Italy drew 1-1 with Spain in a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier at the Juventus Stadium on Thursday night. Vitolo had given Spain the lead in the 55th minute and La Furia Roja looked all set to come away with a historic result.
But Sergio Ramos conceded a penalty to allow Daniele De Rossi to equalise in the 82nd minute to ensure both teams came away with a point. Italy’s unbeaten run at home in competitive games now extends to 40 matches, last losing a game in 1999!
Here are the major talking points from the game.
#1 Possession vs counter-attack
It was a game with two contrasting formations and it predictably set both the pace and the type of game that was to follow over the course of 90 minutes. Spain set up in a 4-3-3 formation with Sergio Busquets anchoring the midfield alongside Andres Iniesta and Koke while David Silva and Vitolo flanked Diego Costa.
Italy, on the other hand, played a traditional 3-5-2 with Alessandro Florenzi and Mattia De Sciglio on either flank supporting Graziano Pelle and Eder in attack. The midfield three of Marco Parolo, Ricardo Montolivo and De Rossi looked to crowd out Spain in midfield while sitting back and not allowing too much space between the lines to expose the three defenders.
The away side dominated possession with the Azzurri barely making any forays into Spain’s half. David De Gea was hardly troubled as Giampiero Ventura’s side had a grand total of zero shots on goal in the first half. At the other end, Spain had nine corners in the first 45 minutes.