International friendly match report Italy v Ukraine 10 October 2018


After encountering defeat in their last encounter against Portugal, the Italians handed a debut to Nicola Barrella in an all-out attacking line-up.

There was no shortage of drama from the start after Federico Bernadeschi looked to give the hosts an early lead with a shot on the turn from outside the box.

Ukraine goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov was working at full length after pulling out Giorgio Chiellini’s half-volley for a corner after seven minutes.

The Azzurri were causing all the problems. As Ukraine struggled to get into the contest, Lorenzo Insigne was just metres away from scoring but his instep shot attempt missed the target.

Pyatov was called to action again when Barrella threatened with a long-range shot after combining with Jorginho.

Closer to halftime, Federico Chiesa decided to try and break the resolve of Pyatov but the veteran came up trumps once again with a good block.

Pyatov was proving to be a menace once again, as he blocked Insigne’s shot with Barrella unable to bury the follow-up on 43 minutes.

The stroke of halftime brought the first shot on target for Ukraine when Marlos turned circles around the defence before testing Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Viktor Tsyhankov was the first change at the start of the second half, as he took the spot on Marlos for the visitors.

The Italians were finally rewarded for their persistence when Bernadeschi’s speculative shot crumbled underneath Pyatov and rolled into the net on 55 minutes.

Despite this, Roberto Mancini still saw it fit to make his first substitution, replacing the goal-scorer for Ciro Immobile within a minute.

Ukraine threatened an immediate response when Roman Yaremchuk shot from out wide forced Donnarumma to concede a corner.

From the corner, Ruslan Malinovskiy was able to creep underneath the defence to volley home the equaliser into the bottom corner.

The Italians were under siege after letting the visitors in and Malinovskiy threatened a second with a free-kick that rattled the underside of the crossbar 20 minutes from time.

Serhiy Sydorchuk. than missed a free-header, albeit through an instant punch away by Donnarumma following a cross out wide a minute later.

In the final quarter, both sets struggled to create meaningful openings with the tempo of the game sliding down.

To run out the match, multiple substitutions on either end would be the order of the day as the two sides settled for a stalemate.

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