Italy were held to a 1-1 draw against Bulgaria in 2022 World Cup Qualifying on Thursday, despite a wonderful Federico Chiesa strike at the Stadio Artemio Franchi.
The Juventus forward carried the ball from wide right and forced his way through the defence, before taking advantage of a deflection to rifle into the bottom corner.
Bulgaria striker Atanas Iliev drew the visitors level before the break and Italy were unable to find a winner, but the draw was enough to see the Azzurri match Spain’s 35-match world record unbeaten streak.
Italy Player Ratings:
Donnarumma 6; Florenzi 5 (63′ Toloi 5.5), Bonucci 6.5, Acerbi 5.5, Emerson 6 (’90 Pellegrini N/A); Barella 6.5 (63′ Cristante 6), Jorginho 6.5, Verratti 6.5; Chiesa 7.5, Immobile 5.5 (’75 Raspadori 6), Insigne 6 (’74 Berardi 6)
Player of the Match: Federico Chiesa
Back on familiar turf, the former Fiorentina attacker made an immediate impact with a fine solo effort, whilst he was Italy’s biggest threat. Chiesa’s willingness to take on his man and attack the space out wide offered the Azzurri an outlet throughout, whilst he brought his teammates into the fold with intelligent play.