Former Italy CT and ex-Milan coach Arrigo Sacchi has shared his reaction to Italy’s 2-1 victory over Albania in their opening match at EURO 2024 on Saturday night, suggesting that Luciano Spalletti and his team should be happy with the three points, as long as they acknowledge and work on some of their errors.

Italy were 2-1 victors in Dortmund, but it could not have got off to a worse start after Nedim Bajrami latched onto and subsequently buried the ball after a mis-plaed throw-in from Federico Dimarco just over 20 seconds in.

Goals from Alessandro Bastoni and Nicolo Barella, however, ensured that the Azzurri were 2-1 up by the 16th minute.

Sacchi told La Gazzetta dello Sport that Italy showed great mentality in their response to falling behind less than 30 seconds in, and believes that that mindset is something Spalletti should use to his advantage.

Sacchi: ‘Italy should take the result’

“Given the little amount of time available to prepare for this European Championship, and given it was the first match, let’s take the result, which was a good one, and let’s try to analyse the mistakes that were made with the right amount of humility,” Sacchi said, reported via TMW.

“The start was awful, with the mistake from the throw-in from Dimarco and Albania’s subsequent goal. But afterwards, we not only managed to dust ourselves off, but also built move after move and managed to overturn the scores.

“That was a clear signal, the reaction was there. It means that the group has moral values, on which the foundations of the project must be built. It’s not easy to go behind after a few seconds and not give up. The character must be highlighted, because in the long run, the psychology is crucial in a long tournament like the Euros.”

Sacchi believes that Italy still have a chance to work on some aspects of their game ahead of the next group stage matches against Spain and Croatia on Thursday and next Monday respectively.

“Now it’s a matter of working on the details, of improving the physicality a little, of getting the legs going again. And little by little, thanks to Spalletti’s teachings, you will see Italy start to grow.”

There were two particular individuals that Sacchi wanted to highlight, for positive reasons.

“Barella was my favourite, he hadn’t been on the pitch for a few days due to injury, but nobody noticed. Aside from the goal, which was brilliant, he was always there in the build-up and defensive phases. And I want to give credit to Dimarco, he made a major error, but reacted well. He didn’t feel sorry for himself, and he helped the team in the comeback.

“Dimarco has important technical and physical qualities, and now we have seen that he has great character too.”

One thought on “Sacchi: ‘Italy should take the result and review the mistakes’”
  1. The only issue was concentration. And you’d much rather make a rustiness type mistake in the first minute than last minute. Totally dominated and if not for strakosha, it would’ve been 4-1 at half time. But too much overplaying and dilly dallying in the 2nd half. Need to be more clinical.

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