Chiesa: ‘Spain deserved the win, but…’

by | Oct 6, 2021 22:15

Federico Chiesa confessed Spain ‘deserved their victory’ in the Nations League semi-final, but complained the first yellow card for Leonardo Bonucci was ‘pointless.’

The Azzurri were down to 10 men from the 43rd minute after Leonardo Bonucci received two yellow cards, and Ferran Torres completed his brace on the stroke of half-time.

Chiesa went on a rapid counter to set up the consolation goal for Lorenzo Pellegrini, but they were unable to complete the comeback.

Nations League | Italy 1-2 Spain: Bonucci sees Roja

“We lost after many games, we set a world record, so in the end it had to happen. As everyone said over the last few days, it had to happen eventually,” Chiesa told RAI Sport.

Italy had been unbeaten in three years, since October 2018, with a run of 28 wins and nine draws.

“Congratulations to Spain for a really good performance. We could’ve been more clinical at times, but Spain deserved their victory.

“We always have enthusiasm, determination and running to the very end for Italy and our coach. It’s the first defeat, but this won’t stop our momentum and we look forward to the next match.

“Obviously, it’s tough down to 10 men and Spain were already playing well when we had 11. Nonetheless, we had two really big chances in the first half and then conceded an avoidable goal on the stroke of half-time which allowed Spain to come out after the restart feeling really comfortable.”

Bonucci received the first yellow card for dissent, although he didn’t seem to be particularly aggressive in his protests, then a second for jumping with elbow raised on Sergio Busquets.

“I thought the dismissal was very severe, because I’ve never seen at international level such a pointless yellow card for dissent,” continued Chiesa.

“He was the captain, it was a mistake by the referee because the Spain player simply slipped, so the captain has the right to ask for more information.

“I’ve never seen two such soft yellow cards at this level.”

Italy Spain Nations League


  1. Donato Totaro

    As usual Italian teams in Italy are treated harshly by Refs. This is the third game in the past two weeks, including Champions League, where Italian teams had to play with 10 men for over half the game. Unfair.

  2. joe del monte

    I hate the red card rule, they should play with 10 men for say 10 minutes not the rest of the game. It ruins the game. What if you get a red at the beginning compared to near the end? What a drastic difference.

  3. Vittorio

    @Donato Toraro…

    Absolutely agree. This ref. was Russian and I had my doubts before the match.

    However, we made some clinical errors as well. The 2nd goal was completely avoidable.

    Now, Mancini and the players can reset for the greater task toward (hopefully) 2022 World Cup qualification.


    Yes refs have always been an issue with a tinge of bias we all see that , however been following italy since 80’s and something always goes awry when we play that lot

  5. dangerboy

    Chiesa is only half correct.

    Second Yellow was more than deserved and could have been a Red on its own.

    First Yellow was severe. Did Bonucci say anything insulting to the Ref?

  6. Louch

    Chiesa said it best there was zero aggression in his protest don’t know what Bonucci could have possibly said 18m in to warrant a yellow in what was seemingly a discussion. Soft calls both of them but cheers to Spain, if it was any team that ended this glad it was them and their class act of a coach Enrique!

  7. Sammy

    @Vittorio they have to play for third place, don’t know how serious they will take the game but it will be either France or Belgium.

    Their coach be might class act but their players are anything but . Can not stand Spanish players, the play acting to get Bonucci second yellow was typical.

    What is with these with biased toxic refs ??? From campions league Ac Milan to Napoli now this.

    Bonucci is the captain he is allowed to talk to the ref dispute a call. POS bald Russian ref was determined to get Italy down to 10 men.


    The first yellow was non existent. With the second yellow there is a case but then why did the ref not give yellow to the spaniard in the second half on the same basis. With Spain it is very hard to play with 11 never mind in 10 so the ref did not help with his awful referring. Unfortunately Italy gets a lot of bad refs which is something the FIFA and UEFA need to do by improving them. I have seen too many times the same foul given against Italy but not the other way round. It needs to stop. I just want it to be fair and the Russian ref was awful. This does not take away that Spain deserved to win as they did and in style. However, would it have been the same result had we had 11 on the pitch? Unfortunately we will never know. One thing is for sure, we played well and Insigne’s chance should have been 1 – 1 and then I wonder what would have happened. Also if the 2 -1 would have happened earlier, I wonder! Let’s try to get to the WC 2022 and on Sunday, Mancio should play the other players in the squad.

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