The game: 0-2
The terrible night against North Macedonia (0-1), in the qualifying play-offs for the World Cup, on March 24, synonymous with the second consecutive non-qualification for the final phase of a World Cup, will never be erased. But Italy has nevertheless treated this gaping wound a little in recent months. By winning in Hungary on Monday (2-0), the Nazionale validated its ticket for the Final Four of the League of Nations (June 14 to 18), and the new generation put on the front of the stage by Roberto Mancini showed that Italy had much to hope for in the future.
Aggressive, consistent in their pressing, without complex, Italy knew how to show personality to stop the dynamics of a Hungarian team yet confident after their success in Germany (1-0) and pushed by a boiling Puskas Arena, for the last selection of Adam Szalai (34), moved to tears before kick-off. Forced to win to overtake Hungary, who had a two-point lead at kick-off, the Italians unlocked the game thanks to their new darling Giacomo Raspadori (22, see below). After a start to the game clearly to their advantage, they were able to negotiate their weak time thanks to a huge Gianluigi Donnarumma.
The PSG goalkeeper started his show by stopping a shot from Dominik Szoboszlai (41st) before making a prodigious triple save in front of Loïc Nego, Callum Styles and especially Adam Szalai (50th) to disgust Hungary. Two minutes later, Federico Dimarco made the break, after a good action and a service from Bryan Cristante (52nd). Sometimes not very academic on his outings, Donnarumma continued his festival with two other impressive parades in front of Styles (55th, 63rd).
The player: Raspadori confirms
After his memorable goal against England on Friday (1-0), following a delicious control, Giacomo Raspadori was more sober this Monday in Budapest. But the small Italian striker (1.72m) carried his selection further, exploiting good pressing from Gnonto to score his second goal in two matches (27th), the fifth with the A. Very mobile, ultra-smart, the he Napoli striker continues to assert himself as an essential element within the new Italy team. He could also have been decisive on a free kick towards Di Lorenzo (12th) then on an intelligent reversal towards the same Di Lorenzo (31st). Countered on another shot attempt (36th), he hurt very badly with his movements.
The fact: Gulacsi not having a great day
Performing against Germany on Friday, at home in Leipzig where he has been playing since 2015, Peter Gulacsi had a completely different evening this Monday in Budapest. He almost conceded a gag goal at the start of the game when he completely holed up on a cross from Cristante, who was finally saved on the line by Attila Szalai (5th). On Raspadori’s goal, he was then overtaken by Gnonto’s speed on Adam Nagy’s bad back pass, when he had the means to arrive first on the ball (27th). A big contrast with Donnarumma’s performance.