Paolo Nicolato, coach of the Italy U-21s, has given his verdict of his side’s encouraging display after beating Serbia 2-0 in an international friendly on Friday evening.
Despite being comfortable favourites heading into the tie, Nicolato was without a number of established figures in his Azzuririni side, including Juventus’ Nicolo Fagioli and Torino‘s Samuele Ricci.
In fact, a number of the players who took to the pitch in the Serbian city of Backa Topola were representing the junior side for the first time and many had not played with each other before Friday’s outing.
Speaking to the FIGC’s internal media after the game, Nicolato expressed his satisfaction at his team’s performance, who were comfortably the more threatening side for the vast majority of the game.
The Azzurrini coach said: “We got to see several guys at work, they all played a good match considering that many of them were playing together for the first time. I saw great application by everyone: everyone who came on fitted in with great ease.”
The Italians ensured they would be going home with victory thanks to a second half brace from Samuele Mulattieri, who is currently plying his trade in Serie B with Frosinone on loan from Inter.
On the 22-year-old’s impressive form this season, Nicolato added: “It seemed as if these boys had already been playing together for a long time. Mulattieri? He always manages to find the goal, when it’s inside the area it always gives the feeling that something good could happen”
The junior Italian side will be looking to extend their 11-game unbeaten run on Monday evening when they return to Italy to take on the Ukrainian U-21 side, which kicks off at 19.00 GMT.