Chiellini: Italy avoided 'tragedy'
Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini said he was delighted with his side's 3-1 win over Denmark in World Cup qualifying on Tuesday.
The hosts recorded their third successive victory in Group B thanks to goals from Ricardo Montolivo, Daniele De Rossi and Mario Balotelli, despite having Pablo Osvaldo sent off just 20 seconds after the interval.
Chiellini said the Azzurri were up against it to break down the Danes.
"The match opened with a difficult first quarter of an hour, because we thought we could manage to press them aggressively," he said.
"While they were good in counter-attacking and we didn't have the same determination in getting back the ball as we had against Armenia.
"But then Italy expressed themselves with goals and great actions, everything changed into a match that could have ended with an easy victory, while in 10 seconds the situation upturned completely again, with their goal at the very last second of the first half and Osvaldo sending-off."
Chiellini was pleased with how Italy responded following the dismissal of Roma's Argentine-born striker.
"It could have ended in a tragedy, but this team proved their character once again and we even conceded less when we were down to 10 on the pitch and managed to score the third goal," he said.
Montolivo, meanwhile, said it was pleasing to be amongst the goal scorers in Milan.
"I'm happy, very happy, because I needed to score this goal and the team needed it too," he said.
"And because it came in a delicate moment of the match, Denmark were playing well and my goal settled the match a bit."
The AC Milan midfielder also praised the team's second-half performance.
"We risked more in the first half when we were 11 onto the pitch, because in the second half we were determined not to concede goals to our opponents and to remain a close group," he said.
"We proved a desire to fight for any ball, while in the first half we had some problems in getting the ball and we weren't aggressive enough."