Claudio Marchisio yesterday joined the ranks of Bianconeri players to net against Luxembourg (Bettega is the leading scorer) when he put away Balotelli’s cross from the right on 9 minutes.
The goal from Il Principe was his first for Italy in 2014, but it wasn’t enough to allow the Azzurri to claim victory. Prandelli experimented with a midfield consisting of two registas, with Verratti next to Pirlo, who yesterday had 73 touches of the ball and 8 successful long forward passes. Gigi Buffon had little to do between the posts until Luxembourg’s goal, which came five minutes from the end of the first half: a precise header from a corner kick. Bonucci and Chiellini were paired in central defence in a four-man back line (Leonardo came off for Darmian in the 78th minute).
Last night in South America the national sides of Uruguay and Chile defeated those of Slovenia and Northern Ireland respectively, both by a scoreline of 2-0. PSG and ex-Napoli player Cavani found the net for the Celeste thanks to an assist from Forlan. Stuani then added the second on 76 minutes. Bianconeri defender Caceres played the left-back role for 90 minutes next to Godin, just as he did in the win against Northern Ireland.
Mauricio Isla lined up on the left flank for yesterday’s match, having been deployed in the right-back position by Sampaoli in the previous friendly against Egypt. This time Chile faced Northern Ireland, coming away with a 2-0 victory (Vargas and Pinilla were the goalscorers on minutes 79 and 82). Once again Sanchez came up big as an assist-man for his team-mates. The Bianconeri midfielder played the entire match, while Arturo Vidal came on in the 77th minute, replacing Valdivia.