Mancini: ‘Defeat will still give Italy strength’

Roberto Mancini

Roberto Mancini said Leonardo Bonucci should’ve avoided both his yellow cards in the Nations League semi-final defeat to Spain, but ‘despite the result, this performance gave us strength.’

The unbeaten run finally came to an end after a world record 37 matches, as Spain emerged 2-1 winners at San Siro with a Ferran Torres brace, aided by Leonardo Bonucci’s red card just before half-time.

Federico Chiesa went on a sprint from his own half to set up Lorenzo Pellegrini for a late consolation goal.

“Games are like this, sometimes incidents change them. The first half could easily have ended 1-1,” Mancini told RAI Sport.

“Clearly, Spain keep the ball well, but it’s disappointing to lose like this, down to 10. We made a mistake that we should not be making at this level.

“To be honest, I didn’t see the second card, but that’s not the point. Leo should not have got himself booked in either situation.

“Playing like this, scoring a goal and not conceding more when down to 10 men was a good performance.”

Italy improved in the second half once Mancini started to throw on elements like Pellegrini and Manuel Locatelli.

“We needed some fresh legs and that helped when down to 10 men. We could’ve used some younger players, but I think that despite the defeat, this performance gave us strength.”

There was also tension at San Siro, because Milan fans present jeered Gianluigi Donnarumma continually throughout the game, his first return to this stadium since leaving the Rossoneri as a free agent for PSG.

“That was disappointing, yes.”

12 Comments on “Mancini: ‘Defeat will still give Italy strength’”

  1. Spain won. Fine. Helped by 2 BS yellow cards in Bonucci.

    Mancini is correct. This will prove helpful as we attempt to complete the WC 2022 qualification.

  2. It shows that italy have too many forigners in serie a. We need more young italians coming through

  3. Mr mancini we need cicio caputo in Italy squad. He would be better striker for Italy than immobile. This is my personal opinion bcos I like him so much

  4. @Vincenzo…

    Yes, agreed. Italian CTs for Italian clubs need to give Ialian players more playing opportunities.

    Seria A is regaining its competitive advantage as the Euro 2020/21 saw a record number of Seria A based players playing well as per various metrics.

    Now, it’s time to even consider callibg up some Seria B players as well.

  5. Should have called up zaniolo who cares if he grabbed hit nuts to lazio fans . Without that red card they probably would have tied and went on to win . These refs keep screwing us in champions League now this

  6. This Match made it crystal-clear that Di-Lorenzo & Bernardeschi do not belong to the national Team. Di-Lorenzo was again the Man who conceded that Goal in the Euro-2020 Final.

  7. We did have a problem in the right side with Di Lorenzo but that was also that he wasn’t helped that much. I have got to say this that I actually missed Immobile and Belotti. He would have obtained space for the midfielders to get behind Spain. I can see why Mancio calls them everytime. We cannot play with the false number 9 or at least we have experimented it enough to do it well. There are some very good youngsters coming through but clubs need to start using them. I do not understand our clubs using very mediocre foreign players in front of our players. We have won the Euros, we have 6 trophies in our cabinet. How much more do the actual Italian players need to do to get played? Come on clubs, start using our own home grown players which will do well for them and country.

  8. Mancini’s selction cost us the game just as much as Bonucci’s red card.

    Verratti was poor once again and didn’t look fit. Locatelli has been outperforming Verratti in the blue shirt for quite some time and really should be first choice.

    Bernardeschi is nowhere near good enough for Italy. Each good thing he does is usually followed by six terrible things. People claim that he’s been in fine form for Italy; when?? In a friendly against San Marino? A qualifier against Lithuania? He put away his penalty against England which will always be appreciated, but the simple fact is he is neither good enough or has played well enough – for club and country – to justify his inclusion. This isn’t being hateful or toxic. It is objective criticism.

    Insigne can only score great goals but cannot score simple ones. His miss was terrible. When the pressure is on, he chokes far more often than he succeeds; floating like a butterfly stinging like a butterfly. Pellegrini has consistently shown that he has both a stronger mentality and greater depth to his game than Insigne and should, like Locatelli, be first choice.

    Calabria is arguably just as good a defender as Di Lorenzo and is more effective going forward. I don’t understand Mancini’s reluctance with the player, even when it comes to calling Calabria up.

    For someone who has often preached about merit, Mancini certainly does contradict himself with his choices. I hope that he proves me wrong, but I am getting similar vibes as to what happened with Lippi circa 2010, when loyalty and stubborness trumped good sense and merit.

  9. Abhorrent to boo, jeer players while playing for the Nazionale … whatever the reasons❗❗

    If many of the Milan fans continue like this .. sending such negative energy continuously will only draw negative energy back .. and the very good replacement they’ve got for Donnarumma  .. Maignan … all will be channelled towards him .. UNIVERSE will say .. continue hating your past .. you don’t need the good present I’ve given you and the positive results ❗❗

  10. Calabria should start over Di Lorenzo who has led to many goals suffered in Euros and after. Verratti slows down the game a lot .. Locatelli should start in his place. Jorghino doesn’t offer a goal threat but helps the defence, is a good game reader and his experience is needed in the midfield. Pellegrini the “all rounder” should start ahead of Barella who recently is not doing that well for the national team. And if Barella plays … then Pellegrini as False 9 or in place of Insigne who is very inconsistent and misses so many chances!! Bastoni has to learn fast (that 1st goal wouldn’t have been conceded if Chiellini played!!) .. can he and Roma‘s Mancini replace Bonucci and Cheillini?? And we need a strong, tall, clinical target man in the box to score from free-kicks and corners when it’s difficult to score from open play. Big Mistake by Mancini not to sub Chiellini for Bernardeschi as soon as Bonucci got sent off. CHIESA 🔥🌟👌 our Shining Star … Universe Protect Him, Bless Him. Forza Azzurri 🇮🇹👊💙 🍀

  11. Of course, Mancini is a hero and a legend, as he turned Italy around, won the league and cup in England and Italy as a manager. Yet last night he should have started with Pellegrini and Locatelli, as Luis Enrique had worked out in the Euros and last night how to close down Jorginho & Verratti. Should have taken a gamble with Raspadori.

    If Mancini wasn’t going to start with Chiellini, then Acerbi, who is strong and would have caused problems to Spain on set pieces. Bastoni was the weak link for the first goal. Calabria should be in the first team, but he was a last addition, and Mancini doesn’t seem to like him.

    Last night was a golden opportunity to play a new youthful and aggressive Italy with Chiesa leading the charge. Enrique (who never mentions the elbow in the 1994 quarter-final) took a gamble and it paid off, whilst Mancini played it safe and lost. Our midfield was terrible, it’s an old guard that needs to be replaced.

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