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Lightning Strike Twice as Italy Settle For Third in UEFA Nations League

Italy have secured the third spot in this year's edition of the UEFA Nations League after calmly beating their long-time rivals Belgium, who settled for fourth.

Italy went ahead just after the interval thanks to a Nocolò Barella's 47th minute volley. Belgium lacked the usual attacking threat with Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku sidelined for the fixture. The Red Devil's skipper Eden Hazard also missed the playoffs tie.

Though Belgium enjoyed much possession of the football, the Italian side played out what was man-to-man marking to cancel out all the attacks coming their way.

Domenico Berardi added a second from the penalty spot after Federico Chiesa was brought down inside the goalkeeper's yard with 25 minutes into the ninety left.

Belgium upped their game after the 70th minute. Former Tottenham Hotspur full-back Toby Alderwiereld saw two shots perfectly saved by Paris Saint Germain (PSG) goalkeeper Gianluigi Donarumma. Teenage sensation De Ketelaere pulled one back for Belgium, finishing off a counter attack initiated by goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

The final of this edition's UEFA Nations League is scheduled for later tonight. Spain will battle it out with World Cup winners France in what will be a juicy encounter. France clobbered Belgium whereas Spain swept Italy aside in the semi-finals.

Content created and supplied by: RobinMutai (via Opera News )

Belgium Eden Hazard Italy Thibaut Courtois UEFA Nations League

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