Mancini Rejoices in Italy Transformation But ‘It’s Not Over Yet’ | Sports Pundit

Roberto Mancini refused to take any credit for Italy’s dramatic overhaul and insists there’s one more step to go after they clinched a spot in the Euro 2020 final.

Italy won 4-2 on penalties over Spain after a 1-1 draw in Tuesday’s semi-final at London’s Wembley Stadium.

Former Inter Milan and Manchester City manager Mancini took over as Italy boss in 2018, six months after the side failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

It was a low ebb for the Azzurri and Italian football, but he has since revitalised the national team, with an outstanding Euros qualifying campaign.

Tuesday’s penalty shootout win marked 33 games unbeaten for Italy as well as qualifying for a major tournament final for the first time since the 2012 Euros.

“The credit goes to the lads, because they believed in all this three years ago, but it’s not over yet,” Mancini said.

“We’ve got to gather our strength, what is left, and prepare for the Final.”

It wasn’t easy for Italy, who took the lead on the hour from Federico Chiesa, before Alvaro Morata levelled for Spain with 10 minutes to go.

Spain dominated possession (71-29%), with 908 passes at 88 per cent accuracy, compared to Italy’s 387 at 74 per cent but couldn’t take their chances.

“Penalties are cruel. It was a tough team, Spain are a great side who play really well,” Mancini said.

“We didn’t play the way we usually do, but fought hard and knew it’d be like this.

“Football teams attack and defend, they cannot just attack. We both had chances, these are both great teams, all teams defend, not just Italians.”

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