Quiet night for Bale as Shaqiri hauls and heavily-rotated Italy win again | fpl.wiki


Italy 1-0 Wales

  • Goals: Matteo Pessina (€6m)
  • Assists: Marco Verratti (€6.5m)
  • Red card: Ethan Ampadu (€5m)

A much-changed Italy side maintained their 100% record by defeating Wales 1-0 with a Matteo Pessina goal.

The result sees Roberto Mancini’s side top the group whilst extending their unbeaten run to 30 matches, the last 11 of which have been without conceding a goal. Wales finish in second place, advancing to the round of 16.

Only three players remained in Mancini’s line-up – Gianluigi Donnarumma (€5.5m), Leonardo Bonucci (€5.5m) and Jorginho (€6m) – disappointing Euro Fantasy owners of Lorenzo Insigne (€8.5m), Ciro Immobile (€10m), Domenico Berardi (€6m) and Leonardo Spinazzola (€5.5m) by keeping them on the bench for all 90 minutes. Giorgio Chiellini (€6m) missed out with a hamstring problem acquired against Switzerland. 

Goalkeeper Donnarumma was replaced in stoppage time but only as a kind gesture to back-up Salvatore Sirigu (€4.5m) and not injury-related. Taken off at half-time, Bonucci owners cruelly missed out on clean sheet points.

Usually regular starters, Italy have excelled in the two games without Federico Chiesa (€7m) and injured Marco Verratti. Both played here and were brilliant, with Chiesa constantly tormenting Neco Williams (€4.5m) down the right flank and providing crosses for Andrea Belotti (€8m). His own 24th-minute shot went narrowly wide.

Verratti provided the only goal, after being fouled by Joe Allen (€5.5m) out wide. His resulting free kick was guided into the far corner by Pessina, giving Italy a well-deserved lead from which Wales didn’t recover.

The 56th-minute red card for Ethan Ampadu made it tough, punished for a slightly late challenge that was deemed to be a stamp on Federico Bernardeschi’s (€7.5m) foot just minutes after the Italian hit the post with his own free kick.

However, the Welsh did have one golden chance to equalise through Gareth Bale (€9.5m). A free-kick was headed across goal, finding Bale in space around ten yards out. He volleyed it over the bar.

It didn’t make a difference for Robert Page’s men, who finished second regardless and secured a round-of-16 meeting with the Group B runner-up – likely Russia, Finland or Denmark. Page changed to a wing-back system, with Ampadu, Williams and Chris Gunter (€5m) replacing a Kieffer Moore (€6.5m), Chris Mepham (€4.5m) and Ben Davies (€5.5m) trio that were one booking away from a suspension.

Italy will fly to Wembley to face the Group C runner-up, whether it be the Netherlands, Ukraine or Austria.

It will be interesting to see whether Mancini keeps Verratti and Chiesa in his team, possibly at the expense of talented Sassuolo duo Manuel Locatelli (€5.5m) and Domenico Berardi (€6m) who were outstanding during Italy’s 3-0 victories against Turkey and Switzerland. Either way, Italy look relentless.

Italy XI (4-3-3): Donnarumma (Sirigu 90’); Tolói, Bonucci (Acerbi 46’), Bastoni, Emerson; Pessina (Castrovilli 87’), Jorginho (Cristante 75’), Verratti; Chiesa, Belotti, Bernardeschi (Raspadori 75’)

Wales XI (3-5-2): Ward; Gunter, Rodon, Ampadu; C Roberts, Morrell (Moore 60’), Allen (Levitt 86’), Ramsey, N Williams (B Davies 86’); James (Wilson 75’), Bale (Brooks 86’)

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Federico Chiesa terrorised Neco Williams down Italy’s right flank and he also contributed four goal attempts from inside the box (‘Attempts’ ‘In’, above). Entering the tournament as one of their star players, Chiesa had to wait patiently for his chance over the equally impressive Domenico Berardi. There will be quite a dilemma ahead for Roberto Mancini ahead of their round of 16 clash.

World-class midfielder Marco Verratti also missed the first two matches but quickly showed his quality by creating five chances (CC, above) for his teammates, more than anyone else on the pitch.

Switzerland 3-1 Turkey

  • Goals: Haris Seferovic (€8.5m), Xherdan Shaqiri (€7m) x2 | Irfan Kahveci (€5.5m)
  • Assists: Steven Zuber (€7m) x3 | Hakan Calhanoglu (€8.5m)

Wales held onto second place despite Switzerland’s best attempts to overtake them on goal difference, with Xherdan Shaqiri inspiring a 3-1 victory over lifeless Turkey.

Having reached the round of 16 in their previous three tournaments, the Swiss would have expected the same this time but were unconvincing against Wales and Italy. They started poorly here too, with Cengiz Under (€7m) and Kaan Ayhan (€5m) forcing very early saves from goalkeeper Yann Sommer (€5m).

Defender Mert Muldur (€4.5m), one of three changes made by Turkey, constantly roamed forward and forced numerous stops from Sommer. The pre-tournament dark horses finally looked like the side who conceded just three times in qualifying and recently defeated the Netherlands.

Then Shaqiri showed up. Steven Zuber, too. The first goal was by Haris Seferovic, given a loose ball by Zuber and placing a shot into the far corner from outside the area.

By the 26th minute, Switzerland were 2-0 up. Seferovic’s shot was blocked, Zuber picked up the loose ball and enabled Shaqiri to curl a delightful shot past Ugurcan Çakir (€4.5m) from the edge of the box. It should have been 3-0 soon after, with Shaqiri sent through on goal but denied by the foot of Cakir.

Turkey pulled a goal back in the 62nd minute with another long-range strike, this time by Irfan Kahveci. Twisting past Ricardo Rodriguez (€5.5m) a few times, his left-footed shot sailed into the far corner.

Kahveci and Muldur were two of Turkey’s three changes to the starting XI alongside defender Merih Demiral (€5m). Of those replaced, at least Okay Yukuslu (€5.5m) and Kenan Karaman (€6.5m) made substitute appearances, as did playmaker Yusuf Yazici (€5.5m).

Zuber was handed his first Swiss start of the summer and soon made history, providing the assist for Shaqiri’s second goal and becoming only the third player in European Championship history to set up three goals in one match (alongside Michael Laudrup in 1984 and Manuel Rui Costa in 2000).

Here, his low cross found Shaqiri unmarked in the penalty area for a simple, left-footed finish. Switzerland impressed here and their four points should be enough to qualify for the round of 16. Five years ago, the six third-placed sides totalled either three or four points. 

There was a stoppage-time appearance from Kevin Mbabu (€5m), who was dropped from the initial line-up with Fabian Schar (€5m).

Switzerland XI (3-4-2-1): Sommer; Elvedi, Akanji, Rodríguez; Widmer (Mbabu 90’), Xhaka, Freuler, Zuber (Benito 85’); Shaqiri (Vargas 75’); Embolo (Mehmedi 86’), Seferovic (Gavranovic 75’)

Turkey XI (4-2-3-1): Çakir; Çelik, Demiral, Soyunçu, Muldur; Ayhan (Yokuslu 64’), Tufan (Yazici 64’); Ünder (Karaman 80’), Kahveci (Kokcu 80’), Calhanoglu (Tokoz 86’); Burak Yilmaz

JUST EAT’S KEY TAKEAWAYS

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When Xherdan Shaqiri is on form, he is a marvellous attacking threat. The Liverpool man had seven goal attempts, mostly long-range. He’s coming into form at the right time and Switzerland will heavily rely on him if they are to progress beyond the round of 16.

Steven Zuber ended the night with three assists and has surely cemented his name onto the teamsheet. Playing as a left wing-back, Zuber was extremely far forward when creating chances. The Swiss looked devoid of ideas in their first two games but the Shaqiri-Zuber-Seferovic combination worked wonders here.

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