Luigi Di Biagio’s poor run as interim Italy coach continued despite the Azzurri rescuing a 1-1 draw at Wembley Stadium against England on Tuesday night.
Following on from Friday’s 2-0 loss to Argentina, a lacklustre Italy were all at sea, despite a bright start, with the players looking visibly disinterested and lacking any creativity for the majority.
This was evident during the opening goal, as the entire Azzurri backline stopped, expecting a break in play for an England freekick, but a quick freekick from Jesse Lingard put Jamie Vardy in on goal, and he made no mistake.
But three minutes from time, Lorenzo Insigne fired home from the penalty spot to give the Azzurri an undeserved draw.
Ciro Immobile missed a host of chances as the Azzurri registered an unwanted record going 374 minutes without scoring, a record in their 108 year history.
However, it was Italy who were on the front foot early on, as Ciro Immobile beat the offside trap, but took too long to get the ball under control and the England defence got back to block hit strike.
Immobile was at it again. This time stealing the ball from John Stones on the edge of the penalty area, but again the defender recovered and the Lazio man’s effort went over the crossbar.
The home side did eventually wake up as Vardy played a through ball for Jesse Lingard, on which Leonardo Bonucci missed a crucial interception, only for Mattia De Sciglio to get back and block the shot.
Italy could, and should, have been in front as Antonio Candreva swung a wonderful ball into the penalty area, placing it directly on the head of an unmarked Immobile, but the end product ended up in the stands.
Despite having plenty of the ball, Italy were susceptible to the counter-attack and Vardy was put one-on-one with Gianluigi Donnarumme, only to fire straight at the AC Milan goalkeeper’s legs.
— Jonah Takalua (@Destaquito2) March 27, 2018
Moments later England did get their goal. Raheem Sterling broke from just inside the Italy half, and after being tripped twice the referee gave a freekick, and quick thinking from Lingard allowed Vardy to blast into the top right corner, with the Italy defence caught napping.
Chances were coming Immobile’s way and he managed to crave a path into the England box, but again his finish was deflected wide. Meanwhile at the other end, England flashed a shot just wide of the far post.
After the break, England kept their momentum from the first half, and Bonucci had to be alert as Sterling dribbled into the six-yard box but the Milan captain did well to block the shot.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain then tried his luck from distance, but the shot was easily saved by Donnarumma, before Ashley Young and Adam Lallana also tested the Azzurri goalkeeper.
As the game drew to a conclusion, Insigne curled a freekick high and wide, then went close with a low drive, just scraping the far post.
Then right at the death, substitute Federico Chiesa was bundled over in the box, and after VAR review referee Deniz Aytekin awarded the Azzurri the spot kick.
— FrSerieA Goals (@FrSerieAGoals) March 27, 2018
Insigne then stepped up and fired into the bottom left corner to earn Italy a draw.