Chelsea left-back Emerson Palmieri has played down an injury scare after limping out in Italy’s victory over Finland.
The Italian international limped in the early stages of Italy’s win over Finland and had to be substituted in the eighth minute of the encounter. Emerson picked a knock while trying to chase Finland striker Teemu Pukki.
The defender took to social media to deliver positive news on his injury status. “Very significant victory today guys,” Emerson wrote on Twitter. “Unfortunately, I had a small injury, but nothing serious. Let’s continue like this!”.
This would be a significant relief to Chelsea gaffer Frank Lampard who prefers the Italian in the left-back role. Emerson has started in each of Chelsea’s four Premier League games in the current campaign. The 25- year-old joined Chelsea on a four-and-half-year deal from the Italian side A.S. Roma going on to make over 20 appearances for the blues.
Alesandro Florenzi replaced the defender. Italy manager Roberto Mancini told reporters after the game that it was a precautionary measure to avoid making it worse for the Chelsea left-back.
The Azzurris recovered from an early set-back to win 2-1. Norwich City striker Teemu Pukki converted from the spot to give Finland the lead. However, Ciro Immobile scored in the 59th minute to draw Italy level. That was the striker’s first international goal in two years. The midfielder Jorge Luiz Frello Filho (Jorginho) converted from the spot in the 79th minute to seal the victory for Roberto Mancini’s lads.
The Azzurris have now made it six wins in the EURO 2020 qualifiers. Italy is placed first in the group log with eighteen points. Finland is placed second with twelve points and is in pole position to secure a first-ever qualification for a Major Tournament.
The Azzurris will play against Greece in the next set of qualifiers in October. The Italians need four points from their remaining four games to guarantee a spot at EURO 2020.
Emerson represented Brazil at under-17 level, but later stated his desire to play for Italy. After he had been granted Italian citizenship in 2017, he was called up to the Italy national team, and made his senior international debut with the Italy in 2018.
Written by: Iniobong Umoh