Italy 2-1 Hungary: Barella and Pellegrini give Azzurri first Nations League win

By Sports Desk June 07, 2022

Italy registered their first victory of the new Nations League campaign by beating Hungary 2-1 at Stadio Dino Manuzzi.

First-half goals from Nicolo Barella and Lorenzo Pellegrini sealed the points for Roberto Mancini’s side in the Group A3 encounter in Cesena on Tuesday.

Hungary pulled one back after the break when Gianluca Mancini put through his own net, but Marco Rossi’s men were unable to build on their impressive victory over England on Saturday.

The European champions, who failed to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar, held on for only their second victory from seven matches in what was the first meeting between the nations since August 2007.

Italy made a strong start as Mancini twice met Matteo Politano corners, but was denied by Denes Dibusz on both occasions. Gianluigi Donnarumma then got down well to block Roland Sallai’s fierce strike at the other end.

Dibusz was helpless as Italy broke through on the half-hour mark; Barella receiving the ball from Leonardo Spinazzola before firing into the top corner from 25 yards out.

The hosts doubled their lead just before the break, when Politano's square ball was swept home by Pellegrini at the far post.

Politano went close to adding a third within 10 minutes of the restart, rattling the crossbar from 20 yards out moments after Donnarumma kept out Sallai's volley.

Mancini gave Hungary hope in the 61st minute when he diverted Attila Fiola's centre into his own net.

Sallai and Willi Orban also drew smart saves out of Donnarumma, but Italy were not to be denied all three points.

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