Legendary former AC Milan coach Arrigo Sacchi believes that Inter Milan’s Nicolo Barella wasn’t at his best as Italy drew 1-1 with Croatia.

The former coach gave his thoughts on the EURO 2024 group stage match in an interview published in yesterday’s print edition of the Gazzetta dello Sport, via FCInterNews. He also criticized Alessandro Bastoni for his role in Croatia’s goal.

Barella was one of four Inter players who started against Croatia on Monday.

Along with the likes of Alessandro Bastoni and Federico Dimarco, the 27-year-old had started every single one of Italy’s group stage matches at the Euros this summer.

Meanwhile, Matteo Darmian had started in defense against Croatia. And Davide Frattesi came off the bench.

It was a tricky match for the Azzurri in many respects.

Whilst the first half of the match had been fairly cagey, in the second Croatia started to put more pressure on the Italy midfield and backline.

And the Azzurri struggled to cope with the pressure at times.

Then, after Croatia scored the all-important goal, Italy started to push for an equalizer.

There was plenty of possession for Luciano Spalletti’s team. But not all that much momentum, and no telling chances.

Sacchi: “Nicolo Barella Not At His Best In Italy EURO 2024 Draw Vs Croatia”

In the end, Italy did get the equalizer they sought. Mattia Zaccagni scored deep into stoppage time.

Therefore, Italy will be in the round of sixteen, finishing second in their group.

However, it was far from the most convincing performance from the Azzurri. Both as a collective, and in terms of some of their big name individual players.

Former Milan coach Sacchi said that “Barella didn’t seem to be at his best on the evening to me.”

“Pellegrini was obviously tiring after a particularly intense season. And Jorginho no longer has the rhythm that he once had.”

“He’s the evidence of how things are going,” Sacchi said of the Arsenal midfielder.

“At times we were able to push the wingbacks, Di Lorenzo on one side and Dimarco on the other side, up. But we never gained any consistency from these efforts.”

And then of Croatia’s second half goal, Sacchi singled out both the giving away of a penalty in the buildup, and a missed header from an Inter defender.

“There are two mistakes,” he said. “First, Frattesi and the penalty. And then, Bastoni on Modric’s goal.”