Chiellini: ‘Better Italy than at EURO 2020’

Giorgio Chiellini assures the 0-0 draw with Switzerland was ‘a big step forward’ from the Bulgaria performance and ‘probably better’ than when Italy beat the same team 3-0 at UEFA EURO 2020.

Of the starting XI in Basel, 10 were identical to the side that beat Switzerland 3-0 at the Stadio Olimpico on June 18, with only Emerson Palmieri in for Leonardo Spinazzola.

Switzerland 0-0 Italy: Jorginho penalty miss proves costly

“We played really well this evening in every sense, with technique and aggression, probably better than when we beat Switzerland 3-0 in June,” Chiellini told RAI Sport.

“What we lacked was the little bit extra to score a goal. This is what we need to find as soon as possible, because this was already a big step forward from Thursday’s game, as we were back to the team we saw in Wembley.

“We’ll make another step forward for the Nations League in November, then we’ll take World Cup qualification after that. Let’s take it one step at a time, recover some energy, there’s a long way to go and we have to prepare for Wednesday.”

Jorginho failed to convert the penalty, his first time after five successful spot-kicks, although it’s his second consecutive error if we count penalty shoot-outs and the UEFA EURO 2020 Final.

“At that moment, it’s the team that has to help Jorginho and we did, able to suffer to the end working for the result, because that is not to be taken for granted. If we didn’t have that bit of focus, we could’ve lost tonight and then really complicated our qualification.

“There are many positives to be taken from this performance and we have to build on those.”