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Foot: unbeaten record for Italy who no longer loses, but does not win either

The reigning European champions conceded the draw (0-0) against Switzerland and took advantage of it by beating the unbeaten record of a national team.

Italy failed to break through the Swiss safe, perfectly guarded by Yann Sommer and had to settle for a draw (0-0) on Sunday which, failing to clarify its route to the World Cup-2022, allows him to beat the record of invincibility of a national team. Even Jorginho, the great specialist in penalties, broke his teeth on the impassable goalkeeper and captain of the Nati, who stopped without trembling the penalty azzurro (53rd) to receive the deserved ovation of more than 30,000 Swiss supporters, in Basel.

Sommer, in the wake of his beautiful Euro, disgusted the entire Italian attack line, from Domenico Berardi to Lorenzo Insigne, to offer this precious point to Switzerland. The Italian European champions, with this second draw in four days, after that against Bulgaria (1-1) Thursday in Florence, are making things more difficult on the road to the 2022 World Cup.

Traumatized by the non-qualification for the last World Cup, a first since 1958, the Azzurri will have to fight to win first place, directly qualifying for Qatar. Chiellini and his family have no desire to relive the episode of the dams which had been fatal to them in 2017, against Sweden. The only consolation for Roberto Mancini: his Nazionale broke the unbeaten record of a national team with this 36th game without defeat, since a loss against Portugal (0-1) three years ago.

With 27 wins and 9 draws, Italy now does better than the series of 35 matches of Spain between 2006 and 2009 and Brazil between 1993 and 1996 (who had also lost on penalties the final of the Copa America in 1995).

Return of Zaniolo

As against Bulgaria, Roberto Mancini relied heavily on the holders crowned European champions in July. Marco Verratti, hit in a knee, was however replaced by Manuel Locatelli, the one who had scored two goals for the Swiss in the first round of the Euro (3-0) and Federico Chesa, very active, Thursday, did not enter than in the second half.

Switzerland was no longer quite that of the Euro, where it had bent France in the round of 16, with several weighty absentees: captain Granit Xhaka (coronavirus), Remo Freuler (suspended), Xherdan Shaqiri and Breel Embolo (physical glitches). But she could count on her public, which had not been so numerous for a Nati match since the start of the pandemic and especially on goalkeeper Sommer always on top.

Fears at the end of the match for Donnarumma

The Swiss goalkeeper was faultless, twice against Berardi first, during a hot face-to-face (19th) then a full-axis strike (23rd), then twice against Insigne, especially on a closed angle attempt on a free kick (45 + 3rd). The latter had also missed the frame in a good position, on a still impeccable service from the precious Locatelli (35th). In the second half, after the penalty obtained by Berardi and missed by Jorginho, he won yet another duel against Insigne (72nd). It was said that Italy would not succeed, despite the coming into play of the arrows Chiesa and Nicolo Zaniolo, for their return to the selection a year after his serious knee injury.

Gianluigi Donnarumma, was rather quiet in the first period, despite a dangerous header from Manuel Akanji (41st). But the end of the match gave him more and more intense fears, Switzerland not being far from winning the piece against tired Italians. But the new Swiss coach Murat Yakin, for his first official match, could be satisfied with this good point against the European champions.


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