Nicolo Barella scored the winner as Italy produced an impressive away display to beat the Netherlands 1-0 in the UEFA Nations League.

Roberto Mancini, who recalled Giorgio Chiellini having left him out of Saturday's draw with Bosnia by accident having not worn his glasses while seeing the teamsheet, saw his side dominate the first half with their pressing game working well.

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Nicolo Zaniolo had a bicycle kick which went wide, before hobbling off with a knee injury before half-time, while Lorenzo Insigne twice went close.

The Azzurri continued to press while the Dutch looked happy to sit back and rely on the counter attack. And the visitor's possession was rewarded on the stroke of half time with Inter Milan midfielder Barella heading in Ciro Immobile's cross.

The Oranje improved slightly after the break with Manchester United's new signing Donny van de Beek forcing Gianluigi Donnarumma into a fine save with a first time shot and former United forward Memphis Depay going close with a long-range effort.

But Italy continued to look more dangerous with their front three working harder down the flanks. Moise Kean's missed two opportunities while Insigne's trademark curling effort from the edge of the box was palmed away by Jasper Cillessen.

And Mancini's side held on to make it four points from two games to top Group A while Dwight Lodeweges' side have three points.

Barella vs Holland

Image credit: Getty Images


Why were the Dutch so passive? The Netherlands looked like the away side for much of this contest. Depay and Georginio Wijnaldum, both reported to be targets of Barcelona, were below par and the substitutions made by Lodeweges did not spark much change. It has been a chaotic buildup for Holland with Ronald Koeman's departure to Barcelona but tactics wise their performance was not easy on the eye. They will be relieved there was no crowd in the stadium.


Lorenzo Insigne (Italy): The forward worked tirelessly and was unfortunate not to score. The Napoli man worked well with Ciro Immobile and was a constant threat down the flanks with his pace.


Netherlands: Cillessen 7, Hateboer 6, Veltman 4, van Dijk 5, Aké 4, de Roon 4, F De Jong 4, van de Beek 5, Wijnaldum 6, Depay 5, Promes 5. Subs: Dumfries 5, Bergwijn 5, L de Jong n/a.

Italy: Donnarumma 6, D'Ambrosio 5, Bonucci 5, Chiellini 6, Spinazzola 8, Barella 7, Jorginho 6, Locatelli 6, Zaniolo n/a, Immobile 8, Insigne 8. Subs: Kean 6, Cristante n/a, Chiesa n/a.


13' - PENALTY SHOUT! Depay goes down under a shove by Spinazzola. No penalty was awarded, the defender certainly used his muscle there.

17' - WHAT A MOVE! Spinazzola rides three tackles and crosses from the by-line and Zaniolo's bicycle kick from six yards flies over.

45' - GOAL! Netherlands 0-1 Italy (Barella). Barella on the stroke of half-time with a towering header from Immobile's pinpoint cross.

56' - WHAT A SAVE! van de Beek finds himself in space but his shot from close range is pushed away by Donnarumma, the first-time effort was too close to the keeper.

68' - CLOSE! Immobile, who shinned one wide a minute earlier, finds Kean whose scuffed effort skims the post.

90'+1 - CHANCE! Seconds after Depay's bibycle kick goes wide, Kean dribbles around the keeper and fires the ball over from a tight angle.


  • Italy are unbeaten in their last six matches against Netherlands after losing 0-3 in the first match of Euro 2008 under Roberto Donadoni.
  • The Azzurri are unbeaten in their last 16 matches, racking up 13 wins and three draws.
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