Italy remain top of their Nations League group as they shared the spoils with the Netherlands in an entertaining 1-1 draw.

Lorenzo Pellegrini opened the scoring on 16 minutes with a cool finish after he was found with a perfect through-ball from Nicolo Barella.

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But the home side's lead lasted less than ten minutes as Donny van de Beek's right-footed shot from inside the box beat Gianluigi Donnarumma from close range.

Donny van de Beek celebrates scoring against Italy

Image credit: Getty Images

Both teams had chances to grab all three points but were wasteful in front of goal and ultimately a draw was a fair result.

Italy went into the game as the favourites and started off better, with Roberto Mancini's side looking to take advantage of a Netherlands team that is still finding its feet under Frank de Boer.

The Italians' high press and energy caused the Dutch back three problems and it wasn't long before the deadlock was broken, a clinical finish by Pellegrini.

The equaliser came through Van de Beek, who kept his shot down from close range after some neat footwork from Memphis Depay inside the box.

After scoring the Netherlands grew in confidence and enjoyed large spells of possession and could well have taken the lead if Luuk de Jong had not been so wasteful with a string of headers that should have found the back of the net.

The second half continued to entertain with both side playing attractive football. Memphis Depay saw his effort forced away by Gianluigi Donnarumma, having cut in from the left with driving run.

Moments later Ciro Immobile squandered his one on one with Cillessen, which proved to be Italy's best chance of the half.

As the final whistle blew, a draw seemed the fairest result, though Frank de Boer's side will come away feeling like they have made progress under their new coach.

Lorenzo Pellegrini of Italy celebrates his goal against the Netherlands

Image credit: Getty Images

TALKING POINT - Three at the back

Frank de Boer's Netherlands side came into the game still looking for their first victory under the new coach, and there were many eyebrows raised when he lined up with three at the back. But after a rocky start they settled into system and produced some exciting attacking football with Frenkie de Jong pulling the strings from the midfield.

MAN OF THE MATCH - Memphis Depay

The Lyon forward caused the Italian defence problems all night. His driving runs and pace meant the Dutch side were always a threat on the counter attack.


Italy: Donnarumma 6, D'Ambrosio 6, Bonucci 6, Chiellini 6, Spinazzola 6, Jorginho 6, Barella 6, Verratti 7, Chiesa 6, Pellegrini 7, Immobile 7. Substitutes: Locatelli 6, Kean 6, Florenzi 6.

Netherlands: Cillessen 7, Hateboer 6, de Vrij 6, van Dijk 6, Aké 6, Blind 7, van de Beek 7, Wijnaldum 6, F. de Jong 7, L de Jong 6, Depay 8. Substitutes: Veltman (n/a), Babel (n/a).


16' GOAL! One nil to Italy. They grab the goal through Lorenzo Pellegrini who breaks the Dutch defensive line and slots home his one on one from inside the box.

25' GOAL for the Netherlands!! Donny van de Beek lashes home a shot from inside the box after some neat footwork by Memphis Depay.

35' CHANCE! Luuk de Jong's headed chances narrowly misses the bottom corner from an excellent Memphis Depay cross.

36' CHANCE! Another headed chance missed and it really should be two one to the Netherlands. Luuk de Jong's header was poor and goes well wide from a Daley Blind cross.

39' CHANCE! Excellent block from a Leonardo Spinazzola right-footed shot from the left side of the box. The keeper was equal to it

45'+2 CHANCE! Another Luuk de Jong chance comes to nothing, his header fails to find the target from a Daley Blind cross.

55' CHANCE! Chance for Netherlands!! Memphis Depay cutting in from the right, opens up his body and tries to slot the ball home. But Giamluigi Donnarumma gets a hand to it.

56' CHANCE! A golden chance for Ciro Immobile as he's one on one with Jasper Cillessen. But the keeper makes himself big and blocks the shot.


Italy have the better overall record in previous meetings with the Netherlands, too, winning nine and losing three of their past 22 encounters

The Dutch are without a victory in seven meetings with Italy since a 3-0 win in their opening fixture at Euro 2008.

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