World Cup Qualifiers – The 5 truths of Switzerland-Italy: lackluster attack, Immobile’s curse continues

World Cup Qualifiers – The 5 truths of Switzerland-Italy: lackluster attack, Immobile’s curse continues
World Cup Qualifiers – The 5 truths of Switzerland-Italy: lackluster attack, Immobile’s curse continues

Switzerland-Italy, match of the fifth day of the World Cup qualifiers staged at St. Jakob Park in Basel, ended with a score of 0-0. Match refereed by the Spanish Carlos Del Cerro Grande. In the second half Jorginho had a penalty saved by Sommer. With this result, Roberto Mancini’s Italy maintains a 4-point lead over Murat Yakin’s Switzerland, who, however, has two games less. Here are the 5 truths that the game left us.

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1) Switzerland will commit us to the end

Nothing new, we already knew it at the time of the draw. And not even the 3-0 round in mid-June at the Olimpico had helped to soothe the spirits. Switzerland are a good team, they have not suffered from the passage from Petkovic to Yakin and are the only opponent able to worry Italy in the race for first place in Group C, the only one who will avoid the bogeyman of the play-offs. Assuming that the Swiss will lose very few – if any – points between Bulgaria, Northern Ireland and Lithuania, the date to be circled in red on the calendar is 12 November. That is the return match. Always in Rome, as in the European Championships. It is forbidden to make mistakes.

2) Immobile, the blue curse continues

Now it seems almost a constant. Ciro Immobile starts as the owner, stings very little and is replaced during the match in progress. Not from a center forward but from a winger, as happened in the final against England, complete with passing to the false nine. Commitment is never lacking, neither is the game for the team, but of incisiveness in attack – the main requirement of an attacker, especially if lethal as he knows how to be – not even to talk about it. Relentless center-forward with Lazio, shadow of himself with Italy. Once again. The clues are too many not to turn them into evidence.

Ciro Immobile in action in Switzerland-Italy

Credit Foto Getty Images

3) A goal in 180 minutes: the attack lost its brilliance

Text from Opta: “In each of the last four matches Italy have scored a maximum of one goal per game, after having always scored at least two goals in 12 of the previous 13 matches.” You pass with Spain and England, but the stammering against Bulgaria and Switzerland make you think. And the fault, God forbid, is not only the building. Insigne is not very precise, Berardi does not exploit the greatest scoring ball of the match (penalty excluded), the inputs of Zaniolo and Chiesa do not have too many effects. Blame the packed legs, as we had already pointed out after the match against the Bulgarians, but it is clear that there is also more. The beautiful war machine that has enchanted the entire Mancini management has stalled a bit. And now he must necessarily find himself.

4) Jorginho and penalties, a relationship that has become complicated

Once upon a time there was the ice man who never made a mistake from the spot. A look at the goalkeeper, a jump, a touch to roll the ball on the opposite side with respect to the movement of the opponent’s goalkeeper. For some time now, however, something seems to have gone wrong in the relationship between Jorginho and penalty kicks. First the mistake against England, then last night’s one. A double topic that does not affect its enormous importance for the tactical fate of Italy, nor the wonderful season played between Chelsea and the Italian national team. But the former Neapolitan must rediscover that coldness that has elected him as the master of executions from 11 meters.

Jorginho despairs after missed penalty – Switzerland-Italy 2022 World Cup qualifiers

Credit Foto Getty Images

5) Zaniolo will be the extra weapon towards the World Cup

He did not enchant, Nicolò Zaniolo. On the contrary: his entry into the field did not change the fate of a match that at a certain point was wrapped up in itself. But how nice to have seen him in the blue jersey (white, indeed, but it doesn’t matter). If the physicist does not play other tricks on him, as has already happened too many times in the course of his still short career, the left-handed of Rome will be the extra weapon in the race to Qatar. Welcome back.

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