Argentina thrash Italy in Finalissima

World News

Argentina were fully deserved 3-0 victors over Italy in the Finalissima at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday evening.

Italy captain Giorgio Chiellini was playing his last match for the Azzurri, while Lionel Messi wore the captain's armband Argentina and formed part of a dangerous front three alongside Angel di Maria and Lautaro Martinez.

Argentina were the side on top and pressing Italy high, forcing the Europeans into giving the ball away a lot.

However, it was Italy who had the first attempt on goal and it came in the 12th minute. Jorginho went on an incisive dribble through the Argentine midfielder and played the ball to Giacomo Raspadori, who hit a snapshot on the swivel which forced a low save from Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez.

Ten minutes later, Roberto Mancini's side threatened again. After Emerson's cross was handballed by Otamendi, Raspadori whipped in the free-kick, and Belotti's looping header was well retrieved by a backpedalling Martinez under his crossbar.

Argentina took the lead just before the half-hour mark. Di Lorenzo got too tight on Messi, who turned him with ease and surged towards the byline before putting it on a platter for Lautaro Martinez, who only had to steer it with the outside of his foot into the back of the net from close range.

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It was all Argentina, who doubled their lead on the stroke of halftime. Lautaro Martinez rolled Leonardo Bonucci and released Di Maria with a slide-rule pass and the Paris Saint-Germain attacker dinked the ball over an onrushing Gianluigi Donnaruma and into the back of the net.

The Albiliceste continued their dominance after the break and Di Maria almost scored a screamer when Messi's corner landed right on his foot and he connected perfectly with the volley as Donnaruma was only able to punch it away.

Messi was beginning to impose himself on proceedings and showed great appetite when he dispossessed Jorginho and drove into the box before forcing Donnaruma into another good save at his near post.

Donnaruma once again came to the rescue of Italy soon after. Martinez got to the ball ahead of Giovanni Di Lorenzo and fed Messi, who attempted to curl one into the top corner but Donnaruma got across smartly to tip it away to safety.

Martinez was taken off with five minutes to go and replaced by new Manchester City signing Julian Alvarez, who everyone was keen to get a look at with plenty of expectation surrounding the youngster.

Paulo Dybala, off the bench, put the icing on the cake with the last kick of the match. Messi went on a typically mazy dribble to the edge of the box and the ball fell to Dybala, who struck first-time into the bottom right corner.

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