Sunday, 18 November 2007

[Scotland 1-2 Italy] Italian press reaction

The Italian media paid tribute to the country's football heroes after they clinched a place at the Euro 2008 finals with a hard-fought 2-1 win in Scotland.

Luca Toni opened the scoring at Hampden Park on Saturday and, although Barry Ferguson restored parity midway through the second half, Christian Panucci's late strike ensured the World Cup winners progressed from Group B along with France.

The headline in sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport exclaimed: "Italy fly to the European Championship - Panucci's goal seals qualification."

The Corriere dello Sport's headline read: "This is Italy. The Glasgow triumph gives us the European Championships."

A sub-headline in national newspaper La Repubblica said: "From Toni to Panucci, the perfect game - but it is a 2-1 (win) obtained with a World Cup spirit."

More than ten million viewers watched the game on television in Italy and they were given immediate cause to cheer after Toni's second-minute opener.

After Scotland equalised in the second half, Roma defender Panucci - a player who did not make Marcello Lippi's World Cup squad - knocked in the winner in second-half injury time.

When the Azzurri won the 2006 World Cup in Berlin, they did so with Serie A football under a cloud with some of the national-team players' clubs embroiled in the Calciopoli scandal.

On Saturday, Italy played just six days after the shooting death of a Lazio fan which sparked football-related violence across the country.

Players wore black armbands in memory of the victim, Gabriele Sandri.

National newspaper La Stampa likened the win to the success in Germany. "Triumph in Scotland, Italy go to the European Championship," its main headline read.

That paper also said: "We see again the World Cup Azzurri - the goals of Toni and Panucci, but also the heart of Berlin."

A La Reppublica columnist questioned the tactics of Scotland manager Alex McLeish, who used James McFadden up front, writing: "McLeish gave us a hand playing with just one forward for almost an hour."

There is also a reference to Italy coach Roberto Donadoni, whose position has been in question ever since he replaced Lippi at the helm.

"Now what will we say of Donadoni?" one story asked.

The game was played in very wet conditions at Hampden Park in Glasgow.

National newspaper Corriere della Sera said in a headline: "Battle under the rain in Glasgow. Italy go to the European Championship."

That paper also said the hosts had been fortunate in its match report. The story's headline read: "Toni scores then Antonio Di Natale has a goal disallowed, then after the restart, Scotland equalise in offside position and Panucci scores the crucial goal at the end."

Source: PA

No comments:

Post a Comment