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Italy Begins Euro Title Defense with Dramatic 2-1 Win Over Albania; Eyes Clash with Spain Next

Italy began their European Championship title defense with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Albania in their opening match. The Azzurri, despite dominating with an xG of 1.6 compared to Albania's 0.46, faced an early setback when Bajrami scored just 23 seconds into the game, marking the fastest goal in the competition's history. However, Italy quickly recovered, turning the tide by the 16th minute. Goals from Bastoni and Barella secured a crucial three points for Spalletti's side.

Looking ahead, Italy's next challenge promises to be a thrilling encounter as they face Spain, the other top contender, in Gelsenkirchen on Thursday. Meanwhile, Albania will aim to bounce back from their opening defeat when they take on Croatia the day before.

The result sets up an exciting continuation of the tournament for both teams, with Italy aiming to build on their early success and Albania seeking redemption in their upcoming matches.

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