A dominant Italy performance propelled it past the Netherlands 1-0 and to the top of its Nations League group on Monday.
Nicolo Barella headed in the only goal shortly before halftime as Italy wasted chances. But the display will go a long way to helping the Azzurri put the disappointment of drawing against Bosnia-Herzegovina 1-1 last Friday behind them.
“I am happy for the mentality and the presentation,” Italy coach Roberto Mancini said. “The lads really played well, they were extraordinary.”
It was Italy’s 11th win in 12 matches although some critics tempered that feat by pointing out that none of those victories were against the so-called ‘big teams’ of international soccer.