National coach Mancini surprised by Orange’s way of playing: ‘It was a real battle’

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National coach Roberto Mancini of Italy had never foreseen that the Dutch national team would play in a different system on Wednesday evening. The Orange started the Nations League game (1-1) with five defenders and could therefore offer a good match against the Italians.

‘People will have enjoyed’

“It’s the first time they’ve played in a different system, so it came as a surprise,” Mancini said after the Bergamo match. RAI Sport. “We knew in advance that it would be a tough game and that the Netherlands could cause problems. That is exactly what happened.”

The Orange, which played in a 5-3-2 line-up with Daley Blind, Nathan Aké, Stefan de Vrij, Virgil van Dijk and Hans Hateboer as defenders, fell behind after fifteen minutes despite a good first half due to a goal by Lorenzo Pellegrini . Donny van de Beek equalized the score after 25 minutes in an entertaining game.

“It was a good game and a real fight. And despite the game of the Netherlands, I think we got the biggest chances in the game”, said Mancini. “I’m sure we will win the next two games and qualify for the final round.”

The Orange made it very difficult for Italy in Bergamo, but did not win. (Photo: Pro Shots)

At the beginning of September in the Johan Cruijff ArenA, Italy was still much too strong for the Orange, which then ‘only’ lost 0-1. Midfielder Jorginho realized from the start that his team would have a harder time against the Dutch national team in Bergamo.

“In Amsterdam we were given the space to combine. This time they were with five defenders, they put pressure at the right time and we could become less dangerous”, noted Jorginho, who played ninety minutes in Bergamo.

“In the end we knew how to deal with the pressure better and the Netherlands could no longer prevent us from creating opportunities. I think the people enjoyed an entertaining match between two good footballing teams.”

Due to the draw between Italy and the Netherlands, Poland is now in the lead in group 1 of division A. The Poles won 3-0 against Bosnia and Herzegovina on Wednesday evening. There are two more group matches on the program.



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