Armenia 1-3 Italy: Azzurri ride their luck to see off 10-man hosts

By Sports Desk September 05, 2019

Unbeaten Italy took another step towards the Euro 2020 finals with a 3-1 win in Armenia.

An Andrea Belotti brace and a solitary effort from substitute Lorenzo Pellegrini settled a spicy contest in Yerevan against hosts who played the full second half with 10 men.

Armenia could count themselves unlucky, losing their early goal-scorer Aleksandre Karapetyan to a controversial red card just before the break.

They matched Italy for long stretches in the second half, but two goals in three minutes scuppered their hopes of reward.

Related items

  • Sergio Ramos turns 34: What has the Real Madrid & Spain star achieved so far? Sergio Ramos turns 34: What has the Real Madrid & Spain star achieved so far?

    Sergio Ramos has won it all for Real Madrid and Spain.

    From the World Cup to the Champions League, the Madrid and Spain captain has a full trophy cabinet.

    As Ramos celebrates his 34th birthday on Monday, we look at what the former Sevilla defender has achieved since moving to the Santiago Bernabeu in 2005.

     

    1 – Ramos helped Spain win their first World Cup in 2010. Playing as a right-back, with Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique the centre-back pairing – Ramos was crucial in Spain keeping five clean sheets in South Africa. It is his only World Cup title to date.

    2 – Spain's most-capped player has two European Championship trophies to his name – Euro 2008 and Euro 2012. Ramos returned to the heart of Spain's defence for their title defence in 2012, partnering Puyol. Ramos also has a pair of Copa del Rey (2011 and 2014) successes.

    4 – Not many can boast four Champions League winners' medals, but Ramos can. The face of Madrid, Ramos hoisted the coveted piece of silverware aloft in 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018. Ramos forced extra time in the 2014 decider against Atletico Madrid as Madrid claimed 'La Decima'. He also scored in the 2016 final versus the same opponent, captaining Madrid to a remarkable three successive Champions League crowns. Just like Europe's premier club competition, Ramos has celebrated four LaLiga triumphs. He won titles under Fabio Capello (2007), Bernd Schuster (2008), Jose Mourinho (2012) and Zinedine Zidane (2017). He has also won as many Club World Cup (2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018) and Supercopa de Espana (2008, 2012, 2017 and 2019-20) finals.

    3 – Ramos and Madrid dominated the UEFA Super Cup between 2014 and 2017, winning the trophy three times. He scored in the 2016 final against former club Sevilla.

    21 – The amount of trophies Ramos has won as a Madrid player. Paco Gento holds the record at the Bernabeu with 23.

    170 – Ramos is the most-capped player in Spain history. He surpassed former Madrid and international team-mate Iker Casillas in October after earning his 168th cap.

    640 – Since swapping Sevilla for Madrid, Ramos has appeared in almost 700 games for the capital club. He is fifth on the all-time list, behind leader Raul (741).

    20 – Ramos holds the all-time record for most red cards in LaLiga. In total, the Spaniard has been sent off 26 times across all competitions. He has four dismissals in the Champions League – equalled for the competition's record.

  • Coronavirus: Inzaghi on suspended season - We all want to finish what we started Coronavirus: Inzaghi on suspended season - We all want to finish what we started

    Filippo Inzaghi believes Italian sides are willing to play in August to complete the season and warned some clubs could disappear if it is not finished.

    Italy has suffered heavily during the coronavirus pandemic that has swept the world, with over 10,000 recorded deaths so far in the country, and the government has suspended all domestic sport until at least April 3.

    The break is likely to continue beyond that date but former Milan striker Inzaghi, now head coach of runaway Serie B leaders Benevento, has warned of the ramifications of scrapping the campaign.

    "Talking about football is difficult," Inzaghi told Sky Sport Italia. "We have all taken a step back for our health, which is the highest priority.

    "By the time everything ends, we want to start playing again - it would be the right thing. We all want to finish what we started eight months ago, and the championships must be finished.

    "It would be the best solution to avoid misunderstandings and prevent someone from being damaged.

    "We are ready to play in June, July and August: we want to end this championship, any other decision will penalise someone. We will go to the courts, some clubs will disappear, so football could risk losing two years, not two months."

    Inzaghi has guided Benevento to 21 victories in 28 games so far this season, while brother Simone is enjoying a successful campaign in the top tier with Lazio.

    The Biancoceleste are second in Serie A, just a point behind leaders Juventus, and Filippo was full of praise for both his brother and Ciro Immobile, Lazio's leading scorer.

    "He is better than me in everything," said the Benevento boss. "I can only learn from Simone: he is a modern coach and seeing his Lazio side is a spectacle."

    Asked to name a player similar to himself, Inzaghi added: "I don't like making comparisons, but I say that Immobile is the best Italian player.

    "He always scores, always decisive. He is the centre-forward that I like best."

  • Xavi: I want to coach Barcelona with Puyol and Cruyff Xavi: I want to coach Barcelona with Puyol and Cruyff

    Xavi named former Barcelona team-mates Carles Puyol and Jordi Cruyff as the men he wants by his side should he get the chance to fulfil his ambition of becoming head coach at Camp Nou.

    The 40-year-old won his second trophy as Al Sadd boss when he guided the club to glory in the Qatar Cup final in January, days after turning down the offer of taking charge of Barcelona.

    At the time Xavi said it was "too soon" for him to coach the LaLiga champions, but in an interview with La Vanguardia magazine he made it clear that becoming Barca's boss is very much in his plans.

    "I am clear that I want to return to Barca," he said. "I am very excited.

    "Now that I have seen myself coaching, I think I can contribute things to the players.

    "But I made it clear to them that I saw myself in a project that started from scratch, and in which decision-making was mine."

    Xavi shared 15 years as a Barcelona with Puyol and together they won six LaLiga titles, two Copa del Rey titles, three Champions Leagues, the UEFA Super Cup and two FIFA World Cup Cups.

    Cruyff's time at Camp Nou came in the mid-90s, but Xavi said the 46-year-old, who is now head coach of Ecuador, would be his first choice as technical secretary.

    "I would like to work together with people in whom I have confidence, with whom there is loyalty, and who are very valid people," said Xavi. "There cannot be anyone toxic near the locker room.

    "We are talking about Carles Puyol, who was captain of Barca, and Jordi Cruyff, a very good businessman and with a lot of experience in the technical secretary.

    "I am a team person; I don't want to decide alone. Obviously I would like to be very in tune with everyone.

    "In the locker room there can be no negativity, nothing toxic. I would like to enter with people from my environment to form a good team."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.