Italy remains top of their Nations League group as they shared the spoils with the Netherlands in an entertaining 1-1 draw.
Lorenzo Pellegrini opened the scoring on 16 minutes with a cool finish after he was found with a great through-ball from Nicolo Barella. But the lead on the home side lasted less than ten minutes, as Donny van de Beek’s right-footed shot from inside the box beat Gianluigi Donnarumma from close range.
Both teams had the chance to score all three points, but they were wasteful in front of the goal, and ultimately a draw was a fair result.
Italy entered the game as the favorites and got better off, with Roberto Mancini’s side looking to take advantage of the Dutch team that is still under Frank de Boer.
The high press and energy of the Italians caused three problems for the Dutch back, and it wasn’t long before the deadlock broke, the clinical end of Pellegrini.
The equalizer came through Van de Beek, who kept his shot in close range after some neat footwork from Memphis Depay inside the box.
After scoring, the Netherlands grew confidently and enjoyed great spells of possession, and could have taken the lead if Luuk de Jong hadn’t been so barren with a series of headers that he would have hit the back of the net.
The second half continued to have fun with both sides playing attractive soccer. Memphis Depay saw his effort forced away by Gianluigi Donnarumma, having cut off from the left with a driving run.
Moments later, Ciro Immobile squandered his one with Cillessen, which proved to be Italy’s best chance of a half.
As the final whistle blew, the draw seemed to be the fairest result, although Frank de Boer’s side would feel like they had made progress under their new coach.