Roberto Mancini believes Austria may be a tougher team than Italy’s Euro 2020 quarter-final opponents.
Italy beat Austria 2-1 in the last-16 of Euro 2020, but were pushed all the way by the underdogs and needed two goals in extra-time to seal the win.
Mancini was full of praise for his players as Italy continue to prove they are serious contenders to win Euro 2020.
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“We brought it home because we deserved it, even though we conceded on a corner and had to let one in sooner or later,” Mancini told RAI Sport.
“We frankly should’ve scored the two goals a lot earlier and not gone to extra time, and we got tired as it wore on, but we won deservedly.
“The players who came off the bench had the right mentality and stepped straight into the match to change the game.
“Those who came on were extraordinary after those who came off had already given everything they had.
I knew this was going to be tough, probably tougher than the quarter-final. Games can take the wrong bent, but we played well and deserved it.
“This test can do us good, we had to show a strong mentality.”
He added: “We were tired but we knew how to suffer. We knew from the start that it was going to be complicated, but the boys did everything to win."
Italy could play Portugal or Belgium in the quarter-finals, with both sides impressing during the group stages.
Asked who Italy would prefer to face, Mancini replied: “I knew this was going to be tough, probably tougher than the quarter-final.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 26: Leonardo Bonucci of Italy and teammates celebrate after victory in the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Round of 16 match between Italy and Austria at Wembley Stadium at Wembley Stadium on June 26, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by

Image credit: Getty Images

Federico Chiesa and Matteo Pessina came off the bench to inspire Italy to a dramatic win in extra-time.
Sasa Kalajdzic pulled one back for Austria to make for a nervy ending for Italy and end their run of 1,1168 minutes without conceding a goal.
Gianluigi Donnarumma was forced to make key saves at several crucial moments and the goalkeeper thinks conceding for the first time in eleven matches will be good for Italy.
“We knew it wasn’t going to be easy. We did well to keep everything tight, keep pushing and score the goal to break the deadlock and it was easier from there,” Donnarumma told RAI Sport.
H“It’s true we conceded at the end, but ultimately that might help us going forward.”
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