the game. This is a good start really, as people tended to act like we were the underdogs, but we had a great performance and are now up against a wonderful team like Spain.”

The other game in this group saw Spain sweep Croatia aside 3-0, so La Roja are top on goal difference with the Azzurri second.

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