Giorgio Chiellini insists Italy’s defeat by Spain will help them ‘grow’ despite losing their 37-match unbeaten run… as veteran defender admits they were ‘too eager to try and dominate’ their rivals
- Italy were 1-0 down when captain Leonardo Bonucci was sent off in the first-half
- Man City’s Ferran Torres doubled Spain’s advantage just before the break
- Lorenzo Pellegrini scored a late consolation for the Azzurri on Wednesday night
- Italy will face either France or Belgium in the third-place play-off on Sunday
Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini said he was ‘proud’ of their record 37-match unbeaten run and believed the UEFA Nations League semi-final defeat to Spain was ‘a necessary stage in the growth process’ for the European champions.
Italy were 1-0 down when captain Leonardo Bonucci was sent off for two bookings in the first-half, the second for an elbow on Sergio Busquets.
Manchester City‘s Ferran Torres doubled Spain’s advantage just before the break. Lorenzo Pellegrini scored a late consolation for the Azzurri.
Giorgio Chiellini talks with Spain coach Luis Enrique after the final whistle on Wednesday
‘It’s a pity the defeat came in Milan, but there is proud for this extraordinary run of results,’ Chiellini told RAI Sport, according to football-italia.net
‘it’s a necessary stage in the growth process for a team that can still do far better. We knew it was a difficult match, we called for patience and clear minds, sometimes you have to accept the opposition is a very strong team that causes you problems.
‘It’s a pity, we wanted to continue this unbeaten run, but the fact is this will help our growth process. We almost got it back on level terms when down to 10 men and 2-0 down, so that shows what we’re capable of.’
Italy had captain Leonardo Bonucci sent off in a feisty encounter against Spain in Milan
Italy had prevailed against Spain in the EURO 2020 semi-final on penalties but they were second best on Wednesday night.
‘We weren’t as patient this time, compared to July, we were too frantic and had we not been so eager to prove a point by trying to dominate Spain, then we would’ve probably kept it in the balance for longer,’ added Chiellini.
Italy will face either France or Belgium in the third-place play-off on Sunday.
‘Now we will try to put in a good performance, but the real target is to beat Switzerland in November and secure our place at the World Cup.’
Chiellini celebrates with Gianluigi Donnarumma after Lorenzo Pellegrini pulled a goal back