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Italy and Germany drew 1-1 in their Nations League Group A3 opener in Bologna on Saturday.
Roberto Mancini’s team suffered a 3-0 defeat to Argentina in Wednesday’s Finalissima – a meeting between the European champions and the Copa America winners – but they were much improved at the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara.
Azzurri, who hit the post in the first half through Gianluca Scamacca, took the lead in the 70th minute thanks to Lorenzo Pellegrini’s fourth international goal.
However, Germany equalized shortly after when Joshua Kimmich stole in to snatch a point for Hansi Flick’s men.
Germany had been comfortably the better side in the early stages, with Serge Gnabry forcing Gianluigi Donnarumma to a clever stop from a narrow angle in the 15th minute.
Thomas Muller saw a powerful blow blocked by Alessandro Florenzi shortly before half an hour, while Scamacca at the other end hit the bottom of Manuel Neuer’s right post with an effort from distance.
Scamacca headed wide from a promising position shortly after the restart before Matteo Politano had an effort deflected narrowly.
After 65 minutes, an incisive pass through the middle gave Wilfried Gnonto a chance to increase the lead for Pellegrini, and he did not disappoint.
However, Italy’s lead lasted just three minutes as Kimmich cut home from 10 yards to ensure the prey was split.
What does it mean? Italy responds to Mancini’s promise
Mancini promised to start a new era after Italy’s shock failure of qualifying for Qatar 2022, and this was certainly an improved display on his part.
The Azzurri boss will be frustrated that his players threw away their hard-fought lead within minutes, but there were enough signs here that his team has shrugged off their World Cup disappointment and is ready for the task of recreating Italy to the top table in the world. football.
Gnonto shines on debut
Gnonto is the first player born after January 1, 2003 to play for Italy and he did not look out of place on the international stage, the FC Zurich striker created his team’s goal with a fine right wing post.
Muller of the move
Muller’s 113th appearance moved him on par with Philipp Lahm in fifth place on Germany’s all-time appearances list, but the Bayern Munich man endured a quiet battle.
He only tried one shot and had a pass rate of 76.5 percent (the lowest of all Germany’s starters) before being lifted off for Kai Havertz in the 70th minute.
Both sides are in action again on Tuesday, with Italy hosting Hungary and Germany taking on England at the Allianz Arena in Munich.