Nations League – Italy beat Belgium to claim third

Nicola Barella
Inter Milan’s Barella struck an excellent volley to hand Italy the lead

Italy withstood a late Belgium fightback to return to winning ways and claim third in the Nations League.

Nicolo Barella opened the scoring with a crisp volley a minute after the interval in Turin before Domenico Berardi scored from the penalty spot.

Belgium hit the woodwork three times before pulling one back through Charles de Ketelaere late on.

They pressed for an equaliser but Italy, whose 37-game unbeaten run was ended by Spain on Wednesday, held on.

After a dull first half of the bronze-medal match, Barella sparked the game into life with a stunning first-time strike into the bottom corner from a corner.

Roberto Mancini’s side doubled their lead from the spot when Thibaut Courtois’ glove could only divert Berardi’s effort into the top corner after Timothy Castagne had brought down the lively Federico Chiesa.

Belgium continued to dominate possession and Courtois released substitute Kevin de Bruyne to find De Ketelaere, who nutmegged an otherwise inspired Gianluigi Donnarumma from close range.

The Italy goalkeeper had earlier denied former Tottenham defenders Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen with smart saves.



Formation 4-3-3

  • 21G Donnarumma
  • 2Di LorenzoBooked at 30mins
  • 15Acerbi
  • 23Bastoni
  • 13EmersonBooked at 82mins
  • 18BarellaSubstituted forCristanteat 70′minutes
  • 5Locatelli
  • 7PellegriniSubstituted forJorginhoat 71′minutes
  • 11BerardiSubstituted forInsigneat 90+1′minutes
  • 9RaspadoriSubstituted forKeanat 65′minutes
  • 14ChiesaSubstituted forBernardeschiat 90+2′minutes


  • 1Sirigu
  • 3Chiellini
  • 6Verratti
  • 8Jorginho
  • 10Insigne
  • 12Dimarco
  • 16Cristante
  • 17Kean
  • 20Bernardeschi
  • 22Meret


Formation 3-4-3

  • 1Courtois
  • 2AlderweireldBooked at 63mins
  • 3Denayer
  • 5VertonghenBooked at 14mins
  • 21Castagne
  • 6WitselBooked at 56mins
  • 8TielemansSubstituted forDe Bruyneat 59′minutes
  • 11CarrascoSubstituted forTrossardat 87′minutes
  • 22SaelemaekersSubstituted forDe Ketelaereat 59′minutes
  • 23Batshuayi
  • 17Vanaken


  • 4Boyata
  • 7De Bruyne
  • 12Mignolet
  • 13Casteels
  • 14Lukebakio
  • 16Theate
  • 18De Ketelaere
  • 19Dendoncker
  • 20Trossard

Srdjan Jovanovic


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