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Argentina vs Italy Live Score and Commentary, pre World Cup 2018 International Friendly

Argentina 2 - 0 Italy (Banega 74', Lanzini 86')
Updated: 24 March 2018 03:06 IST - Published: 23 March 2018 23:59 IST
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PEEP! PEEP! PEEEEEEEEEEEEEP! THAT, THEN, IS VERY MUCH THAT

ARGENTINA BEAT ITALY WITH TWO CLINICAL FINISHES FROM BANEGA AND LANZINI, WHILE ITALY PAY FOR THEIR LAXITY IN FRONT OF GOAL - MUCH, MUCH BETTER THAN THAT SHOWER AGAINST SWEDEN, THOUGH

Moral of the story?

1. Without Leo Messi, Argentina are just another team
2. Whoever had a say in the FIGC appointing Giampiero Ventura, and voted yes, SHOULD GET SACKED. By God. 

That's all from me Anirudh Menon. 

Toodle-ooo!
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90' AH WELL, Why not. Pellegrini picks up the ball from 40 + yards and lets one fly. It's on the way to Rome right now
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89' Jorge Sampaoli really wants that clean sheet does he not?
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88' Perotti almost sneaks into the penalty box, but Rugani does superbly to hold him and win a cheap foul off the Roma man. Argentina make their 4th change as the excellent debutante Bustos goes off for Gabriel Mercado
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87' That was ruthless from the Argentines and they are now passing it around a dispirited bunch of Italian footballers. Sigh. 
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WOOOOOOFFFFFF! Italy attacked, Argentina counter 3 v 3; Higuain plays a simple ball out to Manuel Lanzini who absolutely leathered one in from just outside the box. 

Just before that Buffon had saved sensationally from a Perotti close-range shot to start the Italian attack

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86' GOOOOOOOOOOAL! LANZINIIIIIIIIIII!
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84' OH HO HO! PELLEGRINI! CABELLERO PLAYS A LOOSE LOOSE BALL TO OTAMENDI WHOSE ATTEMPTED PASS OUT THE BACK IS INTERCEPTED BY A STEAMING PELLEGRINI TACKLE... AND THE BALL BOUNCES JUST WIDE OFF THE EMPTY GOAL
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83' Cutrone wins a smart foul off Perrotti and the Argentine's Roman teammate Pellegrini tries to take it early; but can only find Otamendi's boots
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81' Cutrone's played in by a neat little Jorginho ball; but Otamendi reads the line well and steps up just in time to catch the young Milanese offside
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80' Otamendi's pressurised into a loose pass toward Insigne, but he's outmuscled easily by a backtracking Higuain and Argentina look to knock it around safely once again
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78' Italy are pressing Argentine high up the pitch, but Zappacosta gives away a cheap foul on Perrotti
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75' Pavon comes on for Lo Celso as Sampaoli looks to give his other young uns a run out
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Banega plays a lovely one-two with Lo Celso before smacks one past the wrong-footed Buffon from outside the box. Lovely, lovely, goal from a lovely, lovely player
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74' GOOOOOOOOOOOAL! BANEGAAAAAAAAA!
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73' Another corner for Argentina as Perotti whips one in and Bonucci passes it out. Di Biagio takes a roll of the dice as he replaces Immobile with PATRICK "CUTROZAGHI" CUTRONE 
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71' Perotti wins a corner off Zappacosta.... Verratti limps off to be replaced by Bryan Cristante. From the corner, Perrotti absolutely leathers one high into the stands. Good looking shot, though
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70' Higuain kills another move by hogging onto the ball for a bit too long; Italy break through Candreva, he lays it off to Immobile, but the Lazio man's pass is horrible.
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68' OH! TERRIFIC, TERRIFIC Ball from Verratti plays in Insigne who tries to bend it into the far corner, but Cabellero us up to it. The ball bounces out to Pellegrini who whacks it, but straight at the Argentine keeper
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67' OOO! Jorginho plays an absolute corker of a ball off-balance and being pulled down by Banega - Insigne can't make the most of it though. 
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66' Yeah, Messi ain't coming on, is he?
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65' Higuain handles the ball on the half-line and kills an interesting looking Argentina counter
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62' Argentina make a change as Perrotti is thrown on for the ever-excellent Di Maria. Banega is on for Paredes too. 
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61' Insigne then tees up Candreva, who whacks it at goal; but Cabellero calmly palms it away with a nicely timed dive. 
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60' Florenzi, Parolo, Chiesa, off; Zappacosta, Pellegrini, Candreva in. On the field, Insigne tries to play in Immobile but just overhits it
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59' OH CIRO! OH CIRO! Verratti does brilliantly to pick out Immobile down the left, but his shot is well-saved one-on-one by Caballero. The subsequent corner is rubbish
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58' OW! CHIESA! INSIGNE! The young Florentine played in a sublime ball after Parolo played him into the box, but Cabellero did do ever so well to drop on Insgine's feet and stop a simple tap-in
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56' Di Maria races at, and past, Florenzi before lifting one into the box, where Lanzini's first-time volley smashes into D Sciglio. Di Maria takes a pop then from thirty yards. Gigi looks at it contemptuously before gathering it easily 
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55' Jorginho and Veratti take it in turns to try and play in De Sciglio down the left; both of them fail. The Etihad rings out with chants of MESSI MESSI MESSI. 

I;m joining in here MESSI MESSI MESSI!
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54' Lanzini and Bustos play some neat, neat football down the right as they try to play their way into the Italian box, but Jorginho gets a leg in; and that's that. The half-empty Etihad are doing the Mexican wave now
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52' Chiesa goes down as a he gets runs slam-bang into Biglia; who gave him a nice little stomp in the process. The ref blows his whistle to get the young man some treatment
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51' Much better six minutes of football already. Insigne tries to tee up Jorginho on the edge of the box, via a Parolo dummy, but Lo Celso sniffs out the danger and comes back to rob the Napoli midfielder. Did no one shout "MAN ON" or "MAN ON YOU" or something of the sort?
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50' OH! WHAT A MISS! LANZINI THIS TIME! Higuain motors away after a loose Jorginho pass hands him possession. He feeds Di Maria, who curls it onto Lanzini's forehead - free and five yards out, he heads it well over Buffon's crossbar. 
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49' OOOOOOH! MY GOOD LORD! HOW DID INSIGNE MISS THIS! Immobile does so well to run at the Argentine defence and play in Insigne; one-on-one with the keeper, he absolutely smashes it past him, and PAST HIS FAR POST! WHAT A MISS!
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48' OOOO! INTERESTING BALL! He pushes it deep into the Argentine box, the ball flying centimetres above a leaping Bonucci, and Cabellero punches it clear
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47' Insigne gets it again down the left and he plays a couple of nice passes with Verratti before the PSG man gets pulled down. Insigne will take the freekick from the left touchline
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46' Insigne tries to find space down the left; but he's strayed offside. 
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PEEP! WE ARE OFF AGAIN!
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PEEP! HALFTIME! ARGENTINA 0 - 0 ITALY 

This second half could do with some more consistency; at the moment it's spurts of magic that Argentina haven't been able to capitalise on
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45' Argentina look much more a Sampaoli side than ever before....OH MY GOOD LORD! WOOF! DI MARIA PLAYS IN A PASS OF ABSOLUTE MAGIC, HIGUAIN TIMES HIS RUN SUPERBLY BEHIND FLORENZI, SHOOTS LOW AT GIGI, BUT SUPERMAN GETS A STRONG HAND ON IT! GREAT, GREAT FOOTBALL BY ALL THREE
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44' OOOO! Tagliafico bombs forward and gets on the end of some exceptional rat-a-tat passing from Lo Celso, Higuain and Di Maria - but his thunderous shot is well saved by Buffon at his near post. 
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43' It's all Argentina at the moment, as Italy retreat deeper and deeper into their own half. 
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42' Argentina press Italy forward but a Bonucci interception sets Insgine off on his scooter. The Neapolitan tries a one-two off Immobile, but the excellent Otamendi reads it perfectly and carries Argentina back forward
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41' Jorginho plays the ball out to Di Biagio on the touchline and the Italian coach goes absolutely ballistic. 
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40' OOO! Chiesa finds himself free on the right again, but Parolo can't find him as Biglia slams into a no-holds barred challenge. Fair. But tough
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39' OOOO! LEANDRO PAREDES THWACKS ONE FROM THIRTY PLUS YARDS OUT... AND IT ARROWS NARROWLY WIDE OFF BUFFON'S RIGHT HAND POST
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37' OOO! Offside! A loose pass from Bonucci enables Lo Celso to lift a neat ball into Higuain - but Pipita's strayed offside... wouldn't have mattered as Buffon had raced off his line to hack it clear
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36' Di Maria screams at the Italian defence again, a furiously backtracking Florenzi is panicking visibly; but Di Maria's pass/shot across the face of the goal is useless
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35' Jorginho and Veratti Napoli their way out of the box; but Florenzi kills it with a useless crossfield straight to Bustos
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34' Di Maria's having a ball. He torments Chiesa again, takes it past him, takes it past Parolo, then smacks it into the body of Bonucci.