UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifiers | Italy 2-0 Greece: 3 talking points
- Here's what we learnt from the match as the Azzuri sealed qualification for next summer's tournament.
Italy dispatched Greece 2-0 at the Stadio Olimpico, with goals from Jorginho and Federico Bernadeschi helping the Azzurri bag all three points.
The hosts came into the game as heavy favourites to triumph and Greece sat back for most of the match, defended en masse and largely frustrated Italy for the first 60 minutes of the game.
However, a handball in the box by Andreas Bouchalakis in the 61st minute undid all the hard work done by the visitors. Chelsea midfielder Jorginho stepped up to calmly dispatch the ensuing spot-kick. Federico Bernadeschi confirmed the result with his third international goal 13 minutes later.
Here, we shall be highlighting three talking points from the fixture in Rome.
#3 Italy secure qualification for Euro 2020
Italy are one of the heavyweights of European football who have fallen on hard times in recent years, with the lowest point coming when they failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. It was the first time the Azzurri did not participate since 1958.
Italy went back to the drawing board and have come stronger, with Roberto Mancini revamping the squad since his appointment in May 2018.
Under the 54-year-old's management, Italy have been reborn and this has reflected in their results during the qualification campaign. They have won all seven of their fixtures to date, scoring 20 goals and conceding just three in the process.
As a result, Italy comfortably sit on top of Group J also containing Finland, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Armenia, Greece, and Liechtenstein.
The qualification for UEFA Euro 2020 awards automatic slots to the top two in every group, with four more slots to be awarded via the UEFA Nations League play-offs.
With the victory over Greece, Italy became the second nation to book their spot at next summer's continental championship (after Belgium), as they are nine points clear of third-placed Armenia with just three rounds of matches left.