Italy bounce back from first-minute shock as Barella strike sinks Albania

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Italy’s title defence is alive and well for now. Expectations around Luciano Spalletti’s new-look side have been low but this win over the tournament’s rank outsiders, achieved despite a monumental scare inside the opening half-minute, was ultimately conducted with a familiar air of authority. Alessandro Bastoni and Nicolò Barella, the Internazionale pair, stepped up with decisive interventions in a remarkable opening quarter and the remainder was a successful exercise in the kind of game management that once seemed a national pastime.

Such a narrow margin of defeat may yet prove useful to Albania’s hopes of scraping third place in the group of death. If that proves unattainable they will, at least, depart with something to remember them by. Nedim Bajrami’s emphatic finish was the fastest goal in European Championship history and lifted the roof from a stadium that has surely never hosted anything like an Albanian influx that kept temperatures high throughout.

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Written by Nick Ames at BVB Stadion Dortmund
This news first appeared on under the title “Italy bounce back from first-minute shock as Barella strike sinks Albania”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.