Italy vs Austria UEFA Euro LIVE Football Score 26 June 2021
Having emerged as one of the tournament favourites, Italy meet unfancied Austria at Wembley on Saturday, in the last 16 of Euro 2020. While the Azzurri’s sparkling start to the championships has continued a record-equalling unbeaten run, the Austrians are into the knockout phase for the first time ever, after finally ending their Euros drought with two group-stage wins
Keeping expectations in check may be Italy’s most difficult task heading into the latter stages of this summer’s European Championships, as an 11th win in a row last time out helped them extend their undefeated streak to a total of 30 games. Tying a national record set back in the 1930s under legendary coach Vittorio Pozzo, the 1-0 victory over Wales was scant reward for their shadow side’s complete domination last Sunday.Roberto Mancini managed to keep his team’s momentum going despite wholesale changes – with eight of the previous starting XI dropping out – to claim maximum points once again, following back-to-back 3-0 victories over Turkey and Switzerland.
However, their prize for cruising through as winners of Group A is a place in the more challenging side of the draw, as they will face Belgium or Portugal in the next round should they progress, and then potentially France, Spain or Croatia in a semi-final.
First, though, La Nazionale must leave their Roman stronghold at Stadio Olimpico to meet Austria on neutral turf. Nonetheless, they will travel north in the knowledge that no Italian team has lost to their neighbours since 1960, and they have emerged as winners in each of the nations’ four major tournament meetings.
Yet to concede a goal in the competition, a clearly united squad – in which even substitute goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu has been awarded a handful of minutes – have not only proved an entertaining prospect for neutrals, but also shown they are made of stern stuff at the back. In fact, the last time Italy failed to keep a clean sheet was in a 1-1 draw with the Netherlands last October – over 1,000 minutes of football ago.
The four-time world champions have now reached ten straight wins for only the second time in their illustrious history – the first such streak having come during qualifying – and have not lost at all since 2018, so are in pole position to sweep past their Alpine counterparts this weekend.
With the odds already stacked against them due to a gulf in world ranking and historic stature, Austria will potentially tackle their first-ever knockout fixture in European Championship history with few partisan fans present at ‘the home of football’.
- Austria’s last win against Italy was in a friendly in 1960. The Azzurri are unbeaten in the subsequent 13 meetings, winning 10 of those matches.
- The sides have never met before at a European Championship finals, but all four encounters at the World Cup saw Italy win by a single-goal margin.
- The last meeting was a friendly in August 2008 which ended in a 2-2 draw.
- Italy’s 30-game unbeaten run (W25, D5) has equalled an 82-year-old national record.
- The Azzurri are vying to win a 12th consecutive match, which would be a new record.
- Roberto Mancini’s side have won their last 11 matches, scoring 32 goals without reply.
- They have gone 17 hours and 35 minutes without conceding a goal, since Donny van de Beek scored for the Netherlands in a 1-1 draw in the Nations League in October.
- Italy have won all three group games for the fourth time at a major tournament, having previously done so at the 1978 and 1990 World Cups and at Euro 2000.
- The Azzurri have only lost one of their six games (W2, D3) at Wembley (all against England), with their solitary defeat coming in a World Cup qualifier in 1977.
- This is Austria’s first appearance in the knockout stage of the European Championship and their first at any major tournament since the 1954 World Cup, when they reached the semi-finals.
- They won two of their three group stage games, having failed to win any in 2008 and 2016.
- Austria have lost four of their six games in London in all competitions, with this their first visit to the capital since losing 7-0 to England in a friendly at Wembley in 1973.
- David Alaba created nine chances in the group stage, at least four more than any other Austrian.