Inter Milan defender Francesco Acerbi faces criticism for failing to contain Harry Kane in Italy’s EURO 2024 qualifying loss to England.
Today’s print edition of Milan-based newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport, via FCInterNews, note that the 35-year-old hardly looked his usual effective presence at the back as the Bayern Munich striker got the better of him time and time again.
The past couple of seasons have seen Acerbi in some of the very best form of his career.
The former Lazio and Sassuolo joined Inter last summer.
And despite arriving with the tag of more of a low-cost backup option to Stefan de Vrij, the Italian international forced his way into the Nerazzurri starting eleven.
Acerbi put in a string of outstanding performances through last season. He shone in the Champions League knockout stages.
Strikers like Porto’s Mehdi Taremi, Benfica’s Goncalo Ramos, and Manchester City’s Erlin Haaland struggled to assert themselves against the physicality and anticipation that Acerbi showed in his marking.
The Inter defender particularly won plaudits for his marking of the latter.
Nowregian international Haaland has gained a reputation as one of the most formidable strikers in Europe.
But in the Champions League final, the Man City man hardly got a kick of the ball up against Acerbi.
Francesco Acerbi Nowhere Near His Best Up Against Harry Kane
Acerbi faced another tough test yesterday in the form of England captain Kane.
The 30-year-old former Tottenham Hotspur striker is another player with a reputation as one of Europe’s very best strikers.
And it was Kane who got the better of his duel with Acerbi.
The Englishman’s strength and movement made him very difficult for the Nerazzurri defender to contain.
It was Kane who scored the Three Lions’ third goal in what proved a fairly convincing 3-1 victory.
And the Bayern striker’s holdup play was crucial to giving England a focal point in the final third all evening.
It was, all in all, an evening that Acerbi will not want to remember.