Italy maintained their place atop the Nations League Group A1 standings despite being held to a frustrating 0-0 draw with Poland in Gdansk on Sunday.
The Azzurri had a firm grip on possession for much of the contest, but they failed to turn that into clear cut chances as the home side was more than happy to absorb pressure and hit on the counter.
Federico Chiesa was Italy’s most dangerous player on the night but couldn’t make the most of the chances that fell his way, though the defence made up for it with a resolute and authoritative display.
The first real chance of the match came in the 10th minute when Andrea Belotti found some space and picked out Chiesa, though his effort was wide of the mark.
Belotti’s effort on goal was weak and easily saved by Lukasz Fabianski, while Kamil Jozwiak tested an alert Gianluigi Donnarumma.
Chiesa and Lorenzo Pellegrini connected just before the half but the Juventus man couldn’t hit the goal as the first half ended 0-0.
The caginess carried over to the second half with chances hard to come by, though Jakub Moder won the ball from Nicolo Barella and forced Donnarumma into a comfortable save.
Italy should have taken the lead in the 64th minute after forcing Poland into a mistake high up the pitch. Chiesa eventually pushed forward and put in a great cross for Emerson Palmieri, but his diving header was just wide of the mark.
Emerson couldn’t get his shot off after a great pass by Marco Verratti, though VAR didn’t intervene despite the Italian being pushed off balance by Tomasz Kedziora.
Some half-chances fell either way in the final stages of the match, but in the end it wasn’t to be for either side as both sides were forced to settle for the 0-0 draw.
Italy won’t be too disappointed with the result as they remain top of the group with five points, with Netherlands just behind on four after their 0-0 draw with Bosnia and Herzegovina earlier on Sunday.