See: Andrea Belotti reacts after his brace earned a 3-1 win for Italy in Euro 2020 qualifying

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Andrea Belotti bagged a brace as Italy saw off 10-man Armenia 3-1 to extend their perfect start to Euro 2020 qualifying with a fifth straight win on Thursday.

Belotti would’ve had a hat-trick, but his goal in stoppages was incorrectly ruled offside.

With five wins from five matches, Italy lead Group J with 15 points.

Watch him speak above:










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Spain and Chelsea No1 Kepa Arrizabalaga reflects on tragic Luis Enrique news

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Kepa Arrizabalaga said the death of Luis Enrique’s daughter made for a difficult build up to Spain’s Euro 2020 qualifying win over Romania.

Spain began life without former coach Enrique by recording a 2-1 success in Bucharest to maintain their 100-per-cent record in Group F.

Tragedy struck in the lead up to the game when Enrique, who resigned in June due to family reasons, last week lost nine-year-old daughter Xana following her battle with bone cancer.

Chelsea goalkeeper Arrizabalaga, who ensured his side victory with two vital late saves, said his thoughts were with Enrique and called for Spanish fans to show support for the 49-year-old during Sunday’s qualifier against the Faroe Islands in Gijon.

“We send a very big hug to Luis Enrique in these difficult times,” said Arrizabalaga, according to the Spanish FA’s website.

“It has been a complicated week for everyone.

“You have to look forward. It is not easy, but life sometimes gives you these blows.

“We want to continue adding (against) the Faroe Islands. We must call on the fans of Gijon to honour Luis Enrique.”

There was a minute’s silence in memory of Xana ahead of kick-off in the Romanian capital.

Enrique had been absent for qualifiers against Malta, the Faroe Islands and Sweden earlier this year due to his personal circumstances, before stepping down.

Robert Moreno took charge of the team for the first time as permanent head coach on Thursday, having previously filled in on an interim basis.

Sergio Ramos’ penalty and a strike from Paco Alcacer earned Moreno a debut victory, which was made nervy by Romania substitute Florin Andone halving the deficit with half an hour to play and Diego Llorente’s 79th-minute dismissal.

Arrizabalaga, who was selected ahead of Manchester United’s David De Gea, then twice saved from George Puscas in stoppage time as the visitors hung on.

Moreno praised the crucial late contribution of the 24-year-old.

“I am glad that he helped us in the end, but I am just as happy with the work of others,” said Moreno.

“It is true that it has saved us in the end, and that stands out.

“I encourage everyone to continue working and they will give us joy in the future.”

Spain had looked on course for a comfortable victory after dominating proceedings but were almost made to pay for numerous missed chances.

Moreno added: “In the second half, with the score against them (Romania), they have opened up a little more.

“They are a complicated team and in the end these things happen in football.

“We would like the whole game to have been like the first half but you do not always get that.”

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Real Madrid star Gareth Bale ‘raring to go’ for Wales in Euro 2020 qualifier

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Gareth Bale says he feels more settled and is “raring to go” for Wales on Friday.

Ryan Giggs’ team take on Azerbaijan on Friday in a European Championship qualifying match.

Bale looked set to leave Real Madrid for a big-money move to China this summer, only for the Spanish giants to pull the plug at the last moment.

The 30-year-old  ended a scoring drought stretching back to March 16 with two goals in the 2-2 LaLiga draw at Villarreal on Sunday, although he did blot his copybook by being dismissed in stoppage time.

Bale told a press conference: “The transfer window has closed. I don’t think mentally it affected me but I had not played for four to six weeks.

“It was nice to be back on the scoresheet (for Real Madrid) and now I am fit and raring to go.”

Real team-mate Thibaut Courtois suggested in an interview that Bale is generally isolated from the squad and would rather play golf on the weekend than bond with the team.

That earned him the nickname ‘The Golfer’, but Bale is happy with the moniker, adding: “I am a golfer. People make a lot of it, but I enjoy it and it keeps me calmer on the pitch.”

The Wales forward claimed not being picked by Harry Redknapp at Spurs “for a year” was a harder time in his career.

He said: “I just kept my head down and worked hard in training. If you want answers you maybe need to ask Real Madrid.”

Wales struggled to impress against Croatia and Hungary in the summer. They trail group leaders Hungary by six points, albeit with a game in hand, and are three adrift of Croatia and Slovakia in the race for a top-two spot.

Bale added: “We know what we need to do. It was disappointing what happened in the summer but we have the chance to put it right.”

Gareth Bale and Ryan Giggs

Gareth Bale and Ryan Giggs

Giggs was pleased with Bale’s contribution on Sunday and said: “When he scores he tends to get on a roll.”

However, the boss revealed that Ben Woodburn is likely to be missing against Azerbaijan.

The Liverpool forward, currently on loan at Sky Bet League One side Oxford, is struggling with a bug.

However, Giggs confirmed that the rest of his squad are fit and available – including Daniel James.

Manchester United’s summer signing from Swansea has scored three goals in four appearances for the club so far this season.

Former United winger Giggs has not been surprised by James’ start to life at Old Trafford.

“He’s at the right club – a club which loves wingers,” Giggs said. “We’ve all seen what he’s capable of in the last eight or nine months and he’s going to get better and better.”

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