Copa America champions Argentina comfortably defeated European Championship winners Italy 3-0 to take the Finalissima at Wembley.
Lautaro Martinez, Angel Di Maria and Paulo Dybala were on target as Lionel Scaloni’s side secured the ‘Cup of Champions’ - it is the second time La Albiceleste have won the trophy after defeating Denmark way back in 1993, the last time the competition was held.
Italy - returning to the scene where they were crowned champions of Europe last year thanks to their defensive resilience and excellent organisation - were undone by Lionel Messi’s genius as he created the opening goal, taking out Giovanni Di Lorenzo before laying it on a plate for Martinez.
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Di Maria doubled Argentina’s advantage on the stroke of half-time, outpacing Giorgio Chiellini – who was hooked at half-time on his final appearance for his country – to latch onto Martinez’s through ball and lift it over the onrushing Gianluigi Donnarumma.
Roberto Mancini made a triple change at the break in a desperate bid to spark improvement – but to little effect. If anything, Argentina were even more dominant in the second half, completely overrunning Italy in midfield as they chalked up a number of further opportunities.
Donnarumma tried to keep the score respectable, making a number of saves to keep the brilliant Messi off the scoresheet, while Alessandro Bastoni cleared Lo Celso's effort off the line, but late substitute Paulo Dybala would put the icing on the cake with a third in stoppage-time.

Lionel Messi lifts the trophy

Image credit: Getty Images

TALKING POINT - Thrilling Argentina signal the end of an era for Italy

Roberto Mancini has picked a squad of 30 players for the upcoming UEFA Nations League but promised he would give as many of his Euro 2020 winners a starting place for the Finalissima. A lot has clearly changed in 325 days as this Italy side looked a shadow of the one which edged out England on a penalty shootout.
Chiellini described the Finalissima as the ‘perfect way’ to end his final appearance, but in truth it ended horribly for the 37-year-old as his lack of pace and fitness were brought into sharp focus, with his misery ending after just 45 minutes. His below-par performance really encapsulated Italy as a whole. The entire team was slow, predictable and, in truth, very much off their game as they were outplayed by a fantastic Argentina, who extended their unbeaten run to a remarkable 32 games.
Messi has endured something of a mixed season at Paris Saint-Germain but the 34-year-old looked back to his brilliant best in the colours of his country, and that is a frightening thought for the world ahead of this year’s World Cup in Qatar. Unlike in previous years, however, this is far from a one-man show. Under the tutelage of a superb manager, La Albiceleste are resolute and resilient in defence, excellent in and out of possession and generally impressive in every department. Make no mistake, they will be a real threat this winter.
HOW IT HAPPENED

MAN OF THE MATCH - Lionel Messi (Argentina)

Who else? The world ran out of superlatives for this genius a long time ago. Messi has had his troubles for PSG this season but the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner reminded everyone of his qualities tonight as he run Italy ragged, finishing the match with two assists.

PLAYER RATINGS

Italy: Donnarumma 7, Di Lorenzo 5, Bonucci 5, Chiellini 4, Emerson 4, Pessina 5, Jorginho 5, Barella 5, Bernardeschi 5, Belotti 5, Raspadori 5. Subs: Spinazzola 4, Locatelli 5, Lazzari 5, Scamacca 5, Bastoni N/A.
Argentina: E Martinez 6, Molina 6, Romero 8, Otamendi 7, Tagliafico 6, De Paul 7, Rodriguez 7, Messi 9*, Lo Celso 8, Di Maria 8, Lautaro Martinez 8. Subs: Pezzella N/A, Alvarez N/A, Palacios N/A, Gonzalez N/A, Dybala N/A

KEY MOMENTS

28’ - GOAL! ITALY 0-1 ARGENTINA (LAUTARO MARTINEZ): Magic from Messi! The No.10 spins Di Lorenzo as he drives to the by-line and picks out Martinez who slots hom his 20th international goal to give Argentina the lead. Italy are unhappy - they feel there was a foul in the build-up - but the goal will stand after a VAR check.
45’+1 - GOAL! ITALY 0-2 ARGENTINA (ANGEL DI MARIA): A beautiful goal from Di Maria doubles Argentina's advantage! Chiellini, on his farewell appearance, can't keep up with Di Maria as he latches onto Martinez's through ball and he keeps his cool to lift it over the onrushing goalkeeper Donnarumma.

90’+3 - GOAL! ITALY 0-3 ARGENTINA (PAULO DYBALA): Argentina deserved a third for their second-half performance and now they've got it! Messi is at the centre of it - because of course he is - racing forward before releasing it to Dybala and he slots it into the far corner to put the icing on the cake with virtually the last kick of the game.
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