Italy 'too comfortable' in Albania win: Coach Spalletti

AFP , Sunday 16 Jun 2024

Luciano Spalletti saw plenty of room for improvement for Italy after his team came back from the fastest goal ever scored at a European Championship to beat Albania 2-1 at Euro 2024 on Saturday.

Italy's head coach Luciano Spalletti gives instructions from the side line during a Group B match between Italy and Albania at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Dortmund, Germany, Saturday, June 15, 2024. Photo: AP


Italy are second in Group B, level on three points with leaders Spain, after an encouraging performance in front of a feverish Albanian support in Dortmund, which saw Nedim Bajrami open the scoring after just 23 seconds.

But after watching Alessandro Bastoni and Nicolo Barella quickly turn the match around, Spalletti was unhappy at how Italy sat back on their slender lead in the second half instead of going for the decisive third goal.

"We saw lots of good play out there but it has to get you somewhere, because if it doesn't it's no use to anyone," Spalletti told Italian broadcaster RAI.

"We had lots of opportunities to do Albania damage. We worked on moves and how to get at their defence but we kept turning backwards.

"You need to see whether you've created the space in which you can have a chance at goal. If not, you can change your mind but we kept changing our minds too quickly.

"Sometimes it's easy to get comfortable in how you're playing but instead you need to be aggressive, hungry to create more and try to score that extra goal."

Italy face Spain, who beat Croatia 3-0, in Gelsenkirchen on Thursday knowing a point will likely secure a spot in the last 16.

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