A dominant performance from Italy just about paid off away to Poland as the Azzurri got a late winner through in-form Fiorentina full-back Cristiano Biraghi.
The win sees Poland relegated from League A and keeps the group alive with Italy still holding onto their hopes of winning Group 3 and going on into the knockout rounds of the Nations League.
Juventus’ Wojciech Szczesny was just one of a number of familiar names to Serie A supporters on the opposite side on the night and he was kept busy in the opening 45 minutes but a strikerless Azzurri couldn’t find a way to beat him.
Jorginho was the first to have a go and the Chelsea midfielder hit the woodwork early on before Lorenzo Insigne and Federico Bernardeschi missed the target with chances of their own.
Insigne then took his turn to rattle the frame of Szczesny’s goal before the Polish stopper did well to deny Alessandro Florenzi. The Juve ‘keeper then acrobatically denied teammate Giorgio Chiellini.
Poland grew into the game in the second half and Gianluigi Donnarumma did well when called upon.
Napoli’s Insigne did have the ball in the net after an excellent move but he was offside and he then missed the best chance of the game and headed wide when he really ought to have scored.
Italy stayed on top but Poland looked a constant threat on the counterattack and Donnarumma was forced to make a big save to keep the Azzurri on terms.
Biraghi got the goal with one of the game’s final touches. A late corner appeared under-hit and was saved by a diving Lasagna who flicked the ball into a dangerous area, from where Biraghi finished the move.
You can imagine that if Daniele De Rossi was involved in this squad he’d have been sitting on the bench pointing at Ciro Immobile and shouting at Mancini to bring him on.
Immobile has been lethal with Lazio and while he has struggled to carry his form over onto the international stage, with time it’s hard to think that the goals won’t come.
In this Italy side, it looks as though chances will be plentiful and as good as the Insigne-Chiesa-Bernardeschi trio has looked, none of them are quite as clinical as they need to be.
Debutant Kevin Lasagna was introduced for Bernardeschi late on, and it was telling that it was him who got the vital assist late on.