Domestic football is set to return this weekend across the continent but before that, we had the chance to witness a few more UEFA Nations League games before the competition fades into the background for a while longer.
Last night saw Italy and the Netherlands, two of Europe’s greatest football nations, collide in what turned out to be a chess match of an encounter that ended 1-1. Today, we’ll be taking a look at some of the things we’ve come to learn about both teams after the result.
While both were able to get on the scoresheet, there was definitely a sense of trepidation within both sides – as if they didn’t want to show their hand. We’ve still got many months left to go before UEFA Euro 2021 and things are going to change a whole lot between now and then, but it felt like there was a trigger shy element to both of their games. Perhaps that’s just because they’re both in the rebuild phase of their current development.
Dutch on the scoresheet
Manchester United fans would’ve been smiling from ear to ear after seeing Donny van de Beek equalise for the Dutch, giving Frank de Boer his first goal as Netherlands boss. One thing we’ve always seen from this nation is exciting football over the years and while simply reaching the Euros after missing out on two straight international tournaments is an achievement, their fans will be disappointed if they don’t see what they want to see next summer.
Poland take advantage
While Italy and the Netherlands were busy playing out a 1-1 draw, Poland were busy beating Bosnia-Herzegovina to take themselves top of the group. They’re priced at a distant 60/1 to win the Euros next year but even if they don’t come close, they’re definitely giving these two teams something to think about. The Nations League opens up the door for some surprise results and for some interesting appearances in the later rounds, so perhaps in that regard, it could wind up being a success – but only time will tell on that end.
Italy: Donnarumma (6.5), Spinazzola (7), Chiellini (7), Bonucci (7), D’Ambrosio (7), Verrati (6), Jorginho (6.5), Barella (7.5), Pellegrini (8), Immobile (6.5), Chiesa (6.5), Kean (6), Locatelli (6), Florenzi (6)
Netherlands: Cillessen (7.5), Hateboer (6), de Vrij (7), van Dijk (6.5), Ake (7), Blind (7), van de Beek (7.5), F.de Jong (7.5), Wijnaldum (6.5), Depay (7), L.de Jong (6.5), Veltman (6), Babel (6)
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Goals: Pellegrini :: van de Beek
Yellow Cards: D’Ambrosio, Verratti, Kean,
Red Cards: N/A