The reigning European champions conceded the draw (0-0) against Switzerland and took advantage of it by breaking the record of invincibility for a national selection.
Italy did not succeed in breaking through the Swiss safe, perfectly guarded by Yann Sommer and had to settle for a draw (0-0) on Sunday which, failing to clarify his road to the World Cup-2022, allows him to beat the record of invincibility of a national selection. Even Jorginho, the great specialist in penalties, broke his teeth on the impassable goalkeeper and captain of the Nati, who stopped without trembling the penalty azzurro (53rd) to collect the well-deserved ovation e of the more than 30,000 Swiss supporters, in Basel.
Sommer, in the wake of his strong Euro, cut off the entire Italian attack line, from Domenico Berardi to Lorenzo Insigne, to offer this precious point to Switzerland. The Italian European champions, with this second draw in four days, after the one against Bulgaria (1-1) Thursday in Florence, are complicating the task on the road to the 2022 World Cup.
Traumatized by the non-qualification for the last World Cup, a first since 1958, the Azzurri will have to fight to grab first place, directly qualifying for Qatar. Chiellini and his family have no desire to relive the episode of the dams that had been fatal to them in 2017, against Sweden. The only consolation for Roberto Mancini: his Nazionale broke the record of invincibility for a national team with this 36th match without defeat, since a loss against Portugal (0-1) three years ago.
With 27 wins and 9 draws, Italy now does better than the series of 35 matches of Spain between 2006 and 2009 and Brazil between 1993 and 1996 (who had also lost on penalties the Copa America final in 1995).
As against Bulgaria, Roberto Mancini relied heavily on the holders crowned European champions in July. Marco Verratti, hit in a knee, was however replaced by Manuel Locatelli, the one who had two goals for the Swiss in the first round of the Euro (3-0) and Federico Chesa, very active , Thursday, only entered in the second period.
Switzerland was no longer quite that of the Euro, where it had bent France in the round of 16, with several weighty absentees: captain Granit Xhaka (coronavirus), Remo Freuler (suspended), Xherdan Shaqiri and Breel Embolo (physical problems). But it could count on its public, which had not been so numerous for a match of the Nati since the beginning of the pandemic and especially on the goalkeeper Sommer always at the top.
The Swiss goalkeeper was faultless, twice against Berardi first, during a scorching face-to-face (19th) then a full-axis strike (23rd), then twice against Insigne, especially on a closed angle attempt on a free kick (45 3rd). The latter had also missed the frame in a good position, on a still impeccable service from the precious Locatelli (35th). In the second half, after the penalty kick obtained by Berardi and missed by Jorginho, he won an enormous duel against Insigne (72nd). It was rumored that Italy would not make it, despite the coming into play of arrows Chiesa and Nicolo Zaniolo, for their return to selection a year after his serious knee injury.
Gianluigi Donnarumma, was rather quiet in the first half, despite a dangerous head from Manuel Akanji (41st). But the end of the match gave him more and more intense fears, Switzerland not far from winning the piece against tired Italians. But the new Swiss coach Murat Yakin, for his first official match, could be satisfied with this good point against the European champions.
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