Argentina marked the revival of the Champions Cup in style, declassifying Italy 3-0 in a heavyweight clash marked as “Final“On Wednesday at the stormy stadium in Wembley.
Lautar Martinez and Angela Di Maria’s goals gave the South American champions full control against the Italian team, which was back at Wembley 11 months after defeating England and winning the postponed Euro 2020.
With thousands of their supporters in a crowd of 87,000 people determined to turn northwest London into a night in Buenos Aires, the Argentine side, including Lionel Messi, was simply too fast and neat Azzurri.
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“It was a beautiful final, full of Argentines. What we experienced here was beautiful. We knew it would be an attractive match and a nice environment to become a champion,” Messi said. he said after the match. “We can compete with anyone. Today was a good test because Italy is a great team.”
Martinez touched Messi’s direct free kick in the 28th minute to reward Argentina’s early dominance.
“It’s priceless. We are extremely happy with the way things are going, for our game and for what this group is like,” Martinez said. “There are still a few months left until the World Cup, and we know we have some things to fix.”
Martinez of Inter Milan then slipped through his passport for Di Maria to double the lead with a failed half-time and send South American fans into a trance.
Argentina could have scored a lot more after the break, Messi pulled the strings and Italy’s goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma saved his team.
The substitute Paulo Dybala underlined Argentina’s dominance with a drilled low finish in the break.
It was the unsatisfactory end of the international career of the devoted Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini, when the 37-year-old alternated at half-time in his 117th and final performance.
The Final is the revival of the CONMEBOL-UEFA Champions Cup, which has only been played twice so far, in 1985 and 1993.
Messi, who shone with a number of typical dribbles in the evening, was lifted into the air by his teammates, who danced with joy on the lush lawn of Wembley.
Argentina, which ended a 28-year wait for the trophy by defeating Brazil and winning Copa America in 2021, showed a show that is a good sign for their hopes for this year’s World Cup in Qatar, extending their series without defeating to 32 matches.
“Everything has changed since we won Copa America,” Di Maria said. “We’ve lost that weight and now we enjoy playing, having fun and things are much easier for us. We’re excited, but we always have to stay on our feet.”
For Italy, it was a sober reminder of how quickly fate can change in football.
Last July, Robert Mancini’s team was euphoric after a penalty shootout that won over England and the European Championship, but has since suffered humiliation because it failed to qualify for the World Cup for the second time in a row after losing in the playoffs. with Northern Macedonia.
Mancini described the game as the “end of the cycle” and the defeat left him in no doubt how much work was needed to revive Italian wealth.
“They were better than us. We were in the game at first half, but we didn’t do enough after the break to turn it around,” Mancini said.
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