Italy 1-1 Germany: Kimmich strikes to earn Germany draw
Saturday, 4 June 2022
Joshua Kimmich struck to earn Germany a point in their Group A3 opener with EURO holders Italy.
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Two goals in four second-half minutes saw the UEFA Nations League Group A3 opener between Italy and Germany end all square in Bologna.
35' Scamacca shot hits post
38' Gnabry fires over after good move
70' Pellegrini puts Italy ahead
73' Kimmich equalises for Germany
Match in brief: All square in Bologna
Italy came closest to opening the scoring in the first half when the lively Gianluca Scamacca's shot hit the outside of the post, although Germany spurned opportunities of their own, not least when Serge Gnabry fired over.
But the deadlock was broken 20 minutes from time thanks to a wonderful assist by debutant Wilfried Gnonto, crossing to present Lorenzo Pellegrini with a tap-in.
Parity was soon restored though as Joshua Kimmich coolly slotted in when the ball dropped to him in the penalty area.
Paolo Menicucci, match reporter
Roberto Mancini will have seen a lot of promise from his side as they held a significantly more experienced Germany team. The Azzurri matched their opponents in the first half, even hitting the post through Scamacca, and then created a series of good chances in the second before deservedly taking the lead through Pellegrini from an assist by 18-year-old debutant Gnonto. Germany, however, made their experience count and quickly responded through Kimmich to start Group A3 with a good point in Bologna.
Roberto Mancini, Italy coach: "We were a bit naïve in conceding the equaliser immediately after our goal. It's a shame. It wasn't an easy game, especially at the beginning but then we did well. I'm happy for the lads. They were good against a great national team."
Alessandro Florenzi, Italy defender: "It wasn't an easy game. We changed a lot of players compared to [the game against] Argentina, and I think we stepped up to the plate, especially in terms of how we approached the game. The good football will come later. It takes a lot of courage and a lot of running but we gave a lot of positive signs."
Hansi Flick, Germany coach: "The first quarter of an hour was okay; after that we lost our rhythm a bit and let ourselves be fooled. On the positive side, the team recovered after falling behind."
Joshua Kimmich, Germany midfielder: "We weren't so happy with the first half but that proved to be the better half for us. We came out very weak after the break, didn't make much for ourselves and couldn't implement our tactics. We didn't eliminate our mistakes with the ball, gifted them too much possession and weren't precise enough in the last third. They pressed us high but not to the point that we couldn't create anything. We could have stayed calmer in possession."
- Four of the last five international matches between Italy and Germany have finished level.
- Thomas Müller made his 113th appearance for Germany, equalling Philipp Lahm's tally for fifth most in the nations' history.
- Italy have lost only one of their last 11 Nations League matches (W5 D5).
- Germany have won only two of their 11 Nations League matches (D6 L3).
Italy: Donnarumma; Florenzi, Acerbi, Bastoni, Biraghi (Dimarco 80); Frattesi (Ricci 85), Cristante, Tonali (Pobega 80); Politano (Gnonto 65), Scamacca (Cancellieri 85), Pellegrini
Germany: Neuer; Kehrer, Rüdiger, Süle, Henrichs (Hofmann 59); Kimmich, Goretzka (Gündoğan 69); Gnabry (Raum 80), Müller (Havertz 70), Sané (Musiala 59); Werner
What happens after the UEFA Nations League group stage?
The four group winners in League A will advance to the knockout finals with, in principle, one appointed as hosts. The semi-finals will be played on 14 and 15 June 2023 with the final and third-place play-off to follow on 18 June.
The teams finishing fourth in the groups in Leagues A will be relegated to League B for the 2024/25 edition.