Luciano Spalletti and his Italian team promised to keep taking big risks in Monday’s important match against Ukraine in Leverkusen, even though they could miss another major event if they lose.
Italy moved up to second place in the group by beating North Macedonia 5-2 on Friday. They passed Ukraine that day. It only takes a draw for Italy to automatically qualify for Euro 2024.
“Under Spalletti, we feel better,” said Federico Chiesa, who scored twice.”We take a few more risks in defence.”
“We want to play against Ukraine with this mentality.”
The Euro 2020 winners haven’t made it to the World Cup in the last two years, and if they lose to Ukraine, the war-torn Eastern European country would make it to the Euros. This would mean that Italy would have to play in a playoff event in 2024 to have a chance to protect their title.
If the Azzurri kept a clean sheet, they would go to Germany for next year’s event. But Spalletti’s attack-minded team has promised not to sit back and protect like old Italian teams did.
“The beauty of attacking football”
The two-time European Champions left the door open for their worst team, even though the score against North Macedonia was in their favour.
Italy was ahead 3-0 at halftime, but Jani Atanasov scored two goals in the second half, which brought North Macedonia back into the game.
Spalletti usually goes for the attack. He led a dangerous offensive machine at Napoli last season, helping them win the Scudetto for the first time since Diego Maradona’s time in charge.
Chiesa, a winger, was scary the whole game and scored twice in the first half. It didn’t bother him how his team was doing defensively.
Chiesa said, “What matters is that we won.”
“Under Spalletti, we feel better about ourselves, which means we take a few more risks in defence.” We wanted to be in charge of the game, and we deserved to win.
Chiesa liked Spalletti’s driving style and said that giving up goals was “part of the beauty of attacking football.”
On Monday, Chiesa said he would do the same thing again.
“This is how we want to play against Ukraine and win in Leverkusen.”
“We must not miss this goal.”
“A wonderful Italy”
Spalletti also didn’t worry about Italy’s stumbles in the second half after Friday’s game.
“Italy was a great team, both in terms of character and how well they played.”
“I thought we would have a hard time, freeze up, and try to hold on.” We went back to running up and down the pitch, putting together moves and scoring goals. Besides the two goals we did score, there were a number of other great chances.
He said that the game against Ukraine was a “final.”
“Whoever has the better of the match will go to the Euros,” he stated.
With home games having to be played away because of the war, Ukraine’s progress through the playoffs has been nothing short of amazing.
Ukraine will probably feel at home in Leverkusen, even though they are playing almost 2,000 miles away from Kyiv.
The Federal Office for Migration in Germany says that since February 2022, more than a million Ukrainian refugees have come to Germany.
This season, Shakhtar Donetsk from Ukraine has played their home Champions League games in Hamburg, which has drawn big crowds to the city’s Volkspark Stadium.
That one loss came against Italy in March, when Serhiy Rebrov’s team lost 2-1 in Milan. Since then, Ukraine has only lost one of seven games.