Spain Under-21s met again this Saturday with the rival that usually gives them the most problems: Italy Under-21s. The Italians needed to add points to avoid being eliminated in the group stage of the European that takes place in Slovenia. The tension was reflected from the first minute. It was a tactical duel first and desperate later. What seemed like a situation controlled by Italy ended up unhinged with the reds to Scamacca and Rovella. For the second game in a row Italy finished with nine players. Spain, with ten by expulsion of Mingueza, cornered his rival in the last quarter of an hour. A shot by Puado that Carnesecchi deflected when regulation time had elapsed, led to 0-0. The draw forces De la Fuente's team to get at least another draw next Tuesday against the Czech Republic. It will be enough with one point to place Spain in the final phase of the tournament that will be settled between the end of May and the beginning of June.
Italy imposed its old conditions. With five highly skilled defenders guarded by three very attentive midfielders, the Italian field was an impracticable territory in which Spain lost balls that quickly ended up in Cutrone and Scamacca. The maneuver was repeated regularly and with the same unsettling effect on the defenders. Scamacca, a nine that is a stalk, received the long pass and stirred with agility to play with Cutrone, who returned the ball to him in the area. Guillamón and Cuenca, the Spanish centrals, did not have a moment of truce. Guillamón, with a yellow card, seemed vulnerable in the eyes of the coach. De la Fuente replaced him with Mingueza, who made his debut for Spain with a great performance until the referee sent him off by mistake: he thought he had given Rovella a header in the brawl that happened to Scamacca's second yellow card, ten minutes from the final.
Spain Under-21 Álvaro Fernández, Óscar Mingueza, Hugo Guillamón (Pipa, min. 45), Juan Miranda, Jorge Cuenca, Manuel Garcia, Gonzalo Villar (Jon Moncayola, min. 55), Marc Cucurella, Martín Zubimendi ( Fran Beltrán, min. 79), Javi Puado and Abel Ruiz Italy U21 Marco Carnesecchi, Matteo Lovato, Luca Ranieri, Enrico Del Prato, Davide Frattesi, Raoul Bellanova, Nicolo Rovella, Tommaso Pobega, Gianluca Frabotta, Patrick Cutrone (Giacomo Raspador (Giacomo Raspador) 69) and Gianluca Scamacca Goals Yellow cards Hugo Guillamón (min. 15), Gianluca Frabotta (min. 23), Tommaso Pobega (min. 34), Gonzalo Villar (min. 44), Enrico Del Prato (min. 50), Nicolo Rovella (min. 68), Martín Zubimendi (min. 75), Gianluca Scamacca (min. 80) and Giacomo Raspadori (min. 94) Red cards Gianluca Scamacca (min. 85), Óscar Mingueza (min. 86) and Nicolo Rovella (min. 87)
The Italy game was a heavy exercise that threatened to wear down the morale of men like Villar and Manu García, forced to live without supplies, without time, without space, and without much hope of opening a gap. The midfielders of the ball were dispossessed and the centrals troubled with so much hand in hand. In one outing, Cuenca got on badly with Guillamón. The ball ended up at the feet of Frattesi, who put the goalkeeper's reflexes to the test. Álvaro Fernández, goal of Huesca, responded like a cat. It was before the break, and it was the cleanest occasion in Italy.
Italy had been the only team that managed to beat Spain in the last European of the category, in 2019. This time, for more than an hour, they did it all well against an adversary who could not enter either from the inside or from the outside. Italy was driven off not by Spain but by the temptation to speculate. Informed that the Czech Republic and Slovenia had drawn (1-1) in the other Group match, the players tried to sleep the match. Rovella, a remarkable midfielder, began to play all the balls with his centrals. That's where they were when Scamacca again overused his arms and slapped Mingueza. The referee expelled him and, by very little, Italy did not end up defeated after an intense siege.
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