Argentina beats Italy 3-0 to win first Finalissima title


LONDON (AP) — Lautaro Martínez, Ángel Di María and Paulo Dybala scored to lead Argentina to a 3-0 victory over Italy on Wednesday in the first Finalissima meeting of the South American and European champions.

The opener was created by Lionel Messi's solo brilliance taking him past Giovanni Di Lorenzo and the Argentina captain squared for Martínez to slot past goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma in the 28th minute.

Martínez turned creator in first-half stoppage time by threading a pass through for Di María to chip Donnarumma, having got past Giorgio Chiellini. The 37-year-old Italy captain came off at halftime of his 117th and final international appearance.

The win was wrapped up in the fourth minute of stoppage time with Messi again providing the assist — this time for the substitute Dybala to strike low into the net.

It was a painful return for the Italians to Wembley Stadium where they won Euro 2020 last year and as they face up to a second successive failure to qualify for the World Cup.

Argentina will head to Qatar in November with another trophy — one created as part of a UEFA-CONMEBOL partnership that challenges the global supremacy of FIFA.

The choice of London as the location for the game was vindicated by more than 87,000 packing into Wembley, with UEFA picking the stadium despite the unrest at the Euro 2020 final caused by England fans.

Soccer, Argentina, Italy