Ventura: Italy could have doubled our tally

Giampiero Ventura was pleased with Italy’s performance in Liechtenstein but, despite recording their biggest away victory since 1990, believes they should have won by more than 4-0.

An Andrea Belotti brace, and goals from Ciro Immobile and Antonio Candreva, had La Nazionale four goals up at half-time in Vaduz. However, they were unable to build on that after the restart, and remain behind Spain on goal difference (+14 to +7) in Group G in European qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™.

“The first half was good, as we scored four goals and had at least four other clear-cut chances,” said Ventura. “We came close to something that seemed unlikely before the match (rivalling Spain’s 8-0 defeat of Liechtenstein).

“In the second half there was great concentration, we just needed a fifth goal to spark the enthusiasm again, but in stoppage-time there were six of us in the opposition area and that says everything about the attitude.

“Everyone worked hard, we scored some fine goals, and the things we worked on were not flukes. If we stopped to count, we could’ve doubled our tally with the chances we created. I still would’ve been happy in any case to win with this performance, and for that I am satisfied. The important thing was to win.

“We are working hard, coming up there is Germany and some training get-togethers. We might not see the fruits of the labour tomorrow, but the day after tomorrow we could, and then we should be proud.”

Italy welcome Germany to Milan for a glamour friendly on Tuesday. The teams have met five times in the World Cup, with La Nazionale’s three victories – the other two matches ended all square – all memorable. They won 4-3 in the 1970 semi-finals in the so-called ‘Match of the Century’, 3-1 in the 1982 Final, and 2-0 in a thrilling 2006 semi.