Group A1 remained open as Italy and the Netherlands played a fun draw at Bergamo, entering the November fixture after Donny van de Beek canceled Lorenzo Pellegrini's early kick.
Italy-Netherlands: reaction as it is
For a while it looked like there would be one-way traffic in Bergamo. Italy took the lead in the 16th minute, courtesy of Lorenzo Pellegrini, after the beautiful Nicolò Barella had the ball, and the Netherlands remained in the lead until Donny van de Beek made a sucker punch.
From then on, the teams hit each other in a highly watchable match as Oranje transformed into an unconventional 5-3-2 system. Often so deadly, Ciro Immobile missed the best opportunities and somehow left Group A1 wide open as Poland (seven points), Italy (six) and the Netherlands (five) competed.
Paolo Menicucci, correspondent for Italy
An extremely entertaining game in Bergamo where both sides play with three points from start to finish. Italy extended an undefeated run that began after losing to Portugal in September 2018. They are now second in the group, but a win against Bosnia and Herzegovina and Poland in their last two games will definitely mean finishing on top. Tonight they have confirmed they have enough quality to do so.
Derek Brookman, Dutch correspondent
The Dutch can get a lot of positive things from this. In the end they scored under Frank de Boer, they could have probably won, and they have shown with certainty that they can level up their game when faced with the best opponents. Playing 3-5-2 is felt by many Dutch football fans as a perversion, but tonight has made them fit and not overrun in midfield.
Italy coach Roberto Mancini : “It was a good match, it was a fun battle, with both sides trying to win until the end. The Netherlands is a great side. We knew it would be a tough game. We attacked and I think we created more opportunities overall. ”
Frank de Boer, Dutch coach : “I wanted to play with the five in the back so my forwards wouldn't have to run back with overlapping players. Basically, that's just what we can offer in return for a very sensible look and exercise to the opponent. ”
Italy striker Lorenzo Pellegrini : “We regret a little because we think we have enough chances to win this match. After taking the lead, we could have killed the game by scoring a few more goals. But the Netherlands are also a great team and they played much better than the game in September. ”
Virgil van Dijk, captain of the Netherlands : “We played really good football with the spells. We were well organized, we worked hard. Maybe we could have done more in the second half. the future. ”
Frenkie de Jong, Dutch midfielder : “We had to come up with a good plan. They had a lot of gaps in the previous match so we made sure they didn't get it this time. Maybe we should have gotten more out of this encounter. We are still a good team. ”
- Italy are undefeated in their last 19 games (W14 D5) and are undefeated in 23 innings at home.
- Van de Beek's goal was the Netherlands' first goal in 326 minutes, allowing Oranje to avoid a four-game run without a goal for the first time in their history.
- Italy's UEFA Nations League has never scored more than two goals.
- The Netherlands are still looking for their first away win in the UEFA Nations League (D3 L2).
- Italy have not conceded more than one goal in any of their last 22 games.
Italy : Donnarumma; D'Ambrosio, Bonucci, Chiellini, Spinazzola; Verratti (Locatelli 56), Jorginho, Barella; Chiesa (Kean 56), Still, Pellegrini (Florenzi 73)
Netherlands : Cillessen; Blind (Veltman 77), Aké, Van Dijk, De Vrij, Hateboer; Wijnaldum, Frenkie de Jong, Van de Beek; Depay (Babel 90 + 2), Luuk de Jong
The Netherlands hosted Bosnia and Herzegovina on Sunday, November 15, while Italy hosted Poland.